Warner Bros. announced it would sell four of the movie studio's classic scripts -- CASABLANCA, BEN-HUR, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, and NORTH BY NORTHWEST -- as enhanced ebooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad. It's the first part of a large-scale initiative in which they hope to turn hundreds of scripts into ebooks. The WSJ reports each title will retail for $10 and "includes the film's actual shooting script and rare historical documents from the Warner Bros. archives."
President of Warner Bros. digital distribution Thomas Gewecke told the paper the company "had been looking at a variety of ideas to leverage some of the assets we had at the studio. We quickly realized there was all of this new e-book technology that we could use to create an interesting and compelling literary property."
Following the trend, DemiBooks launches their own apps-as-children's ebookstore, Storytime, which allows authors to sell their books directly into the free iPad app store as well as use the service as a distribution platform. (Launch partners including McGraw-Hill Education and Kane Miller.) Storytime will be integrated with the Facebook social graph and is also partnering with Usborne Books & More, the direct sales division of Education Development Corporation.
Frommer's has teamed up with Inkling to produce seven "truly interactive" travel guides from the company's Day by Day series for iOS devices, priced between $9.99 and $14.99. "We've long wanted a way to deliver a rich interactive travel guide experience across mobile platforms," said Global Publisher of Frommer's Rob Flynn in a statement. "Our partnership with Inkling lets us provide travelers with all the inspirational, insightful, and practical information they want with the added functionality and convenience that mobile devices offer. And since it's all cross-platform, from iPad to iPhone, they're just as useful for planning at home as they are for recommendations on the road."
Saying she has "the absolute right credentials and literary sensibility for what we need,” Harper’s editor Ellen Rosenbush said of Deidre Foley-Mendelssohn. The former Paris Review Daily blog editor will begin her work in early April. Her replacement at The Paris Review has yet to be named.
Harper’s recently came in a distant fifth in the annual by-line count of prestigious magazines as tallied by VIDA, a foundation for women in the literary arts, lagging behind The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation and The Paris Review in overall gender equality.
Rosenbush said she tries to have an "xx byline" in every issue and is always looking for women writers.
“It’s a mandate,” she acknowledged.
Are female editors better at bringing in women writers?
“I think it was easier for me,” she said. “There are certain women that I’ve always admired that I went after." These included Zadie Smithand Susan Faludi, who did "a big cover piece for us, and I’ll try to get her back.”
Foley-Mendelssohn replaces Gemma Sieff, who was named culture editor at Town & Country magazine earlier in March.
“We will miss Gemma,” Rosenbush said. “Town & Country is a very different type of magazine, but it’s a very big opportunity for her.”
One thing the nation's second-oldest magazine has in common with Hearst’s glossy social register rag is obvious: both approach the Internet and digital editions with an open mind, although, unlike Town & Country, Harper’s posts its content online, even if behind a pay wall.
From her point of view, although Rosenbush stressed that, despite her publisher’s disdain for the web, Harper’s is in the midst of a website overhaul, due to be launched in the fall. “Obviously it’s with Rick’s approval,” she said.
The new website will make a limited amount of content available for free, but most of the current issue will stay behind the pay wall.
“We in editorial are very, very, very excited about it,” Ms. Rosenbush said of the redesign. “I can’t say it more strongly.”
JK Rowling's first adult novel is coming, from Little, Brown. The British-based publisher has purchased world English rights to the first novel for adults by JK Rowling, the company announced Feb. 23. Little Brown UK publisher David Shelley will serve as Rowling's editor, and Michael Pietsch will oversee publication in the US.
All other details--title, pub date "and further details about the novel--will be announced later in the year." But one important element has been settled: While the world waits for Pottermore and the Harry Potter ebooks, Little, Brown promises they will publish "both in print and ebooks."
Rowling says in the release: "Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life." Rowling was represented by Neil Blair at The Blair Partnership.
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Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury has finally overcome his longstanding
aversion to digital books and authorized an ebook edition of his most famous
novel, FAHRENHEIT 451, which Simon & Schuster released Tuesday. The ebook
deal comes as part of a new publishing agreement brokered by Bradbury's agent
Michael Congdon with S&S that includes all English-language print and
digital formats of FAHRENHEIT 451 in North America, and also includes
English-language mass-market rights in North America to Bradbury's THE MARTIAN
CHRONICLES and THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, both of which will be reissued in March. The
ebook edition of FAHRENHEIT, originally published in 1953, will be priced at
"It's a rare and wonderful opportunity to continue our relationship with this
beloved and canonical author and to bring his work s to new a generation of
readers and in new formats" said publisher Jonathan Karp in the announcement.
"We are honored to be the champion of these classic works." In a telephone
interview, Congdon explained that there was an "opportunity to make a new
license" for the rights to FAHRENHEIT 451 (Ballantine published the original
hardcover edition, while S&S had published the paperback from 1962 onwards)
and there was "no way to make new license with anyone that didn't include ebook
The agency then approached Bradbury and explained that any new deal involving
the rights to FAHRENHEIT 451 could not go forward without digital rights as part
of the package, and "he was willing to go ahead and sign the contract," Congdon
While Congdon wouldn't comment on specifics, he says the deal was for "a very
significant sum of money." S&S was one of six interested parties who had the
chance to bid on the new rights package, "all of whom had, one way or another,
some relationship with Ray. If there was a way to grant rights to all six
publishers, we would have. But you can't. There's a great deal of admiration for
Ray in the publishing industry, which made our job a lot easier."
Congdon said there may be ebook editions of THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES and THE
ILLUSTRATED MAN, but they are under an existing license with HarperCollins,
which has so far "honored Ray's decision not to have ebook editions." With
FAHRENHEIT's ebook publication, Congdon acknowledged "a door has obviously been
opened" for HarperCollins.
Guru Deepak Chopra has become the highest-profile author yet to sign book deal with Amazon. The self-help author has found yet another key to spiritual enlightenment: become the latest in a string of big name authors to sign a deal for megabucks with Amazon.com.
Amazon has moved aggressively into publishing over the last year, signing major writers including bestselling self-help author Timothy Ferriss and actress and director Penny Marshall – the Marshall deal for $800,000 (£500,000), according to reports – and launching a phalanx of new imprints covering everything from romance to science fiction, each move a further blow to an increasingly nervous community of traditional publishers. This summer it hired former chief executive of the Time Warner Book Group Larry Kirshbaum to run its New York imprint, and Kirshbaum has now clinched a deal for a memoir from Chopra, author of bestselling self-help titles ranging from The Ultimate Happiness Prescription: 7 Keys to Joy and Enlightenment to The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.
Sold for a sum reported to be higher than $500,000, Chopra and his medical professor brother Sanjiv Chopra's Brotherhood: A Tale of Faith, Big Dreams and the Power of Persistence will tell how the pair arrived in the US in the 70s with no money, looking at how they fulfilled their dreams today. Literary agent Robert Gottlieb, who negotiated the deal, called it "a game-changer for the publishing industry". The Guardian