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:
- The Amazon-Hachette dispute continues to escalate. Here’s a slightly pro-Amazon take (GigaOm) and a more Hachette-friendly take (Publishers Weekly). And the Author’s Guild is not happy with Amazon (GalleyCat).
- The RWA is launching a romance book discovery app called Novel Engagement. “Novel Engagement offers readers search, events, tags and the usual social media tools, allowing authors to connect with fans and sell books via purchase links. Retailer and librarians can also search for reader trends, as well as new titles to offer patrons and customers.” (Publishers Weekly) So far, the app is available through the Apple app store (iOS) and Google Play (for Android 4.0 and up). It should soon be available for Kindle (presumably Fire, not Paperwhite) and as a website app.
- HarperCollins continues to seek damages in copyright suit against Open Road for selling an ebook of Jean Craighead George’s Julie of the Wolves. HC holds the print rights; George herself refused to give the ebook rights to the publishing firm.
- HarperCollins has also relaunched direct ebook sales. (GoodEReader)
- “Wearable Device Helps Visually-Impaired People Read” (GalleyCat)
- The average UK author salary has dropped 29% since 2005. (GalleyCat)
- Smashwords’ 2014 survey results are out. The takeaway: Readers prefer longer ebooks. The ebook price sweet spot (for Smashwords books) is $2.99 – $3.99, higher for nonfiction. Free books don’t work as well as they used to for generating sales – except when they’re the first book in a series. Series books give authors a sales advantage. (Smashwords blog)
- An exhibit of ‘Madeline‘ art opens in New York. The exhibit is at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, and features more than 90 original artworks from the 6 Madeline books, plus other works by author-artist Ludwig Bemelmans.
- Artist/illustrator Quentin Blake is opening a gallery of his work in London. (GalleyCat)
Worth Reading/Listening to:
- “Why Readers Are, Scientifically, The Best People to Fall in Love With” (Lauren Martin, Elite Daily)
- Why We Still Need Publishers (Susie Rodarme, BookRiot)
For Writers & Bloggers:
“The ‘C’ in ARC Does Not Stand For ‘Contract'” (Janet, on Dear Author). Janet also quotes from several other bloggers, including Anya’s post on On Starships and Dragonwings entitled “‘For Review’ vs. ‘For Review Consideration'” and Kim’s “Blogging for Books versus Blogging Because of Books” over at Sophisticated Dorkiness.
Free & Bargain books:
- SYNC Audiobooks
- Week of 7/10 – 7/16/14: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose (read by Channie Waits; Brilliance Audio) and While The World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry with Denise George (read by Felicia Bullock; Oasis Audio)
- Week of 7/17 – 7/23/14: The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer (narrated by Katherine Kellgren; Recorded Books)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes II by Arthur Conan Doyle (narrated by David Timson; Naxos AudioBooks)
- Open Road is offering a slew of SF titles through Humble Bumble this week. Titles include The Healer’s War (Elizabeth Ann Scarborough), The Reluctant Swordsman (Dave Duncan), Freehold (William Dietz), The Time of the Dark (Barbara Hambly), and Wingman (Mack Maloney.) Pay at least $12 and you also get Encounter with Tiber (Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes), Blackcollar (Timothy Zahn), Spellsinger (Alan Dean Foster), I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (Harlan Ellison), The Forge of God (Greg Bear), and Song of Kali (Dan Simmons) – and more books may be coming. Humble Bumble books are DRM-free and work on multiple platforms including ePub, iPad, and Kindle. You pay what you want, and you choose how to divvy the purchase price between authors, charity (the SFWA Medical Fund and FirstBook), and Humble Bumble. The deal lasts through July 23.
- Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2014 Book Preview (The Millions)
- 4 Fantasy Novels That Are NOT Set In Medieval Europe (Nikki Steele, BookRiot)
- 6 Folktales from 6 Continentst to Read to Your Kids (BookRiot)
|London book bench: Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.|
- Wanna see more of those London book benches? GoodEReader has collected more photos.
- New Paintings on Salvaged Books by Mike Stilkey. Artist Mike Stilkey uses the spines and covers of discarded books as the canvas for his paintings.
|Paintings by Mike Stilkey|
Just for fun:
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.