A Ray Bradbury Museum; Duluth Loves 'Fifty Shades'

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Today in books and publishing: A possible Ray Bradbury museum; Google settles their French book-scanning dispute; Oprah's Book Club 2.0 may not have the same touch; the future of books on demand.

Is there a Ray Bradbury museum in the works? According to Sam Weller, author of two books on Bradbury, the writer "had badly wanted a personal museum established in the city where he spent his early years." That's Waukegan, Illinois, which currently has two festivals, a library conference room, and a park named after the man. A museum for Bradbury has actually been in the works, or at least, a visitors center with a portion dedicated to him: "Waukegan Main Street, a nonprofit economic development group that is working to restore the city’s downtown, plans to turn the long-closed Carnegie Library — the brick and limestone building where Bradbury’s childhood imagination got much of its fuel — into a visitors center that would include a section dedicated to the author." This restoration would cost several million dollars, and the group is trying to raise money for the project. As for a museum, Weller "said he would be willing to raise money for it, hitting up wealthy authors and Hollywood filmmakers who have cited Bradbury’s influence on their own work." [Chicago Tribune]

Google vs. France. Facing legal action over scanning copyright-protected books without permission, Google has settled a legal dispute with French groups The Syndicat National de l’Edition and the SGDL Society of Authors. Financial terms have not been disclosed. "Google plans to sell some of the scanned copyrighted works as electronic books and will share the proceeds with publishers under individual deals where the 'majority of the revenue comes to the publisher,' said Philippe Colombet, Google Books’ strategic partner development manager in France." [Bloomberg]

Recommended Reading

GigaOM has a new imprint: GigaOM Books. "It’s where we’ll publish new works from our own team of writers as well as other great voices we’ve discovered," as well as "some of our most popular reports from GigaOM Pro, allowing, for the first time, access in e-book format to great research on Kindle, Nook and iPad," according to the website. The first two titles are out today. [GigaOM]

Signs are mixed regarding the return of Oprah's book club. A spokesman for Knopf says that sales for the club's first pick, Wild, have increased 500% since the announcement. However, the book has not reached the top of Amazon's best-seller list, as Book Club choices did in the old days. It did make it to number 7, and is still in the top 20. Perhaps most notably for Book Club 2.0: "e-book editions, including one with Oprah's comments, are outselling print copies." [Crain's]

The future may be print-your-own. Instant publishing machines—especially the Espresso Book Machine from On Demand Books—are getting more popular and making self-publishing easier, as well as providing readers with an opportunity to print rare and out of print books. "Through a partnership with Xerox, the company now has machines in about 70 bookstores and libraries across the world including London; Tokyo; Amsterdam; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Melbourne, Australia; and Alexandria, Egypt." [AP]

The Duluth Public Library is very open-minded. They haven't even considered censoring Fifty Shades of Grey. "'There has not been any talk of pulling it,' Public Library Manager Carla Powers told the News Tribune Opinion page last week." Congrats, guys. [Duluth News Tribune]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.