Today in books and publishing: Barnes & Noble has a "special announcement," Pippa Middleton's taking meetings about writing a book, and Jack Kerouac had 30 sometimes confusing rules for writing spontaneous prose.

  • Barnes & Noble has issued a press release touting a "very special announcement" next Monday at its Union Square headquarters. The event will come five days before Amazon's Kindle Fire begins shipping, and it's widely expected that Barnes & Noble will be unveiling its own tablet and possibly an improved version of the Nook Color at the event. [Publishers Weekly and The Wall Street Journal]
  • Pippa Middleton was the breakout star of this summer's royal wedding and now she's reportedly in talks to write about hospitality that will "include tips on party etiquette, how to decorate a room for a party and what food to serve." According to the Sunday Times, Middleton has already met twice with executives at HarperCollins about the project. A publishing source says that that she'll likely be "offered the services of an experienced ghost writer" on the project, even though it's inspired be her own blog. [Sunday Times via The Telegraph]
  • At 849 pages, 11/23/63 isn't Stephen King's longest book, but it may be his most ambitious, says The New York Times' Janet Maslin. The book's central conceit -- that a man can go back in time to to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy -- "makes alternative history work -- but how?" asks Maslin. She chalks it up to King doing his homework, noting that the author "consulted with Richard and Doris Kearns Goodwin about possible plotlines" about what America would look like if Kennedy had survived. [The New York Times]
  • The consensus among the English translators of foreign language is that their contributions are unappreciated, underpaid, and undervalued. This is perhaps to be expected. What's unexpected, and perhaps unintended in Salon's look at the translation racket, is how much recourse translators have when they believe their work has been mangled. Case in point: Steven T. Murray, who translated Stieg Larsson's "Millenium" trilogy and "was so bothered by a British publisher’s decision to rewrite much of his work that when the books started appearing in English in 2008 he replaced his credit with a pseudonym." [Salon]
  • If you believe the late Jack Kerouac, there are 30 keys to writing spontaneous prose. The trouble is, the majority of the rules, like number 26 "Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form" don't make a whole lot of sense. But rule number three is a pip: "Try never get drunk outside yr own house." [Lit Drift]