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A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Friday, March 12, 2010

News of the day

So a few things to comment upon from Thursday's Wall St. Journal. I'm not going to provide links since so much of their content is behind a pay wall that I may not be able to access the articles, who knows about you.

First, Walter Mossberg reviews another entrant in the e-book reader wars, the Irex. He wasn't thrilled with it. I wouldn't be since it doesn't have a note-taking feature. The one aspect of it which really intrigued me was that it's tied in with Newspaper Direct, which offers facsimile editions of tons of newspapers from all over. Talk about love! That's the kind of site where I wonder if I had an iPad to access a facsimile subscription to the Washington Post just how close to heaven that might be.

Second, there's a little article about an arrangement in Norway to arrange electronic copying of all of the books in the national library. All of the publishers are signed on, all of the author's groups, if you're a Norwegian author you are included, though you can opt out. This sounds like --- The Google Settlement !!! I'll continue to advocate for that to go through in some form, with the continued caveat that I wish Google would supply authors with a digitized copies of their scanned books. In the US, we're terribly unlikely to get a non-profit government arranged thing like was worked out in Norway, but we need something like this.

A couple other publishing news items. Books a Million had a 1.3% drop in sales for last year but increased profits by $700K thru tight inventory management. And bookstore sales in January were up 2% according to the Census Bureau statistics. Both of these were reported in the Publishers Weekly news daily, and you can enjoy the Books a Million conference call by clicking here. You can't find a better way to spend ten minutes. The 4th quarter was worse than the year as a whole, which they blame in part because of tough comparisons against the Twilight books a year ago.

1 comment:

Kaz Augustin said...

Er, is that the iRex Iliad? Because, if it is, it's been around for ages. We've had ours for a couple of years now. And you can take notes with it. It also has a USB port if you want to add a keyboard. And SD and CF card expansion slots. On the downside, it's slow to boot. Concussed snail slow. But it does the job. I know not this Newspaper Direct of which you speak.