Readersforum's Blog

July 30, 2012

Social Media Power a Novel

Halle Berry and Tom Hanks, appearing in the trailer for the movie made from the novel ‘Cloud Atlas.’

By JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG

Last Monday, David Mitchell’s eight-year-old novel “Cloud Atlas” was ranked 2,509 on Amazon.com Inc.’s best seller list. On Friday, it was No. 7.

The surge of sales was thanks to a trailer for a film version of the novel that debuted on Apple Inc’s website Thursday, combined with the power of social media.

“Almost as soon as the trailer went up, we saw chatter on Twitter and sales on Amazon really jumped,” said Jane von Mehren, publisher of trade paperbacks for the Random House Publishing Group, a unit of Bertelsmann AG’s Random House Inc.

To cash in on the renewed interest, Random House has ordered a new paperback printing of 25,000 copies, to hit stores before a special movie-tie in edition of the book is released in September. Currently, “Cloud Atlas” has 227,000 paperback copies in print in the U.S.

It isn’t unusual for a movie version of a book to spark fresh interest in an old title, of course. What’s uncommon in this case was the speed at which a mere trailer of a film had an impact.

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January 15, 2012

R&J Spring Book Club titles announced

 | By Charlotte Williams

Harper has scored two of the eight spots in Richard & Judy’s Spring Book Club, with the titles unveiled today. The line-up also includes S J Watson‘s Before I Go to Sleep (Transworld) which will appear in the next series of More4’s “TV Book Club” as well.

The titles which will feature in the spring promotion this year, alongside Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, will be Yesterday’s Sun by Amanda Brooke and My Dear I Wanted To Tell You by Louisa Young(both Harper), as well as The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon (Preface), A Cold Season by Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books), The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (Virago), Midwinter Sacrifice by Mons Kallentoft (Hodder & Stoughton) and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Michael Joseph).

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December 13, 2011

‘Downton Abbey”s Stevens to judge Man Booker

Dan Stevens

| By Benedicte Page

In a move likely to inflame critics of the Man Booker prize judging process, actor Dan Stevens—best known for playing Matthew Crawley in TV drama series “Downton Abbey”—is to join the judging panel for the 2012 prize.

Stevens, who is editor-at-large for online quarterly The Junket and a regular guest on the BBC’s “Review Show”, joins academics Dinah Birch and Bharat Tandon and historian Amanda Foreman. The judges will be chaired by TLS editor Sir Peter Stothard.

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October 19, 2011

Press lauds Barnes’ Booker win

Filed under: Literary Prizes — Tags: , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:48 pm

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19.10.11 | Graeme Neill

The thrice-denied Julian Barnes has been lauded in the press for finally winning the Man Booker prize with his The Sense of an Ending.

The Guardian warmly welcomed the decision. Claire Armistead said: “To those who believe the Booker has gone downmarket in its domestic and international incarnations, one can only point to the fact that 2011 will go down as the year of Philip Roth and Julian Barnes.”

The Daily Mail said the judgement showed the panel appeared to be “siding with the traditionalists”, lauding the “highbrow” novel as a “fascinating sketch of an unglamorous and rarely-mined vein of middle-class life”.

The Times also felt the judges made the right decision. Literary editor Erica Wagner said: “In its deepest core [it's] a complex meditation on the nature of knowledge and the nature of loss.” However, she added she felt it had been a “disappointing” year. She said: “I’d be willing to bet that most of the shortlisted novels, alas, won’t stay the course—that course being the next couple of hundred years. But I could be wrong. That’s the way it works.”

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August 30, 2011

The Slap adaptation for BBC Four

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|By Katie Allen

BBC Four has acquired an Australian adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’ Man Booker-longlisted novel The Slap.

“Hotel Rwanda” actress Sophie Okenedo, Jonathan La Paglia and Melissa George will star in the series of eight one-hour episodes, described as a “very well made tale of our times” by the channel. BBC Four will broadcast in October.

The Slap follows the repercussions of a summer barbeque, where a man slaps a child who is not his own. Despite not making the shortlist for last year’s Man Booker, the Tuskar Rock/Atlantic title was one of the bestselling titles on the longlist, clocking up sales of 268,000 copies across all print editions through Nielsen BookScan data.

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August 16, 2011

Publishers “lax” on physical quality of books – Daunt

Filed under: Bookshops — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 12:06 pm

James Daunt

| By Lisa Campbell

Waterstone’s m.d. James Daunt has accused publishers of being “lax” in not paying enough attention to the physical quality of books while warning bricks and mortar bookshops will not survive unless they are good enough.

Speaking about “The Future of the Book” on BBC Radio 4’s “The World At One” programme today [15th August], Daunt said publishers need to “re-examine some of the basics of their industry” to ensure the physical book survives in an increasingly digital world.

He said: “Do the publishing houses face challenges particularly in the digital world where territorial rights and copyright are clearly much more difficult to enforce? Yes. Do I think publishers need to re-examine some of the basics of their industry to get that right? [Yes] For example, I think that the attention to the physical quality of the book has been lax. They have not recognised that this is as important as it is.”

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June 16, 2011

Henderson, Lehane on TV Book Club summer list

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 9:29 am

Katie Allen

By Katie Allen

Emma Henderson’s Orange-shortlisted Grace Williams Says It Loud and the latest novel by American thriller writer Dennis Lehane have been picked for the summer season of “The TV Book Club”.

Returning on Sunday 26th June on More 4, with repeats on Channel 4, the eight-week series will again be presented by Jo Brand, Dave Spikey, Laila Rouass, Ade Edmondson and Meera Syal with Rory McGrath also joining the panel.

The eight titles to be discussed are: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson (Orion); Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane (Abacus); A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Corsair); Night Road by Kristin Hannah (Pan); The Book Of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric (Bloomsbury); The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg (HarperCollins); The Radleys by Matt Haig (Canongate); and Grace Williams Says It Loud by Emma Henderson (Sceptre).

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February 25, 2011

Jamie top, while Faulks boosts fiction

Filed under: Lists — Tags: , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:14 am

Philip Stone

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Sales of Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s 30-minute Meals (Michael Joseph) fell 22% week-on-week, but its 39,118 sale in the seven days to 19th February is easily strong enough to ensure it spends another week (its 17th in total) at the summit of The Official UK Top 50.

Despite having gone on sale less than five months ago, its total sales to date of 1,416,303 copies puts it fifth on a list of the bestselling non-fiction books since records began in 1998.                                                      …read more

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February 18, 2011

The Brutal Truth From Two Years In The Twitterverse

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 12:06 pm

The facts for the publishing industry are clear – the vast majority of media outlets are declining in one or more ways.

Two years ago, I registered @themediaisdying – a Twitter account through which I tweet links illustrating the industry’s challenges to nearly 25,000 followers. Now, as it enters its third year, some things clearly have changed – and others still desperately need to…

Running @themediaisdying network remains straightforward – evidence for its eponymous premise, tragically, pours in. Despite new technologies and bursts of advertising confidence, the velocity of publishing outlets going under, online-only or changing publishing schedules gives only temporary relief to those in an industry that is now, in my view, fundamentally doomed unless a mindset is changed.

Here’s what I’ve learned…                                                               …read more

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