NYT Article on Indie Bookstores Shared With Millions of Twitter Followers
The thriving status of independent bookstores in the U.S. is compared to indies in other European countries in the February 25 New York Times article “Assessing the Health of Independent Bookstores.” American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher told the Times: “The enthusiasm and optimism is pretty staggering. Despite all the quantum leaps in technology, the fact is nothing beats a physical, bricks-and-mortar store to discover books that you didn’t know about.”
Roxane Gay, author of 2014 bestseller Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial), shared the article with her 56.5 million Twitter followers and gave shout-outs to 20 of her favorite independent bookstores.
Her initial tweet, “Think independent bookstores are dying out? Think again. 27% growth since 2009!”, was re-tweeted hundreds of times and followed by a live-tweeting rundown of her favorite stores to visit, including The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington; Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Iowa; Von’s in West Lafayette, Indiana; and Bookbug in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
SFWA Announces 2014 Nebula Award Nominees
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced its 2014 Nebula Award nominees on February 20. The association also released the nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, which awards prizes for film, and the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
The 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, which is open to both SFWA members and non-members, will be held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois, June 4 – 7, and will feature tours and workshops for writers.
Voting opens for all SFWA Active members on March 1 and closes on March 30.
Poets & Writers Introduces Local Mobile App
On Monday, Poets & Writers introduced its Poets & Writers Local mobile app, which provides on-the-go information on the latest literary events going about across the country.
The app will provide smartphone users with information on hundreds of literary events, including book signings, readings, and poetry slams, and will serve as a tool for event coordinators.
“We undertook this project in response to writers who told us that connecting with others in their community is one of their primary needs,” said Elliot Figman, Poets & Writers executive director. “Writing can be a lonely endeavor. For many, plugging into a community is essential to sustaining a writing practice over the long haul.”
The Local app is available for Apple and Android smartphones.
PEN Releases 2015 Literary Awards Calendar
PEN American Center has announced its 2015 Literary Awards calendar and the names of this year’s judges.
PEN’s awards announcements and ceremony will take place earlier than in previous years: Longlist candidates will be announced March 17 and the shortlist will be revealed April 15. The list of winners will be made public May 13, with the awards ceremony set for June 8.
Each year, with the help of its supporters, PEN awards nearly $150,000 to writers of fiction, science and sports writing, children’s literature, drama, and poetry, among other literary categories.
Young People Prefer Print Books to Digital, Washington Post Reports
Young people prefer to do their pleasure or educational reading from printed books, according to a February 22 article in the Washington Post.
Textbook makers, bookstore owners, and college student surveys indicate that millennials — the digital generation that grew up on e-books, e-readers, and tablets — demonstrate this preference, according to the Post, while Pew studies show that the highest print readership rates are among those ages 18 to 29.
The article cites American University linguist Naomi S. Baron’s 2015 book Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World (Oxford University Press), which examines university students’ preferences for print and explains the science behind why print is often superior to digital.
In her research on digital communication, Baron found that distraction increases and comprehension suffers with digital reading in part because screens are easier to skim.
May 2 Announced as First Canadian Authors for Indies Day
Canadian writers have mobilized to make May 2 Canadian Authors for Indies Day, the Toronto Star reported.
So far, every province and territory in Canada except Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, have scheduled events where writers will team up with their local independent bookstores to do readings, signings, or other activities to encourage people to come out and buy books.
The movement, which springs from a similar campaign in the United States begun in 2013 by author Sherman Alexie, hopes to increase foot traffic in stores, according to the Star.
Lerner Publishing Group Acquires Egmont USA’s List
Egmont Publishing has inked an agreement to sell its remaining assets in the U.S. to Lerner Publishing Group. In January, Egmont Publishing International announced its plans to close its U.S. offices.
“I am delighted to be able to confirm that we have found a home for our authors with one of the U.S.’s largest independently owned children’s publishers,” Egmont Publishing International CEO Rob McMenemy said in a statement Wednesday. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our authors and agents for their support during this transition.”
All titles on Egmont’s U.S. list will be folded into Lerner’s publishing imprints, including Carolrhoda Books, Carolrhoda Lab, Darby Creek, and Millbrook Press.
The eight remaining titles on Egmont’s 2015 Winter List will be distributed by Random House until April 30. After that time, Lerner will take over publication and distribution of all Egmont frontlist and backlist titles.