Tag Archives | Book Publishing

Scientists Convert A 53,000-Word Book Into DNA

Peter Pachal reports for Mashable:

In a scientific first, Harvard University researches successfully transformed a 53,426-word book into DNA, the same substance that provides the genetic template for all living things. The achievement could eventually lead to the mass adoption of DNA as a long-term storage medium.

Published Thursday in the journal Science, the experiment aimed to demonstrate the viability of storing large amounts of data on DNA molecules. Since the data is recorded on individual nucleobase pairs in the DNA strand (those adenine-guanine/cytosine-thymine pairs you may be straining to remember from high school biology), DNA can actually store more information per cubic millimeter than flash memory or even some experimental storage techs, IEEE Spectrum reports.

The difficulty is in the translation — both to DNA and back again (summarized in the diagram below). The researchers started with the book’s content, which included the text as well as 11 images and a javascript program, and converted it to binary code.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

On Sale Now: Books With Disappearing Ink

Personally I like to go back to my books and find the text still there, but apparently books whose text disappears in two months are a hit. Louise Goddard reports for The Verge:

Ad agency Draftcb has won gold at the Cannes PR Lions for an innovative publishing concept, using disappearing ink to print books that gradually fade away over the course of two months. Dubbed “The Book That Can’t Wait,” the format — an intriguing one in a world increasingly dominated by Kindles and Nooks — is being pioneered by independent Argentinian publishing house Eterna Cadencia, which is using it to promote new authors. As the promo video (below) points out, “if people don’t read their first books, they’ll never make it to a second.”

The specially-developed ink used in the books works via a chemical process, starting to disappear…

Continue Reading

Spanish Author Quits Writing, Claims More Copies Of Her Books Are Stolen Than Sold

Lucía Etxebarría. Photo: Xavier Thomas (http://photo75.online.fr)

Lucía Etxebarría. Photo: Xavier Thomas (http://photo75.online.fr)

Are things really so hopeless for writers? In Spain perhaps. Giles Tremlett reports for the Guardian (thanks to Mike for the tip):

An award-winning Spanish novelist claims that the illegal downloading of ebooks has forced her to give up writing and start looking for a new job.

“Given that I have today discovered that more illegal copies of my book have been downloaded than I have sold, I am announcing officially that I will not publish another book for a long time,” Lucía Etxebarria announced on her Facebook page.

Etxebarria told the Guardian that Spanish authors faced a difficult future as online piracy spreads from music and film to literature.

She pointed to Spain’s position at the top of the world rankings for per capita illegal downloads. “We come after China and Russia in the total number of illegal downloads but, obviously, there are a lot more of them so we win on a per capita measure,” she said.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Newest Kindle Has Mandatory Ads

KindleIs this the free market at work – or a horrible preview of things to come?

Amazon just announced a new $114 Kindle Wireless Reading Device — $25 cheaper than any other model — but it comes with a big catch.

It’s the Kindle “with special offers,” showing sophisticated advertisements in the screensavers, along with shopping discounts which display at the bottom of the screen.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Author Offers Shares Of Himself On Stock Exchange

Photo Dennis Doyle

Photo Dennis Doyle

Alison Flood writing in the Guardian:

Publicity might be the lifeblood of the book trade these days but author Cathal Morrow is going public in more ways than one with plans to float himself on the London Stock Exchange. Having previously wangled sponsorship from a private equity company to fund a year without lying – he’s writing up his exploits as the book Yes We Kant – Morrow is hopeful that patrons looking for a more unusual investment will back this latest project, Me Me Me Plc.

“Rather than one company owning part of the intellectual property of a project, a lot of people will own a smaller part of me,” he says. Morrow is offering a total of 30,000 shares in himself at £10 a piece (he’s retaining 30%, “the vital organs and so forth”). Because he’s not legally allowed to sell shares in himself, what investors are actually buying is a signed photo of the author, with the shares given for free.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

CIA Sues Former Agent

human factorThe book publishing world was thoroughly excited at the prospect of the Pentagon buying up entire print runs of books they wanted to suppress when it was revealed that Anthony Shaffer’s book Operation Dark Heart was the first of what the industry laughingly hoped was a trend. It seems the CIA wants to play things a little differently, however: the agency is suing Ishmael Jones for disclosures made in his book The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, as reported by Bill Gertz for the Washington Times:

The CIA has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against a former deep-cover agent who published a book critical of the agency without allowing CIA censors to remove large portions of the manuscript before publication.

Ishmael Jones, pen name for the 20-year CIA veteran and Arabic speaker who said he sought to expose corruption in the agency, is facing a civil lawsuit over his 2008 book, “The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture.”

The book is a detailed account of his career inside the CIA’s clandestine service and his work as a “nonofficial cover” operative in the Middle East and Europe.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Pentagon Tries To Stop Book By Buying All Copies

Thanks to Isaac Hils for this. As publishers, this story definitely appeals to us at disinformation: Authors with books the Pentagon wants to stop, take note! From the Guardian:

It’s every author’s dream – to write a book that’s so sensationally popular it’s impossible to find a copy in the shops, even as it keeps climbing up the bestseller lists.

And so it is for Anthony Shaffer, thanks to the Pentagon’s desire to buy up all 10,000 copies of the first printing of his new book, Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan — and The Path to Victory. And then pulp them.

The US defence department is scrambling to dispose of what threatens to be a highly embarrassing expose by the former intelligence officer of secret operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and of how the US military top brass missed the opportunity to win the war against the Taliban.

The department of defence is in talks with St Martin’s Press to purchase the entire first print run on the grounds of national security…

Continue Reading

The Highest Paid Authors of 2010

Dan who? James Patterson is king when it comes to making money from writing books (although I’m not sure he actually writes that much himself — a New York Times Magazine profile earlier this year says “with the help of his stable of co-authors, he published nine original hardcover books in 2009 and will publish at least nine more in 2010,” implying that most of the work is done by the co-authors). From Forbes:

Publishers are feeling the heat, with hardcover sales weak and the rise of e-books promising to upend their business models. But the world’s 10 top-earning authors are making out just fine, earning a combined $270 million over the 12 months to June 1.

James Patterson’s $70 million in earnings vaults him to No. 1 on our list, up from second place two years ago. The prolific thriller writer’s latest deal, signed last fall, involves penning a carpal tunnel-risking 17 books by the end of 2012 for an estimated $100 million.

Patterson’s literary empire includes television, comic book and gaming deals. His foreign sales alone bring in well over $10 million a year…

Continue Reading

Will Amazon Push Ads into eBooks?

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

A book editor at Houghton Mifflin argues ebook advertising is “coming soon to a book near you.” Report in the Wall Street Journal:

Amazon has filed a patent for advertisements on the Kindle, and the book editor joins with a business professor in today’s Wall Street Journal to make the case for advertisements in ebooks. Book sales haven’t increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks. According to another industry analyst, Amazon is being pressured to make ebook sales more profitable for publishers, party because Apple offers them more lucrative terms in Apple’s iBookstore. One technology site notes that Amazon’s preference seems to be keeping book prices low, and wonders whether consumers would accept advertising if it meant that new ebooks were then free?

Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has confused the issue even more by publishing a “shoppable” children’s storybook online – narrated by Harry Connick, Jr.

Read the rest

Continue Reading