Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Briefs: Johnson's Book on Shakespeare Delayed or Cancelled, and More

Publishers Lunch

Newly appointed UK foreign secretary and Brexit campaign leader Boris Johnson's forthcoming book on Shakespeare, scheduled for release on November 15 from Hodder & Stoughton and Riverhead, will not be published this year, and may not be published at all according to the Daily Mail. They report Johnson "is believed to be having to pay back a £500,000 advance" to Hodder & Stoughton having "conceded he doesn’t have the time" to write the book. A spokesperson for Riverhead put it differently, writing: "In light of his new responsibilities in the UK, Boris Johnson will be unable to complete his book on Shakespeare in time for Riverhead's fall publication," adding when pressed for clarification that, "as of now the book will not be published for the foreseeable future."

On Friday, Amazon set the pool that pays retroactively for Kindle Unlimited reads during June to $15.4 million (compared to $15.3 million in May), while the payment rate dropped considerably, to $.00412 per "normalized" page (compared to $.00468 for May). The pool is at its highest level, but the per page rate is at its lowest point since January, when it was also $.00412. And that was before the February revision to the company's page-normalizing methodology that appeared to increase the size of a normalized page. (Meaning that, across a full book, $.00412/page in June adds up to less than money than $.00412/page in January did.) For the first six months of 2016, the KU pool has paid out $89.5 million.

In related info, Data Guy from Author Earnings followed up his Digital Book World debut with an appearance at the RWA event in San Diego, presenting information about romance books and authors. His analysis suggests that
romance titles comprise 4.4 percent of print unit sales as measured by Nielsen Bookscan, but 45 percent of Kindle ebook unit sales (including both paid downloads and KU reads).

Judy Feiffer, 87, who "fostered bestselling memoirs by two fledgling authors,
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford, died on June 27 at home in Manhattan, just reported on by the NYT.

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