Welcome to this week’s Buzz Worthy News! Penguin has moved into Random’s House , George Lucas sells Star Wars to
the devil Disney, and hurricane Sandy disrupts the publishing world! All this and much, much more. Read on to find out everything that’s been happening in the book world this week.
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly Monday news post. Bringing you all the most interesting, relevant and fun news from the publishing and book blogging world.
I still think this should have been Random Penguin House. Why does nobody ever listen to me? Anyway. Markus Dohle wrote a letter to Random House employees:
Dear Random House Colleagues,
Today we begin an exciting new chapter for our company.
Bertelsmann has just concluded negotiations with Pearson, the parent company of the Penguin Book Group, to form a future new partnership that will combine our trade book publishing activities with those of Penguin. The result will be a truly global company, unique in its diversity of author voices, breadth of publishing expertise, title selection, support for customers, and career opportunities for publishing talent.
For Bertelsmann, the coming together of Random House and Penguin is both a realization of their strategic plan for growing creative content businesses, and further affirmation of their belief in the great future of trade book publishing. Random House, thanks to your hard work and exceptional performance, consistently demonstrates just how bright that future is.
As the CEO of the combined business, my commitment to you and our new colleagues is to retain the distinct identities of both companies’ imprints, where authors remain the center of everything we do. Authors and their agents will continue to enjoy an enormous choice of publishing homes, where creative autonomy and great resources will be a defining hallmark. I very much look forward to collaborating closely with Penguin’s Chairman and CEO, John Makinson, who will serve as the Chairman of the Board of the new company, which has been named Penguin Random House. John and I share the same passion for our beloved industry, our authors, and the books we publish.
I am deeply convinced that the creativity and experience of our publishers, aligned with our decentralized entrepreneurship, will enable us – together with our new colleagues – to more completely and immediately realize our vision to provide our content for everyone, everywhere, in every format, and on every platform. On a global scale, we will be able to offer a deeper, even more robust backlist, along with our highly successful frontlist. Both companies are already highly advanced and accomplished in digital publishing, and with this new partnership we will accelerate our digital transformation, while ensuring a strong future for print. We will offer more services for physical retailers, while diversifying in the digital space. And we will be even better positioned to provide copyright protection, and to support our authors’ intellectual property.
That is the future. For today, and in the months ahead, it is business as usual. Right now, our priority is publishing our fall lists to finish our fourth quarter as strongly as our previous three, and to plan the publishing campaigns for our winter and spring titles. As always, I know I can count on you.
I want you to know that I understand how difficult it is not having all of the details immediately about our new company. In order to overcome the uncertainty for all of you I will communicate and share with you directly and regularly as we move toward this transition, and I will do so with complete openness and transparency.
Our new company will foster and drive change, but it will also champion heritage and tradition. Above all else, we will go forward knowing you are our greatest asset. It is in that spirit that together we will build an extraordinary company with our new colleagues.
All my best,
Best Selling Self Published Kindle Books
So, like, this year’s list is out and 17 out of the 100 top-selling Kindle books are self-published. That’s actually a decrease from last year. So… boo. But here’s the deets peeps:
This year’s 17 e-books include the Fifty Shades trilogy and two books by Sylvia Day, and the vast majority of the total is romance titles. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young (#31 overall), Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain (#85), and Down to You by M. Leighton (#98) all reaped the benefits of the surge in romance’s popularity in 2012. Other self-pubbed bestsellers of note are The Sweetest Thing by Barbara Freethy, who also had a top 100 e-book in 2011 with Summer Secrets; and Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee, the only title to make the top 100 in both 2011 and 2012. The average price of this year’s self-published bestsellers was $5.66, which is inflated because of the current $9.99 price tags for the James and Day books.
What’s also interesting is that there were fewer authors this year. Which means that more authors are showing up multiple times on the list. What does is all mean for self publishing? I don’t know. Anybody want a drink?
Hurricane Sandy caused a fearsome amount of damage on the East coast of America. New York’s publishing scene is still struggling to get back on its feet.
Here’s a run down of how the Big 6 (5?) are doing in the aftermath.
The Big Six:
Random House is open, but its Maryland warehouse was closed on Monday through late Tuesday evening. A spokesperson for the publisher said the building (and the books it houses) did not suffer any damage, and that RH has approved overtime for employees to catch up on orders. The spokesperson said that RH does not expect any significant delays in getting orders to accounts.
Hachette is open, and its warehouse is fully operational.
Penguin’s headquarters on Hudson Street remains closed Wednesday, but company email is working and the publisher’s warehouse is open and shipping orders. Penguin also has customer service reps in its Old Tappan office.
HarperCollins is currently closed, but a spokesperson confirmed that its warehouse is operational.
Simon & Schuster’s Manhattan office is open and, after being offline, its New Jersey warehouse is open, but not fully operational, a spokesperson said. The company is making limited shipments while it looks to restore its data center to normal operations.
We were unable to reach Macmillan by press time, though its Flatiron Building offices are within the zone without power, so they are presumably closed.
*This is Me Weeping*
Friends, I am convinced the end of the world as we know it has come. *rocks back and forth* In what I’m sure had to be a moment of insanity, George Lucas has sold my beloved Star Wars to Disney for $4.05 billon. I supposed that’s not bad money, but… but… but… Disney has promised Star Wars 7 in 2015 with more to follow. T_T
The new president of Lucasfilms and former co-chair, Kathleen Kennedy (not to be confused with my Kat Kennedy
because she would never do something like this to me…), had this to say this about it:
”We are absolutely going to make Star Wars movies. We are in the midst of the really fun part of the process, which is, we are sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas and were starting to talk about what those stories might be.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I suppose I’ll just have to get used to it. But after my two-year-old saw the above image and screamed, “Mickey Mouse Club House!” the expectation bar is set very low.
New X-Factor judge, Britney Spears, is rumored to be close to signing a deal with It Books (HarperCollins). Because in case you can’t get enough of Brit-Brit, you now can read about her real life experiences, but now fictionalized for even more profit! Whoo-hoo! My dream is coming to life. *dripping with sarcasm*
The story would incorporate fictionalized versions of her own experiences, much like Lauren Conrad’s 2009 New York Times bestseller L.A. Candy, which was about a girl who moves to Los Angeles and becomes the star of a reality show.
Don’t think this is an instant Best Seller? Who are we kidding? “It’s Britney, bitch.”
Shonda Rhimes Picks up Debut YA Novel
Okay, so I’m pretty excited this story. The brilliant screen-writers Shonda Rhimes & Besty Beers are partnering up with David DiGilio to adapt debut author, Debra Driza’s MILA 2.0. If you don’t know why I’m jumping up and down for joy right now, then I don’t know you anymore! Rhimes and Beers are the producers behind one of my favorite shows, Scandal. I NEVER miss an episode. And MILA sounds freakin’ awesome.
DiGilio will pen the script and executive produce alongside Rhimes and Beers, the producers behind ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal.
Driza’s young-adult novel, her first, will be published in March by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins.
DiGilo, repped by UTA, Industry Entertainment and attorney Karl Austen, also has The Last H.O.P.E. set up at Showtime about the last hospital on Earth. He came out of Disney’s writers program and wrote Eight Below, the Paul Walker canine nature adventure, for the studio. He also created Traveler, the 2007 terrorist thriller show, which starred Matt Bomer. He’s attached to pen the sequel to Tron: Legacy for Disney.
Congrats, Debra Driza! How exciting!