USED PROTEST

Authors and publishers are protesting that Amazon has begun selling used books. “Authors earn royalties from new book sales but get nothing when used copies of the same books are resold. Used book sales are also not counted in creating the bestsellers lists or the publishers’ sales records. The crux of the complaint is that Amazon is making used books available within weeks of a new release.” – Wired

WHY BOOKS ARE PUBLISHED

“Forty years ago an editor decided to publish a book because it, or the author, captured their fancy. Marketing, accounting, and publicity mattered, but not nearly as much as editorial preference. This led to the discovery of some great writers who wouldn’t have stood a chance in a more dollar-conscious environment, but it also led, as you might expect, to a reasonable share of self-important blather. Over the last decade the ethos of narcissism once so common has been displaced by an equally dubious operating principle: The corporate mindset.” – Feed

MINING THE CLASSICS

A comic book remake of Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” in Russia has critics upset. “Convertible cars, cocaine and sushi bars provide the backdrop for the comic-book reworking, set in the present day and casting its characters as fast-living members of Russia’s idle rich. The novel’s heroine is depicted as a femme fatale with a mobile phone, a taste for luxury lingerie and, by the end of the comic, a drug habit that drives her to suicide.” – National Post (Canada)

NO HARRY HYPE

The Harry Potter books have been a sensation wherever they’ve been released so far. “The books have been published and released in nearly 40 countries and in nearly as many languages. But the mania seen elsewhere has not been attained in Russia. Most Russians have never heard of Harry, especially in hard-to-reach provinces. Even in Moscow, advertising and media coverage of the book release were minimal.” – The Age (Melbourne)