Book News Roundup: Amazon has too much money to spend

  • Congratulations to Tim Lennon, who was announced as the Executive Director of LANGSTON, a new Seattle nonprofit that will "guide programming intended to strengthen and advance community through Black arts and culture." I worked with Lennon at Elliott Bay Book Company right after he moved to town in 2001 and we've been friends ever since, so I can't claim any objectivity, but his career in the years since — at One Reel, heading up Vera Project, working at the Office of Arts & Culture — demonstrates that he'll be excellent at this. I look forward to seeing what LANGSTON contributes to Seattle's arts and literary communities. Lennon starts in January of next year. And if this post didn't have enough conflict-of-interest in it for you already, the best account in local media of Lennon's new job is from my old associate Brendan Kiley at the Seattle Times.

  • Kirkus interviewed Chin Music Press editor Cali Kopczick about the trends she's spotted in publishing, what manuscripts she'd never like to see again, and what's unique about Seattle's Chin Music.

  • Yesterday, Amazon's television division paid a crazy amount of money to make a Lord of the Rings prequel TV show. There's not much information about this, but the deal is so huge that it seems to be tempting fate:

In its quest to launch a hit fantasy series of the Game of Thrones caliber, Amazon has closed a massive deal — said to be close to $250 million — to acquire global TV rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. The streaming service has given a multi-season commitment to a LOTR series in the pact, which also includes a potential spinoff series.
  • I dunno about you, but when I see a quarter-of-a-billion deal with multi-season franchise commitments, I think of the recent collapse of Universal's awful "Dark Universe" megafranchise, and then I think of an old cliche about counting baby chicks before they hatch. And then I think of all the people living under bridges in this city and I start to feel queasy.

  • The comics industry is going through its own sexual harassment crisis, and Heidi MacDonald at the Beat has been keeping good track of it all. Hopefully when we get to the other side of all this and the predators have been shaken out, we'll see a more inclusive, less white-male-centric comics industry.

  • And if you think the children's book industry is free from sexual harassment, you should read this thread: