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:
- “Judge Hears Closing Arguments in Apple Trial” and Publishers Weekly‘s Andrew Albanese summarizes both sides.
- “Apple E-Books Trial May Affect Content Pricing Agreements” (Joshua Sisco and Cecile Kohrs Lindell, Forbes)
- Kids can earn a free book through Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Program. Just click this link, download and print out the B&N Reading Journal PDF, fill out the journal with at least 8 books, and take it in to your nearest B&N store to receive a free book from a list on the PDF. Free book choices include Jessica Day George’s Tuesdays at the Castle, Carl Hiaassen’s Hoot, How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, and a Fancy Nancy book by Jane O’Connor. There are five or six choices for each grade level, K-6.
- First Book has announced an initiative to address the lack of diversity in children’s books. As you can see from their infographic below, characters of color are rarely found in children’s books. These statistics hardly reflect the growing diversity of the U.S. population.
- “Howey, Stephenson join Kindle Worlds” (Joshua Farrington, The Bookseller) Hugh Howey, Neil Stephenson, Blake Crouch, Barry Eisler, and Valiant comics have all joined the Kindle Worlds fanfic platform. My reservations about the program remain. It’s also interesting that in the month since they announce the Kindle Worlds program, Amazon has not secured licenses to a single world I would want to play in (er, write about.) Not that I’m planning to write and publish any fanfic at this point, but still.
- “iTunes users spend a lot on apps and music, not so much on ebooks (chart)” (Gigaom)
- “Are Ebooks Really Books?” isn’t a philosophical essay. Rather, it looks at whether digital textbooks and other ebooks sold to schools should be sold by the unit (like physical textbooks) or under tiered licenses like software (where licensees pay according to the number of “seats.”) (Jeremy Greenfield, Forbes)
- Only “One in Three” parents reads to their children at night, according to a survey by Reading Is Fundamental and Macy’s. So they are teaming up to get more books into the hands of needy children.
- “The Shifting Landscape of Book Reviews” is really about how and where indie books get reviewed. As you might expect, there’s an emphasis on bloggers. (Sabrina Ricci for IndieReader; reblogged at HuffPost Books)
- “The Ongoing Story: Twitter and Writing” Thomas Beller writes about his experiences using Twitter to draft a piece of writing. One interesting point (though he doesn’t go into detail) is whether something originally drafted in a series of tweets is eligible for publishing, since it could be said to have been already published on Twitter.
- “Twelve Famous Writers on Literary Rejection” (Aerogram Writers’ Studio blog)
For Writers & Bloggers:
- “How to Create Your Own Fantasy World Map” offers links to a number of sites and software programs that help you do just that. (R. L. Meyers)
- “Patrick Rothfuss Quotes on World Building” (The Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society blog)
- “How to Make a Book Cover with Public Domain Images” (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- Neil Gaiman is going on a 6-month social media sabbatical beginning in January 2014, and offers this writing tip: “. . .the best way to come up with new ideas is to get really bored.” (Richard Lea, The Guardian)
- Dark Crystal Author Quest contest. Do you love the movie The Dark Crystal? The Jim Henson Company and Grosset & Dunlap (a Penguin imprint) have joined forces in search of an author to write a prequel novel set in the Dark Crystal world. Contestants will need to submit “7,500-10,000 words that represent the story you would tell in a full-length Dark Crystal novel.”
|Vince Flynn (courtesy photo)|
- Vince Flynn, author of the Mitch Rapp counterterrorism thrillers, died Wednesday, June 19, of prostate cancer. He was 47. Flynn self-published his first book, Term Limits, and was later signed by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books imprint. (Washington Post)
- Parke Godwin died on June 19th at the age of 84. Godwin wrote of the World Fantasy Award-winning novella “The Fire When It Comes,” the Firelord sequence (Firelord, Beloved Exile, and The Last Rainbow), the Snake Oil duology, and two books retelling the Robin Hood myth (Sherwood and Robin and the King), as well as a number of stand-alone novels. He also wrote two books under the name Kate Hawks. (Locus Online; also i09.) Parke was a distant relative by marriage, though sadly I never had the opportunity to meet him. He will be missed.
- Michael Hastings, investigative reporter and author of The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan and I Lost My Love in Baghdad, died on Tuesday, June 18, in a car accident. He was only 33. (GalleyCat) Hastings is perhaps best known for an article in the You can read some of his advice to young journalists in Mother Jones’ obituary article. (Other obituaries: The Washington Post)
- “Rysa Walker Wins Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award” for Timebound. The other four finalists are also listed in the article. (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- “Caitlin R. Kiernan Wins Best Novel at the Bram Stoker Awards” for The Drowning Girl. L. L. Soars’ Life Rage won Best First Novel, while Jonathan Maberry’s Flesh & Bone took the prize for Young Adult Novel, beating out Libba Bray’s The Diviners and Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, among others. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard won the Screenplay award for The Cabin in the Woods. The article lists all the winners and runners-up and includes links to free samples from many of the nominated works. (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- Welsh actor Michael Sheen (no relation to Martin Sheen) has been picked to read Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane for the UK’s Radio 4 “Book at Bedtime” show. (Maryann Yin, GalleyCat)
- Veronica Roth is writing four new ‘Divergent’ short stories to be released as ebooks. The first one, The Transfer, will come out on September 24, a month before third and final book Allegiant’s release. (Karen Springen, Publishers Weekly)
Free & Bargain books:
- Don’t forget the free audiobook downloads from SYNC! You will need to download the Overdrive Media Console to be able to download the audiobooks. Here are this week’s and next week’s titles:
- June 20 to June 26: Once by Morris Gleitzman (read by Morris Gleitzman; Bolinda Audio) and Letter From Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. (read by Dion Graham; christianaudio)
- June 27 to July 3: Rotters by Daniel Kraus (read by Kirby Heyborne; Listening Library) and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (read by Jim Weiss; Listening Library).
- Laurie R. King and her publisher are offering the ebook of The Art of Detection for $0.99. This mystery novel brings together King’s Kate Martinelli and Russell/Holmes series with linked stories, one past, one present. King explains the impetus behind the sale in this blog post.
- Anya over at On Starships and Dragonwings has published a list of books with dragons in them. Some are the first book in a series, so there are actually more than the 57 she has listed. Check it out!
- “38 Perfect Books to Read Aloud with Kids” (Buzzfeed) This is a great list!
- “30 Days of Wow: Literary Doppelgangers” If you liked any of 30 books that were popular over the last few years, this site will recommend newer books that are similar. (PureWow)
- “Your mega summer reading list: 200 books recommended by TEDsters” is exactly what the title says — 200 books recommended by people who have given TED talks. These aren’t your usual beach reading, though. (TED blog)
- “20+ book quotes that you can share as images” (Ebook Friendly). I’ve already added most of these to my “Bookish quotes” Pinterest board.
|Hunger Games nails by Amy at Adventures of a Nail Art Addict|
- “15 Awesome Young Adult Book-inspired Manicures” (Kelly Jensen, BookRiot)
- “The Prettiest Publications of the Past”, a collection of beautiful old book covers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries (AbeBooks.com)
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.