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Book News: Kirkus Closes, Disney Falls for Fallen, and More

  • Kirkus Out: Soon, publishers will have one less advance review for blurbing. According to Publishers Weekly:

    As part of the sale of its business to business publications, Nielsen Business Media has announced that it is closing its book review publication Kirkus Reviews as well as Editor & Publisher. No details on the closing have been released yet.

    Along with PW, Booklist, and Library Journal, Kirkus is one of the pre-publication outlets that help set expectations for booksellers and libraries, and (sometimes) provide handy back-cover blurbs for publishers who want some word-of-mouth to move copies.

    Although, it should be noted that Kirkus was often the crankiest of the bunch; we get more requests from authors to have Kirkus blurbs removed from book pages than any other review source.

    Still, we at Powells.com are going to miss Kirkus and its feisty, cranky ways.

  • Lacuna Matata: After yesterday's news that publishers Simon & Schuster and Hachette would delay eBook releases, HarperCollins is throwing its hat into the "after hardcover" ring.

    In an interview, Brian Murray, chief executive of News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers, said that beginning in January or February, HarperCollins will delay the e-book publication of five to 10 new hardcover titles each month. The delays are expected to range from four weeks to six months, depending on the book.

    [...] Mr. Murray said that if new hardcover titles continue to be sold as $9.99 e-books, the eventual outcome will be fewer literary choices for customers, because publishers won't be able to take as many chances on new writers.

    He added that he is also interested in an enhanced e-book with social-media applications, video and author interviews. In theory, it would command a higher price and could be sold through Apple Inc.'s App Store.

    For those of you thinking about getting an e-reader for the holidays and crossing off potential books from your list, that means your hardcover-buying friends get to read Barbara Kingsolver, Wally Lamb, and — wait for it — Sarah Palin months before you do.

  • Legends of the Fallen: The Walt Disney Company has optioned the film rights for Lauren Kate's just-released YA novel Fallen.

    The book, released this week by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, is part of a four-tome series, all of which were included in the deal. The contemporary story centers on an alienated girl torn between two charismatic young men, unaware that they are fallen angels who have battled over her for centuries.

    Click here to read Lauren Kate's original essay for Powells.com.

  • Book Lover's Delight: Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the book-lover in your life? This package, currently for bid in the Portland Mercury's online charity auction, can only be called "Book-gasmic."

    Knock out a year's worth of reading material with a single bid — this lit-tastic package features a three-issue subscription to Powell's Books Indiespensable series, featuring limited-edition books hand-picked by staffers at the coolest bookstore around; a one-year subscription to brand-new, cutting-edge lit magazine Electric Literature; a one-year subscription to Tin House magazine, as well as a selection of Tin House's new books — and capping it all off, a one-year subscription to McSweeney's. Who says print is dead?

    As of this writing, the bidding is up to $152.50. Click here to place your bid while you can!

Book News Round-up:

  • USA Today has a review of Barnes & Noble's e-reader, the Nook: "[T]he first version does feel unfinished and sluggish. Still, it has enormous upside and novel features."
  • The Boston Globe discovers a newfangled thing called an "eBook" and explores whether one can curl up with it.

    Seriously, people — what is this obsession with the "curl-ability" of books? Aside from, perhaps, that fur-covered edition of Dave Eggers's The Wild Things, how comfortable is a book to actually curl up with? Buy a cat already!

  • I guess this makes it offical — the fabled Apple Tablet is coming this spring!

÷ ÷ ÷

Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.

The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.

Books mentioned in this post

One Response to "Book News: Kirkus Closes, Disney Falls for Fallen, and More"

    Ron Charles December 10th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Love this line: "Seriously, people — what is this obsession with the "curl-ability" of books? Aside from, perhaps, that fur-covered edition of Dave Eggers's The Wild Things, how comfortable is a book to actually curl up with? Buy a cat already!"

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