Round-Up: American Writers Museum, Bill Clinton, and Amazon

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From a new museum honoring American writers to Bill Clinton’s next book deal, here’s the latest literary news:

  • A museum dedicated to the work of American writers opens today, May 16, in Chicago. The American Writers Museum, with almost 11,000 square feet of gallery space, is the first of its kind, according to its organizers. Located on North Michigan Avenue, near the city’s famed Millennium Park, the museum doesn’t contain manuscripts or first editions of books. Instead, it houses interactive touch screens and multimedia installations so people can have “different kinds of experiences around literature,” Andrew Anway, lead designer, told the New York Times. And, while it’s on loan for the next six months, visitors can view the scroll on which Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road.
  • Former president Bill Clinton and bestselling writer James Patterson are writing a new novel called The President Is Missing, which will be co-published by the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and the Hachette Book Group and released in June 2018. Knopf has published three books by Clinton, including My Life (2004), and Patterson has a team at Hachette’s Little, Brown division that works on his adult and children’s books. Of the collaboration, Patterson says: “Working with President Clinton has been the highlight of my career, and having access to his first-hand experience has uniquely informed the writing of this novel.”
  • A new feature on Amazon has upset some authors and publishers: the company is now allowing third-party book re-sellers to “win” buy buttons on book pages by meeting certain criteria related to price, availability, and delivery time. Publishers, agents, and authors allege that the program will discourage readers from purchasing new books, which will in turn hurt sales and revenue. Before the change, the buy button would automatically connect customers to new copies of book titles. In a statement, Amazon told Publishers Weekly: “Our bookstore now works like the rest of Amazon, where third party sellers compete with Amazon for the sale of new items.”