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Tag: E-Books (1-10 of 61)

On the Books: Daniel Handler donating $110k to 'We Need Diverse Books' campaign

- Author Daniel Handler, better known by his pen name Lemony Snicket, announced his donation of a huge sum of money to the We Need Diverse Books Indiegogo campaign after apologizing for racially offensive comments he made while hosting the National Book Awards last week. Handler promised a $10,000 donation to the organization in a series of tweets—plus matching funds for donations made in the following 24 hours, up to $100,000. After apologizing for his “monstrously inappropriate” and “racist comments on Twitter, Handler wrote: “It would be heartbreaking for the conversation to focus on my behavior instead of great books. So can we do this?… Let’s donate to to … Brown Girl Dreaming is an amazing novel and we need more voices like Jacqueline Woodson.” Handler’s $100k pledge did not go unnoticed—donors rallied and amassed the funds within 24 hours.

- A new e-content partnership between HarperCollin Publishers and JetBlue is taking flight on Nov. 26—the day before Thanksgiving, and a notoriously busy travel day. Fly-Fi Hub, JetBlue’s new inflight Wi-Fi program, will offer passengers excerpts from HarperCollins’ current bestsellers, with the option to purchase the full ebook. The selection of titles will fluctuate with book sales; the first batch of samples will include Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton’s Endgame: The Calling. [Publishers Weekly]

- CBS Films has hired a new screenwriter for the film adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Alvin Schwartz’s classic series of terrifying tales. John August (Big Fish, Frankenweenie) will write the script based on the three bestsellers, written by Schwartz and memorably illustrated by Stephen Gammell: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1981), More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984), and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991). August, who frequently works with Tim Burton, “is going back to the source material for his take,” Deadline reports. No director is attached yet.

- Coffee House Press’ founding publisher Allan Kornblum died of complications from leukemia on Sunday at the age of 65. Kornblum was “one of the leaders of the small press movement that emerged out of the 1960s-era passions for social change,” Publishers Weekly writes in its obituary. He established Coffee House as a nonprofit independent publisher in 1984. Under his guidance, Coffee House became one of the most highly regarded small American presses—a nurturer of literary talent and a supporter of authors of color, most notably Asian Americans. A number of critically acclaimed and award winning works have emerged from Coffee House, including Somewhere Else by Matthew Shenoda (2006), Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith (2008), and Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner (2011). Kornblum’s successor, Chris Fischbach, released a statement on the publisher’s website, which is excerpted below.

For 42 years he championed new voices and new publishers and fought tirelessly to get them the attention they deserve. It was a lifetime of service not only to literature but also to the field of publishing, of which he was a devoted scholar. Whether it was choosing just the right font, navigating the changing marketplace of bookselling, or understanding the historical pattern of the changes in printing technology, his wisdom and devotion were unmatched. [Publishers Weekly]

On the Books: Insider Prince Charles bio coming next year

- Henry Holt and Company has inked a deal to buy Time magazine editor-at-large Catherine Mayer’s new biography of longtime heir-apparent Charles, Prince of Wales. Mayer spent a year doing research for Born to Be King: Prince Charles on Planet Windsor, spending time with friends of Charles, palace insiders and the royal himself. The book will be slightly pared down from the U.K./international edition from WH Allen. Born to Be King “reveals Prince Charles in all his complexity,” according to Holt, giving “fresh and fascinating insights into the first marriage that did so much to define him”—with Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997, as well as his current wife, Duchess Camilla. The biography is set to be published in February 2015. [Publishers Weekly] READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Pulitzer-winning poet Galway Kinnell dies at 87

- Renowned American poet Galway Kinnell died of leukemia last week at the age of 87. Kinnell received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for 1982’s Selected Poems—as well as a MacArthur genius grant, a poet laureateship in Vermont, a chancellorship at the American Academy of Poets, and, most recently, the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement. The World War II vet, anti-Vietnam War activist, and civil rights champion infused his verse with the gritty social issues pervading the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The Los Angeles Times writes that the Kinnell is celebrated for his “forceful, spiritual takes on the outsiders and underside of contemporary life,” and how he “blended the physical and the philosophical, not shying from the most tactile and jarring details of humans and nature.” His work reflects the influence that Walt Whitman and  friend W.S. Merwin had on him. Kinnell—who also taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Reed College before retiring in 2011—is survived by his wife, two children from a former marriage, and two grandchildren.

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Simon and Schuster inks deal with Amazon: Publisher will control ebook prices

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Simon & Schuster has signed a new multiyear contract with Amazon that gives the publisher nearly full autonomy over ebook pricing. Both dealmakers appear to be pleased with the agreement, going into effect Jan. 1, 2015. S&S chief executive Carolyn Reidy said in a letter obtained by The New York Times that the deal “is economically advantageous for both Simon & Schuster and its authors and maintains the author’s share of income generated from eBook sales.” The publisher will gain control over determining the prices of its authors’ ebooks, “with some limited exceptions,” according to the letter. Amazon, for example, can still offer some discount deals.

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On the Books: Authors United warns Amazon, watch your reputation

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The 1,100 member group Authors United posted a letter of direct appeal to Amazon’s board of directors—urging them to end their book-pricing standoff with publisher Hachette, which has hurt some authors’ book sales.

The letter warns the board that their reputation may be at stake: “[I]f this is how Amazon continues to treat the literary community, how long will the company’s fine reputation last?” The appeal continues, noting similar disputes “have a long and ugly history,” and asking, “Do you, personally, want to be associated with this?” For months, Amazon has delayed shipments of books by Hachette authors and removed the preorder option for those titles in an attempt to force Hachette to lower its e-book prices. [NPR] READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Millennials read more than their elders, study finds

A new study from the Pew Research Center has yielded some surprising results on Americans’ reading habits across generations— finding that younger people are actually reading more books than their elders. The data shows that “88% of Americans under 30 read a book in the past year, compared with 79% of those age 30 and older.” The fact that Millennials read more than older Americans contradicts the popular characterization of a generation more interested in social media and the internet than paperbacks and hardcovers.

Another unexpected finding is that Millennials are equally as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past year. Additionally, Pew found that 62 percent of younger people believe there is “a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the Internet,” while only 53 percent of older Americans believe the same. [NPR]

Yesterday, Kindle users were notified by Amazon via email that they were eligible to receive damages from August’s court settlement of the class-action lawsuit filed against Apple for conspiring to fix ebook prices. Users may opt to receive a check or account credit. [Publishers Weekly]

In other Apple news, court papers filed on Sept. 4 disclose that Apple shareholders have sued the company’s executives for their role in “ensnaring Apple in a multi-year anticompetitive scheme to retail price competition… in the electronic book (‘e-book’) market.”

Herbert R. Lottman, the American biographer of influential French figures, died on Aug. 27 at the age of 87 after losing a battle with degenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He wrote landmark accounts of French artists and intellectuals like Albert Camus, and he served as the European correspondent for Publishers Weekly for over three decades. [The New York Times]

On the Books: Mario Lopez memoir arriving this fall

Saved by the Bell‘s Mario Lopez’s upcoming memoir Just Between Us will be released on September 30. In the book, the Extra host opens up about his successes in the entertainment industry and “the heartbreaking mistakes” that still haunt him, including his highly public, and at times tumultuous, love life. In a release from his publisher Celebra, Lopez added, “There are no do-overs in life, so I had to learn to pick myself up and move forward, never forgetting the hard-won lessons. I’m thrilled to share my story in this memoir, to reveal the memories I’ve held close to my heart for the time.” This will be Lopez’s fourth book. [The Hollywood Reporter] READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Publisher accuses Amazon of deliberately delaying shipments of books

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

Check out the interactive cover of Karen Russell's e-novella 'Sleep Donation'. You can poke it! -- EXCLUSIVE

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Whether with her bizarre novel Swamplandia! or her recent short story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Pulitzer finalist Karen Russell has never shied away from literary experimentation. Now she’s tackling another form: the e-novella. The debut title from Atavist Books, Sleep Donation (out Mar. 25) will explore a future America in which an insomnia epidemic is affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Enter the Slumber Corps, an organization that urges healthy dreamers to donate sleep to an insomniac. Under the wealthy and enigmatic Storch brothers the Corps’ reach has grown, with outposts in every major US city. Trish Edgewater, whose sister Dori was one of the first victims of the lethal insomnia, has spent the past seven years recruiting for the Corps. But Trish’s faith in the organization and in her own motives begins to falter when she is confronted by “Baby A,” the first universal sleep donor, and the mysterious “Donor Y.”

For a novella with an inventive plot, legendary book jacket designer Chip Kidd came up with an ingenius cover design. “I’m in awe of Karen Russell as a writer, and the way she articulates her extraordinary ideas,” says Kidd. “It was a thrill to work for her, and to create a book cover that responds to the reader much in the way many of her sleep-afflicted characters in the story might. More precisely: what happens when you poke a virtual book jacket in the eye? This was so much fun to conceive and execute, and the illustrator Kevin Tong and the team at Atavist Books did a fantastic job of realizing my concept and making it actually work. I still love print, and hope to work in it for the rest of my life, but what it really comes down to regardless of the medium is a visual idea that is derived from the text.”

Give the virtual cover an e-poke here.

On the Books: Amazon finds indie booksellers make up a quarter of top Kindle Direct Publishing ebook sales

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Good news for indie booksellers: They’re making a dent in Amazon’s Top 100 ebooks sold on the Amazon Kindle. Meanwhile, Norway is making steps toward digitizing all books in the 20th century. More on those stories and other top headlines below:

Amazon revealed a quarter of the top 100 Kindle ebook sales — through Kindle Direct Publishing — in the U.S. were by self-publishing indie authors and publishers. [The Guardian]

The National Library of Norway has been digitizing every book published in Norwegian since 2006 and will finish doing so in the next two to three decades. Anyone in Norway will eventually have access to all 20th century works, including those under copyright, writes The Atlantic‘s Alexis C. Madrigal. [The Atlantic]

Writer José Esteban Muñoz, known for his studies on queer theory, gender, and sexuality, has died at age 46. [The University of Minnesota Press]

Baltimore has become “The City That Reads,” with about 160,000 children’s books being distributed free to the city’s schoolteachers this week. [Baltimore Sun]

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America named sci-fi author Samuel R. Delany the grandmaster for 2013. Delany will be presented with the award at the Nebula Awards in 2014. [LA Times]

Collections of artful accidents in Google Books scans have cropped up online. Kenneth Goldsmith examines their appearances. [The New Yorker]

This year’s National Book Award winner for fiction James McBride talked how he writes, where he writes, and what he does when he’s rewriting. [The Daily Beast]

Looking for a gift for a young reader? Check out this list of holiday-friendly children’s books. [USA Today]

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