Monday, June 27, 2011

Bookstore Wit

OMG, you have got to go look at these satiric Q&A signs for bookstores. Makes you totally understand what booksellers go through.

A few samples:

"Yes, we have that book with the green cover by that famous guy. It’s over in the books section."

"Where non-fiction? See the Fiction section? Everywhere but there."

"I’m trying to just be happy that you’re reading…but seriously, put down the Stephanie Meyers."

"It’s a green book with a flower on the cover? No problem. Because that’s totally how we organize this store."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fiction Rules Ebooks

Over half of all ebooks purchased are fiction, according to the recently released Bowker "2010-2011 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics & Buying Behaviors Annual Review". Their survey of 40,000 book buyers reveals that fiction ebook sales account for 61% by unit and 51% by dollars. The other (various non-fiction and children's) genres measured ranged from 3% to 14% market share each.

Online retailers of books accounted for 30% of all sales in 2010, with the major bookstore chains captured 29%. It was clear that consumers buy both ebooks and print books more from online retailers. Amazon and Barnes&Noble tied as the U.S.'s largest volume booksellers in 2010.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cave Tales: Fun With Faolan

The jobs of the hard-working Publishing staff are stressful. Therefore, as thoughtful and wise employers, we implement techniques and activities to reduce that stress. As displayed by this clip.

Proven stress-reducer: new Corgi puppy.

Thank you to Meghan for taking the video, to Kelli for starring in it, and to Raelene for supplying the puppy (who is now named Faolan, Gaelic for "little wolf").

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Influential Female Authors

Forbes has an article listing the ten most powerful woman authors.
(June 6, 2011)

"The women selected for this list are powerful because of their ability to influence us through their words and ideas. Collectively, these women hold readers captivated with stories of fantastical worlds, suspense and drama, insights into the complexities of minority experiences and cultures, and fresh takes on societal issues and expectations…not to mention, book sales of up to 800M copies sold and a wealth of prestigious awards and recognition including Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes."

Read the article for details on these women. They are quite a diverse group.
J.K. Rowling
Danielle Steele
Toni Morrison
Stephanie Meyer
Mary Higgins Clark
Maya Angelou
Alice Walker
Jhumpa Lahiri
Joyce Carol Oates
Isabel Allende

These are all big, famous names. (And the list is limited to living authors.) But for many of us, the books and writers who influenced us personally are not such global personalities. Reading Georgette Heyer as a pre-teen gave me my livelong love of history, of social manners, and of romance novels. What female authors had an impact on your life? 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Amazon has announced that six authors have now sold more than 1 million Kindle books each: Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Charlaine Harris, Lee Child and Suzanne Collins.

I'd love to know what the total number of ebook sales are for these authors, not just Kindle format sales. If you add the ePub format sold at Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo... Let alone the smaller e-tailers, direct from publisher sales; and then additional common ebook formats like PDF and others.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You're Gonna Have to Face it...

By Kelli Collins 

So this was fun. This article warning women of those dangerous, dangerous romance novels. You know…those things to which I’ve dedicated my professional life.

Apparently romance novels can ruin your marriage, turn you into a recluse, cause clinical depression, lead to nosebleeds, increase flatulence, prompt rituals in the name of Aphrodite and contribute to tingling in your nether regions. (And let’s not forget the dreaded Fluttering Vajayjays.)

What? You didn’t know?

The article by Kimberly Sayer-Giles points out romance sales exceed those of inspirational, religious and self-help books combined by more than half a billion (though she fails to mention from which year she culled those figures). That Ms. Sayer-Giles is a self-help guru speaks volumes. Gee, lady, how about veiling your attempt to drum up business for yourself by trashing an entire industry? Home-wreckers like myself would really appreciate it, thanks.

Oh, I’m sorry. Not self-help guru. Ms. Sayer-Giles is a “life coach”. Yes, in quotes. Largely because I figure we need “life coaches” like we need “executive phone managers” and “deep-fry specialists” and “nail technicians”. Slap a fancy title on your business card and you’re still making a living telling people their underachieving choices aren’t good enough.

But what am I saying? I’ve completely overlooked the known fact that romance readers believe every syllable we publish. Of COURSE they fully believe every man alive should be a 6’5, ruggedly handsome, muscular bronze god. Of course they expect every man to plumb the depths of his deepest feelings and invite his studly friends home for a three-way romp to satisfy his woman’s fantasies. Before shifting into a werewolf and scurrying out the back door to howl at the moon. Naturally.

Thank God we have professional self-help mavens to pull us back from our unrealistic expectations and give us a nice punch of reality to the face. I was thisclose to divorcing my husband and posting a personal ad to find my own broodingly sexy vampire life-mate.

Whew. Close call. Thanks, coach.