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Publishing Industry

July 20, 2007 | From Reuters
Even Jane Austen would have trouble finding a publisher today, a struggling author said Thursday. David Lassman sent 18 publishers assorted chapters from Austen novels in which he changed only the titles and the names of the characters. He called himself Alison Laydee after Austen's early pseudonym "A Lady." Seventeen publishers rejected or ignored his bid for literary glory. Only one spotted the ruse and told him not to mimic "Pride and Prejudice" so closely.
July 6, 2007 | Scott Timberg, Times Staff Writer
The notorious ghost-written O.J. Simpson book, "If I Did It," left for dead after it sparked the closing of Judith Regan's publishing imprint and a PR disaster for parent company HarperCollins, seemed to have a shot at a second life earlier this week when the family of the slain Ronald Lyle Goldman purchased the book from a court-appointed bankruptcy trust. They then announced their intention of publishing it under the title "Confessions of a Double Murderer."
June 8, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A federal judge has ordered a self-published author to cease an Internet vendetta in which he has accused bestselling crime novelist Patricia Cornwell of plagiarism, bribery, anti-Semitism and even plotting to have him murdered. Those claims are among 45 specific lies that Leslie R. Sachs has spread about Cornwell, Judge Norman K. Moon said in this week's order granting Cornwell's motion for a permanent injunction.
June 6, 2007 | Josh Getlin, Times Staff Writer
A biographer of Jack Kerouac blasted Viking Penguin on Tuesday for allegedly removing his name and all references to his work from its books about the late author as part of a vendetta against him by the executor of Kerouac's estate. In a Manhattan news conference, Gerald Nicosia, author of "Memory Babe," said Viking Penguin had bowed to executor John Sampas' wishes and removed Nicosia's name from books it is publishing on Kerouac and the Beat Generation.
June 4, 2007 | Hillel Italie, Associated Press
No releases attained sudden fame at BookExpo America, which ended Sunday, although booksellers and publishers praised such fall titles as Richard Russo's novel, "Bridge of Sighs," and anticipated Alan Greenspan's memoir, "The Age of Turbulence." There was little discussion about "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," coming out July 21, but such books seem beyond mere conversation, like trying to "buzz" the moon and the stars.
June 2, 2007 | From the Associated Press
For the foreseeable future, book sales are looking flat. According to the latest report from the Book Industry Study Group, released Friday, dollar sales and the number of books sold will increase by small levels through 2011, rising by 3% or less each year. The book business totaled $35.7 billion in 2006, a 3% increase over the previous year. The number of books sold rose to 3.1 billion, an increase of just 0.5%.
May 31, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Two agentless authors will have novels out this fall after winning a contest sponsored by Simon & Schuster, Borders Group Inc. and the social media website Terry Shaw, 44, came in first for "The Way Life Should Be," a mystery set in coastal Maine. Only one winner was planned, but judges decided to award a publishing deal to the second-place book, 30-year-old Geoffrey Edwards' "Fire Bell in the Night," a thriller set in the antebellum South.
May 11, 2007 | From the Associated Press
The Perseus Books Group will lay off more than a quarter of its staff and shut down two imprints. Thursday's announcement came in the wake of Perseus' acquisition of the Avalon Publishing Group in March. With a motto of "Insightful, Innovative, Independent," Perseus runs some of the leading independent presses, including Basic Books, PublicAffairs and Da Capo Press, and has a history of releasing literary and topical works.
April 17, 2007 | Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writer
This city will remain a two-newspaper town -- for now -- under a deal reached Monday by the Blethen family, which controls the Seattle Times, and the Hearst Corp., publishers of the smaller Seattle Post-Intelligencer. But even as Times publisher Frank Blethen announced a settlement in a bitter 4-year-old legal dispute over the papers' joint operating agreement, he said he doubted the deal would be a permanent solution to keep both papers operating.
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