News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
News and Notes is back from the holidays!
- How Harry Potter fans won a four-year fight against child slavery (Washington Post). After a four-year campaign by The Harry Potter Alliance, Warner Bros. agreed that all its Harry Potter chocolates will be Fair Trade Certified. (Child slavery is a problem in cocoa production.)
- “Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” actually didn’t; books recalled (Washington Post) The sad thing is that he has been recanting this story for a while, but the father went ahead with the book.
- The bestselling books of 2014 (Publishers Weekly). PW lists the top print and Kindle bestsellers of 2014. Young Adult books sold very well, dominated by multiple editions of The Fault in our Stars.
- Amazon Offers All-You-Can-Eat Books. Authors Turn Up Noses (New York Times)
- January 24 is National Readathon Day. You can participate without donating or fund-raising, but if you choose to, you can help benefit “the National Book Foundation’s efforts to improve literacy and reading proficiency for millions of Americans who lack basic skills.” (via Goodreads; links to FirstGiving.com. #timetoread )
- HarperCollins and Harlequin to launch cross-selling effort (press release) HarperCollins’ parent organization, NewsCorp, bought Harlequin in 2014, a move that has been beneficial to HarperCollins’ bottom line.
- Digital Book World Conference coverage roundup (DBW), including a piece on trends in children’s/YA books – in particular, the fact that 80% of YA books are bought by adults for themselves… which I’m sure comes as no surprise to many book bloggers!
- Audiobook publishing and sales are up and publishers are looking for ways to reach new listeners. (DBW)
- Are You an Adult Who Reads YA Novels? Congratulations, You Saved Publishing in 2014 (Jonathan Sturgeon, Flavorwire)
- The face of children’s literature is about to change. And about time, too – diversity in children’s books is long overdue. (Mother Nature Network)
- Ankara Press, a new African romance publisher, debuts 6 new novels (The Guardian; see also the Ankara Press website) Speaking of diversity, this definitely comes under the heading of “high time.”
- Where to Donate Your Used Books. Are you in post-holiday, New-Year’s-resolution decluttering mode like I am? Check out BookRiot’s suggestions on where and how to donate the books you no longer want or have shelf space for.
- Creation writing: Is sci-fi a 21st-century religion? A provocative piece by Damien Walter. (The Guardian)
- Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose (Defending the Early Years; also the Alliance for Childhood) These two advocacy groups have teamed up on a report that suggests that Common Core standards for kindergarten reading instruction are unrealistic and less effective than play-based programs in a language-rich environment. In fact, kindergarten and preschool reading instruction may actually backfire, having a negative effect on long-term school performance.
For Writers & Bloggers
- Jim C. Hines on his 2014 Writing Income. If you’ve ever wondered what a published author makes, you should check this post out.
- How to Rock Your Blog in the New Year, by Ashley at Nozegraze.
- Your Favorite Books Featuring Dragons (BookRiot) You have to read the comments for the titles, but there are some terrific draconic books here.
- 50 of the Most Majestic Libraries in the World (Architecture and Design). You’ve seen some of these photos before, but you may not have seen them all in one place. Wow.
- 2015’s Most Anticipated Movie Adaptations (Word & Film)
That’s it for this week!