Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, March 21, 2008

This Week in Publishing 3/21/08

En Weekus Publishus

First off, a big congratulations is in order to friend-o'-the-blog Patricia Wood for her Orange Prize nomination for her novel LOTTERY! She was just one of seven debut novelists to be nominated, so let's all give an orange juice toast to Patricia!

If you work at the publisher Thomas Nelson, chances are you're in much better shape than I am. According to CEO/blogger Michael Hyatt, a full 1/4 of Thomas Nelson's employees are running half marathons. All I can say is: wow. Also: there are quite a few publishers I know who would need an entire hospital to follow them in the event their employees ran a half marathon.

Via Publishers Lunch, there's some big news in the bookselling business, as Borders is showing some signs of financial weakness amid the credit crunch and their ongoing reorganization. There are some fears that they might be on the auction block. Maya Reynolds has a great breakdown of the issues this raises, and all I can say is: Borders, get well soon.

mkcbunny pointed me to the front page of, where there is currently a message from Jeff Bezos explaining why there is a six-week wait to get a Kindle. It also has a picture of an edible Kindle, which might explain why it has such a short shelf life (I slay myself).

And finally, if you think I write long posts on The Wire, check out David Simon's Huffington Post article, in which he reveals that the major storyline that most people missed in Season 5 was that the newspaper missed every big story of the season. Only... what with Prop Joe and Omar and the homeless murderer scam going unnoticed by the Sun, I kind of got that. Still the greatest show ever though!

Have a great weekend!


Precie said...

Double congrats to Patricia addition to the nomination, the film option for LOTTERY has been sold to Sarah Michelle Gellar! Yay, Patricia!!!

Adaora A. said...

Congrats Patricia! I love to read about great authors getting recognition. IT Gives hope for the rest of us. It also reminds us that not every writer is ::cough fake memoirs cough::: a fraud.

LOL! An entire hospital. Maybe they could have a person who knows CPR follow them on a motorbike?

I'm concerned for Borders. These kinds of things can happen anywhere (even my neighbourhood CHAPTERS) which is Borders Canada counterpart. Maya has alot of insightful things to say on issues like these. I really hope things turn around for them. As much as I love internet book shopping, I like being able to walk into a store and hold books in my hand....dream of my own being on the shelf someday.

I've just started watching it. You're right, it is good. Usually I'm not too into crime/cop stories but it really is well written and acted.

Happy Easter or Seasonal Holiday (depending on what you call it)!

Margaret Yang said...

Awesome news about Patricia Wood! Happy day to her!

Other Lisa said...

Wow! Many congratulations! I like Sarah Michelle Gellar. She's really a pretty good actor and has some ambition.

Melanie Avila said...

Congrats Patricia!

Conda V. Douglas said...

Ugh, Maya Reynolds post on Borders was depressing, as was her previous post on Random House's earnings. I despise it when book sellers struggle!

Furious D said...

1. The final round of the Orange Prize is that the nominated authors have to find a word that rhymes with orange. And a great big congrats to Patricia for the nomination.

2. Most people in publishing get winded watching Dustin Hoffman run in Marathon Man.

3. I wonder if the CEO of Borders is getting a massive bonus this year?

4. I know why it take 6 weeks to get a Kindle, Bezos has to build each on by hand.

5. A major newspaper missing important news stories? Who'd have thought of that?

Heidi said...

You crack me up! I get my news and get to laugh out loud at the same time. It's like watching late night talk show monologues without needing the caffeine to keep myself awake.

Ooops... sorry for the simile there. I know how much you hate those!

Kimber An said...

Regale us again, Oh Patricia Wood, bestselling, debuted-in-hardback, sold-many-foreign-rights, sold-film-option author of LOTTERY, about just how many rejection letters you received before acceptance!

Lupina said...

I add my congrats to Patricia and also add a splash of vodka to my orange juice toast.

I didn't know you could officially run a half marathon. I could probably run a 1/100th marathon. Or at least fast-walk it. I'm actually proud if I can manage the 2-mile walk with my Leslie Sansone video.

And ooh, the Season 5 spoiler that got slipped in there! I've just wangled one of the (now 3) libraries I borrow The Wire from to order Season 4. I wonder how long before 5 is out on video. I also just scored a set of "Firefly" (Joss Whedon IS Rumpelstiltskin, he can spin any straw into gold) DVDs for my birthday. Woohoo!

As for Borders, I believe all brick and mortar booksellers are in eventual trouble, shudder. The media options are just too overwhelming. And the splash you just heard was more vodka in the orange juice. What is an ink and paper lover to do?

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adaora A. said...

Kimberly Ann:

We should start a slew of Rhetorical Questions;

"Have you ever wondered what would happen if drunk monkey surpassed cats as most popular pets of the United States?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Heidi and Spencer created a new planet and became the president and first lady of it?

I ask myself those questions everyday.


ORION said...

Awwwww!!! how really nice of you to mention that.
This blog UBER ROCKS!! I wish it had been going on while I was attempting to query. I hope all you bloggers take advantage of this!!!
Much aloha to you all!!

Kim Kasch said...

Congrats to P. Wood. I love(d) Buffy.

Here in Portland, Oregon where Borders competes with Powells and B&N, Borders needs to have more reader friendly spots to sit and flip through the pages because we reader/writer types aren't typically Marathoniacs.

Other Lisa said...

And by the way, if I sound like I'm damning with faint praise when I call Sarah Michelle Gellar "a pretty good actor with some ambition" - I don't mean it that way at all. I'm really impressed by her talent and willingness to stretch and do difficult things. I don't really know what her rep is as an active producer - a lot of actors have boutique level production deals and don't really do all that much. Others are really active in developing and producing projects. I have a feeling she is in the latter category.

John said...

Re: Borders...

I've never seen this sort of analysis, but I wonder if anyone has ever tracked, over time, how traffic at brick-and-mortar stores correlates (or doesn't) to fuel prices?

I wonder if Borders could salvage themselves by transitioning, ASAP, to an online-only presence?

In the city where I live, back in the 1990s we had three brick-and-mortars at more or less the same intersection: Books-a-Million (a chain in the US South), B&N, and Borders. They arrived in that order, and were chased out in that order by their successors. So only Borders is left there now. (B&N and Books-a-Million each have a store elsewhere locally.)

Speaking as a consumer, not an author: As much as I like the "bookstore experience" that the big chains have popularized, and the convenience of being able to stop on the way home for a spur-of-the-moment purchase, I don't think I like it SO MUCH as to be freaked out by this news.

(Felt much the same way when CompUSA went out of the brick-and-mortar business here.)

As an author, of course, I'm much more worried. It's like media consolidation, one owner of multiple newspapers and TV stations in a given market: the concentration of influence guarantees homogeneity. Yuck.

Maya Reynolds said...

Nathan: Thanks for the shout-out. It's much appreciated.

Maya Reynolds said...

AND congrats to Patricia!!

mlh said...

Congrats, Patricia! Again! At every blog I go to, I'm coming across your name. Much love is out there for your success.

Borders has already closed up shop where I live. They just couldn't compete with the giant Barnes & Noble store, not with their little shop annex in the local mall. That makes one retail book store in the area. The fear has already hit me and has been accepted, Nathan.

Isak said...

Re: john

Funny you mentioned that. This is how it was explained to me: Borders is actually part of Amazon, except that profits are not always shared. Things ordered at are income for Borders, and not Amazon. Books ordered on don't go to Borders profit. So, while one part of the business is banking, the other side is suffering...

Its a bit of a sticky wicket...

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