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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: hollywood producers, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. The importance of keeping the traditonal book in paperback and hardback forms

Rubbishing those who hail the digital age as the end for books, book publishers industry players and best-selling authors on Saturday hailed a new dawn for publishing, with India’s voracious readers at its forefront.

Book sales have been squeezed in recent years by e-books and the huge success of Amazon.Com’s Kindle reader, but India’s booming book publishers market is proof of the physical book’s staying power, said participants at Asia’s largest literary event, the DSC Jaipur Literary Festival.

“You read something on Twitter and you know it is ephemeral,” said Patrick French, a best-selling historian and biographer who has written extensively on Asia. “Yet the book is a solid thing. The book endures.”

Regional language novelists and poets rubbed shoulders with Nobel laureates and Booker Prize winners at the seventh festival to be held in the historical pink-tinged city of Jaipur, the capital of India’s northwestern Rajasthan state.

Hundreds of book lovers attended a debate on the fate of printed books in the sun-drenched grounds of a former palace as part of the free five-day event.

“The idea of the book dying comes up all the time. It’s wrong. I think this is a wonderful time for books, to enlarge the audience of the book and draw in more readers,” said John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of the Penguin Group of publishers.

“Books matter more in India than anywhere else we publish them,” added Makinson, whose Penguin Group is one of the world’s largest English-language book publishers.

While book sales slip in most western countries, the non-academic book market in India is currently growing at a rate of 15 to 18 percent annually, as rapid economic growth swells literacy rates and adds millions to the middle class every year.

At the festival, schoolchildren from around the country chased their authorly heroes through the lunch queues to get autographs on newly-purchased books.

Makinson noted that the pressure on physical bookshops in countries like the United States — where bookseller Borders Group Inc is in talks to secure a $500 million credit line — doesn’t exist in India, adding that books have a key role to play in Indian society.

“In India books define and create the social conversation amongst christian book publishers and children’s book publishers. In China, the books that sell well are self-improvement titles. Popular books in India are of explanations, explaining the world. The inquisitive nature of India is unique.”

Indian critic Sunil Sethi, who presents India’s most popular television program on books, said the digital age presented an opportunity, rather than a threat, for printed matter. “Even before I finish my show, the authors are on Twitter to say they are on TV talking about their book. Technology is merging things, but the book is still at the center,” Sethi said.

French agreed that technology, if well-managed, could actually help win books new friends and wider sales.

“Digital e-books have created a space for discussion. Books now have websites and forums, and so reading books on electronic devices has created communities and interaction,” he said.

Nearly 50,000 writers, critics, publishers and fans are expected to attend the festival.

2. What’s going on with Borders?

For the book publishers and authors perspective, Borders was once a worthy rival to Barnes & Noble. Perhaps even bigger than B&N. The two brick-and-mortar chain bookstores were able to offer better prices than independent bookstores and drove many out of business. But that was before the success of Amazon and other online retailers brought the phrase “brick and mortar” into regular use — and once that happened, everything changed; indeed many UK book publishers watched in horror last year the UK divison of Borders hit the wall.

Barnes & Noble, if buffeted by Amazon’s success, has remained afloat; Borders has been taking on water.

On Dec. 30 Borders announced it would not make payments owed to some publishers, without specifying whom. Hachette confirmed that it was among those who would not be paid by Borders.

Borders has nearly 200 Waldenbooks and Borders Express outlets slated for closure before the month of January is out. Additional Borders stores are also set to close, including Westwood’s.

Borders is also cutting back on staff. On Wednesday, Borders announced that it would close a distribution center in Tennessee, eliminating more than 300 jobs; 15 management positions were eliminated Friday. And the resignation of two top executives — the chief information officer and general counsel — was announced at the beginning of 2011.

Meanwhile, Borders is seeking to restructure its debt like the frantic chess of a brutal endgame. On Thursday, Borders met with publishers and proposed that the payments owed by the bookseller be reclassified as a loan, as part of that refinancing. “But on Friday, publishers remained skeptical of the proposal put forth by Borders,” the New York Times reports. “One publisher said that the proposal was not enough to convince the group that Borders had found a way to revive its business, and that they were less optimistic than ever that publishers could return to doing business with Borders.”

Nevertheless, Borders — which lost money in the first three quarters of 2010 — remains the second-largest bookstore chain by revenue. Its loss would have a significant effect on book publishers across the United States.

Investors, however, seem cheered by the recent news swirling around Borders. Shares rose 12% on Thursday after reports that the bookseller was close to securing financing.

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3. BATMAN GOES WEST TO HOLLYWOOD

DC Comics multimedia heads to Burbank, California! (*DC publishing to stay in Gotham)

After months of swirling relocation rumors, DC Comics on Tuesday clarified the self-publishing picture for us all:

DC the comics media empire will geographically divide its operations and go bicoastal.

DC Entertainment, in its effort to integrate its “business, brand and characters into Warner Bros. Entertainment content and distribution operations,” will move its multimedia and digital-content operations to Southern California. Specifically: good ol’ Burbank, USA.

DCE’s publishing, though, will stay in New York — continuing, the company said, its “75-plus year legacy of leadership in the comic book arena.”

“These organizational changes reinforce the strengths of DC’s greatest legacies – most importantly its people and its creative talent – and offer greater opportunity for maximum growth, success and efficiency in the future,” DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson said in announcing the realignment Tuesday.

“Our two offices,” she continued, “will stretch and build their respective areas of focus, while prioritizing and aggressively striving to connect and cooperate more strongly than ever before between them and with their colleagues at Warner Bros.”

Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said that the realignment “allows us to fully integrate and expand the DC brand in feature films as well as across multiple distribution platforms of Warner Bros. and Time Warner,” according to the news release, which noted that Nelson reports to Robinov.

The Burbank relocation — which is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year — will involve DCE businesses “related to the development and production of feature films, television, digital media, book publishers, video games and consumer products as well as the company’s administrative functions,” the news release said.

DC’s biggest box-office success has been 2008′s “The Dark Knight,” which grossed $533-million domestically, according to boxofficemojo.com.

Some Hollywood observers cite fierce competition between DC and Marvel. Marvel’s two “Iron Man” films have grossed more than $600-million combined domestically and its “Spider-Man” trilogy has grossed more than $1.1-billion. A little more than a year ago, Disney announced it had acquired Marvel for $4-billion.

Tuesday’s news release noted that besides Nelson, the management team responsible for self-publishing and guiding the DCE realignment is Geoff Johns, chief creative officer; John Rood, executive vice president, sales, marketing and business development; and DC Comics’ co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio.

It was also being reported that DCE was shuttering its Wildstorm imprint. and that there would be significant layoffs.

Reached earlier Tuesday about the likely impending move, comics legend Joe Kubert and book publisher told Comic Riffs: “In today’s world, distance is

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4. McCanns sign book publishing deal on Madeleine’s disappearance ‎with Random House UK

The parents of Madeleine McCann are writing a book about their daughter’s disappearance and their so-far unsuccessful efforts to trace her.

A deal has been signed with book publishers Transworld which is an imprint of Random House UK. Few details have been revealed but Kate and Gerry McCann are receiving a “substantial” advance and “enhanced royalties” which gives the couple a bigger than normal share of the profits from sales.

The book is already part-written. Kate McCann said it had been a difficult decision but the money it raised would go directly to the McCanns’ official fund to look for Madeleine.

“My reason for writing is simple – to give an account of the truth,” she said. “With the depletion of Madeleine’s Fund, it is a decision that has virtually been taken out of our hands.”

Hopeful

Gerry McCann said he was hopeful the publication would help the ongoing efforts to find out what had happened to their daughter, who went missing from their holiday apartment in the Portugese resort of Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007, as her parents dined with friends nearby.

“Our hope is that it may prompt those who have relevant information – knowingly or not – to come forward and share it with our team. Somebody holds that key piece of the jigsaw.”

The book publisher, Bill Scott-Kerr of Transworld, is more than happy with the deal and sees the book – expected to retail at £20 – as a big seller.

“It is an enormous privilege to be publishing this book” he said. “We are so pleased to be joining Kate and Gerry McCann in the Find Madeleine campaign.”

There are also expected to be newspaper serialisations around the publication date, believed to be 28 April 2011 which would coincide with the fourth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.

The official Portuguese inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

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5. Richard Branson’s ‘Pet Project’ Set to revolutionize book and magazine publishing on Apple, Inc’s iPad Tablet

Richard Branson’s Virgin Digital Book Publishing company on Tuesday launched “Project,” a digital lifestyle magazine, exclusively for distribution on the Apple iPad.

The magazine, which will reportedly feature multimedia content, will be priced at US$2.99 an issue.

This is the second digital magazine created exclusively for the iPad announced by a major company; the first was “The Daily,” from News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWS), which is scheduled to be launched next year.

Will Virgin’s endorsement of the iPad as a publishing platform undermine publishers’ consortium Next Issue Media, which is trying to squeeze Apple by launching a digital newsstand on the Android platform early next year?

The Book Publishing Project Has Landed

“Project” was created jointly by Virgin Group and UK multimedia book publisher Seven Squared. It’s a monthly magazine that will change as often as minute-by-minute to give readers up-to-date news.

The publication is based around design, entertainment, technology and entrepreneurs. It will have its own staff, and it will also encourage contributions from the public.

“Project” is edited by Anthony Noguera, formerly editorial director of men’s lifestyle magazines at H. Bauer, the largest privately owned publisher in Europe. The publication’s art director is Che Storey, formerly of Arena and Men’s Health magazines.

The cover story for the first issue focuses on Jeff Bridges. Other subjects include Yamauchi Kazanori, the developer behind the “Gran Turismo” game series.

“Project” claims to have landed top-flight advertisers, including Lexus, American Express (NYSE: AXP), Panasonic, Ford UK and Ford Canada.

Readers Heart Digital

Consumers apparently love their tablets — an online survey of more than 1,800 consumers conducted by Harrison Group and Zinio in September found that 13 percent of consumers are interested in buying a tablet-based device within the next 12 months.

The survey also found that 55 percent of tablet and e-reader owners who read digital content are consuming more digital content than they expected, and that 33 percent are spending more on buying digital content.

That led the Harrison Group to forecast sales of more than 20 million tablets and e-readers next year.

“This is a continuation of the trend in that you’ve got a whole host of devices that are receptacles for Internet-based content,” Frank Dickson, a vice president of research at In-Stat, told MacNewsWorld. “You’re seeing reconfiguring of content, which is already in digital form for another medium, whether it’s the iPad, the Nook, the Kindle or the smartphone,” he added.

“Before the iPad, book publishers tended to think they had to choose whether consumers wanted to read content in print or in digital format,” Jeanniey Mullen, a spokesperson for Zinio, told MacNewsWorld. “Now they’re finding people may love print, but they want digital access as well so they can take their digital device with them and read on the go.”

The Agony and the Ecstasy of the iPad

The iPad has forced the publishing industry to take digital media seriously, Mullen said.

“When the iPad came out in April, it was the first time that the publishing industry began committing design and strategic resources to building up digital readership,” Mullen explained.

Strong consumer demand has made the iPad the spea

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