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News stories from the book world in December 2009

December 2009

E-books spark crisis

21 December 2009

This has been a week of dramatic developments in the publishing world, as publishers scramble to work out how to navigate a completely new playing field. The debate centres around four crucial issues: who controls e-book rights, the timing of e-book editions and what the prices and royalty rates for e-books should be.

Lest you should think that none of this seems particularly important to you as a writer or reader, here's the way the latest news was reported by Robert McCrum on the Guardian website:  Read more

Is this a revival of the short story?

14 December 2009

Is it possible that the short story is at last getting a new lease of life? The form, long beloved of writers, seems to be reaching new audiences through the Internet and benefiting from new opportunities in the form of prizes.   Read more

No country for old typewriters

7 December 2009

It didn't seem a slow news week, but the amount of coverage which has been given to the sale of Cormac McCarthy's typewriter in the last few days has been truly astonishing. The American writer bought the machine, an Olivetti Lettera 31, from a pawnshop for $50 (£30) in 1963. Since then he has used it to type 12 novels (plus three as-yet unpublished ones), two plays, several screenplays and untold numbers of letters (no email here), a total of some 5 million words over 50 years.   Read more



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