Melville House Adopt-a-Penguin Program Takes Flight

By Jason Boog Comment

Yesterday on the Morning Media Menu, we interviewed Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson, getting his candid views on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet, enhanced eBook content and the publisher’s popular adopt-a-penguin program.

To support the release of Viktor Zolotaryov‘s crime novel, Death and the Penguin, Melville House will adopt a penguin in the name of any bookstore that sells more than 25 copies of the books from the series about a writer who rescues a penguin.

Johnson explained in the interview: “We have several stores that look like they are getting multiple penguins and have their own pod. For example, the Barnes & Noble in Union Square are well over the first 25 books so far, there may be pods of penguins in Union Square soon.”

Johnson (pictured, via) continued: “It’s nice that bookstores around the country have signed up for this: Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Politics & Prose in Washington DC, McNally Jackson Books here in New York and Book Soup out in Los Angeles … it’s really nice when you can do something to promote the message of your books so simply.”

He also shared thoughts about the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet: “I think it is going to have zippo impact on the publishing business. It’s really not doing anything new, it’s not changing the way people read, it’s not changing the way they get eBooks. In fact, Apple will tell you that people aren’t reading books on those tablets. I think Amazon believes this themselves. If you go to the homepage for the Kindle Fire, you see that they are pushing Mad Men episodes and Angry Birds. They’re not too concerned about selling books there.”

He concluded: “It may be a great thing if it brings more readers into the world, but I don’t see it having that much of an impact on reading .. I’m a champion of eBooks and I read eBooks on my iPad. But I think I’m in the minority. I don’t think that’s where the book business is going.”