The feud between Hachette Book Group and Amazon has intensified. The Los Angeles Times reports that Amazon has taken the pre-order buttons off of big Hachette titles, like The Burning Room by Michael Connelly and The Silkworm by Richard Galbraith, the pen name for J.K. Rowling. This is in addition to allegedly extending back order times for popular books, like Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. Hachette has issued a statement saying they are “sparing no effort and exploring all options” to resolve this conflict, but Amazon has declined to comment. Hachette author James Patterson has been very outspoken about this battle. “What I don’t understand about this particular battle tactic is how it is in the best interest of Amazon customers,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It certainly doesn’t appear to be in the best interest of authors.” READ FULL STORY
Category: News (11-20 of 609)
Former EW deputy managing editor Jeff Giles, who oversaw the magazine’s coverage of movies and books and edited plenty of Hunger Games cover stories, has a new young-adult series of his own coming soon. Bloomsbury Children’s has acquired the global rights to two books by him: The Mercy Rule, a fantasy novel about a teen girl trying to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance who meets a bounty hunter trying to escape the Lowlands (a.k.a. hell), and an as-yet-untitled sequel. Giles is represented by literary agent Jodi Reamer, who also represents John Green and Stephenie Meyer.
“The Mercy Rule daringly straddles the line between realistic fiction and fantasy — the kind of book that takes hold of you and never lets go,” Cindy Loh, Publishing Director for Bloomsbury Children’s Books, says in a press release. “Jeff is an incredibly gifted storyteller and we knew from page one that this was a project to support in a big way. We have ambitious plans for Jeff and his stunning new series.”
The Mercy Rule is slated for publication in early 2016.
We always knew that Muppet lover and Dracula musical writer Jason Segel was a giant kid at heart, and now he’s planning to tell stories directly aimed at a very young audience. The first novel from the former How I Met Your Mother star will hit shelves Sept. 9, and EW has the exclusive first look at the cover of Nightmares!. Read on for more on Segel’s own weird nightmares, the first screenplay he ever wrote, and his experiences reading Infinite Jest while preparing to play David Foster Wallace in an upcoming biopic. READ FULL STORY
How very high-low. Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, was in Chipotle one day and he was quite miffed that he had nothing to read while he munched on his burrito. “I really just wanted to die with frustration,” he told Vanity Fair.
The author was so riled that he emailed the Chipotle C.E.O. Steve Ells directly: “I bet a s—load of people go into your restaurants every day, and I bet some of them have very similar experiences, and even if they didn’t have that negative experience, they could have a positive experience if they had access to some kind of interesting text…Wouldn’t it be cool to just put some interesting stuff on it? Get really high-quality writers of different kinds, creating texts of different kinds that you just give to your customers as a service.”
Ells knew a good thing when he saw it, so he gave Foer the green light to select writers and edit their stories for Chipotle’s cups. Foer composed a short called “Two Minute Personality Test” and then asked Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, Judd Apatow, Sarah Silverman, Bill Hader and others to contribute pieces. “I tried to put together a somewhat eclectic group, in terms of styles,” he said. “I wanted some that were essayistic, some fiction, some things that were funny, and somewhat thought provoking.” READ FULL STORY
Some people think of everything, like the folks over at humanitarian group WaterisLife. They wrote a book on water quality, but went the extra mile and made the pages actual water filters that can be torn out and used to treat contaminated water. My first question was: what languages are they printing this in because chances are the people who need this speak only a local dialect. Sure enough they covered that: “Each page of the book is divided by perforation into two squares. The top half has information printed in English, while the bottom half is printed in a locally spoken language. The first run was printed in English and Swahili to be distributed in Kenya, but the goal is to expand printing for languages spoken in all 33 countries where WaterisLife operates.” [Slate] READ FULL STORY
In an almost mythological tale of hubris, Misha Defonseca, author of the best-selling Holocaust memoir Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years, has been ordered to pay her publisher $22.5 million after it was discovered that she faked her entire life story. Before the truth about her past came to light, Defonseca sued her publisher for $32.4 million for “breach of contract for hiding profits from the author.” While researching the book during the trial, the publisher realized that none of the facts checked out and Defonseca ended up confessing that she made the whole thing up. The $22.5 million is Defonseca’s portion of the $32.4 million judgement she won years ago and now must return. By now, the wild tale of a 7-year-old girl who trekked through the snowy wilderness after her parents were taken by Nazis has already been translated into 18 languages and made into a movie. [NY Post]
American teens are reading for pleasure way less than they used to. According to a study conducted by Common Sense Media, almost half of 17-year-olds say they read for pleasure no more than one or two times a year. This decline is happening despite the expanding number of platforms that are available to readers. The study does not link this to the internet directly, but researchers think the distractions from smart phones, infinitely streaming television and the k-hole of YouTube are a likely factor. [NPR]
Freakonomics fans can read an excerpt from Think Like a Freak, the authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s newest book about how to problem solve like…a freak. Sample advice: “It’s much better to ask small questions than big ones. Small questions…are virgin territory for true learning.” [Guardian]
Walter Isaacson, the best-selling author and president of the Aspen Institute, will deliver the Jefferson Lecture at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. tonight at 7:30 pm ET. Mr. Isaacson has written biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, and he will be discussing the lives of all three men during his lecture on “The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences.” You can live stream the sold out lecture at the National Endowment for the Humanities website.
The publishing house Hachette Book Group has accused Amazon of deliberately delaying shipments of their books as a negotiation tactic to pressure the publisher into giving Amazon more favorable terms. Amazon has reportedly been marking many books published by Hachette as not available for at least two or three weeks. Titles by Malcolm Gladwell and J.D. Salinger are being delayed. Stephen Colbert’s America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t is listed as three weeks away, while James Patterson’s Alex Cross, Run is listed as a five-week wait. The New York Times reports that over the years Amazon has employed a number of ruthless tactics against publishing houses, even removing the “buy” buttons from some books! [New York Times] READ FULL STORY
The newest addition to Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels has been announced. Sophie Hannah has written The Monogram Murders, which will be released on September 9th. Hannah says that she had the idea for the plot for years, but it wasn’t until she was offered the chance to author a Hercule Poirot novel that she found the perfect setting. See the her talk about the book in the video below:
Vladmir Putin and Prince are on the same page about profanity right now, specifically that they’ve had enough of it. Putin passed a law that “requires books containing obscenities to come in sealed packages with warning labels and that bans cursing in movies and the performing arts,” according to NPR. There’s no official list of banned words, but it will be up to the Ministry of Culture to decide what is too profane. Prince, on the other hand, just told Essence magazine that he’s not swearing in his music anymore because we should treat “all people like royalty,” and you don’t swear in front of royalty. READ FULL STORY
The PEN American Center hosted its annual literary gala last night, and the list of speakers celebrating freedom of expression included Salman Rushdie, two members of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot, and Toni Morrison. Jewher Ulham accepted the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award on behalf of her father, Ilham Tohti, a scholar arrested in January and charged with inciting separation among China’s ethnic Uighurs. Words are “all he has ever had at his disposal and all that he has ever needed. And this is what China finds so threatening,” she said in her acceptance speech. Other awards went to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, who was given the inaugural Digital Freedom Award and to Salman Rushdie who won the PEN’s Literary Service Award. [Yahoo] READ FULL STORY
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