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:
- “Mary Shelley letters discovered in Essex archive”: A collection of 13 previously unpublished letters by the author of Frankenstein sheds light on her personality, her health, and her son by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The Keats-Shelley Journal will publish the letters soon. (Esther Addley, The Guardian)
- More bad news for Barnes & Noble: Nook sales plummet and holiday retail sales were down. (Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly) In related news, the chain has closed its flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue. (Gothamist)
- J. K. Rowling’s lawyer fined for leaking her identity as author of The Cuckoo’s Calling (Reuters, via the Chicago Tribune)
- Netgalley and the ABA partner to bring more digital galleys to indie booksellers. The Digital White Box program will offer new titles exclusively to indie booksellers. (Digital Book World)
- Literary style and use of verbs, conjunctions can predict a book’s success, according to computer analysis by Stony Brook University scientists. (Matthew Sparkes, The Telegraph)
- Apple is now asking the court to fire external monitor Michael Bromwich (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly)
- Yet another bookstore experiences financial woes: The Modern Times Book Collective in San Francisco is seeking donations. The problem isn’t with sales, says IBA spokesman Hut Landon, but with rapidly rising rents in the Mission district. (Judith Rosen, Publishers Weekly)
- On the other hand, “Little bookstores making big impact” in Michigan and nationally, according to Rene Wisely in the Detroit News. So there is hope for bookstore survival.
- “Zola Books has acquired Bookish”: Zola, which is both an ebook retailer and a social network, recently bought recommendation site Bookish. (GalleyCat, and a press release on Digital Journal.
- “The Top 10 Library Stories of 2013” explores these in depth, looking at advances in ebook lending to the Google fair use ruling, (the lack of) copyright reform, a bookless library, the Digital Public Library of America, and more. Well worth reading. (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly)
- “On Reading Authors of Color” (Cassandra Neace, BookRiot) The post explains why we should; the comments offer lots of author suggestions.
“Old Man River of No Return: A Steamy Regency Brought to You by Father Time?” – a really marvelous review at Badass Romance of one of my favorite books of 2013, The River of No Return.
“As New Services Track Habits, The Ebooks Are Reading You” looks at how new subscription services Scribd and Oyster are tracking and analyzing readers’ habits, and how this could be useful to authors and publishers. (New York Times)
For Writers & Bloggers:
- “Self-Publishing: It Takes a Village” (Lindsay Pyfer, The Huffington Post)
Elizabeth Jane Howard died Jan. 2, 2014, in Suffolk, England, at the age of 90. In addition to her Cazelet Chronicles, the fifth of which, All Change, was published in November, and several other novels, Howard also wrote scripts for Upstairs, Downstairs and other productions. Several of her Cazelet novels were adapted by BBC TV and Radio 4. (Obituary: BBC News: Entertainment & Arts)
- The cover for Deborah Harkness’s The Book of Life was revealed Thursday. The book, third in the trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches, will be released on July 15, 2014. (author’s website, and USA Today, which also has an excerpt.)
- The Star Wars comics and graphic novels are moving from Dark Horse to Disney’s subsidiary, Marvel. (Heidi MacDonald, Publishers Weekly)
- 16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year (Buzzfeed)
- Children’s Publishers Choose Their 2013 Favorites (Publishers Weekly) – picks range from picture books to YA, each with a paragraph on why the editor chose that particular book.
- 40 Ways to Listen to Audiobooks Even If You Don’t Commute (BookRiot). No more excuses!
- Five Books to Watch for in January (BookRiot)
- The 9 Best Books That Don’t Exist (PWxyz)
- Try, Try Again: Rejection Letters Received by Bestselling Authors (before they were best-selling, for the most part.) My favorite is the rejection letter sent to Gertrude Stein in the author’s own style. (Mental Floss)
- Bookish baby onesies (BookRiot) – too cute! My favorites are Thing 1 and 2 and “And though she be but little, she is FIERCE.”
Just for fun:
- How well do you know your Conan Doyle? Take the Guardian‘s quiz.
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.