Jeremy Greenfield, Contributor
12/30/2013 @ 2:25PM
At Digital Book World, we track a weekly list of ebook best-sellers. I’ve counted up how many times each publisher has had a hit and, bingo, an end-of-year ranking of which publishers had the most success publishing ebooks in 2013:
1. Penguin Random House — 478 best-sellers*
2. Hachette — 258 best-sellers
3. Self-published — 99 best-sellers [emphasis added]
4. HarperCollins — 91 best-sellers
5. Simon & Schuster — 72 best-sellers
See the rest of the top ebook publishers in 2013.
Aside from the dominance of Penguin Random House, the obvious story is the success of self-publishing. Indie authors not only managed to hit the list 99 times in 2013, they managed four No. 1 best-sellers: Best-Selling Ebooks in 2013: Safe Haven, Inferno Lead Pack.
Read more here.
Hmm…what do you think? I’ve highlighted my favorites, which is not to say I necessarily agree with them:
Publishers create or license their own e-reading apps.
Public libraries will increasingly buy access to large aggregations of ebooks.
Publisher margins will be under pressure.
Number of non-bookstores selling books will increase.
More publishers will start to sell ebooks directly to readers.
Self-publishing will continue to grow even as ebook sales at publishers stagnate.
Amazon will continue to expand into publishing books.
Shift to tablets and smartphones will have a negative effect on ebook sales.
Read the full article here.
Oakland librarian collects ephemera left behind
Nobody knows how long the story of yearning and regret, hope and romance had been hidden away inside a book at the Oakland library, but there it was – a melancholy slice of two lives – spelled out on yellowed paper.
“Remember, I love u sweetheart,” said the blunt pencil lettering on the back side of an old flyer. “The past is the past, so let’s not Take it home with us. I just want to love u, and be happy.”
For decades librarians at Oakland’s main library have collected the scraps of paper ephemera left behind in returned books, shoved into nooks in the library shelves or secretly slipped to librarians.
The collection ranges from half-done to-do lists to childish notes about gossip and crushes passed in the hush of the library children’s room. There are letters of adult love and tragic scrawlings of lonely longing, perhaps used as bookmarks in pulpy romance novels.
The most compelling library scraps, she said, are both beautiful and perplexing, like the black-and-white postcard/bookmark of a couple embracing.
“Lynn,” the note from Frank on the back of the postcard begins, “this picture always makes me think of love and that always makes me think of you.”
But Frank seems both conflicted and moved by the warmth of the pictured couple’s embrace.
“They seem to have a couple habits we no longer share, but the most strong we certainly do – because I love you. Happy Valentines Day.”
The intrigue and mystery of the note is thrilling, McKellar said.
“You don’t know who used this as a bookmark, Frank or Lynn,” McKellar said. “Was their romance dead and this meant nothing, or did it mean a lot and they wanted to always have it with them?”
December 27, 2013
Man Against Nature
By HENRY GIARDINA
An American Life
By Earle Labor
Illustrated. 461 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $30.
“The superficial reader will get the love story & the adventure,” Jack London wrote, in 1903, of the story that would become “The Sea-Wolf,” “while the deeper reader will get all of this, plus the bigger thing lying underneath.” These are the typically blunt words of a writer who seemed to think of his work in terms of purchase value. Here, he might have been describing his own life: much adventure, a sort of love story, a weird bang of a finish. In a new biography by the London scholar Earle Labor, the “bigger thing” has a harder time coming out: Perhaps it doesn’t exist.
As a rollicking, turn-of-the-century tale in his own style, the London story reads well. Born in 1876, London was the illegitimate child of a philandering astrologist (who later, in a creative move, denied paternity by claiming impotence). He came of age in a golden era of political corruption, when the octopus of the Southern Pacific Railroad monopoly still held the West Coast in its grip. Growing up, he found himself in places where human cruelty flourished, was formed by witness to it and developed a rare aptitude for conveying it in fiction. By the age of 22, he’d worked as an oyster pirate, served time in prison, ridden the rails as a tramp, joined a seal-hunting schooner bound for Japan, marched with Coxey’s army of the unemployed and searched for gold in the Klondike rush. In an effort to make a go at writing (the goal of which, ironically, was to help him avoid a life of hard labor), he turned these firsthand experiences into profitable novels and stories, among them the brilliant “The Sea-Wolf,” “The Call of the Wild,” “Martin Eden” and the nonfiction “The People of the Abyss.” By his mid-30s, he’d established himself as one of the most popular storytellers in a genre he helped create: a particularly violent style of naturalism in which one man battles the cruel, capricious ways of both human nature and Mother Nature, and often loses. By 40, he’d settled at his Beauty Ranch in Glen Ellen, Calif., where he would feast for a time on a two-mallard-a-day diet (a delicacy) before dying of uremia in November 1916.
I’ve just submitted THIS MOMENT, my contribution to an anthology called THE KISS, which is coming out in February. THIS MOMENT is a Scottish time travel that I’m planning to develop into a series. I’m very excited about the anthology, which will include work of some author friends whose writing I admire.
If you’re on my mailing list, you’ve already received an advance reading copy. 🙂
This is such a great concept. Watch for it March 18, 2014.