Today in books and publishing: Fifty Shades merchandise is on its way and you can't stop it; Thomas Pynchon e-books are available as of today; a hotel themed for books in Paris.
Peak Fifty Shades Is Now. Do you want to sleep on Fifty Shades of Grey sheets? You are in a tremendous amount of luck. The book everyone is talking, talking, for the love of God will not stop talking about, is about to go big-merch. Caroline Mickler Limited has been appointed the "master licensing agent" for the novel, which means, per a release from the company, we can expect things like Fifty-Shades-branded "lingerie/sleepwear, apparel, fragrances, beauty products, bedding, home furnishings, stationery, jewelry and adult products.” And rope, right? Rope? LicensingBookOnline reports that the main demographic for these items will be adult women, but, maybe, men too, "buying gifts." With this and talk of the upcoming movie ringing painfully in everybody's ears, we have to get fully sick of talking about this book soon...right? Rope? [GalleyCat]
Thomas Pynchon is finally allowing his work to be sold as e-books. The author of Gravity's Rainbow has a deal with Pengin that will let them publish his entire backlist (eight books in all) digitally. Of Pynchon's motivations for the move, said Ann Godoff, president and editor in chief of Penguin to The New York Times' Julie Bosman: “I think he wants to have more readers." The e-book versions of Pynchon's seven novels and one story collection go on sale Wednesday. [Media Decoder]
Speaking of e-books, libraries and publishers are struggling to figure out how exactly to handle them. The right of first sale states that a publisher can't dictate what's done with a book or record after sale. But that doesn't apply to e-books, yet, which can only be checked out 26 times: "So most publishers won't even allow libraries to buy e-books." Penguin stopped selling new e-book titles to libraries late last year and allowing libraries access to older titles in February. Currently of the big six publishers, only Random House and HarperCollins are selling e-books to libraries. [Bradenton Herald]
Books-A-Million has been sued. Shareholders have filed seven lawsuits "concerning the Anderson family's buyout offer of the company," in which they're offering to purchase stock at $3.05 per share (the company closed at $3.12 per share Tuesday). The Anderson family currently owns 53 percent of company stock; "the filing alleges Anderson and the board 'breached the fiduciary duties to company stockholders.'" [Times Daily]
In Paris, there is a hotel themed after literature. It's called the Pavillons des Lettres, on the Rue des Saussaies. "Using each of the 26 letters of the alphabet, the 26 rooms and suites of the hotel pay homage to a different star of French and international literature – from poets to novelists. Decorator Didier Benderli was brought in to give the hotel its literary edge without allowing it to descend into tackiness – and this he does well. My room was dedicated to Cervantes; and there were his works within, as well as quotes on the wallpaper." Sounds perfectly lovely. [City A.M.]
Joan Rivers' new book was born of complaints. "She was complaining bitterly to her editor about children on planes, and he told her to make a list — which quickly turned into a book," called, appropriately, I Hate Everyone. . . Starting With Me. We should all have such luck. [Washington Post]