News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, giveaways on this and other blogs, and other cool stuff.
Books & Ebooks in the News:
- Liberty Media sells of most of its Barnes & Noble stocks, reducing its ownership share and thus, much of its control over the the book retailer. (GalleyCat; also Liberty press release)
- “Waterstones founder: e-book revolution will soon go into decline” in UK. (The Telegraph)
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez is in the hospital. (AP, via NPR)
- Audiobook sales are on the rise. (GalleyCat)
- The Sony Reader Store has closed in North America, customers’ libraries are being moved to Kobo, and now Sony has a firmware update for its Sony Readers that removes the Reader Store. (GoodEReader)
- “April Fools on the Internet” takes a look at some of the book-related pranks that showed up on Tuesday. For instance, did you know Amazon’s opening its first bricks-and-mortar store.. on the International Space Station? (Los Angeles Times) Another prank involved Matthew Gladwell and Lemony Snicket accusing one another of plagiarism. (GalleyCat) And Reddit’s much-publicized book-banning announcement was also an April Fool’s joke. (GalleyCat)
- “Booksellers and Publishers React to the Defunding of S. C. Universities” (Publishers Weekly)
- The Authors Guild wants something like ASCAP to make sure authors are paid when their works are digitized by Google or libraries. (GalleyCat)
- Poetry Out Loud finals announced by NEA (GalleyCat)
- There’s a new monthly YA author Q&A series on Google Hangout. (Publishers Weekly)
- “Text is the New Black: The new face (or lack thereof) of YA Book Covers“. E. Kristin Anderson has written a terrific exploration of the new, gender-neutral trend in YA covers. It’s a breath of fresh air for those of us who’ve been concerned about the effects of gendered covers on teen readers – especially male readers, who are less likely to pick up a book if they think it’s “for girls.” (Write All the Words!)
- Neil Gaiman points out that authors aren’t our servants. On his blog, Gaiman responds to a fan who is annoyed with G.R.R. Martin for not having the next book out already, and more generally to readers’ sense of entitlement and impatience with authors. It’s a good reminder, as I’m waiting on several series experiencing delays, that I’d rather have the book be good than meet some arbitrary schedule.
- The Authors Guild elects a self-published author to the Executive Council. Apparently they have also been admitting self-published authors who reach a $5000 earnings threshold. And there’s a new nonvoting membership available also: Associate Member, for those with an agent who aren’t yet published and self-published authors with at least $500 in earnings. Good to see the AG opening its doors a bit wider. (GoodEReader)
- “5 Tips for Running a Little Free Library” – If you like the idea of a Little Free Library, why not set up your own? Swapna Krishna did, and here are her tips for making it a success. (BookRiot)
- Paper Lantern Lit and the Rise of the Hybrid Agent – as in, a hybrid of ebook-only self-publishing and traditional publishing. (GoodEReader)
For Writers & Bloggers:
- “Discussion: The Art of Blog Commenting” on Say It With Books
- Amazon’s Day One literary Journal is looking for submissions from previously unpublished authors. (GalleyCat, with email link to submit)
- Camp NaNoWriMo is underway for April, and you can still sign up. It’s a bit more flexible than the November NaNoWriMo.
Book, Movie, and Stage Announcements:
- Harry Potter spin-off ‘Fantastic Beasts’ will be 3 movies. The series will feature Newt Scamander, author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and will take place 7 decades before the Harry Potter books and movies. (Variety, based on a piece by the New York Times on Warner’s new CEO. Posters are fan art by Hogwartsite on DeviantArt.)
- Fall 2014 Children’s [Books] Sneak Preview – a look ahead at picture, MG, and YA books coming this fall, by publisher (Publishers Weekly)
- Anne Tyler has a new book coming in 2015. (GalleyCat)
- Martin Freeman to play Richard III in London this fall. (BBC America)
- Why I Write: 23 Fascinating Quotes from Famous Authors (Aerogramme Writing Studio) I love the quote by John Green.
- 10 YA Books with Male Protagonists (YA Interrobang) Yes, there are some!
- 15 Dating Problems Only Book Lovers Understand (Huffington Post Books)
- Beautiful places from your favorite books – photos of places from famous books (Huffington Post Books)
- 14 Totally Badass Female Authors (Huffington Post Books)
Just for fun:
- David Tennant reads Shakespeare’s sonnets… for over 8 minutes, to a series of slides showing him in various Shakespearean roles. Wonderful!
- And if you like that one, try his reading of Sonnet 18 on Vimeo.
That’s it for this week!
I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles, lists, and links for News & Notes, so please let me know if you see (or write!) anything that might be good for this feature. You can leave me a comment or send me an email — my address is on the About/Review Policy/Contact page.