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Hugo Chávez’s Color Coded “Revolutionary Reading Plan”

In Feature Articles by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams No friend to publishing (see our earlier coverage here) Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has nevertheless started to implement his four-part color coded “Revolutionary Reading Plan.” Announced in May, the goal of the project as stated by the Venezuelan government, is “the democratization of books and reading, with a new conception of reading as a collective act under …

A Year After the Meltdown, Iceland is Hot

In Feature Articles by Chad W. Post

By Chad W. Post Although Iceland has had some very notable cultural exports — Halldor Laxness, Bjork, and Sigur Ros among them — last fall’s spectacular economic collapse probably brought more attention to this island nation than any other event in its modern history. One year later, the financial sector may still be recovering, but its literary scene is thriving. “Our goal is …

“The Red Tent” Meets “Exodus”

In Feature Articles by Erin L. Cox

By Erin L. Cox NEW YORK: Bestselling author Anita Diamant spent 48 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list with her novel The Red Tent and later won widespread critical acclaim for her follow-up, The Last Days of Dogtown. Her latest novel Day After Night was published earlier this month. It is the fictional account of a group of young …

STM Publishers Face Some Old, Some New Challenges, Especially the Bugaboo of “Free”

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

By Richard Lampert At first glance, STM publishing (Scientific Technical Medical publishing) resembles most other segments of the book publishing industry. It’s still dominated by commercial publishing companies plus a few scholarly houses, and new titles still appear at regular intervals supported by marketing to the book trade, individuals, and institutions. And the familiar challenges are there as well — …

If New Media is a Giant Killer, Will Independent Publishing Get the Golden Eggs?

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

Editorial by Andy Hunter In these stormy times, large publishers are jettisoning everything they can in order to lighten their sinking ships. What are they tossing overboard? Among other things, promising authors who haven’t found an audience, as well as anything too literary, difficult, or narrow in appeal. As Random House clings to the desperately inflated Dan Brown, hoping a …

Bonus Material: Electric Literature’s Intriguing Animations

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Electric Literature, the journal edited by Andy Hunter (see today’s main story) is one of very few new literary magazines launched this year in the midst of the economic crisis. The concept behind the magazine is simple: publish five short stories and make them available in a myriad of formats, from paperback print-on-demand to Kindle. Issue #1 …

Dissidents and Officials Face Off at Frankfurt Book Fair’s China Symposium

In Feature Articles by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson FRANKFURT: A crowd of journalists swarmed around two slightly overwhelmed people on Saturday morning, September 12th at the Instituto Cervantes (the Spanish Cultural Institute) in Frankfurt, Germany. Chinese dissidents Bei Ling (貝嶺), a poet and journal editor, and Dai Qing (戴晴), an investigative journalist, had come to attend the much anticipated symposium, “China and the World – …

What Does a Book Ad Cost? And Who’s Gonna Pay?

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

By Chris Artis In 1966, Jacqueline Susann’s tireless and often shameless promotional efforts for her classic best-seller Valley of the Dolls “created a new way of selling a novel” in the words of legendary Simon and Schuster Editor Michael Korda. Indeed, they helped propel it to the top position on bestseller lists around the world. Still, decades later, publishers generally maintain …

With Marketing Budgets Slashed, Co-op and Web Take Priority

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

By Chris Artis With the recent economic downturn, book advertising — in the traditional sense at least — is on the decline. The majority of US publishers have cut their marketing budgets by 50-70% over the last year. What’s more, while some ad prices have been depressed, prices have not dropped far enough to make them a viable way to …