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:
- J. K. Rowling plans more than seven Galbraith mysteries, says she enjoys writing an open-ended series. (The Bookseller)
- Students invent a solar-powered book drop that kills bedbugs. (Bethany Barnes, Las Vegas Review-Journal)
- Book bundling startup BitLit signs HarperCollins to a pilot program. HC will offer 6 ebook titles to BitLit customers at between $1.99 and $2.99. Additional titles will be added (or substituted?) each month. BitLit lets consumers who already own a physical copy of a book download an ebook copy free or heavily discounted. Customers prove they own the book by writing their name on the copyright page, taking a photo, and uploading it using BitLit’s app. HC is the first of the Big Five to sign with BitLit.
- Amazon-Hachette crisis panel debates “danger level” posed by Amazon. The panel was heavily weighted on the side of publishers and authors; Amazon sent only one representative.
- And Amazon is losing customers over its fight with Hachette, according to a Codex survey reported by Forbes.
- Judge Cote “troubled” by Apple’s $450 million settlement deal. (Reuters)
- “ALA Files Comments Supporting Net Neutrality” (GalleyCat)
- The 2014 Man Booker Prize longlist is out!
Worth Reading/Listening to:
- “How the Public Library Turned Me Into a Reader” (Claire Fallon, Huffington Post Books)
- “10 Things Publisher Have Been Doing (That We Should Celebrate)” (Futurebook, a blog of The Bookseller)
- “Do We Demand More From Our Books Than Reality?” (Kimba on the Caffeinated Book Reviewer blog)
- this brilliant review of Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series (James A. Moore, on Tor.com)
- Why Are Books Getting Longer? (BookRiot) The comments are worth reading, too, including several that challenge the author’s study methods (admittedly imprecise). Nonetheless, my personal opinion as someone who worked in a bookstore 25 years ago is that he’s right – books are getting longer, on average.
For Writers & Bloggers:
- “The Best WordPress Plugins for Freelance Writers” — or bloggers. (Kirsty Stuart, Freelance Writers Online blog)
- Thomas Berger, best known for Little Big Man, died last week in Nyack, New York. He was 89. (Obituaries: Washington Post; Huffington Post)
- Australian Liam Davison, author of Soundings, The Velodrome and several other books, was on the Malaysian Airlines plane that was shot down over Ukraine. (GalleyCat. The Sydney Morning Herald also has a tribute to Davison’s work.)
- Free online course: Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring Her Work and Writing Life. The 8-week MOOC is offered through MSU. It’s free, though you’ll have to purchase several books.
- “Competing J.R.R. Tolkien Biopics Present Different Takes on the Lord of the Rings Author” (Stubby the Rocket, on Tor.com)
Free & Bargain books:
- SYNC Audiobooks
- Week of 7/24 – 7/30/14: Headstrong by Patrick Link (performed by Deidrie Henry, Ernie Hudson, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine and Scott Wolf; L.A. Theatre Works) and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (narrated by Scott Brick; Tantor Audio)
- Week of 7/31 – 8/06/14: Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy (narrated by Andrew Eiden; Scholastic Audio) and The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (narrated by Frank Muller; Recorded Books)
|Matilda by Charlotte Olympia (unfortunately, no longer available)|
- Twinkletoes: Bookish Shoes for Literary Feet (BookRiot)
- There and Back Again: Our Favorite Forms of [SFF] Fictional Transport (Tor.com)
- 12 Books That Capture What It’s Like to Be an Introvert (Huffington Post Books)
- Kid Lit Stamps from Around the World (BookRiot)
- 49 Signs You’re Addicted to Reading (Thought Catalog)
- Want to make your own Dr. Who/TARDIS shoes? (Doodle Craft)
- The Book Thing of Baltimore, Inc. is a free bookstore. Yes, you read that right: free.
Just for fun:
|Stainless steel wire fairies, by UK artist Robin Wight (via BoredPanda)|
- Check out these gorgeous wire fairy sculptures by UK artist Robin Wight. There are more sculptures and photos if you click the link.
That’s it for this week! Happy reading!
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.