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:
- Poe statue to be unveiled in Boston in October (Boston Magazine)
- Apple trial remains in NY; the company’s request for a stay was not granted. (Publishers Weekly)
- New poll suggests more Americans read ebooks than previously thought. The Harris poll is somewhat at odds with January’s Pew Research report; the Harris results have 54% reading an ebook in the last year, as opposed to Pew’s 28%. (Digital Book World)
- Digital and print sales leveling out, according to a report by Publishers Weekly. The growth of ebook sales is slowing, as is the decline in print sales. Perhaps they are nearing a new normal, where digital makes up a relatively constant percentage of overall sales.
- Time’s 2014 most influential people list includes a number of writers, including John Green, Donna Tartt, Arundhati Roy, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Mulala Yousafzai, whose memoir came out this year. (The site takes a little while to load; be patient.) (Time)
- Kindle owners, Prime customers spend more on Amazon. Surprise, surprise. As a consumer who is both, I’m sure I buy more from Amazon than I would if I didn’t have Prime or a Kindle. Those Kindle bargain books are way too tempting, especially with One-Click, and $2 a pop adds up faster than you’d think. (GoodEReader)
- Random House opens an online cookbook store selling cookbooks from all publishers. It’s a curated bookstore; the actual sales will go through Amazon, B&N, iBookstore, and Indiebound. (Digital Book World)
- Amazon tax causes decline in sales. (GoodEReader)
- “Ebook, Used, or New? The Choice Reflects a Range of Values” (Beth Bacon, Digital Book World)
- “You don’t own your Kindle books, Amazon reminds customer” (Joel Johnson, NBC News) I’ve written about this issue before; when you “buy” ebooks, you really only buy a license to read them, and it can be revoked.
- “What to Do If your Amazon Kindle is Stolen or Lost”. Some of this probably applies to other dedicated e-readers as well. (GoodEReader)
- “Aaaaaaaaaaargh, There Are Just Too Many Books…” (Savidge Reads). I think most of us can relate!
- “WBN 2014: Walking the Lighthouse Road Along Lake Superior”. Clare Kirsch reflects on her World Book Night experience. (Publishers Weekly)
- 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize goes to Claudia Rankine (Publishers Weekly)
For Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday (April 23):
- Alan Rickman reads Sonnet 130 (YouTube)
- The Reduced Theater Company presents the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) — 1.5 hour video, and well worth watching. Very funny! (YouTube)
- 10 Things you didn’t know about Shakespeare — or at least, about his plays, theater, and the history of their production. (The Telegraph)
- “Why Shakespeare Belongs in Prison” and anywhere among the disenfranchised. (The Atlantic)
- Quiz: Which Shakespeare Character Are You? (PBS: Shakespeare Uncovered blog)
For Writers & Bloggers:
- Mary Robinette Kowal is offering an online writing workshop on a sliding scale. This is for folks who really can’t afford the full fee; if you can, she asks that you wait and take the workshop at another time. (The more I find out about this author, the more awesome she is.)
- “He’s Got a Ticket to Write, or How a Late Train Produced a Novel”. More like a series of late trains, actually. This post — and Dominic Utton’s new novel, Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time — prove that story ideas can be found anywhere. (The Daily Beast)
- “Writer’s Block: The Great Myth”, on historical romance author Mary Balogh’s blog.
- “Marketing through Book Clubs and Paid Reviewers” reports on a panel at the recent PubSmartCon. (GoodEReader) You can also check out GoodEReader’s coverage of a panel on book discoverability, which suggests starting marketing 3 to 6 months before your book comes out.
Book & Movie Announcements:
- J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy will become a 3-hour TV miniseries. HBO & the BBC are teaming to bring the book to the small screen; Rowling will be an executive producer. (Variety)
- A Sweet Life Boxed Set (2.99) 14 contemporary romance novels and novellas by best-selling authors, to benefit diabetes research. Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, Heather Graham, Julia Kent, Susan Mallery, Brenda Novak, Carly Phillips, Jennifer Probst, RaeAnne Thayne, Rachel Van Dyken, Susan Wiggs, Lauren Hawkeye, Steena Holmes, Jane Porter. Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
- 10 Books to Read While Waiting Impatiently for ‘Maleficent’ (Huff Post Books)
- 100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime (Amazon) There’s something for everyone on this list, from Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys to Sayers, Christie, James Bond, and Gone Girl.
- Top 10 animal companions in (mostly) children’s books, chosen by Django Wexler. (The Guardian: Books) I’d have come up with a different mix (with the exception of Hedwig), but there are some interesting choices here.
- 21 ’90s Book Titles That Should Actually Exist. With covers. (Buzzfeed) Here are my two favorites:
- “Harry Potter Fans Made a MOOC for Hogwarts, and You Can Enroll Now” (Alex Heimbach, Slate). If I had more time, I would totally do this! Here’s the actual link to the website, Hogwarts is Here. As of today, they appear to have over 152,000 students enrolled — up 11,000 students in the last three days.
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.