Cemetery Dance will publish a new Stephen King novella as a trade hardcover next month, BLOCKADE BILLY. The pitch: “Even diehard baseball fans don’t know the true story of William Blakely, but in just a few weeks you’ll be holding this dark tale in your own two hands so you can read it for yourself.” King comments, “I love old-school baseball, and I also love the way people who’ve spent a lifetime in the game talk about the game. I tried to combine those things in a story of suspense. People have asked me for years when I was going to write a baseball story. Ask no more; this is it.”
Cemetery Dance says they are “only printing a small number of first edition copies compared to what New York publishers print” and will fill direct orders on their website first, followed by distributors, etailers and book chains as supply allows.
Agent Nathan Bransford reports on an e-mail on the State of the Industry from Hachette UK ceo Tim Hely Hutchinson to agents and authors. “He notes the continued deterioration of the brick and mortar retail landscape and hopes the remaining stores will embrace the Internet: ‘In short, we think a proportion (only) of the existing traditional booksellers can and will survive and even thrive if and as they adapt and refine the very different shopping experience they can offer the consumer in store and via their own focused websites.’ He predicts that e-book sales, which are currently 0.9% of the British market, will rise to 1% this year, 3% in 2011, and 5% in 2012.”
In People news, Hachette Book Group’s svp, executive managing editor Harvey-Jane Kowal will retire at the end of May after 23 years with the company. She will “stay connected to us with a continuing role, supporting a few key authors for many years to come.”