Posts Tagged ‘Motoko Rich’


National Book Awards

November 19, 2009

Motoko Rich brings us the winners of the National Book Awards:

Colum McCann won the National Book Award for fiction on Wednesday night for “Let the Great World Spin,” a novel featuring a sprawling cast of characters in 1970s New York City whose lives are ineluctably touched by the mysterious tightrope walker who traverses a wire suspended between the Twin Towers one morning.

In accepting the award, the Irish-born Mr. McCann, now a teacher of creative writing at Hunter College, said, “As fiction writers and people who believe in the word, we have to enter the anonymous corners of human experience to make that little corner right.” The book was published by Random House.

In the nonfiction category, T. J. Stiles won for “The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt,” a biography of the man who fathered a dynasty, presided over a railroad empire and, in the words of the judging panel, “all but invented unbridled American capitalism” ….

…. Perhaps the most moving moment of the night came with the presentation of the award for Young People’s Literature, which went to Phillip Hoose for “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” a biography of Ms. Colvin, who as an African-American teenager in 1950s Montgomery, Ala., refused to give up her seat on a bus nine months before Rosa Parks took the same stand.

Mr. Hoose brought Ms. Colvin onto the stage to accept the award. “My job was to pull someone who was about to disappear under history’s rug,” he said. The book was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Additionally, Keith Waldrop snagged the poetry award for Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy (Univ. of California Press); Dave Eggers took home the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, which recognized his efforts for 826 National, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young writers. Gore Vidal received the award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and apparently gave a cryptic acceptance speech.



Not everything is bleak …

January 28, 2009

The headline for Motoko Rich’s NYT article says it all: “Self-Publishers Flourish as Writers Pay the Tab“:

As traditional publishers look to prune their booklists and rely increasingly on blockbuster best sellers, self-publishing companies are ramping up their title counts and making money on books that sell as few as five copies, in part because the author, rather than the publisher, pays for things like cover design and printing costs.

In 2008, Author Solutions, which is based in Bloomington, Ind., and operates iUniverse as well as other print-on-demand imprints including AuthorHouse and Wordclay, published 13,000 titles, up 12 percent from the previous year.

This month, the company, which is owned by Bertram Capital, a private equity firm, bought a rival, Xlibris, expanding its profile in the fast-growing market. The combined company represented 19,000 titles in 2008, nearly six times more than Random House, the world’s largest publisher of consumer books, released last year.

In 2008, nearly 480,000 books were published or distributed in the United States, up from close to 375,000 in 2007, according to the industry tracker Bowker. The company attributed a significant proportion of that rise to an increase in the number of print-on-demand books.

How ’bout this? I’ll just leave that out there for y’all to talk about.



Doubleday layoffs: Nothing to do with Dan Brown

November 3, 2008

Paul Constant writes at Slog:

Did Dan Brown’s inability to write the sequel to The Da Vinci Code cause a 16-person layoff at Doubleday earlier this week? …. A Doubleday spokesman denied it, which of course makes me think it’s true.

Sorry, but there’s no brilliant analysis to go with that. But Motoko Rich has a few of the details for the New York Times.

Get writin’, people! Publishing company employees everywhere need you!



More on Seltzer

March 8, 2008

More on Margaret Seltzer story: