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2013 Nobel Prize in Literature Goes to Alice Munro

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2013 was awarded Thursday to Canadian short story author Alice Munro, who the Swedish Academy called a “master of the contemporary short story,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

In a statement released by her publisher, Random House, Munro said, “I’m so thrilled to be chosen as this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature recipient. I hope it fosters further interest in all Canadian writers. I also hope that this brings further recognition to the short story form."

Munro is the 13th woman to win the prize in literature, which was established in 1901. Now 82 years old, Munro will receive a $1.25 million award. The last American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature was Toni Morrison in 1993.

In 2012, Mo Yan (Arcade Publishing) won the prize and sales skyrocketed, with more than 100,000 physical and digital copies of Yan’s five titles selling over the following year. The titles had sold less than 10,000 copies combined leading up to the award announcement.

NBA Finalists to Be Announced October 16 on Morning Joe

The 2013 National Book Awards finalists will be announced on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on October 16 by National Book Foundation chair David Steinberger, the president and CEO of Perseus Books Group.  Five books from each genre — young people’s literature, poetry, nonfiction, and fiction — will be chosen for the shortlist by a panel of judges.

The presentation of the titles on Morning Joe will bring a new audience to the awards and to literature, said Steinberger.

Morning Joe’s hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, will emcee the National Book Awards ceremony on November 20. 

E-Reader and Tablet Use Increases Among Adults

USA TODAY and Bookish report that 40 percent of adults own an e-reader or tablet, double what the number was two years ago. Among college graduates, 60 percent have a reader or tablet and 62 percent of people in households with incomes over $75,000 have one. Thirty-five percent of responders said they read more books now that they have an electronic reading device, with 23 percent saying they read more sci-fi and fantasy; 16 percent reading more crime and mystery; 14 percent reading more romance; and 14 percent reading more nonfiction.

When asked why they read books, 72 percent of respondents said they read in order to learn something, 64 percent to be entertained, and 19 percent so they can talk about books with others. Fifty-one percent said that a lack of time keeps them from reading more; 16 percent cited a lack of interest; and 14 percent said it was a lack of quality books.

Looking at what generates a person’s interest in a book, 57 percent said their own opinion of the writer’s previous work dominates, and 43 percent said word of mouth recommendations factored in. Professional reviews came in at 17 percent and the book’s cover at 16 percent.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they share their opinion of books on Facebook, Twitter, or book sites; 50 percent of device-owning readers under the age of 40 have posted online comments.

Self-Publishing Continues to Grow

According to an analysis of U.S. ISBN data by Bowker and ProQuest, the number of self-published authors grew by nearly 60 percent between 2011 and 2012 and by 422 percent since 2007. Self-published titles accounted for 391,000 books published in 2012.

Additionally, e-books came in at 40 percent of self-published ISBNs, up from 11 percent in 2007. Eighty percent of the titles came from the same eight self-publishing platforms. Authors planning to self-publish are mainly writers of fiction, followed by inspirational and spiritual books, children’s books, and biographies.

Authors in the study indicated that they turned to self-publishing after having difficulties engaging a traditional publisher and feeling challenged by marketing their book in such a large market.

WNBA’s 2013 Writing Contest Open

The Women’s National Book Association’s 2013 writing contest is open for submissions of unpublished short fiction (2,500-word maximum) and/or poetry (up to five pages) until November 15. Online submissions must be made without contact information, which will be collected on a separate form. There is a $15 fee per entry for WNBA members and $20 for non-members. Authors must be 18 years or older.

The winner, to be announced March 2014,  will be awarded a $250 cash prize and will have their work appear in Bookwoman, WNBA’s official publication. Contest proceeds will be used to support writing conference scholarships and professional development training.

Ingram to Distribute to Russia

Ingram Content Group announced on Wednesday that it will begin distributing to Russia through its Global Connect alliance with EE Media publishing and distribution group. Ingram said the alliance will give publishers access to high-quality print-on-demand services and new channels for sales, as well as an intermediary for importation, customs, shipping, and warehousing coordination. Russia joins Germany and Brazil as part of Ingram’s Global Connect program.

“Where it typically took one to two months for English language books to reach consumers, now it will take 24 to 48 hours,” said EE Media’s CEO Yevgeniy Khata.