Was interested to see news of this recent survey from author Marie Force about readers – how they read, what they like and how they find it. Besides writing for the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal, the energetic Ms. Force writes contemporary romances and helps authors with self-publishing. This survey is about popular reading but there are some aspects it is wise to note! Nearly 3,000 readers responded to this survey during the month of June. Readers said they preferred ebooks to paperbacks but read in multiple formats and many are still looking for the book of their choice in paperback. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed say they pay “no attention” to who publishes a book and/or “it doesn’t matter” to them. Thirty three percent pay “some attention” to who the publisher is whereas 4 percent say the publisher’s seal of approval “matters” to them. Thirty-three percent said typos don’t bother them at all while only 8 percent said bad editing will cost an author a reader for life. Twenty-seven percent said they’d give an author another chance if the editing in the first book isn’t good whereas 24 percent said “typos drive me mad.” Fifty-two percent said that if they want a book badly enough, they don’t care what it costs. Twenty-two percent said they will not pay more than $4.99 for a book. These are just a very few of the results. Check them out at: http://e-
Speaking of who publishes a book, yesterday I read an interesting book review of Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux by Boris Kachka who worked at FSG for 18 years. Straus sold his majority stake in the company in 1996 to Holtzbrinck. I have ordered this book. It is a fascinating account of a great publishing house that very much cared about its writers and had an incredible stable of famous authors (Tom Wolf, Susan Sontag, Ken Kesey, Alice McDermott, Robert Pinsky, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Scott Turow, and on and on and on. I guess I am unusual, because I always look at the publishing house when I look at a new book. I think it’s the librarians’ way. Right? I think I will ask that as an “I Wonder Wednesday” question this week!
See “Books Bound to Please” by Paul Elie.
Moving right along, as we all have heard, Congress is conducting hearings regarding the copyright law, intellectual property issues and the like even as we speak. Groups representing the movie, music and photography industries testified before Congress on Thursday, and called on the government to consider changing laws to do more to address piracy and file-sharing. The testimony, which took place before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, is part of a larger review by Congress of America’s copyright policy. The review is significant because it will help shape the rules for culture and creativity on the Internet in coming decades.
The proceedings included a gimmick in which members of Congress saw a movie clip of various 3D content, followed by a warning that such creativity could be snuffed out without stronger laws: ”If an environment exists that does not provide adequate copyright protection and blockbuster films become unaffordable and unprofitable due to the threat of piracy, this new and thriving 3D industry will be significantly hampered,” studio executive William Sherak told the subcommittee. The industry groups also repeatedly invoked “fair use creep” to claim that copyright is being undermined by a long-standing legal rule that lets people make free use of creative works for purposes like scholarship or reporting. The phrase, however, drew mockery from many in the peanut gallery. Was glad to hear that the awesomely learned Lolly Gasaway was one of the first experts interviewed by the committee on May 16. Have you bought Lolly’s Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals? Filled with much useful and needed clarification on many of the important issues!