The optimism was short-lived. Nielsen reports book sales for the first week of December are down 2 million as compared to last year. The bright spot is children’s fiction, up 24%, mostly attributable to a couple of blockbusters. We won’t detail all the latest layoffs and pay freezes in publishing. Suffice to say no one’s holding out for $77 per hour.

Writers, one of Alaska’s political blogs wants your help. The Alaska Dispatch, launched last August, is soliciting commentaries and stories from Alaskans and former Alaskans. For details, read their post, “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Kudos to Willie Hensley, interviewed here earlier this week. His memoir Fifty Miles From Tomorrow was a Publisher’s Weekly Pick of the Week.

Finally, if you’ve been keeping up at 49 Writers, you know that Andromeda Romano-Lax and I are plotting furiously toward a blog merger to launch (we hope) January 1. Look for us to double the fun (and serious stuff, too) with new and exciting features. We’d love your input, so leave a comment or two about any changes you’d like to see.

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