Harper and Penguin publishing houses merge

The education and media publisher Pearson said the newly created joint venture, which will bring together writers Ken Follet, Terry Pratchett, EL James and 2012 Nobel prize winner Mo Yan, would be named Penguin Random House.

“Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers,” Pearson Chief Executive Marjorie Scardino said.

What does this mean for ebook publishing? Harper Collins  has a history of mucking up their Digital Media Rights (DMR) by limiting libraries by circulation  and raising prices…..will the same happen with this new publishing power house?  I am feeling cautious.

As cited :  New York Times Published: October 29, 2012 at 6:09 AM http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/10/29/business/29reuters-person-bertelsmann.html?_r=1&

‘Let It Snow’ to become a movie

This posting is in celebration of 199 more days until Christmas 2011…..those of my friends know of my love of of all things Christmas.

Paramount Pictures-based Fake Empire  movie production company has acquired the right to  Let it snow : three holiday romances ,  an anthology of three intersecting short stories by young-adult novelists John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. The script is to be written by Jordan Roter (fingers crossed that he will be true to the original  novel which so many of us have come to love).

In this charming trio of interconnected novellas, a massive snowstorm on Christmas Eve acts as a catalyst for romance in the lives of three teens. In Maureen Johnson’s tale, Jubilee Express, after Jubilee’s train becomes snowbound, she seeks shelter at a nearby Waffle House, along with a squad of hyper cheerleaders. In John Green’s story, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, a guy summons three friends to the Waffle House, where the combination of cheerleaders and cheesy waffles prompts big realizations. Finally, in Lauren Myracle’s entry, Patron Saint of Pigs, self-absorbed Addie atones for cheating on her boyfriend (who was stuck on Jubilee’s train) by proving she can be an angel for someone else, even if that someone is only a pet pig. Johnson’s playfulness, Green’s banter, and Myracle’s sincerity mesh well here, resulting in a collection that is imbued with optimism and warmth. The plotting is tight, and each end loosed by one author is tied up by another like a bright Christmas bow. It is a great read at anytime of year,  though one of my favorite books due to the team work of three creative young adult writers who tightly control their characters and setting  into one cohesive story.

No release date set for the film.

as cited from http://www.deadline.com/2011/05/paramount-and-fake-empire-buy-let-it-snow/

Reading between the lions…a redesign of the New York Public Library lion logo…..

Sketches that were drawn by staff of the New York Public Library in the process of designing a new lion logo.

The library lion has shed its shaggy mane for the digital age.

For the first time in at least a quarter century, the New York Public Libraryhas unveiled a new logo, this one designed to work both online and in print. Consisting of a profile of a lion inside a circle, it sheds the fussy detail of the old one. Instead, it uses bold, simple lines that evoke the style of stained-glass windows, woodcuts, or old printers’ marks.

The old logo of the New York Public Library, in use for over a quarter century, would lose detail when it was too small.The old logo of the New York Public Library would lose detail when it was too small.
The strong lines allow for the logo to be scaled to different sizes — a requirement in an age when people are as likely, if not more likely, to see a logo on their computer as they are in print. “It’s got to be able to work that small and that large,” explained Marc Blaustein, art director for the library system, who oversaw the creation of the logo. The old logo had a hard time maintaining its detail as it shrank, Mr. Blaustein said.

At the same time a logo can’t be overly simple. “If it gets too minimal, then it doesn’t have any energy,” said Brian Collins, a designer who has been involved with a number of logo redesigns, including one for Yahoo.

The New York Public Library unveiled a new lion logo, its first in at least a quarter-century.

The new logo has already been introduced on the library Web site and will be adopted eventually on library signs, library cards, and printed materials. (One hopes it will have a more positive response than the New York City taxi logo.)

The library started considering a redesign more than a year ago, in large part because it wanted to convey a more modern and digital-friendly image. The process also included adoption of a new color palette and a new typeface. Instead of going to an outside agency, the task fell to the library’s own staff. “This is an in-house product,” said Paul LeClerc, president of the library.

The logo started with a lion — specifically, Fortitude, the northern of the two lions that flank the steps to the main library, also known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The other lion is Patience.

(”It’s primarily based on Fortitude, but it’s a combination of both,” said Mr. Blaustein. “The angle is Fortitude, but some of the features are inspired by Patience.”)

While the lion had to be the focus, the conceptualization of the design was left open. “We explored dozens of concepts and did hundreds of drawings,” Mr. Blaustein said.

After searching through hundreds of typefaces, the staff settled on a sans-serif typeface called Kievit, which was designed by Michael Abbink in 2001. It was chosen in large part because it was contemporary and worked well on the Web and in print.

In contrast, there are fonts, such as Microsoft’s Verdana, that are designed to be screen-friendly. But the migration of some of these fonts into print, as in the case of the Ikea catalog, can be very controversial among typeface aficionados.

One enduring mystery: the origins of the old logo and its age. Mr. Blaustein said his search had turned up little about its history. “No one knows who designed it,” he said. Libraries excel at preserving history, but not always, it seems, their own.

As cited  from the New York TImes blog, November 9th, 2009, by Jennifer Lee http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/a-new-look-for-the-public-librarys-lion-logo/

The end of Gourmet magazine…..

Gourmet magazine.

New York mega publisher  Conde Nast has decided to cut four of its less profitable magazines. Most notable among them is the monthly Gourmet magazine.

Gourmet magazine chief editor is the culinary critic Ruth Reichl. It’s recipes and luscious photographs and is beloved by upscale foodies.  Its advertising revenues for the first six months of the year fell by more than 40 percent against last year. Elegant Bride, Modern Bride and Cookie, a lifestyle publication for mothers of young children, are also scheduled to be closed after suffering significant revenue losses.

Other Conde Nast publications, part of the Newhouse family’s media empire, such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and GQ remain untouched for now.    The Newhouse Family is  known for their largesse and pride toward the publications, and many of their editors have themselves become celebrities, such as  the fashion arbiter of Vogue, Anna Wintour, who’s inspired a documentary, a novel and a movie.

The recession, therefore, came as a shock to the system at Conde Nast. Most of the magazines that survived were forced to make cuts. Conde Nast hopes to hold on to readers as it still publishes Bride magazine and the foodie Bon Appétit. The Gourmet name will live on through a new television series and the company’s successful Epicurious Web site, which draws 4.5 million unique visitors each month.

Not all publishing news is bleak. The smaller rival Saveur magazine has seen a rise of nearly 20 percent in ad sales in the same period.

As reported by NPR , October 5th, 2009