B&N CEO Fired – no explanation

In a brief statement released late Tuesday afternoon, the retailer said CEO Demos Parneros was terminated for “violations of the Company’s policies.” While not saying what policies Parneros violated, B&N said his termination “is not due to any disagreement with the Company regarding its financial reporting, policies, or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto.” In addition to being fired immediately, Parneros will not receive any severance, B&N said. B&N said Parneros’s removal was undertaken by its board of directors, who were advised by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

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Author Earnings Sliding Fast in U.K.

  1. Can authors make a living as a writer?
  2. Is this another case for self-publishing and self-promotion?

From Publishers Weekly:

Median annual income of professional writers in the U.K. is now under £10,500, down by 15% since 2013, according to ALCS (Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society) research. That figure puts authors’ hourly rate well below minimum wage

The earnings figure of £10,500 compares to the figure of £17,900 defined last year by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as the income level considered to be a socially acceptable standard of living for a single person.

According to the ALCS research, working writers’ earnings continue to decline sharply and the gender pay gap is opening up. The median earnings of professional writers–that is those who dedicate over half their working hours to writing–has fallen by 42% in real terms since 2005, and by 15% since 2013.

Earnings are also well below minimum wage, which for those over 25 is £7.83. Based on a standard 35-hour week, the median hourly earnings of a professional writer are now £5.73.

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AudioBooks up 23%

Audiobooks continued their meteoric rise in 2017, a new report issued by the Audio Publishers Association found, with another year of double-digit growth for both audiobook sales and title output.

Total sales rose 22.7% in 2017, to an estimated $2.5 billion, over an estimated $2.1 billion in sales in 2016. Unit sales rose an estimated 21.5%, the APA reported. Sales are based on reports from about 20 audiobook publishers. The APA then extrapolates from those figures, to derive an estimate for the entire market.

The audience for audiobooks remains young, with 54% of audiobook listeners under the age of 45. They are also consistent readers in all formats, the studies found: not only do audiobook listeners listen to an average of 15 books a year, but 83% of frequent listeners also read a hardcover or paperback over the last 12 months, and 79% also read an e-book.

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Alexa – Stephen King – Recommendation Library

  1. Is this a thing?
  2. Why Only Stephen King?
  3. If it were a larger library, would it be more interesting?

Beginning today, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant users in the U.S.and Canada will be able to download a free “Stephen King Library” onto their smart speaker platforms, Simon & Schuster has announced. The library will recommend King books tailored to users’ reading tastes from a selection of 56 books by King.

S&S is billing the “Stephen King Library” as perhaps “the first voice-activated book recommendation tool dedicated to an author’s body of work from a major publisher.” The library was jointly produced by King’s longtime publisher Scribner, S&S, and Simon & Schuster Audio, and was developed by Skilled Creative.

“Simon & Schuster intends to be at the forefront of utilizing voice interaction technology to connect books and authors to readers and audiobook listeners,” S&S executive v-p and chief marketing officer Liz Perl said in a statement. “Using A.I. through Stephen King Library is a fun and innovative experience for exploring this master storyteller’s work.”

 

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