Sunday, June 24, 2007

R.R. Bowker Launches Non-Fiction Connection

R.R. Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information management, has launched Non-Fiction Connection, the library industry's first comprehensive readers' advisory tool for non-fiction titles.

The new electronic offering allows library patrons to find non-fiction titles based on books they have already read. Users simply log on to the subscription-only service, enter the title of a book they already know they enjoy, and search for similar books from Bowker's non-fiction database. Using the browse feature, users can locate books within various narrative non-fiction genres, such as true crime, travel, history, food, animals, politics and biographies.

The product, which is also a valuable tool for use by customers in retail bookstores, will be introduced to the library profession this week at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Meeting. The event takes place June 21-27 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rowling Returns to the U.S. this Fall to Read from the Harry Potter Series and Sign Books for Fans

J.K. Rowling will be coming to America in October for the "J.K. Rowling Open Book Tour." The Tour will include four events, three to be held for schoolchildren in Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York City and one event in New York City for any U.S. Harry Potter fan lucky enough to win a ticket through a sweepstakes to be held by Scholastic. At each event, Rowling will read from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, answer questions about the entire series, and sign copies of her latest book.

J.K. Rowling will appear at the Los Angeles Kodak Theater on Monday, October 15th; in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Auditorium at the Convention Center on Thursday, October 18th; and at New York's Carnegie Hall on Friday, October 19th. In September, at the beginning of the 2007/2008 school year, Scholastic will select schools in each of the three cities to send students to the events. Each selected school will then be given a Sorting Hat to place in their school where they will have their own random drawing of students and classes to attend the events.

In addition to these three events for schoolchildren, Rowling will do an event on the evening of October 19, 2007 in New York City open to fans of all ages. One thousand lucky fans will be selected in a sweepstakes and will receive a pair of tickets to the J.K. Rowling event at Carnegie Hall on Friday October 19 at 7 p.m.

Scholastic will launch the J.K. Rowling and the Open Book Tour Sweepstakes on July 30, 2007. Visit beginning July 30 for information on how to enter and complete rules.

Internet Video Channels Unveiled to Promote Authors and New Titles

Simon & Schuster, Inc. and TurnHere, Inc., has unveiled the first wave of online videos showcasing Simon & Schuster authors and sneak-previews of new releases. The videos will be featured on a Simon & Schuster-branded YouTube ( platform and on (, a new online video channel dedicated to books and author personalities. These channels will be cross-promoted and linked to numerous sites across the Web, and the videos will also be available at

The two companies first announced their online video initiative last month. The branded channels feature authors from each of the company’s divisions, including Adult, Children’s and Audio. Viewers will see two minute feature pieces focusing on the behind-the-scenes stories of authors’ lives, the content of their books, and the inspirations for their latest works.

A few of the many bestselling and well-known authors participating in the initial launch are Sandra Brown, Jennifer Chiaverini, Philippa Gregory, James Loewen, Santa Montefiore, Kathy Reichs, Blair Underwood, Jeannette Walls, Marianne Wiggins and Zane, and the Newbery Medal winning children’s author Susan Patron.

Authors featured in upcoming videos include President Jimmy Carter, Carol Higgins Clark, Mary Higgins Clark, Vince Flynn, Ursula Hegi, Jennifer Weiner, and children’s authors Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, John Lithgow, and Scott Westerfeld.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

BookExpo America Goes Wide with Podcasting Venture

BookExpo America's goal to become a "convention without walls" has become a reality with the announcement of its ambitious podcast and digital coverage of the recent trade event which took place in New York City, June 1 – 3. Podcast coverage of BEA has been a key part of an aggressive program to provide digital and online services and entertainment not only to book industry professionals, but to the general reading public as well. BEA put a dedicated podcast team in place during the convention which spread itself out to cover all aspects of the show in order to provide a record as well as a permanent history of the significant and entertaining content that the show provides. This content is now available for free to everyone and will "roll out" over the next two months. BEA's podcast content is available at, as well as through iTunes.

The BEA Podcast Program also launched the BEA Authors Studio this year, an innovative service that allowed authors to create their own podcast, right at BEA. The "catalog" of Authors Studio podcasts will become available on starting Tuesday, June 12. Users need to sign up separately for this feed.

On Writing and Publishing, a Book for the Storyteller

Seventeen years ago, Linda A. Lavid took on the challenge of writing and publishing a novel. What happened along the way, was not one book but several. Now, her first non-fiction book Composition: A Fiction Writer's Guide for the 21st Century (Aventine Press, June 2007, ISBN 1-59330-476-5, $10.95), tells what she's learned along the way.

"Thanks to the technology of the 21st century, the publishing paradigm has changed," says Lavid. "The digital world has turned the publishing industry into a cottage industry where independent writers of many voices, many places can create, publish, market and sell their work with total freedom. It's exciting. But with opportunity, comes responsibility. Before any book is published, a great story must be written."

Composition is divided into two sections. Part One covers the craft of writing fiction from the moment of inspiration to the final edits. Topics include: defining a story goal, plot and character development, the basics of scene/sequel and the rewrite. Part Two talks about self-publishing. Here, she explores the reasons to self-publish, how books are self-published and distributed, what to look for in a contract and ways to advertise and sell books worldwide.

Threaded throughout Composition and in laymen's terms, the author discusses technology and how it is utilized in the making of a book from writing to rewriting, from design to publishing, from marketing to selling.

Linda Lavid has developed and taught curriculums on writing the mystery, the novel, and the short story. Her teaching venues include the Chautauqua Institution, Just Buffalo Literary Center, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Erie County Community College and the Buffalo and Erie County Libraries. Her books on short fiction, Rented Rooms and Thirst are companion books for Composition. After each short story, author's notes, both interesting and entertaining, expound on the creative process.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Publicist, Publisher, and Writer Team up to Help Authors

Last October, Yvonne Perry of Nashville, Tennessee started a podcast called Writers in the Sky as an outreach of her company Write On! Creative Writing Services. Since then, she has interviewed more than 30 authors and continues to upload a new show to her Weblog each Friday.

The show follows a consistent format. Most have two 15- to 20-minutes segments containing tips for book marketing, advice to improve writing skills and information to ensure a better understanding of the publishing industry. Guest authors share how they got started as a writer, how they published their work, and a synopsis of their book. By sharing publishing and marketing experience, writers and authors learn from one another's mistakes and triumphs.

Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer, author, podcast host, newsletter publisher, blogger, teleseminar instructor and business owner with a team of full-time freelance ghostwriters and editors. As the author of two non-fiction books, she understands the importance of proper book publicity. She is actively promoting Right to Recover, Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America due to be published by Nightengale Press ( in October. As a highly sought-after ghostwriter, Yvonne writes and edits mainly for non-fiction clients. Her goal is to connect these and other authors with the publishing industry and help them promote their books.

Having a book accepted by one of the major publishing houses is becoming more and more difficult. Those who have already established their fame have a good chance of being picked up, but most new authors aren't that lucky. Even those who are accepted report that they receive little or no help from the large publisher in marketing their book. Independent publishers are much more willing to work with their authors. Peachtree Publishers of Atlanta, Georgia ( is quite focused on marketing and publicizing their authors and books. They have a substantial number of previously unpublished authors on their backlist and frontlist. Paula Herr, Publicity Manager for Peachtree Publishers, landed a spot for Sheri Sinykin on Writers in the Sky to talk about her book Giving Up the Ghost. Sinykin was a good fit to share her recent bout and triumph over writer's block.

Many of Yvonne's podcast guests come from Authors Marketing Experts (AME) with spiritual or self-help books or fiction novels to intrigue readers. Several authors represented by AME ( will make guest appearances on Writers in the Sky Podcast this summer including: Bill Gottlieb, Eddie Baker, Penny Sansevieri, James Therrian, and Susan Schaab. Many of these guests will be interviewed by other members of the Write On! team who enjoy having a chance to speak directly with authors after reading their book.

The show is available for download on and on Yvonne's blog: . For more information about this podcast, see

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Scholastic Releases Exclusive Artwork for Deluxe Edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Scholastic released the exclusive deluxe edition artwork for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling's seventh and final Harry Potter book due in stores on July 21st. The deluxe edition will be published simultaneously with the trade edition. The dramatic art was created by Mary GrandPre, the acclaimed illustrator of all U.S. editions of the Harry Potter books.

David Saylor, Vice President, Creative Director, Scholastic described the art: "Set during a highly dramatic sunset, Harry, Hermione, and Ron--clothes in tatters--cling atop a flying dragon in this astonishing artwork created by Mary GrandPre for the deluxe edition. As mist creeps down towering hillsides to a village below, questions arise about where the trio is headed and what has led them to this spellbinding moment."

In addition to the stunning wraparound cover illustration, the deluxe edition includes never-before-seen full color frontispiece art on special paper. There is also an "Illustration Showcase" insert that features near scale reproductions of Mary GrandPre's chapter openers. Additionally, the deluxe edition includes an exclusive bonus black-and-white illustration that appears at the end of the "Illustration Showcase." The custom-designed slipcase is foil stamped and contains a full-cloth case book that has been blind-stamped on the front and back cover with foil stamping on the spine. The book includes full-color endpapers featuring jacket art from the trade edition. The deluxe edition will be a total of 816 pages; the suggested retail price is $65.00 and the print run will be 100,000 copies.

BookSurge Brings Backlist Titles Back To Life

BookSurge LLC has arranged with major publishers to use BookSurge’s Print on Demand service to make their current, backlist, out-of-print and large print books available to millions of customers on and through other distribution channels. Participating publishers now include HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Springer, Gale, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Princeton University Press, SAGE Publications, Kensington, Hal Leonard, LexisNexis, and the International Step by Step Association (ISSA).

The Print on Demand service also enables publishers to improve the availability of their midlist and frontlist titles on by combining on-demand distribution with physical inventory distribution. The service eliminates inventory risk for publishers because they no longer have to carry inventory for these titles.

“The Print on Demand service is ideal for publishers who want to bring back out-of-print or backlist titles as well as maintain in-stock availability of midlist and frontlist titles,” said David Symonds, general manager, BookSurge. “Printing books as customers order them, without carrying inventory, benefits both publishers and customers. Publishers can now maintain in-stock availability on, which improves sales. And customers can now order titles that would otherwise be unavailable and receive them the next day.”

For more general information on the BookSurge Print on Demand program, visit Publishers interested in joining the Print on Demand program, email

Harlequin Launches Nonfiction Program

Harlequin Enterprises Limited, a leading publisher of women's fiction, will enter the nonfiction market in the fall of 2008. Harlequin will publish titles in numerous genres, including relationship, health, self-help, diet, fitness, inspirational, memoir and biography, as well as companion pieces to successful fictional series by the company's many bestselling authors.

"Harlequin's entry into the nonfiction market builds upon our existing strengths as a publisher who provides millions of women around the world with great entertainment and a rewarding reading experience," says Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
Industry analysis and reader feedback clearly indicate that the nonfiction category holds tremendous opportunity for Harlequin, with its unique stature as a publisher of content for women. Harlequin had tremendous success with Friends: A Love Story by Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance. Spotlighting the compelling real-life love story of the Hollywood power couple and published in February 2007 under the Kimani Press imprint, Friends: A Love Story was a New York Times bestseller and marked Harlequin's very first nonfiction romance story.

Harlequin is not creating a new imprint for the nonfiction program. Instead, the books will be author/title-led and will be published under Harlequin's existing imprints, based on their content.

"The publishing strategy will focus on content that entertains, supports, inspires and provides insights to women as their lives and roles change," says Loriana Sacilotto, Executive Vice President, Global Publishing & Strategy. "The editorial will concentrate on such categories as health, diet, fitness, self-help, motivational and relationship books as well as narrative nonfiction -- nonfiction that tells a story, such as memoirs and biographies -- and will cater to women 35 years and older."

Writer's Guidelines

Thursday, June 7, 2007 and Bowker Make You the Publisher

Looking for complete control of your literary destiny?, the largest online marketplace that provides a platform to create, buy and sell digital content on demand, is taking author empowerment to the next level with an unprecedented partnership with R.R. Bowker, the official agency for assigning ISBN's in the United States. ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers) are 13 digit bar-coded numbers that publishers and retailers use to facilitate the sale and distribution of books.

With the's "Published by You" distribution service, users not only retain editorial and copyright control, but can now register to be listed as the official publisher by owning an individual ISBN. Lulu then creates the listing for all major bibliographic feeds worldwide which provides access to booksellers. Creators retain ownerships of their ISBN. For the next six months, authors can apply for and be assigned an ISBN by the US ISBN Agency (TM) for $50.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

U.S. Book Production Rebounded Slightly in 2006

R.R. Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information management, today released statistics on U.S. book publishing for 2006, compiled from its Books In Print® database. Based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that U.S. title output in 2006 increased by more than 3% to 291,920 new titles and editions, up from the 282,500 published in 2005.

This rise reverses the title output drop experienced in 2005, which came after seven years of increases and a peak of 295,523 new titles issued in 2004.

"What these statistics for last year illustrate is that most publishers are done with retrenching for the time being," said Kelly Gallagher, general manager of the business intelligence business unit for New Providence, N.J.-based Bowker. "But since the overall numbers have not yet returned to the level of 2004, it shows the industry is still being cautious about what books they add to their catalogs."

Among the major publishing categories, juvenile title output plunged in the double digits, with the number of new titles dropping to 29,248 in 2006, a sharp decline of 10% from 32,112 released in 2005. That number was 18% lower than the 37,976 juvenile titles released in 2004, putting the two-year output drop at 30%.

"Children's publishers understand that not every book will turn into a 'Harry Potter' series and there are only so many books a young reader will find in the course of a year," explained Michael Norris, senior analyst of Book Publishing Report. "With publishers being forced to take on a proactive role in marketing 'teen' and 'tween' titles with more innovative strategies such as social networking, author blogs and other online initiatives, there are only so many new juvenile books that can be supported."

Adult fiction titles, on the other hand, reversed a slide recorded in previous years by climbing to 42,076 new titles in 2006, a nearly 17% increase from 34,927 new titles produced in 2005.

"Blockbuster books just aren't enough to lift the industry," said Norris. "Recognizing this, publishers are exploiting the market opportunity of producing niche books targeted to small audiences who are passionate about the subject. For example, books on vampires, auto racing and paranormal romance are just a few of the small and vibrant categories out there."

Other noteworthy findings in Bowker's 2006 statistics included the following:

-- Categories that are the most challenged by the emergence of new online
content showed declines in title output for 2006. For example, the number
of new computer books declined by more than 11% from 6,092 in 2005 to 5,498
titles in 2006. Though travel books managed a 4% rise to 5,155 in 2006,
that figure is still down 3% from the 5,304 titles released in 2004.

-- With the cooking category being led more and more by Food Network
icons and national, trusted brand names, the output for the category
dropped 10%, from 3,062 new titles in 2005 to 2,793 in 2006.

-- Among the hottest categories last year were biographies, which
increased by 15% from 8,904 new titles in 2005 to 10,489 in 2006, and
business books, which climbed 12% to 9,006 new titles, up from 7,885 titles
released in 2005.

-- The religious book category recovered from its 2005 free-fall with
17,921 titles released in 2006. This figure is up 6% from the 16,785
titles released in 2005, but still 21% down from the 21,669 religious
titles released in 2004.

New Data Reveals Why Women Buy Books

Publishers and book sellers may have access to excellent data that show "what's selling," but precious little information exists on "why" books sell, especially to women. The average American woman who belongs to a social network spends about $500 a year on books. That should make her a fairly important customer, someone the book publishing industry watches carefully and knows well. Unfortunately, little is known about her book-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors.

The Women and Books 2007 study (website) attempts to take some of the guesswork and the gamble out of book publishing. The study provides a snapshot of the "average woman" purchaser of non-fiction books. A summary of the report findings, which included over 100 factors cross tabulated with age, income, education, location of home, and family/work situation, focuses on issues ranging from how many books women purchase for their personal libraries each year to what things influence their actual purchase decisions. The summary is available to all Book Expo America attendees at the Nielsen Bookscan/Nielsen BooksData Booth #4477.

"The study is a meaningful demonstration of how research and audience analysis, essential tools in numerous other industries, can help the publishing industry know more about who their customers are and the factors that drive their behaviors," says David Kendric Brake, CEO and founder of Content Connections (website), the company that conducted the first-of-its-kind Women and Books 2007 Study.

The book business is just beginning to recognize how debilitating this disconnect with their customers can be. A recent New York Times article on "The Greatest Mystery: Making of A Best Seller" by Shira Boss, states, "Some experts wonder if book publishers might uncover more books like this (best sellers) if they tried harder to find out more about their buyers and what they want." The article goes on to quote an un-named editor: "People think publishing is a business, but it's a casino."

The survey was developed and administered online by Content Connections between March 8th (International Women's Day) and May 13th (Mother's Day) 2007. More than 2,000 women took the comprehensive survey and 1,601 responses were validated for use in the study's final results.

Here is what we found out about an "average woman" book buyer:

Demographic Info:

Age: 45
Annual Household Income: $88,525
Educational Background:
Bachelor's Degree
Where She Lives: A Large City (Population of 500,000 or
Family & Professional Situation: Married, works outside the home
and a member of at least one professional, social or service organization.
Book Buying Habits:

Last year, she purchased an average of nearly 28 books - for herself and others.

She spent $280 on non-fiction titles and $147 on fiction titles.

She bought 1.64 audio books and 1 E-Book.

The average woman in the study is a $500-a-year customer for publishers and booksellers.

A third of her book purchases are online but she likes to visit her local bookstore and spends 39.2 minutes per visit.

Her favorite categories included: "Mind, Body & Spirit," "Biographies/Autobiographies/Memoirs," and "Religion & Spirituality."

Her least favorite include: "Antiques & Collectibles," "Sales," and "Sports & Adventure."

Sixty percent of the non-fiction books she purchased in the last 12 months were paperback.

On a regular basis she gets book recommendations from friends and associates

She is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to purchase non-fiction titles because of a
recommendation from a friend or associate

While browsing she is strongly influenced by a book's back cover copy and its table of contents, but she is not very influenced by quotes and endorsements placed on the book.

She is more likely to visit an author's website than a publisher's website.

Book reviews in national newspapers influence her more than reviews in local or regional newspapers.
The study also asked women if they had intentions to write a book. Forty-three percent said that they did. As a follow-up question, they were asked what information they would find most helpful if they were going to write a book. Not surprisingly, perhaps, a common answer was "more information about what readers want."

For more information and to download graphs/charts and the full report, go to the study's online pressroom for Women and Books 2007. Interviews with the study authors from Content Connections are available at BEA by appointment or on a drop-in basis at the Nielsen Bookscan/Nielsen BooksData Booth #4477.

Audio Books Becoming Popular in 2007

Avid readers are now finding a new way to satisfy their love of books. A study sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association has shown that 21% of families surveyed reported at least one family member who listens to audio books, and the percentage keeps growing. Sales of audio books are now said to be about $2 billion a years, according to the APA. Once thought of as a medium for those with bad vision, the world of audiobooks has expanded hugely and major publishers now routinely promote their best-selling authors in audio book format.
Who listens to these books? Researchers found that they have a broad appeal to several diverse groups of busy readers:

1. Students, who are used to multi-tasking, can listen to audio books on their I-pods while running, working out or walking to class.

2. Young couples with small children who never seem to have enough time to themselves enjoy listening to a chapter or two while doing tasks around the house.

3. Most traditional readers love the fact that they can keep up with their ‘reading’ while driving their daily commute, turning a usually boring time into an enriching experience. Motivation, self-help and fiction are all in demand to these listeners.

4. Readers who are pressed for time enjoy the availability the many titles immediately available for direct download online.

5. Many readers remember the pleasure of being read to as a child, and just simply enjoy the experience. The fact that some of these audiobooks are read by their authors just adds to the joy they find in listening.

In fact, there are now strictly audio book clubs forming, and books are considered not just for content, but also the quality of the narrator or performer.

Look for this medium of audiobooks to keep growing and offering more ‘reads’ to this expanding medium. Readers have always loved books, and now listeners can, too.