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:
- “Overstock Goes After Amazon”, then “Extends Pricing War”, making this a good time to purchase any of about 360,000 titles from one or the other online store — including J. K. Rowling’s new crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (less than $7 in hardcover!), and a 4-book boxed set of the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. The price war is not great news for B&N, Walmart, Target, and independent bookstores, however; their prices remain significantly higher, which is likely to lead to at least a temporary drop in sales. (Judith Rosen, Publishers Weekly)
- “DoJ Seeks Comprehensive Injunction in Apple E-book Case” (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly)
- “Book News: Outrage After Fox News Interview With ‘Zealot’ Author” Apparently, a Fox News interviewer displayed her anti-Muslim prejudice when she interviewed Reza Aslan, the author of a new scholarly biography of Jesus. (Annalisa Quinn, NPR’s The Two-Way). The subsequent publicity helped push Mr. Aslan’s book to the number one spot on Amazon.
“Caroline Criado-Perez Twitter abuse case leads to arrest”. Last week, Jane Austen was announced as the new face of the UK £10 note. After the announcement, feminist Caroline Criado-Perez, who campaigned to keep a woman on British banknotes, was flooded with abusive tweets, some of them threatening rape. In addition to the arrest, there’s now an online petition at Change.org calling for Twitter to add a “report abuse” button and implement a zero tolerance policy. (BBC News UK)
- J. K. Rowling holds the top 2 spots on the print best-seller lists for The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling (written as Robert Galbraith). The Cuckoo’s Calling also tops sales at Apple’s iBooks store. (Publishers Weekly)
- “Stephen King’s Family Business”. Apparently, writing runs in the family. The New York Times’ Susan Dominus offers a fascinating (albeit lengthy) look at the King family, almost all of whom are published writers. (While Stephen King is the most prolific and well-known, wife Tabitha King and sons Owen King and Joe Hill have also done quite well in the field.)
- August is Read a Romance Month, and on their website, 93 authors will share why romance matters. Readers can join in the conversation, and the site will also offer prizes. You can sign up for the weekly drawings here, and leave comments on individual author’s posts to be entered for that author’s book. You might also enjoy the founder’s NPR article “In Defense of Romance.”
For Writers & Bloggers:
- “Random House Launches Blogger Community for Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fans”. The site, called Suvudu Universe, will offer original content by writers (bloggers), who retain ownership of their content. If you’re interested in participating, check it out. (Dianna Dilworth, Appnewser)
- Kindle Worlds has acquired a license which will allow writers to publish fanfic based on Kurt Vonnegut’s works. (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- Scholastic revealed the new cover for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For some reason, the characters look less like the movie actors than on earlier covers in the series.
- Disney and Harvey Weinstein are teaming to film ‘Artemis Fowl’, the MG fantasy series by Eoin Colfer. (Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times)
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:
- Aug 1 to Aug 7: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane (read by Dan Weyman; Macmillan Audio) and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Ralph Cosham (Blackstone Audio)
- Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (read by Katherine Kellgren; Brilliance Audio) and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (read by Miriam Margolyes; Bolinda Audio)
- NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction & Fantasy Books. Interactive, so you can check off the ones you’ve read!
- 101 Best Selling Books of All Time. A very eclectic mix, ranging from classics to popular bestsellers to children’s books.
- 95 Young Adult Books to Read This Summer Instead of Reading ‘Harry Potter’ Again — with a great infographic. (Rebecca Eisenberg, Upworthy)
- 25 YA Books for Adults Who Don’t Read YA (Buzzfeed)
- Ten Books for the Geek in All of Us. OK, do bear in mind this list is from Random House, so the titles are all from their current list. Nonetheless, there are some intriguing titles here. As a Star Trek fan, I think I need to read Scalzi’s Redshirts.
Just for fun:
- 23 Lovely DIY Bookends. From DIY Anthropologie woodland bookends to vintage phones, gold honey bears, book bricks, and even beanbags, you should find some inspiration here.
That’s it for this week! I’ll be on vacation for the next four weekends, so News & Notes posts will be a bit haphazard until September.
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.