News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Goodreads is redesigning its home page. (Google Blogs) Go to the link and click the “Click here to try it for yourself!” link to test the Beta version. You can offer feedback via the green Feedback button on the right-hand edge.
- University Presses Cope With Budget Cuts (Publishers Weekly). In some cases, they face closure. This is a worrisome trend for me, since most of my indexing work is for university presses. It will also make things tougher for professors seeking tenure, who must “publish or perish.”
- An anonymous American buyer is the proud new owner of the first four editions of Shakespeare’s plays, including a First Folio (1623) and subsequent editions published in 1632, 1664 and 1685. The First Folio sold for around 2.5 million pounds — about $2.75 million US; the later editions brought lower but still significant sums. Christie’s organized the auction; each piece was handled separately. (AP; also Wall Street Journal)
- Christie’s will also auction a rare first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — one of only 23 copies of the first print run of 2000, which was withdrawn after Tenniel expressed dissatisfaction with “the printing of the pictures.”
- Macmillan US acquires self-publishing platform Pronoun (formerly Vook) for an undisclosed amount. (The Bookseller, via Galleycat)
- How to Ruin a Romance in 5 Easy Steps (Elizabeth Vail, Heroes & Heartbreakers)
- Could Publishers and Agents Agree on a Flat Royalty Rate? (Rachel Deahl, Publishers Weekly)
- Who is Lotte Reininger? The pioneering animator who would have been 117 today (The Telegraph) Remember the animated “Tale of Three Brothers” in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I? It’s clearly inspired by Reininger’s work. I had never heard of Lotte Reininger before this week, but Google featured her on her birthday (June 2), and I went hunting to find out more about her. You can see a few of her shorter films at the link above.
Book & Movie Announcements
- Pottermore revealed the first photos of the Cursed Child cast in character. Well, specifically Harry, Ginny, and their second son Albus, who appear to be the main characters. There’s also an interview with the actor who plays Harry. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will have its first preview this week.
- Netflix will premiere The Little Prince adaptation in August. The project was abruptly dropped by Paramount Pictures just before its March 2016 release, and Deadline reported in mid-March that Netflix had picked it up. (Netflix blogs, via GalleyCat)
- The 16 Most Misleading Book Covers Of All Time (Bustle) These will make you laugh, scratch your head, and wonder what on earth the cover designers were on (or whether they even read the blurb, let alone the book!)
- Name the Book Titles Without Vowels or Spaces (Mental Floss) I’ll give you a hint: They’re all classics. You have 4 minutes. Have fun!
Really Cool / Just for Fun
- Disney celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday by releasing a new Winnie the Pooh story (above). 90 is, coincidentally, the same age as Pooh himself. And thanks to Disney, you can download the digital edition of the book for free (as a PDF), here.
That’s it for this week!