Today in books and publishing: Target is kicking Amazon out of their stores, the Fifty Shades of Grey parody book boomlet is here, and Steve Coll also has a big, important piece of non-fiction out this week that isn't about Lyndon Johnson
Target will no longer be stocking Kindles, because the company was apparently deeply offended and threatened by "showrooming" -- the practice of going to brick-and-mortar store, getting a price on an item, then going home and buying it on Amazon. This seems like the kind of thing that's been going around since the dawn of retail -- it's called shopping around -- but it has no place in the e-book wars. Wall Street analysts say the move was intended to "send a message to Amazon about Target’s alliances," a statement which is both hilarious and almost certainly true. [The New York Times]
A nice enough seeming fellow named Andrew Shaffer has landed a book deal for a parody of Fifty Shades of Grey called Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. (Heh.) The New York Times says Da Capo gave Shaffer a "lucrative" advance, while the author jokes it's "not enough to buy a McMansion, but enough to buy a swanky double-wide trailer." So, what kind of numbers are we talking about here? One publishing type we contacted who wished to remain anonymous put the figure at "$75,000 (or less)" and suggested it would be "a surprise if the first printing was more than 10,000 copies." That's not bad for a Fifty Shades of Grey parody. But it's also not Charles Frazier money. [The New York Times]
Lost in all the "Robert Caro is back! Robert Caro is back!" hoopla is the fact that Steve Coll -- who won a Pulitzer for his CIA history Ghost Wars in 2005 -- also has a new big, important book out this week. It's called Private Empire and details the inner-workings of ExxonMobile. Here's Coll discussing the project -- which has nothing to do with Lyndon Johnson -- on NPR's Fresh Air this morning [NPR]
If you've ever wanted to see the only two existing draft pages of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic of children's literature, you better to get to Paris before May 16. That's when the pages, only discovered for the first time back in March, are being auctioned off to the highest bidder. But until then, you're free to go and look at them, if you so choose. [AP]
Paulo Coelho has finally convinced Harper Collins to sell the digital editions of his books for 99 cents, save for The Alchemist, his most widely-known work. That will still go for full price. [Paulo Coelho Blog via Teleread]
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