Young Publishers Today's Blog

September 30, 2009

Prep School Gets Rid of Books

Filed under: Emily, News — Tags: , , — Emily Lyman @ 6:08 pm

bookless library

Cushing Academy (a New England prep school) has decided that its library doesn’t need books.  Apparently, the headmaster, James Tracy, sees outdated technology when he sees books.  I believe his phrase was, “…like scrolls before books.”  Here’s the Boston Globe article.

So, the school will spend $500,000 on a digital learning environment complete with flat screens, laptop-friendly study carrels, and…wait for it…a coffee shop.  But in case you were worried that students wouldn’t be able to get the experience of reading a book, Cushing has bought 18 new e-readers.  I guess that seems about right for the 450 students. (Read that line sarcastically, please).

Don’t get me wrong, digital certainly has a place in our world, no one’s stupid enough to deny that, and I commend the academy for wanting to keep up with the times.  I just don’t agree that they needed to get rid of the books to do it (they claim that the books take up too much space).

Maybe it just comes down to personality; while I spend the majority of my time on the computer, I would not want to do all my reading on it.  All those students who don’t get first dibs on the e-readers – they have to use their laptops.  Nothing can compare to the sensory experience of a real book.

Some people don’t mind – a school without books, no biggie.




September 28, 2009

Top 50 Paperbacks of 2009

Let’s take a trip…

London’s Times has picked the top 50 paperbacks of 2009 as part of The Time’s WHSmith Paperback of the Year. (Apparently this is the only prize given to paperbacks in the UK). The judges have also picked a short list of 12 out of those 50 and will be counting down 12 weeks to the winner on Dec 12th.

I will admit – I have not read one book on the list. Now, in my defense my year has been extremely busy. And hey, one title has been on my “To Read” list.

One title in particular stood out – Stephanie Meyer’s The Host. Well, based on the Twilight series I didn’t understand this choice. And the description beside the title – “…a love triangle wit only two bodies.” Needless to say I had to read an excerpt and did on Stephanie Meyer’s site. Okay – at least the first 18 pages are written better than Twilight.

Back to my main point – how are these things chosen? Based on writing, popularity, copies sold? I’ve searched and haven’t yet found the answer. The judges include American author and critic (living in the UK) Erica Wagner, bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith (who has a really ugly website) and WHSmith bookbuyer Sandra Bradley.

Well, I won’t make you wait any longer. Here’s the list of 50, how many have you read? And if you want to read the whole article – they do give a fun, brief rundown of how paperbacks came to be – thanks to Penguin and Woolworth’s for making them big.


The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale: Reinvestigation of a killing in an isolated Wiltshire house that became the prototype for the Victorian murder mystery.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga: Adiga’s first novel and Man Booker winner is a highly original story about the lengths to which Balram Halwai (the White Tiger) must go to break free of his caste.

Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama

Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier

Churchill’s Wizards by Nicholas Rankin: Along with cigars and rallying speeches, Churchill liked deception. Rankin reveals the ingenuity of the men and women who fought Winnie’s secret war.

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Bones of the Hills by Conn Iggulden

The Palace of Strange Girls by Sallie Day: In 1959, the burgeoning freedom of the Sixties forces a crisis at the heart of the superficially stable Singleton family on their annual trip to Blackpool.

Mystery Man by Colin Bateman

The Girl Next Door by Elizabeth Noble

The Other Half Lives by Sophie Hannah: Aidan Seed, a picture-framer, confesses to his girlfriend, Ruth, that he killed a woman called Mary Trelease. But Ruth knows her and that she’s still alive.

The Return by Victoria Hislop: Sonia, a PR exec, flees her banker husband to dance flamenco in Granada. But the Spanish Civil War’s turbulent legacy permeates her experience.

The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver: The retired criminalist and quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme teams up with his paramour Amelia Sachs to trace “Unknown Subject 522”, the identity-stealing villain.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

The Reapers by John Connolly

A Most Wanted Man by John le Carré

The Unicorn Road by Martin Davies

Remember Me by Melvyn Bragg: The estrangement of two young lovers has a tragic ending in Swinging Sixties London. The fourth in a series of Bragg’s autobiographical novels.

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

Testimony by Anita Shreve: A videotape of three boys and an under-age girl performing sex acts is found at a New England boarding school. It sparks a disproportionately damaging scandal.

The Bolter by Frances Osborne

In the Dark by Mark Billingham

The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams: A reunion between a solitary moth expert and her sister in their creepy childhood home masterfully reveals the rivalry and strange secrets that bind them.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer: Meyer’s first novel for adults is set in a future in which humans have been body-snatched by mind-controlling aliens. It involves a love triangle with only two bodies.

Full Hearts and Empty Bellies by Winifred Foley

The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri

Revelation by C. J. Sansom: While Henry VIII is pursuing Catherine Parr, Matthew Shardlake, a hunchback lawyer, is on the trail of a serial killer who is a religious fanatic.

The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent

The Way Things Look to Me by Roopa Farooki

An Equal Stillness by Francesca Kay: Rivalry between painters Jennett Mallow and David Heaton results in a competitive marriage. But drink dilutes his flair and lets her slow-burning talent eclipse his fame.

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben

Doors Open by Ian Rankin

Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly: When a Hollywood lawyer is murdered, Mickey Haller inherits his case. Enter detective Harry Bosch, hell-bent on trapping the killer and keen to use Haller as bait.

A Simple Act of Violence by R. J. Ellory

A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid: An ambitious young Muslim leaves Pakistan to go to Princeton, where he wins a prestigious Wall Street job. But 9/11 changes his fortunes.

Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks: The Bond torch has passed to Faulks for the latest instalment of 007, picking up where Ian Fleming left off in 1966 with Octopussy and The Living Daylights.

The Believers by Zoë Heller

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Fractured by Karin Slaughter: An Atlanta housewife discovers her teenage daughter dead on the landing, with a stranger wielding a bloody knife. Special Agent Will Trent has his work cut out.

Becoming Queen by Kate Williams

Dambusters by Max Arthur: Fascinating oral history from the men in 617 Squadron whose key Second World War mission, Operation Chastise, was to destroy Ruhr dams.

The Murder Exchange by Simon Kernick

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith: Stalin’s Government won’t admit that crime exists in communist Russia. Exiled war hero Leo Demidov becomes an enemy of the state for hunting down a child serial killer.

When Will There be Good News? by Kate Atkinson

Keeping the Dead by Tess Gerritsen: A killer with a knack for ancient mummifying death rituals is leaving a trail of victims. The race is on to prevent him adding to his grisly collection.

NYU prof honored by Variety

Filed under: Kristina — Tags: , — kristinaradke @ 10:41 am
Carrie Kania

Carrie Kania

Carrie Kania, publisher of HarperPerennial and It Books, was honored by Variety in their Women’s Impact Report for 2009.  She joins Beyonce, Tina Fey, Rachel Maddow, and a whole host of others on this list.  Hooray for Carrie and thanks, NYU, for bringing such an awesomely knowledgable teacher to our classrooms! 

I had the benefit of taking Intro to Book Publishing with Carrie.  Her class was one of the most streamlined and informational classes I’ve had so far.  There wasn’t a moment that I felt that the information was something I already knew or didn’t need to know.  She’s honest about the business and genuinely wants to see us succeed. 

So, if you see Carrie in the halls tell her congratulations!


September 27, 2009

Digital Publishing Group (DPG)

As Emily said in a previous post, professional organizations are often hard to find and distinguish between.  I think it’s important to take the time to join as many as possible and attend events, not just for the networking opportunities, but to take advantage of the up-to-date industry information you can garner from them.  I realize most of our readers are working on their master’s degrees and so, perhaps, already have a lot of the most recent industry news, but once you graduate these organizations can offer a way for you to stay on top of the game (and impress your employers besides).

Digital Publishing Group

The Digital Publishing Group (follow the link to join) is sponsored by Daily Lit allows you to receive fiction by email everyday in short installments, which is amazing, but I want to focus on DPG.

Dedicated to “educating, inspiring, and empowering publishing professionals to take advantage of the digital space,” DPG holds lunchtime events monthly.  I had the pleasure of attending the “Why Mobile Matters” meeting with O’Reilly VP of Digital Initiatives, Andrew Savikas.  He shared a lot of interesting statistics about how the mobile trend (the use of cell and smart phones) is expansive, even in areas with few distribution opportunities.  He also talked about how mobile publishing (for BOOKS!) is an area that O’Reilly has found profitable.  Granted, the books they are publishing as apps lend themselves to mobile (Like iPhone: The Missing Manual by David Pogue… click to read more about the app).  These books even incorporate hyperlinks that take users immediately to the internet.  Although, I can’t seem to find it in the app store.  Anyone with an iPhone… your assistance is appreciated!  Let me know if you see it. 

In short, I learned a lot and used what I learned to suggest a new strategy at work.  Now I’m working on pulling together a plan to show my boss! 

Although their lunch meetings are an hour (and don’t include travel time), the meetings are held in midtown–usually at Random House or NewsCorp.  Because of the nature of my job, I’m sure my boss would be glad to grant me and extra 15-20 minutes to find out about new digital strategies.  While I was at the meeting I found that the room (about 50 or so industry professionals) contained more people from my company than I could count on two hands.  The group itself boasts 254 members! 

I would say this group is well worth joining and, unlike the YPG, you don’t have to be employed!  So all you students out there, get on it and add it to your resume!  For more information, click herefor the DailyLit blog archives for DPG.


September 26, 2009

Banned Book Week Begins

Filed under: Kristina — kristinaradke @ 10:00 am
Illustration copyright 2006 by Roger Roth

Illustration copyright 2006 by Roger Roth

Welcome to Banned Book Week, everybody!  A reminder that freedom of speech is something we should cherish.  The issue of banned books is nothing new. We’ve all heard about many of the various historical and contemporary titles that have been challenged and removed from schools, libraries, bookstores, and even the “glitch” that removed LGBT titles from Amazon.

I’m not here today to bring up titles or reasons or even talk about the importance of making all books easily available to anyone who cares to read them.  I just want to share this cool map that highlights all of the books that have been officially challenged across the nation from 2007 to 2009.  If you click on the blue tabs you can read a brief summary of the challenge. 

It’s really cool, check it out.  And feel free to leave your thoughts here about the value of keeping books from being banned.  Or the value of banning them, if you’re of that yolk.


September 25, 2009

Friday Book Art Extravaganza!

Filed under: Book Art, Kristina — Tags: — kristinaradke @ 1:17 pm

For your viewing pleasure, and in honor of Banned Book Week (Sept. 26-Oct. 3), some images of banned book art and displays:

Censored Book/Livre Censure'

Censored Book/Livre Censure'

The above is by Barton Lidice Benes.  Click on the image and read how he came up with this idea.  Kind of interesting.


Freak Show (that's my title, not theirs)

Freak Show (that's my title, not theirs)

The above is from last year, a display from Twin Hickory library in Glen Allen, Virginia (via Extreme Craft).


Reach Inside

Reach Inside

Not especially revolutionary, but I especially like the invitation to reach inside.  The above is a display from the media center at The League Academy (Greenville, South Carolina).


And, finally, how’d you like to see this while driving?

Beware of the Book

Beware of the Book

This is posted by someone named Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, and if you click on the picture above you can read his opinion that the printed book is not dead or dying.

Remember people, no matter how you’re reading, KEEP READING!


September 24, 2009

Young to Publishing Group

There are an amazing number of “groups” and “societies” for those working in the publishing industry.  And yet, I feel that if you do not already have an “in” or are new to the industry, these groups can be difficult to find.  Yes, I know that we are all capable of doing a google search but google can’t supply all the information that is out there (although they do a fairly decent imitation).  

So we’ll be highlighting all the different groups that we have come across, joined, attended, etc and keep a page dedicated to the subject for future reference.  We’ll also talk about the groups that have more traction at houses (ie: what groups employers think are important) and what we have found we like or dislike.  And, as always, we encourage you to add your thoughts and opinions.

Young to Publishing Group

The Young to Publishing Group is a part of the Association of American Publishers’ (more to come on them) and is meant to help new industry professionals, those with 0-5 years experience, network outside of their houses and learn about the industry (they only accept individuals employed within the industry). The group has social events, brown bag lunch events and mentoring and buddy programs. You can also become part of the Little Big Mouth program and receive free books – their goal is to create word of mouth for these titles.

Both Kristina and I are members of the Young to Publishing Group although we have not yet been any of their functions.  We have, however, signed up for a buddy group and should receive buddies sometime in October.

I must say, and yes I realize that I’m saying this without attending an event, I’m not impressed. Their brown bag lunch events are during the week and are an hour and a half.  As an assistant working to make a good impression, heck – as just a really busy assistant, I can’t take that long of a lunch.  And that doesn’t include travel time.  Additionally, the website is outdated and it appears that they haven’t had a newsletter in quite a while.  But, if you decide to attend classes to enhance your publishing knowledge, as a member, you receive 10% off NYU classes (not an entire program), just specific courses.

While people know about this group within my company, it doesn’t seem to be high on their priority list, nor have they raved about it.  That being said, I will certainly attend the next social event and go to a buddy group.  And, of course, I’ll keep you posted.

September 23, 2009

Sweet Valley High – Film Adaptation

Filed under: Emily, Fun — Tags: , — Emily Lyman @ 9:20 pm

Since Kristina was just talking about the best film adaptations – I thought I’d share this – Diablo Cody will be producing an adaptation of Sweet Valley High!  Okay, I might have LOVED the books but for some reason I just can’t imagine I’m going to like the film.  But I’ll admit – I’m still going to watch it.

September 22, 2009

Destination: Forks, WA

Filed under: Kristina — Tags: , , — kristinaradke @ 1:26 pm
Bella's Truck... worth the trek?

Bella's Truck... worth the trek?

You know, for claiming to want to stab my eyes out every time I think about Twilight, I write about it an awful lot.  The truth of the matter is that I’m embarrassed that I got sucked into the series and hated the last book.  Which is why I have such a sour taste in my mouth about the series.  But, to be honest, the characters are engaging and the romance is, well, romantic.  (Except in Book 2, when Edward disappears and it’s all about Jacob.  I mean, seriously… who wants a werewolf boyfriend?  Lame.)

Anyway, here’s the newest news about Twilight, from the New York Times.  Apparently, Forks, Washington (yes, there’s actually a Forks, population ~3,000)  has received a surge of tourism that has saved many of the small town’s businesses.  (Think hotels with new Twilight-themed rooms, and flower shops with Twilight-themed t-shirts and apples.)  Even the national park has had an increase in visitors. (They should secretly place a man-sized sparkling dummy out there and really freak those “Twihards” out… and what’s with that word?  It just makes me uncomfortable.  Twihards.)

Now, although I’ve admitted that the series isn’t the worst thing ever (only close to the worst thing) there’s something about making a trip to see FORKS, WASHINGTON that seems inordinately stupid.  Especially for adults.  Come on  people… isn’t there something better you could be doing with your time? (No offense to anyone who’s ever traveled to a place simply because they’re obsessed with a book or movie… I’m talking about the Harry Potter road trip that’s gonna happen in the spring, people…)

What are your thoughts?  Worth it to go to Forks in order to take a picture of Bella’s red truck?


September 18, 2009

Best Book-to-Film Adaptations

Filed under: Kristina — Tags: — kristinaradke @ 3:02 pm

What is your favorite movie based on a book?  Admittedly, I’m often not even aware of a book until it becomes a movie.  Hollywood certainly pushes their product in much more high-profile ways than publishers do (or can).  I recently read Revolutionary Road after having seen previews, though I never did see the movie… I just didn’t feel the need to after reading the book, which I loved for its aching and longing and disappointment.

One of my favorite movies based on a book is A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick)It’s entirely possible that the reason I love this movie so much is because I couldn’t understand the book.  I picked it up in a book store and tried to read it, but the nadsat made it absolutely impossible for me to follow.  In film there are context clues in movements and actions… sort of like watching Shakespeare plays.  It always takes me about 15 minutes to really get into the rhythm of Shakespeare and understand what exactly is being said.  Here’s a nadsat dictionary for those of you (like me) too gloopy to get it. (Can we please adopt some of these, my droogies?)

Here is The Telegraph‘s list of the 25 best book to film adaptations.  I haven’t seen a lot of them (or have only seen the remakes and not the originals).  Of this list I’ve seen 9 of the 25 films and read 10 of the books/series.  Not all of them are the same (i.e. I saw the film but didn’t read the book or vice versa).

Your turn… your favorite film adaptation?


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