Monday, April 13, 2009

Book News, In Brief

House star Hugh Laurie has a hit book on his hands. While Hollywood stars regularly grace the bestseller lists, Laurie's listing is unusual for two reasons: 1. The book isn't a memoir. 2. It isn't even new.

Author Colleen McCullough feels that a new, British adaptation of her novel, The Thorn Birds is a "vast improvement" over the US TV mini-series. But while McCullough has had a guiding hand in this adaptation, it may still feel unfaithful to the book's longtime fans. The reason why? It's a musical. has denied accusations that they'd purposefully removed books featuring 'adult content' from their sales rankings, claiming it was all a "glitch." Unsurprisingly, this "glitch" excuse has already been exposed as corporate PR b.s. According to author Mark R. Probst, when he contacted Amazon about his disappearing sales ranking, they told him that "In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude 'adult' material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists." Oh, and he's got the email to prove it.
Recent & related: The Kindle is Conservative!

The NYTimes has found a new way to write about the current economic crises: They're pontificating on its effect on publishing advances. An excerpt: In the latest of a string of eulogies for the book industry as we know it, Time magazine fingered advances as part of the “financial coelacanth” of publishing’s business model, doomed to disappear like brick-and-mortar bookstores. Yet despite the economic downturn, and the fact that 7 out of 10 titles do not earn back their advance, the system doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.