Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Digital News: More Languages for Potter; Harris Turns Packager; and More
As promised, Pottermore has placed on sale French, Italian, Spanish and German editions of the Harry Potter ebooks.
Former book-to-film agent Nick Harris, who left ICM recently, is starting a new company with funding from his brother-in-law Jason Traub. In the vein of Alloy Entertainment and Full Fathom Five, The Story Foundation will create books in the packager model--saying they will split proceeds 50/50 "most of the time" with authors--and aims to develop those books as film/TV projects and for "other multi-platform opportunities." Harris tells Deadline he is already worked on five projects, based on his own ideas. "After parting ways with ICM, I literally flung myself into this. We'll pay writers, mainly in the young adult and high-concept commercial ideas, and we'll work closely with publishing agents to make a deal and we'll put money into the marketing over and above what the publisher is doing. We're hiring an editor who'll work with us on shaping a proposal, or even a full manuscript."
Start-up ebookseller Bilbary.com announced an agreement with the State Library of Kansas, under which the library will link to Bilbary for ebook sales. State librarian Joanne Budler says "we hope our relationship with Bilbary diminishes the intimidation publishers feel when interacting with libraries and improves mutual understanding to build a better dialogue – which will lead to improved understanding and policies." Commissions earned on such sales "will be given back to Bilbary to be used for developmental purposes...to create and improve its capabilities for Kansas patrons, while also paving the way for a rental model to be integrated." They hope to develop a model for "subsidized lending of e-books" in libraries. Bilbary is also developing a consumer rental model, offering loans for periods from 30 to 360 days.
Separately, the St. Paul Library system in Minnesota has become a beta tester for 3M's library ebook lending service.
Noted briefly yesterday, USA Today covers a collective of 11 romance authors who have created a branded identity--Rock*It Reads--that they hope will distinguish their books as "high-quality self-published works." and "signal to readers that they're getting a story that's been tended with the same level of attention and professionalism." With a joint website and newsletter, they will also cross-promote the members' books to their shared audience. The group is writing a Love Rocks column on Barnes & Noble's website to "highlight great romances and initiate conversation about self-pubbed romances as well as traditionally published."