February 23, 2006

The Vatican Copyright?
Frances D’Emilio reported recently for the Associated Press that the Vatican is demanding that individuals “respect [the] copygiht of the pontiff’s writings and pay for their use.” The question arises: How can an institution that wants to spread its teachings demand royalties for what amounts to dogmatic teachings, as in Pope Benedict’s first encyclical God Is Love, a best seller.

Book Standard Launches Sales Service
Let’s say you want to know how your book’s sales are moving—or that of a friend or enemy. You can get the information on a pay-for-play basis from Nielsen BookScan, which formerly operatedon a subscription basis.

BBA Shortlists Out
In a month, the British Book Awards, which it calls the Oscars of the publishing industry, will present a variety of awards to authors of 2005 in 12 categories, such as the Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year and the W.H. Smith Book of the Year.

The big story could be the event. Grosvenor House, the hotel hosting the event, has requested an “exclusion zone” between Piers Morgan and Jeremy Clarkson. The authors have feuded publicly—resorting to fists two years ago.

Benefits of Self-Censorship
“Self-censorship isn’t an enitrely useless faculty: it’s part of the wider set of restraints that can help brash, in-your-face cultures from toppling into utter incontinence.” That’s how Jeremy Harding, contributing editor of the London Review and author of the soon to be release Mother Country, reacts to the furor about the Muhammad cartoons and the cries for protection of freedom of expression.

Why Another Imprint
Juliet Annan writes in the Telegraph: “We are always being told that there are far too many books, and publishers ought to publisher fewer. The big book chains are reducing the range of titles they carry. Celebrity biographies and Dan Brown dominate the bestseller lists. It is harder for small publishers to succeed when they have to contend with th emight of the chains and comnpetition from major publishers.” Read on; there’s hope.

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