I expect my ebook income to drop this year. Why? Because as I’ve noted before there has been a downward trend in my sales since my last report. Here’s an amazing graphic to show that…
Hey, that number in the bottom keeps going down each month. 249 copies seven months ago. 53 copies sold last month. I do think there is much more competition out there now and that there was a big blitz on sales while everyone and their pet got an eReader then filled it up. And the drop in sales is also because of the algorithmic changes Amazon made to how they weight the price of books on the sales chart (if you sell a 9.99 book, it’ll jump higher up the sales chart than a .99 cent book). It became harder for my books to climb the charts and get noticed by buyers.
Yet, I’m happy with the sales. It’s still passive income for me that will go on as long as there are eReaders in the world. I really don’t do much extra work to earn that income. And I’m very much a less work for more money kind of guy!
Ben Fountain’s satire "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk" was named the winner of the L.A. Times 2012 book prize for fiction on Friday night at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Katherine Boo’s "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity" took the prize in the current interest category.
The complete list of winners:
–Biography: Robert Caro, "The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson" (Knopf)
–Current Interest: Katherine Boo, "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity" (Random House)
–Fiction: Ben Fountain, "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk" (HarperCollins Publishers / Ecco)
–The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction: Maggie Shipstead, "Seating Arrangements" (Knopf)
–Graphic Novel/Comics: Sammy Harkham, "Everything Together: Collected Stories" (PictureBox)
–History: Fergus M. Bordewich, "America’s Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union" (Simon & Schuster)
–Mystery/Thriller: Tana French, "Broken Harbor" (Viking)
–Poetry: Louise Glück, "Poems 1962-2012" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
–Science & Technology: Florence Williams, "Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History" (W.W. Norton & Company)
–Young Adult Literature: A.S. King, "Ask the Passengers" (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
–Innovator’s Award: Margaret Atwood
–Robert Kirsch Award: Kevin Starr
Tim Waterstone thinks serialisation could be a “big win”:
Three months ago [Tim Waterstone] was approached by Neill Denny, the former editor of trade magazine The Bookseller, who was developing a new business venture called Read Petite – a subscription streaming service for short stories and serialised books for e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle.
‘I find the idea of a return to serialisation riveting,’ he says. ‘It could be a real big win. Get the first chapter out and get readers interested. Look what it was like in the 19th Century – Dickens was selling 100,000 copies through serial releases of his books.
‘There is also an opportunity for the release of non-fiction. It’s difficult for journalists to get works over 5,000 words published these days – something I could read if I’m on a plane journey to Barcelona, something I could read in one sitting, to wildly misquote Edgar Allan Poe.’
Due to launch in the autumn, Waterstone says the company will accept only published authors on to its electronic service. He believes this will stop the system becoming ‘cluttered with slush’.
E.L. Konigsburg, an author who twice won one of the top honors for children’s literature, has died. She was 83.
Her son Paul Konigsburg says the longtime Florida resident died Friday at a hospital in Falls Church, Va., where she’d been living for the past few years with another son. She had suffered a stroke a week before she died.
She won the John Newbery Medal in 1997 for her book "The View from Saturday" and in 1968 for "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler."
The Shortlist for the 2013 Walter Scott Prize
- TOBY’S ROOM by Pat Barker
- THE DAUGHTERS OF MARS by Thomas Keneally
- BRING UP THE BODIES by Hilary Mantel
- THE STREETS by Anthony Quinn
- THE GARDEN OF EVENING MISTS by Tan Twan Eng
- MERIVEL by Rose Tremain
The Walter Scott Prize, founded in 2009 by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and awarded at the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival in June, is the largest annual UK prize to be judged outside London, and honours the legacy and achievements of Sir Walter Scott, founder of the historical novel. Scott’s influence has been further revived this year, with several new books and documentaries on his life, a new radio adaptation of his work read by David Tennant, and the re-opening of his Borders home Abbotsford after substantial restoration.
The judging panel for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction comprises Kirsty Wark, Louise Richardson, Jonathan Tweedie, Elizabeth Laird and Elizabeth Buccleuch, and chair Alistair Moffat. The judges’ criteria include originality and innovation, quality of writing, a strong narrative, and the ability of a book to shed light on the present as well as the past. Books can be by writers living in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth as long as they are writing in English and the book is first published in these countries.
Shortlisted authors are invited to attend the award ceremony and announcement on Friday 14th June, which is a public event as part of the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival in Melrose, near Scott’s home Abbotsford. As well as enjoying the hospitality of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch at their home Bowhill, shortlisted authors this year will also exclusively be offered a private preview tour of Abbotsford following its restoration.
The Hit by Melvin Burgess, reviewed by Anthony McGowan
McGowan reckons Melvin Burgess’s latest novel is a “humdinger” and “might have been a masterpiece”. Read the whole review to discover where McGowan considers the novel strikes one false note.
At his best, Burgess gives us, in the place of jolly japes and sweet imaginings, something very like the truth – at times bitter, often tragic, always gripping – of teenage existence. It’s something that even authors as great as Alan Garner and Aidan Chambers, caught up in a more literary tradition, never quite pulled off.
The Hit has many of the elements that make Burgess such a compelling writer. The sex, drugs and rock’n’roll are there, and that distinctive Burgess prose – swaggering, intense and exciting – thrums through it all.
Cressida Cowell: My favourite children’s books
Cressida Cowell on books to make children laugh out loud, cry on the pages and want to be a hero.
Cressida Cowell’s latest book is How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel. She is appearing at the Telegraph Hay Festival on May 23 (hayfestival.org)
We shall see, but personally I’m not convinced there is any real hunger for this CD-Romification of the reading experience…
Fiction edged its way closer to a digital incarnation with the publication this week of an interactive visual version of John Buchan’s classic thriller, The Thirty-Nine Steps.
Publisher Faber&Faber announced that it had [teamed] up with two software publishers and a developer, The Story Mechanics, to create a "fully playable, fully immersive product" which it believes breaks new ground in digital reading.
It said the app includes classic stop-frame animation and original silent film music. It would allow readers to "unlock dozens of achievements and items to collect on their reading journey, and explore hundreds of hand-painted digital environments and context from 1910s Britain."
Faber and Profile Books are delighted to announce the acquisition of a third novel in Francesca Simon’s Mortal Gods series. The deal for world rights was arranged by Rosemary Sandberg at Rosemary Sandberg Agents Ltd.
The new book will continue the adventures of the Carnegie-longlisted The Sleeping Army (published October 2011), which has sold nearly 50,000 copies across all editions to date. The Lost Gods, the eagerly awaited follow-up in the series for 8+ readers, will publish in hardback in September 2013 and the newly acquired third book will publish in autumn 2015.
‘Publishing is never a chore but rarely quite as much of a pleasure as when doing business with an author as fondly regarded and successful as Francesca Simon. That regard is true not only for her readers young and old, but for me personally: it’s been 36 years since we met. If only all longstanding friendships turned into books as original, exciting and full of thrills as Francesca’s Norse adventures. Long live her Gods!’ Andrew Franklin, Profile Books
‘Extremely funny, beautifully plotted, expertly crafted, Francesca Simon’s Mortal Gods series is a joy to publish. We could not be more thrilled!’ Leah Thaxton, Publisher, Faber Children’s Books
from the Press Release
Ingrid Selberg, Publisher, S&S UK, bought UK and Commonwealth rights in two books from Madeline Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency.
The first title, The Dark Inside, is a gripping, haunting story about loss and hope. When thirteen-year-old James discovers a homeless man in an abandoned house, the course of his life changes dramatically. Hoping to find a ‘cure’ for a dark curse inflicted on the homeless man, the pair embark on a journey together not knowing that what they discover will impact them both in ways they never imagined.
The Dark Inside will be published in a beautiful hardback edition in spring 2014, with a paperback edition to follow and a second novel in 2015.
Rupert Wallis read Theology at Cambridge University and holds an MFA in Screenwriting and Writing for Television from the University of Southern California. In 2010/11 he was one of five novelists chosen from the South West of England to participate in a mentorship programme funded by the Arts Council. He now lives in Cornwall.
Selberg said of the deal: "In The Dark is an extraordinary and ambitious book, which we all fell in love with from the first page. I was completely struck by the outstanding quality of Rupert’s writing and I’m thrilled to welcome him to the Simon & Schuster list."