Books in The News: London’s Book Fair

April 30, 2012 Updated: October 8, 2018
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Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

 

London’s Book Fair Comes to Town, Excludes Some Chinese Writers

The London Book Fair, in its 41st year, will be held in England’s capital city from April 16-18 at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Just under 25,000 industry professionals are expected, including literary agents, publishers, booksellers, and librarians from around the world. 

The event has come under fire, however, for reportedly excluding Chinese authors who have not been approved of by the Chinese Communist Party. Exiled writer Bei Ling told the BBC he is “shocked” that the line up of Chinese authors only included those approved by communist authorities and that the fair is cooperating with the GAPP (the General Administration of Press and Publications) in China—”the very ministry that’s responsible for censorship.” 

Fair director Alistair Burtenshaw replied to criticism in a statement, saying, “We chose to engage with China and we are hugely excited with the wide-ranging professional and cultural program that will be presented.”

In a letter to The London Book Fair, Ling said, “Works by independent and exiled Chinese authors are just as much a part of the current Chinese literary scene as the state-approving [sic] ones.” 

Amazon Sells 2 Million Kindle Singles

Mega online retailer Amazon is seeing quiet success with its Kindle Singles program, paid content.org has learned. According to the report, since launching 14 months ago, Amazon has sold over 2 million of these works that are shorter than a book but longer than an article. The report estimates that Kindle Singles is a worthwhile stream of revenue for the company, explaining, “Amazon wouldn’t disclose its total revenues from those two million singles, but the minimum price of a Single is $0.99 and most are $1.99 (the author or publisher sets the price). So with an average price of $1.87 multiplied by two million, a rough estimate of Amazon’s 30-percent cut is $1.12 million.”

Stan Lee Takes On New Cameo Appearance

Comic book legend and creator of Spider Man, The Hulk, and The X-Men has written himself into his latest comic book series, “Stan Lee’s Mighty 7.” Inspired by the success of reality television, Lee explained to Yahoo News that he and other real-life celebrities will be found in the new series. Lee laughed at his penchant for making cameo appearances in his movies and, now, books, telling USA Today, “I would have never thought years ago that I would be in a comic book or I would be in a cameo in a movie. I love it. I guess I’m kind of a ham,” says Lee, adding that his upcoming appearance in “The Avengers” film in May is “one of my funniest.” 

Compiled by Barbara Danza, Epoch Times Staff

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza