Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Literary Group Scores a New Series

Congratulations to Katherine Latshaw at The Literary Group on securing a three-book deal with Rebecca Frazer at Jabberwocky for NYT bestselling author Sheryl Berk’s Truth, Love and Cupcakes, a middle grade book written with Berk’s eight-year-old daughter Carrie. Previously, Berk has collaborated with assorted celebrities on their memoirs, from Britney Spears to Jersey Shore's Jenni Farley to The City's Whitney Port. She also worked with Bethany Hamilton to write Soul Surfer, which made it to #1 on the NYT Children's Bestseller list and was adapted as a major motion picture that was released this year.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Whitey Bulger Arrested: What this Means for the Publishing World

After last week’s arrest of elusive mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, authors and publishers are responding to the renewed demand for more information on the FBI Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitive.

The interest in books on the subject has already gone up significantly in the past few days. In 2004, Steerforth Press published Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob, the memoir of Edward J. MacKenzie. Steerforth publisher Chip Fleisher noted in Publishers Weekly that Street Soldier has been "steadily reprinted every nine to fifteen months in modest quantities," most recently in March, but now a new reprint has been ordered to meet the higher demand.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Upcoming Mystery from Soho: Requiem for a Gypsy

In Requiem for a Gypsy, Michael Genelin’s fourth detective novel starring Bratislava Police Commander Jana Matinova, she investigates a series of murders and disappearances starting with the assassination of a prominent businessman’s wife. A review in Monday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has great things to say about the book: “[Genelin] depicts vividly the effects of old-style corruption on the burgeoning democratic society in present-day Slovakia, and can weave together a fast-moving whodunit populated with flamboyant characters who flit through the European capitals…Every character, major or minor in the plot, just about jumps off the page. Mr. Genelin seems incapable of writing a dull page.” Requiem for a Gypsy will be released by Soho Crime this July.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wire to Wire Book Reading with Scott Sparling

If you’re in the Portland area on June 30, Tin House Books invites you to a reading at Powell’s with Scott Sparling, the author of Wire to Wire. The Cleveland Plain Dealer calls this exciting new crime novel “electric . . . it crackles.” Publisher’s Weekly’s starred review says “Sparling's debut is well crafted and thrilling . . . hopping off this runaway train would never cross a reader's mind.” Here’s your chance to find out what everyone’s talking about, so don’t miss this great event!

Powell’s Reading with Scott Sparling
Thursday, June 30
7:30 pm
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97209

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stagestruck by Peter Lovesey, the Latest in British Detective Fiction

A new release from Soho Crime, Peter Lovesey’s Stagestruck is the latest in a series of mysteries featuring Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond. His team is called in to investigate a series of incidents at the Theater Royal of Bath. First, aging pop star Clarion Calhoun, hired to play the lead in the latest production, is scarred by acidic stage makeup during her first performance, followed by the death of the woman who applied her makeup. A New York Times book review calls Stagestruck “a brilliantly conceived and smartly executed mystery” and notes “As always, the plot’s the thing with Lovesey, and the solution to the mystery of Clarion’s disfigurement, while arrived at fair and square, is stunning. But the story also has genuine depth and dimension.” We can’t wait to pick up a copy to find out how this exciting story plays out.

Wire to Wire Update

If you read our recent blog post on Scott Sparling’s Wire to Wire, you’ll know that it’s gotten some great reviews so far. There will be a new one at the end of month in Time Out Chicago, and next month Sparling will make a stop in Michigan to be interviewed on With Respect (WRHC, Three Oaks, MI) as part of his tour. For more on this author, check out his latest blog posts for Powell's or take a look at some of the other blogs highlighting him this month, including Northwest Book Lovers, The Page 69 Test, and Campaign for the American Reader. Wire to Wire is now available from Tin House.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Coming Soon, a New Take on a Classic: Moby-Dick in Pictures

Tin House Books’ Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page is exactly what it sounds like. Artist Matt Kish has created 552 illustrations based on each page of Herman Melville’s original. To create these images, Kish used all sorts of different mediums, from ballpoint pen to crayon to watercolor. He even started a blog (“One Drawing for Every page of Moby-Dick”) to record updates about his art and his process. Paula Scher, a graphic designer and artist, has nothing but praise for Kish’s work: “In an age of soulless, cookie cutter computer illustrations, Matt Kish's intense and obsessive drawings, paintings and montages are a riotous delight. Matt Kish's artwork renews our age-old love of expressive handmade imagery. He humanizes his material in way that has all but disappeared from the design scene. It's great to see that passion again.”  

Moby-Dick in Pictures will be released this October, so keep this book in mind if you’re a fan of Moby-Dick, interested in experiencing it for the first time, or simply want to check out some beautiful and unusual artwork. We can’t wait to see it ourselves!

The Counterfeit Madam by Pat McIntosh, a New Historical Mystery Novel

If you’re looking for a great read this summer, check out a new release from Soho Constable, The Counterfeit Madam by Pat McIntosh. Set in medieval Glasgow, this story is the ninth in a series of mystery novels featuring Gil Cunningham. Here he must contend with a shadowy plot dealing with counterfeit coins, brothels, and murder. According to Page Traynor of RT Book Reviews, “The writing is excellent and the mystery riveting.” If you need more convincing, Mel Jacob at Gumshoe Review has more praise: “Filled with rich historical detail, the novel will also satisfy mystery fans. Female readers will enjoy the details of clothing and mores. McIntosh belongs to a rich group of authors using medieval settings such as P.C. Doherty and Margaret Frazer.” Read the whole review here and pick up a copy today.

Apple Budges on App Restrictions

Publishers can breathe a little easier this month as Apple relaxes its grip on content delivered through iPhone and iPad apps.  Miguel Helft reported in an article for the New York Times that Apple quietly revised its policies in an updated list of guidelines for application developers last week.  The old regulations required any publisher selling content through the devices to offer them through the App Store and share 30% of the profits with Apple.  With publishers threatening to withdraw their apps and antitrust regulators taking a deeper look into the business practice, Apple drafted new rules allowing companies to sell subscriptions on their own websites and make the content available through apps.  

While publishers aren’t required to allow the purchase of their content directly from apps anymore, when they do, the purchase must go through iTunes and Apple will still take a hefty 30%.  Still, the news is good for magazine publishers and for Apple.  With the success of the iPad and iPhone so heavily dependent on the amount of content available on the devices, and the majority of Apple’s profits coming from sales of those devices (the sale of music and apps accounts for roughly one-twentieth of Apple’s revenue)  many in the both the technology and publishing industries were surprised by the constricting policies.  Major magazine publishers Hearst and Condé Nast recently negotiated agreements with Apple to sell subscriptions.  The New York Times will be following suit, while Time Inc. holds out a little longer save for a small deal allowing subscribers to access a few titles on the iPad.