Wednesday, June 1, 2016

2016 Book Expo America, McCormick Place, Chicago

I thought the show started at 11 so I beat the rush for the 1 o'clock start.

Thursday morning and the tempo was pretty slow. I took this same picture maybe twenty years ago and the aisles were packed.

The people at this booth couldn't tell me much about this book. The pages had been folded to make a word at the thumb edge. They didn't produce the book, it was a gift. I'm glad they displayed it.

There's always a bit of silliness at these things.

Years ago, many parents brought their children to the show. There was even on-site day care. Alas, without children I think this effort was not fully appreciated.

There were actually two decorated sales trucks on the floor. Presumably each travels to schools promoting books and reading when they're not parked at Expo.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Grub Street Printing Newsletter #85, May 2016

RR Donnelly Closing OR Book Plant
RR Donnelly has announced it is closing its Gresham OR commercial and book printing plant August 1, leaving 113 workers unemployed. In 2006 Gresham gave Donnelly a 5 year tax exemption for a $30 million facility expansion.
B&N Founder Stepping Aside
After purchasing a single Barnes & Noble on Manhattan in 1971, and eventually managing a chain of 640 national bookstores, Leonard Riggio is retiring and remains optimistic about book retailing.

5 Years Later Borders CEO Lays Blame
Although he was only CEO of Borders for 19 months, Mike Edwards analyzes Border's bankruptcy in which Edwards and his board were financially rewarded ($8.3 million) while the store employees (who were the best thing about Borders) got unemployment benefits. Worse, top managers right to the end caused the bankruptcy.
Dorling Kindersley For Sale
When our children were small their favorite books were DK. They were generally oversized and very colorful and covered everything from planets to insects, anatomy to ocean life. Penguin has announced DK is for sale.
2015 Book Sales Up, Revenue Down
Trade book sales increased by just 0.8% last year while overall revenue fell 2.6%. Children's ebooks fell 43% while adult ebooks declined 9.5%
Amazon Takes on eLearning

Despite the fact that most studies indicate children learn best from ink and paper books, the NYC school system inked a $30 million contract with Amazon to design digital educational products.
Reviving the Failing eBook Subscription Model
Apparently what's been missing all along for ebook subscription providers (besides profits) is curated content! Who knew?
Designing Covers 101
Admittedly designing magazine covers has different strictures than designing book covers, but there are enough thoughtful ideas here that's it's definitely worth a read.

1851 Printing Press at Clements Library
Like many manufacturing products, there was a time when printing presses not only reproduced art, they themselves were handsomely styled and elaborately decorated. This one's gorgeous.
Printers Victims of New Scam
While just a variation on previous scams involving checks that can't be cleared overnight, this one involves production and shipping. Printers write off too much debt every year in their zeal to keep the presses producing.
China Reigns in Apple
With iPhone sales faltering and stock prices tumbling, the last thing Apple needed was increased scrutiny from the Chinese government. Last month China halted sales from iBooks Store and iTunes Movies 6 months after each opened.
A B&N “Concept” Store
After announcing that B&N hopes to have 4 “concept” stores opening in 2017, details are emerging of the first in Eastchester, NY. It is designed around a former Border's store and hopes to “encourage customers to buy products online”.
At Last, A Self Deleting Book
I know artists shouldn't be concerned about making a buck, so Stefan Ahnhem won't be too discouraged when the reader reaction to his disappearing serial crime ebook is underwhelming.
Final Thought
He wins every hand who mingles profit with pleasure, by delighting and instructing the reader at the same time. Horace

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Grub Street Printing Newsletter #84, April 2016

Bad People Will Do Bad Things to Your PC...and Your Mac

There are a lot of bad things ready to attack your computer. For years we called them all viruses, but that wasn't totally accurate. Today there are known as malware which includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, and ransomware. It's said ransomware is the worst and now I understand why.
I'm uaually cautious when I use the computer. The other day I needed a small program that was offered as “Freeware”, a program that had limited application but was available with full features at a price. When I was ready to download, I noticed that I would need to use OpenCandy as the installer for the program. I consider OpenCandy to be spyware and declined to download the program.
But I was preoccupies when I, in an unguarded moment, scanning through my emails, clicked on a message that sounded vaguely innocent, something about incorrectly paying an invoice. The message was blank except for a link. Stupidly I clicked the link.
You may have seen these emails recently on your computer. I have two in today's email. One from Christian Hull who uses Bill 4F0016 as his subject. Drew Key lists Payment Confirmation as his subject. They both have attachments. Both names are unknown to me.
A day after I mistakenly shrugged off the mumbo-jumbo attachment, my computer began running at at turtle speed. I checked to see what was hogging all of my computer's resources. A program named CgYrXlur.exe was running and using over 50% of my computer's capacity. I Googled the file name but nothing relevant came back. Suspicious, I closed everything that was running and opened MalWarebytes, a free program everyone should have. I ran a scan and I had a big problem. A program called LOCKY had begun encrypting my files. MalWarebytes stopped and deleted it and I ran Regedit to clean another few LOCKY lines of code from my registry.

Even catching Locky early was too late. Thousands of my documents had been encrypted with military style RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers and were unusable.
I got rid of LOCKY before it could display its ransom note but it has been posted on a number of “help sites.” The instructions were to forward bitcoins to them and they would send me a “key” to decrypt my files. Just over $200. But these people weren't Sunday School teachers. What incentive did they have to restore my data once they had my money? I elected to restore what I could.
Windows System Restore did nothing.
Since the data was encrypted, not deleted, the websites I visited recommended a program that restored deleted or damaged files. I bought Data Recovery Pro for roughly fifty dollars. It restored a bunch of Windows graphics (buttons, punctuation marks, arrows) but didn't tell me where they had originally been on my hard drive so they're useless. Data? A few pictures, zero documents. I emailed their support team but never heard back.
Recuva is a free program and it produced slightly better results, especially with .jpgs, finding maybe 500 files out of thousands.
What saved me?
First and foremost was Dropbox, a cloud storage program. I was able to restore my Grub Street Printing files, albeit just a few at a time which is time consuming if you're restoring thousand of files. But it absolutely worked.
Also, I have five computers scattered around the house. Whenever I work at a different computer, I just copy what I need from another computer via my home network, use it and save it. I never considered it “backing up” files, but that's what I was doing.
Over 10,000 encrypted files were deleted. For some reason music and video were untouched, but pictures and text files were about 75% affected.
On March 31, Bitdefender Labs announced a free program to protect your computer from the newest ransomware. You can download their protective “vaccine” here. Click on the red Bitdefender website.Oh, you think it can't happen on your Mac? Think again. Ransomware for the Mac that begins with an iCloud hack has just been found. Don't use iCloud? Don't relax.
Partners Closing
Word reached me yesterday (March 31) that Partners Distributing will close. Over the years I've worked with Partners and have recommended their services to a number of you. An era has ended and I fear we are the worse for it.
Trouble in Paradise
Awakening from a digital high seems sobering. “The Four Horseman” (Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook) that seem to author internet protocol may be losing some luster and are no longer recognized as beneficent overlords.
NYT May Ban Ad-Block Use
The Gray Lady doesn't want to hear any whining about reader payback and will probably block its content to those who use ad-blockers, losing a bit more relevancy in an industry that needs readers.
 Do You Rely on Data?

The current obsession with anything generated by 1s and 0s has taken a hit. After 10,000 emails telling us how we to benefit from all the data available for publishers, turns out it isn't all that reliable. Doesn't mean they'll quit pushing it at us.
Patent Trolls Still Trolling
A few years ago we wrote about patent trolls and the high probability that Apple was one. Now, patents sold to investors by RRD years ago are in play, used to bring lawsuits against printers by the investors that now own them.
eBooks, Literacy, and Impoverished Schools
Now that my son lives in an area with limited broadband available, I'm not surprised to learn that many school systems in such communities have little or no access to the internet. Clearly ebooks are no panacea for illiteracy in these areas.
Trying to get noticed by the next generation with cash to spend? Here's what works to catch their attention.
Book Marketing and Social Networks
I know you've been told that compulsive posting, editing and updating on your Twitter, Facebook, etc. accounts will sell thousands of your books. So why hasn't it? Here's why.
Uncoated Text Stocks Price Rising
The U.S. Trade Commission has unanimously found that uncoated paper is being imported and sold below its cost. Import tariffs will be imposed to level the playing field for U.S. Paper mills.
eBook Indexes
Nonfiction sells well as ebooks but generally omits any sort of usable index. By not following the traditional “index in the back format,” eBook publishers have an opportunity to re-imagine and take advantage of the opportunities digital publishing offers.
Tablets vs. eReaders
My wife uses a tablet frequently and should I get a sudden urge to devour an ebook I think I'd borrow it from her. Statistically, however, my age group tends to prefer dedicated ereaders, while Gen-Xers tend to opt for tablets.
Shakespeare's Libido
I'm ashamed to admit that I've forgotten almost everything I studied many years ago in Shakespeare 301. But I'm sure this provides insights to the Bard that were never taught in 1970.
America's Ridiculous Copyright Laws
Lessons learned by following the rights and publications of To Kill A Mocking bird.
Final Thought
Classics are not classics because hoary with age — they are the steel balls which have worn down mountains but remained unchanged in the mill of time. Martin H. Fischer

Monday, March 14, 2016

Grub Street Printing Newsletter #83, March 2016

Amazon Likes Brick and Mortar...

After testing the water with a real store in Seattle, Amazon would ultimately like to open 300-400 physical bookstores nationally. I'm guessing B&N would be most threatened by this.
...And Why Not?
After an eight year lull, physical bookstore revenue rose 2.5% last year, finishing with $11.17 billion in sales.
But the Sky Is Still Falling
Just in case Amazon and everyone else is headed the wrong direction, here's how to immediately prepare for the demise of bookstores.
92% of Students Prefer Real Books to eBooks
Every time a study like this comes out, ebook proponents invent hundreds of excuses how the study was flawed. Still 92% is a lot unless the margin of error is 50%.
You Heard it Here First

Last month Scholastic was working to engage school children in the Democratic election process. Now the Smithsonian is issuing a series of graphic novels called Secret Smithsonian Adventures for school children to promote an appreciation for technical studies (and literacy, I hope).
B&N Gets Personal
Tapping into the popularity of personalized books, Barnes & Noble has partnered with Put Me In the Story to produce personalized books both online and in their stores. The commercial print industry has noted personalized books' surge in popularity.
When Is a Book Not a Book?
It's creative, artistic and bulging with original content. But is everything delivering content visually and portably a book?
Too Cool!
Whether playing Angry Birds or flipping through the pages of an ebook, this flexible smartphone offers unique input options that are really cool.
Audible Adds Podcasts
Audible has decided to add podcasts to its catalog, hiring former NPR executive Eric Nuzum, and a number of other NPR producers to oversee content of original podcasts as well as acquiring some produced independently.
Inexpensive Valentine Promotion
Aside from the loss of some sales, did Avon Impulse and Carina Press incur significant costs or encounter logistical hurdles by giving away 14,000 ebooks?
Religions Feel Threatened
It appears that fundamentalist religious leaders, in this instance in Bangladesh, share the common view that any ideas not supportive of their faith need to be eliminated. Their Gods must not be very strong to so rabidly fear paper and ink.
Books and Beer Team Up

A Barnes and Noble store in New Hartford, New York has applied for a beer and wine license. While not unheard of (see Denver's BookBar) it's thought B&N hopes to test customer response.
Going Paperless and the Future of Trees
An example of unintended consequences has been demonstrated by studies showing that as paper demand abates, so do the funds and incentive to maintain millions of acres of forest.

Trump Book For Kids

Film maker Guy Larsen has released a children's book titled, “Donald Trump and the Wig of Evil”.
Final Thought
I am a bookworm, old and crusty,
Thro' midnight hours my pen I ply.
Be there an ancient parchment dusty,
The man to wipe that dust, is I.
~Gilbert à Beckett ________________________________________

Archived Grub Street newsletters can be found at

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Grub Street Printing Newsletter #82 February 2016

Even though the internet has been around for over a quarter century, questions and debates still rage about what it is, what it could be and what it shouldn't be. I'm a strong believer in net neutrality as are most small business owners with a web site. I know that going up against Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner with abuse and scorn won't make a bit of difference to them but may make my blog and Facebook readers think I have no logical arguments to offer so I need to resort to angry adolescent attacks instead.
So I was surprised when the latest web brouhaha erupted into headlines with one side blasting the other by calling them, “an immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabees”.

What's this all about? It boiled to the surface this month after last month's announcement that content on Conde Nast's (The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired end many more) web-site wouldn't be available unless readers went into their browsers settings to allow pop-up advertising on their site.
I had a paragraph in last month's newsletter about that, but in checking my hyperlink found out that the article I referenced was on the Forbes web-site (here) and my readers wouldn't be able to read it without blocking their blockers. Fine.
As a long-time user of ad blockers, I offer these reasons why I'll not be turning them off. First of all, loading videos I don't ask to see takes forever on my computer. I generally have a dozen or so tabs open in my browser, my Thunderbird email program and a few applications like Excel or Irfan. Even when I try to follow a story on USA Today that turns out to be available only as a video report I immediately hit the back button. I'd rather read the full story than watch someone give me a quick synopsis. If someone made a video blocker I'd have one of them too.
Worse, by clicking on these ads you're inviting more pop-ups to appear. Did you click on an ad for river cruises? Thanks to ad tracking, in the following days you may be over-run with ads and links offering you river cruise deals.
And malware? See how closing ad-blockers for a Forbes article infected computers.
Enough already!
I offer this alternative analysis from those nice people at Wired and if it too is unavailable, try this; it describes the players and their complaints.

In the panic that ensued when Apple announced its iOS 9 would offer ad-blocking on mobile devices, the marketing industry freaked out. Fair Page and Adobe, aware that only 1.4% of mobile devices offered ad-blocking ability, realized the flood gates were about to open. Calmer heads pointed out that the $22 billion was not only an estimate pulled out of thin air, the loss wasn't even actual money, it was money that might be realized if ad-blockers weren't doing such a good job.
It seems to me if you design a marketing program that doesn't work, quantifying the loss then ignoring that the campaign was deigned to use a flawed delivery system is disingenuous. Apparently the brains in the marketing department rationalized that those sorry-ass readers weren't lining up for paid subscriptions to their content, so decided to make them regret that decision by slowing down their internet browsing. Brilliant!
Are all media providers flame-throwing? Actually, most aren't. Many approach it like death and taxes, acknowledging a certain inevitability of innovation countered by more innovation. Only something like 4% of large publishers are leading the war against ad-blocking, but that 4% draws Donald Trump-like coverage.
And while this uproar is loudest in America where it's estimated 45 million of us have enabled ad-blocking software, over 77 million Europeans use it to control their content. Don't American CEOs (the highest paid CEOs in the world) emit the loudest cries of outrage and unfairness of any CEOs in the rest of the world?
And do all those fatally in love with all things digital side with those who have decided to block their own content? Even most of them understand what an annoyance unfiltered advertising is and how content providers have continually broken the trust of their readers.
Frankly I'm disappointed to learn that Ad Block Plus (ABP), the major provider of ad-blocking software has offered a work around to the advertising community. If they will submit their ads to ABP for review, the less intrusive ones could be displayed. Of course, submission of the ads would carry a price so the advertisers scream blackmail, and it may well be. I hope they ignore the work around and stick to their no ads period game plan.
Could peace break out in this contest? Former Firefox (browser) CEO Brendan Eich has introduced Brave, a new browser that will block ad tracking by advertisers but allow pop-up ads to be displayed. Since it only addresses part of the consumer's concerns, I'm betting the battle rages.

Some industry insiders want a more measured take on online advertising. They consider the evolution of the internet and realize that it has gone through more transitions than anyone could have foreseen as they searched with their Alta Vista search engine twenty years ago. Their advice? “We will repent for the sins of the first $50 billion and build up to the next $50 billion and beyond by remembering that audience, not ads, are our lifeblood.”

Reading and Assimilating Digitally
A thoughtful consideration on the evolution of reading and learning that leads to questioning how content will evolve to change the way we learn.
Most Read Online Article of 2015
There's no way to accurately track traditional magazine article readership, but this analysis of the traffic reading 2015's most read article, The Atlantic's “What ISIS Really Wants,” is staggering and the information it provides on the who, how, where and when is incredible, perhaps even a bit intimidating.
Hong Kong, Autonomy, and Censorship

Hong Kong has had a contentious relationship with mainland China the last couple of years. Fearing that the Chinese government is involved in the disappearance of five employees of Mighty Current Media who publish books critical of Chinese leaders, Open Publishing has decided to delay the release of its title about the corruption of the Chinese President. Hong Kong citizens have again taken to the streets.
Mein Kampf Sells Out
After a 70 year absence, Hitler's Mein Kampf is available in German bookstores after the state copyright expired January 1, 2016. The first 4,000 copy release of the heavily annotated 2 volume set sold out immediately.
Most Expensive Books of 2015
Abe Books has listed the most expensive books it sold last year, the costliest being a 5 volume Natural History of Birds
printed in Italy in 1765 with 600 hand colored plates at $191,000. Two Bibles were on the list, a 1742 two volume set for $18,928 and a 1613 edition for $13,547.00
Book Sales Down 2% Through 3 Quarters
2015 adult trade sales were flat with a surprising 7.2% drop in children's and YA. Paperbacks and audiobooks grew in double digits.

Gender Neutral Titles for Kids
English Publisher Buster Books releases books with titles like The Gorgeous Girls Coloring Book and has been pressured by a group called Let Books Be Books to only produce children's books with gender neutral titles. Although the publisher claims gendered coloring books outsell others by 3 to 1, it has agreed to neuter future titles.
Speed Reading Doesn't Work
I never quite got around to signing up for the Evelyn Woods Speed Reading Method, but now it seems I didn't miss a thing. It doesn't work.
The Rodale 100
Like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, Rodale, Inc., arbiter of all things organic and holistic, has listed 100 people, places or things that have a positive impact on Mother Earth.
Engaging Kids Politically
Perhaps because many millennials claim total indifference to the political processes, Scholastic will not only publish grade appropriate analysis of the 2016 election, but will also host a web-site to work in conjunction with the classroom content.
Pearson Outsources, Lays-off 4,000
Print services provider RR Donnelly, announced in early January that Pearson would turn over all supply chain management to RRD. A week later Pearson announced it was cutting 10% of its work force. Pearson's CEO called critics “ignorant.
Final Thought
If the book is second-hand, I leave all its markings intact, the spoor of previous readers, fellow-travelers who have recorded their passage by means of scribbled comments, a name on the fly-leaf, a bus ticket to mark a certain page.
Archived Grub Street newsletters can be found at

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Grub Street Printing Newsletter #81, January 2016

Best Covers – 2015
I love great book covers. Like the Supreme Court judging pornography, I can't define
them but I know them when I see them. I could spend (have spent) hours in bookstores just looking at book covers: the good, the bad and the ugly.
The NY Times starts it off with their selections.
Pinterest posted many Penguin Random House covers and some are fantastic.
And Buzzfeed presents 34 of “the most beautiful covers of 2015” (whatever that means).
I'm in awe of the designers who can create art that suggests the concept and content of a book on the equivalent of just one page.
Other 2015 Bests
Abe Books compiled quite an array of literary footnotes for the year, including Best Fiction and ending with Books Made Into Movies.
Publisher's Weekly offers their review with each of their selections.
The extensive lists from Goodreads begin with Best Books of the 21st Century and finish with Best Fantasy of The 2010s.
Digital Magazine Subscriptions Tumble
Like fervent believers who explain away the drop in ebook sales, proponents of digital magazine subscriptions find their only bright spot in library subscriptions. Not sure that's a big enough market.
Pop-Up Blockers Irritate Gentlemen
Conde Nast's GQ magazine will charge digital edition readers for each article they read if they insist on using their ad blocking soft-ware article.
Publisher Drops Amazon, Sales Soar
Education publisher EDC stopped selling books through Amazon three years ago. Since then other sales channels sprang up and revenue increased 60% and income rose 300%.
Digerati Say Increased Book Sales a Fluke
Citing the popularity of adult coloring books and the release of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman, ebook devotees claim the increase in book sales is an anomaly. But the fact is that trade book sales fell a few years ago in spite the popularity of Harry Potter and the craze for Sudoku books.
Audio Book Sales Surge

Audio books are catching, if not surpassing, sales of printed books. Many credit the popularity of working out at local gyms while others point out that boomers are retiring and touring the country. I doubt we'll see an audio cookbook though.
Most Influential Academic Text
After winnowing suggestions from 200 publishers as to the most influential academic book of all time down to twenty, then letting the public decide, Darwin's Origin of Species was selected over Plato's Republic, Paine's Rights of Man and Einstein's Theory of Relativity
Banished Words
Supporters of 1st Amendment rights still believe that unnecessary creation of words or their usage (answering questions by beginning with, “so...”) or phrase (price point) should be subject to rigorous scrutiny. “So” topped the list this year that also included “stakeholder”, “walk it back”, and “man- spreading”. All henceforth banished!
Used Bookstores Thrive
Eschewing and Amazon's vast offering of used books, readers who like browsing for their next book are finding that used bookstores offer a sensory experience not available online.
Final Thought
Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. Jessamyn West

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Grub Street Printing Newsletter #80, December 2015

Today, Scholastic Publishing may be best known for bringing the stories of Harry Potter into our homes. Even though the J. K. Rowling series had been successful in the UK, there was certainly no guarantee that a book of witches and warlocks attending an English boarding school would capture the imagination of young American readers.
But to those of us who attended elementary schools in America as the first wave of baby-boomers to disrupt the social order, Scholastic wasn't a major player in the best sellers industry.
Scholastic found titles that would appeal to kids and created a number of ways to make them available to us.
Most memorable for me was the flimsy 8 page newsprint catalog our teacher passed out every three or four weeks. At roughly ten titles per advertised page, and not counting the order form page, that meant we could review some sixty to seventy new books to select the ones that promised the most adventures, the most laughs, the most information, or the sagas of how other kids our age dealt with bad situations in their lives, like not making the baseball team or sobbing as the cute boy next door waved good-bye when his family moved away. This was strong stuff!
In 1920, Maurice”Robbie” Robinson distributed his first sell sheets for kid's books. It was called the Western Pennsylvania Scholastic. Just six years later Robinson offered the first book published by his company, Saplings, a collection of stories written by young people.
If ever someone was born for their career, it was Robbie. He worked tirelessly with school teachers, principals and librarians to distribute his catalogs, believing that the books he sold were wanted, perhaps needed, by children across the country, especially in cities where they were available nowhere else. He was a one man show, selecting the books, writing then printing their descriptions in the catalog, distributing his catalogs, fulfilling the orders and then doing it all over again. He is quoted as saying, “I cannot recall a day where I did not look forward to tackling the work that was waiting for me in my office,” and I'm pretty sure he was serious.
Once the Scholastic name was well known and trusted he began to hold Book Fairs at schools, libraries, churches and firehalls, another effective way to sell books to children.
In my elementary school, the teachers passed out the sell sheets, and we returned the order forms with our money a few days later to the teacher. When the books arrived there was not only the fun of flipping through your new books, but the event of passing out the books effectively burned a boring hour of classroom time.
A publisher friend sent me a book to quote the other day. He wanted to reprint a Scholastic title from 1961. I flipped through the book, and on the last page found this familiar information about starting a Scholastic Book Club at your school, church, scout troop, whatever. They only requirement to order was that at least 15 books were ordered together...each costing either 25¢ or35¢ including those in full color.
I may have been a slightly dorky kid because I loved books about how things worked and random facts. What's the deepest part of the ocean, the coldest spot on the earth, how do they breath in a submarine?
And growing up near Detroit I had an early fascination with cars and the automobile industry. I ordered a copy of Don Stanford's The Red Car from Scholastic and it was a glorious book. I still remember it. The car was a red MG, not even made in Detroit. The story is
about Hap Adams, a 16 year old boy who finds a way to own his dream car, repairs it and then learns to race it. What could possibly be cooler to a 12 year old boy?
I recently thought it would be fun to find an old copy of The Red Car on the internet so I checked The cheapest copy was $54.00 for the 1954 Scholastic edition. I really believe it was a great book...for 35 ¢.
But Amazon has reader's comments about the book and I am apparently not the only person who bought the book from Scholastic, not the only one who recalls details of the story 50 years later, and not the only one who can mark its influence on his life.
Books do that to people.
I'm betting a lot of you remember a book or two from Scholastic that had a story you remember.

Ebook Sales Slow for Publishers
Major publishers have seen ebook sales decline to the point that some have discontinued reporting their sales figures in their financial statements, including their sales either under the broader heading of Digital Revenue, which includes audio books among other things, or Trade.
Reversing eBook Sales Declines
Pointing out that only Amazon has seen increases in ebook sales, the author calls for more like Amazon. Good luck!
Serial Killer's Novel Yanked by Amazon
An ebook entitled A MAD World Order by Paul Bernardo, jailed for the the murders of two Ontario teenagers in the early 1990s, has been withdrawn for sale on the Amazon web-site
                                     PBS' Book View Now
Our local PBS station is trumpeting the creation of regional book fair coverage in America. These fairs are generally a lot of fun to attend...and it's very heartening to witness how intensely and emotionally the visitors value books and reading.

Why Is Ed Tech Growing So Fast?
Ed Tech remains a controversial, even dubious adjunct to actual teaching. Acknowledging that, the market continues to expand, perhaps because there seems to be an assumption that digital everything is better than analog anything. Leading Ed Tech company McMillan Education is partnering with Blinklearning to pursue promising technologies.
Rediscovering Letterpress
A Brooklyn designer discovers letterpress printing, appreciates the feel of the printed piece, hikes to North Carolina, opens her print shop and becomes one of the Ladies of Letterpress.
Book Nerd Problems
Epic Reads has a YouTube channel for its Book Nerd Problems videos.
Amazon Goes Brick & Mortar
After rewriting the rules for book retailing Amazon has opened a bookstore in Seattle to discover exactly what they killed decades ago.
Binge Reading
Most of us know people who will use a service like Netflix to watch episode after episode of the same television show. Apparently something similar can occur with books.
Buy a Read, Get a Ride

In a country where people read just two books per year, L&PM Editores, Brazil's largest trade paper publisher, bound RFID chips in certain titles (The Great Gatsby, Sherlock Holmes, etc.). The chips can be used for ten subway trips and can be recharged. Even cooler, the covers are designed to look like subway maps.
Carmen Sandiego Is Back
HMH has released an app for iOs and Android that revives the story and play of the Carmen Sandiego brand, originally released 30 years ago for PCs.
International Publisher Scores Domestically
Open Letter Books, a publisher of international literature, discovered a title at Frankfurt that put them on the map locally.
Free Short Stories
Grenoble, France, has installed eight kiosks in their downtown area that dispense free
printed short stories in one, three, and five minute lengths. The content is supplied by an app called Short Edition with 140,000 users who share their writing.
Final Thought
The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency -- the belief that the here and now is all there is.”
Allan Bloom
Archived Grub Street newsletters can be found at

Blog Archive