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Industry News: More fake reviews, YA books hit with adults, much more print-on-demand

September 15, 2012

MacMillan Head Posted Fake Amazon Reviews

Jeremy Trevathan, the head of Pan MacMillan’s adult division has admitted he posted fifteen fake five-star reviews under the name Gary O’Reilly (click here and scroll down). The reviews were posted in Amazon UK. Trevathan says the reviews accurately captured his feelings about the books. He used a fake name to prevent unsolicited submissions. He says the reviews were posted in the late 1990s and that he hasn’t posted anything in more than a year. He also says he didn’t disparage any other authors during his reviews, as others have admitted doing. All the reviews are for MacMillan authors.

What this means to you: If you are an author, it means people are going to start doubting the legitimacy of the reviews posted for your work. A title with a ton of positive reviews may actually turn some potential readers off. If you are a reader, it means you are probably less likely to trust reviews, even seemingly well-thought-out ones. It also means this story doesn’t begin and end with RJ Ellory and John Locke.

More than Half of All YA Books are Bought by Adults

There are days–crazy, stress-filled, job-centric days–when the best I can manage in terms of reading is The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar. I suspect those types of days aren’t part of the reason that more than 55% of all young adult titles are bought by adults, according to a recent Bowker Market Research study.  More than three-quarters of those asked said that the purchase was for themselves, rather than children in the target market. Thirty percent of the units purchases were for Hunger Games titles. Of the remaining, the only two titles to exceed 5% were Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Breaking Dawn. That means the phenomenon isn’t limited to the biggest three (Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Twilight).

What this means to you: You don’t have to pretend that YA book is for some niece or nephew that never seems to make it to the book store with you. It also means that the trend of adult content sneaking into YA books is likely to continue. It is, after all, possible that adults are reading YA books because the themes resonate with them. It could also mean that more traditional YA themes and approaches are more difficult sells because of the success of some series with adults.

Kodak, Readerlink Partner with OnDemand to Increase Print-on-Demand Possibilities

OnDemand, the makers of the Espresso Book Machine (a print-on-demand device) has announce partnerships with Eastman Kodak and ReaderLink to vastly increase the saturation of print-on-demand availability. The partnership with Kodak will add Espresso to more than 105,000 Kodak picture kiosks. The kiosks are typically available at drug and department stores. The partnership with ReaderLink will also increase saturation at drug stores, grocery stores, and mass merchandisers. A partnership announcement with a major chain could come before the end of the year. As many as 7 million books could be available at the kiosks, as well as photobook functionality.

What this means to you: A lot of it depends on what the 7 million titles are, as well as the speed and quality of the books created in the machines. If you can wait five minutes to pick up a copy of a best seller at CVS for a little less than what you pay at a book store, that might be a tempting offer (especially if you can order online and pick up the book at your convenience). The on-demand nature of the offering reduces the requirement for inventory.



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