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Tag: James Patterson (1-9 of 9)

On the Books: Regan Arts to sell virtual-reality viewer kits with books

virtual-reality

Regan Arts is launching its line of hybrid book/technology products on Oct. 28 with The Virtual Reality Beginners Guide and VR Smartphone Toolkit. The kit contains a 40-page book coauthored by TechCrunch writer Frederic Lardinois and DODOcase founder Patrick Buckley—the novelty is the Google-designed viewer it comes with, which readers will use in conjunction with their smartphone to create a virtual-reality headset. “This title is not just a book, it’s an experience,” a press release states.

Regan Arts, a venture between publisher Phaidon and former HarperCollins executive Judith Regan, says the cardboard head-mount and lenses in the kit will provide a “constantly expanding trove of immersive 3-D virtual experiences” to anybody with a smartphone and $25.95 to spend. “For millions, virtual reality is now accessible at a ridiculously low price,” Buckley said. Regan Arts will make iPhone apps available to power the experience. “Books are the oldest version of virtual reality,” says Regan, and The Virtual Reality Beginners Guide will “bring us beyond the book or screen, and past 3D.” [Publishers Weekly]

On Saturday, Hachette sponsored a lunch organized by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) in honor of author James Patterson. Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch’s remarks to the crowd at the Sheraton Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia. The luncheon took place amid the ongoing Hachette-Amazon negotiations, and Pietsch told the crowd (a collection of independent booksellers and authors), “Thank you for your support during this time. In difficult times you find out who your friends are.” He also noted, “Our sales of print books are up over 2013.”

When Patterson took the floor, he spoke to the issue more directly, chanting, “Go Amazon, Go Amazon. And I mean, Go!” to laughter from the crowd. On a more serious note, he asked, “Why can’t we have more American companies who are also ethical about how they do [business]?” [Publishers Weekly]

Brooklyn-based poet Casey Rocheteau, 29, is the first winner of the Write a House Project, an initiative started to encourage writers to live and work in Detroit. In November, Rocheteau will move into her new home in the recently bankrupt city, where she will live and write as its first official writer-in-residence. The property was in foreclosure until the Write a House Project fixed bought and fixed it up with the help of another local nonprofit. After two years, Rocheteau will receive the deed. “I’m thinking of a city that is currently undergoing this regeneration,” the poet says of Detroit. “It’s a city that’s seen a lot and taken a lot of abuse.” [The Los Angeles Times]

The Rona Jaffe Foundation awarded six writers a $30,000 cash prize at their 2014 Writers’ Award ceremonies in New York City last week. The winning authors are Olivia Clare (fiction), Karen Hays (nonfiction), Danielle Jones-Pruett (poetry), T.L. Khleif (fiction), Mara Naselli (nonfiction), and Solmaz Sharif (poetry). [GalleyCat]

On the Books: Nielsen Bookscan reports boom in graphic novel sales

graphic-novels.jpg

Americans have bought 5,618,000 graphic novels in 2014, Nielsen Bookscan reports—a 10-percent increase over last year. The rising success of the genre can be attributed to reliable fan favorites (The Walking Dead, Batman and Diary of a Wimpy Kid), the comeback of manga (Attack on Titan, Naruto, and One Piece), and breakout bestsellers like the space opera/fantasy series Saga (Image Comics), which topped lists in both its digital and paper formats. Similarly, Diamond Comics Distributors reports a near 4-percent rise in year-to-date sales and a near 6-percent rise in year-to-date units moved. The graphic novel business, including digital and periodical comics, made more than $870 million in 2013. [Publishers Weekly]

Other news indicating a resurgence in graphic novels is FilmNation Entertainment’s purchase of the film rights to The Undertaking of Lily Chena dark novel about “corpse brides” that “was inspired by an Economist article about the tradition of post-mortem marriage in China.” The New York distributor plans to turn the Danica Novgorodoff work into a Chinese-language movie, reporting it has had success in similar Chinese ventures before. [Mediabistro]

Another bestselling novelist is in the making his enthusiasm for the military known: James Patterson is donating 180,000 of his hardcover books to American troops. “Every day the men and women of our armed forces sacrifice on our behalf. I can’t think of a more deserving group to receive these books.” [USA Today]

On the Books: James Patterson will give a free book to every sixth grader in New York City's public schools

Author James Patterson has promised to donate almost 45,000 copies of his young-reader series Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life to the New York City Public School System before the end of the 2013-2014 school year, Chancellor Carmen Fariña, the head of New York City’s Department of Education, announced today at an event at the Community Eastside School in Manhattan. Every current sixth grader in New York City is eligible to receive the donation.

“I love New York City, and I’m so delighted to be sharing the gift of books and reading with the city’s sixth graders,” said Patterson in a press release. “These students have the potential to do great things, and supporting and nurturing that potential is our most important job as parents, and as citizens.” The goal of this donation, according to the press release from Little Brown and Company, is to encourage students to read over the summer and “avoid the ‘summer slide’ when students lose ground in their learning progress during long breaks from class.” Recently, Patterson also donated approximately 28,000 copies of his books to sixth-grade students in the Chicago Public School system. READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Dr. Seuss' hats hit the road!

From there to here, from here to there, funny hats are everywhere! Dr. Seuss was a fiend for hats, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. But for the first time in history 26 of his hats will tour the world. These guys have rarely been outside of his house in La Jolla, and they’re pretty excited to visit six states in the next seven months. Can’t you just picture a Seuss book about his hats flying around the world? He used the hats as the basis for The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Reacquaint yourself with some of his art and design work here. You will not want to miss this exhibit. [NPR]

James Patterson, who’s sold a bajillion novels, is donating $1 million to 50 independent bookstores across the nation. A worthy cause supported by a man who is “one of the industry’s wealthiest writers.” [New York Times]

Wikipedia wants a book deal. Indiegogo wants to print the entire English Wikipedia in 1,000 books with 1,200 pages each. Trees around the world are shuddering. Even though they have proposed to use “sustainable paper,” this sounds like a total waste. Upshot: you could now reference Wikipedia as a legitimate bibliographic source. [The Guardian]

Neil Gaiman, the king of multimedia artistic endeavors, will be doing a live reading of The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains backed by a string quartet playing music to accompany the tale of a search for hidden treasure. Illustrations by Eddie Campbell will  be projected during the performance. Shows will be at New York’s Carnegie Hall on June 27 and San Francisco’s Warfield on June 25. Stop it, Neil. We love you enough already! [SF Chronicle]

On the Books: Hemingway estate rejects 'Vanity Fair'; James Patterson donates $1 million to independent bookstores

It’s shaping up to be a strange Tuesday in book news: Instead of memoir-writing announcements, we’ve got verbal sparring between the Hemingway estate and Vanity Fair, a brawl over Kantian philosophy, and more. Read on for today’s top books headlines: READ FULL STORY

Read an excerpt of James Patterson's new YA novel -- EXCLUSIVE

confessions

Best-selling author James Patterson will end his sci-fi series Maximum Ride this August, but he has a new teen-oriented series that’s just getting started. Confessions of a Murder Suspect, co-written with Maxine Paetro, comes out Sept. 24 and will stick to the mystery-thriller genre that made him famous. It centers on Tandy Angel, who comes from a wealthy but seriously shady family. When her parents are murdered, she and her siblings are the only suspects — and to clear their names, Tandy must dig into her family’s dealings. She doesn’t like what she learns.

Intrigued? Check out the first three chapters below! READ FULL STORY

'The Lost Symbol' and 'Going Rogue' top 2009 best-seller list

Though it didn’t sell as strongly as The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol moved more than 5.5 million copies to dominate Publishers Weekly‘s just-unveiled list of the best-selling hardcover books of 2009. A few other expected author names populate the Top 15, including John Grisham (No. 2 and No. 6), James Patterson (No. 5), and Patricia Cornwell (No. 12 and No. 14). Stephenie Meyer landed in the ninth spot with her 2008 sci-fi novel The Host, but the lack of a Twilight book was evident, particularly in the ascendancy of two entries from P.C. Cast’s Twi-lite House of Night series, which rose up to fill a vampire-shaped hole. The real surprise, though, is Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, which itself was helped by tremendous word of mouth to become the fourth best-selling fiction book of the year with 1.1 million copies sold. On the nonfiction side, it was politics, mainly conservative, that got the cash register ringing. Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue capped the list, but books by Glenn Beck, conservative radio host Mark Levin, and the late Edward Kennedy all made it into the top five.

Whereas sales of albums and movie tickets are tallied virtually in real-time, the figures for the publishing industry are often as closely guarded as the Colonel’s secret recipe, so PW’s yearly ranking offers one of the best snapshots of the literary marketplace. And while the top contenders on both the fiction and nonfiction lists sold millions of copies, the overall list reveals a far less rosy picture of book sales. The number of titles that sold at least 100,000 copies is down by significant double-digit percentages from 2008 in both fiction and nonfiction.

E-book sales figures weren’t included this year (they will be for 2010), but since digital editions rarely exceed 5 percent of a book’s total sales it’s unlikely that the 2009 sales list would have received a big boost from their inclusion. Here are the top selling books of 2009 (since some publishers did not provide PW exact sales figures, several titles’ rankings are based on estimates or sales figures provided in confidence for the purposes of ranking):

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Lost Symbol: A Novel, Dan Brown (5,543,643 copies)
2. The Associate: A Novel, John Grisham
3. Tempted, P.C. Cast (1,141,818)
4. The Help, Kathryn Stockett (1,104,617)
5. I, Alex Cross, James Patterson (1,040,976)
6. Ford County, John Grisham
7. Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, Janet Evanovich (977,178)
8. Hunted, P.C. Cast (931,219)
9. The Host: A Novel, Stephenie Meyer (912,165)
10. Under the Dome, Stephen King
11. Pirate Latitudes, Michael Crichton (855,638)
12. Scarpetta, Patricia Cornwell (800,00)
13. U Is for Undertow, Sue Grafton (706,154)
14. The Scarpetta Factor, Patricia Cornwell (705,000)
15. Shadowland, Alyson Noel (609,355)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Going Rogue: An American Life, Sarah Palin (2,674,684 copies)
2. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment, Steve Harvey (1,735,219)
3. Arguing With Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government, Glenn Beck
4. Liberty & Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, Mark R. Levin
5. True Compass: A Memoir, Edward M. Kennedy (870,402)
6. Have a Little Faith: A True Story, Mitch Albom (855,843)
7. It’s Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, and Increase in God’s Favor, Joel Osteen
8. The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow (610,033)
9. Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books Not Bombs, Greg Mortenson (515,566)
10. Superfreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (487,977).
11. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child (487,228)
12. Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body! Jillian Michaels (486,154)
13. The Yankee Years, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci (397,954)
14. Open, Andre Agassi (383,722)
15. Time of My Life, Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niem

What book do you regret reading?

We’ve all been there: Your dear ol’ aunt tells you about a wonderful book. You pick up it and read it. And as soon as you turn its final page, you immediately begin searching for a magical genie’s lamp that will enable you to wish back the 75,000 words you just consumed.

Yes, we all have reading regrets. (I, for one, will never get back the four hours I wasted reading James Patterson’s Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas. Can you say tedious?) That’s why it’s fun to head over to the blog Good Reads to see this user-generated list of books that readers most regret reading. Though it’s no surprise that the polarizing Twilight tops the list, I’ll admit that I’m quite shocked that more people regret reading J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye than Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic.

So your turn, Shelf Lifers: What book gave you pangs of regret? And remember, this is a no-judgment zone!

James Patterson: Prolific author or brand manager?

James-Patterson_lJames Patterson™, perennial mainstay of the best-seller lists, just renewed his deal with Hachette’s Little, Brown for his next 17 books. That’s right: his next 17 books. That commits the former advertising exec to the publisher until 2012, for 11 more adult books plus six books for younger readers. That’s actually a slackening of his current publishing pace. By year’s end, Patterson will have published a whopping 22 books in the last three years alone. (Many people I know haven’t read that many books in that time.)

But Patterson, of course, is more than just a proverbial book factory. He’s an actual book factory, typically using credited co-authors to compose “first drafts” from elaborate outlines that he sends (as he detailed in a 2006 Time profile). Like Patterson himself, most of his collaborators have a background in advertising: There’s Richard DiLallo on the Alex Cross thrillers, Michael Ledwidge on the Michael Bennett thrillers and the Daniel X young-adult series, Maxine Paetro on the Women’s Murder Club mysteries, and Howard Roughan on various standalone thrillers. And while there is no co-author listed on the cover of the popular Maximum Ride YA series, about a group of kids who are part bird and part human, the copyright on those books is listed not as “James Patterson” (as it is on most of his titles) but the cryptic “SueJack, Inc.”

It’s an impressive commercial operation. The question is, can James Patterson™ be considered a prolific author in the way we regard Joyce Carol Oates (nine books in the last three years, by my count) or Alexander McCall Smith (ten books in three years)? Or is he more like Carolyn Keene or Franklin W. Dixon, the credited “authors” of the comparably well-branded Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery series? Are you still a writer if you subcontract out much of the actual, you know, writing?

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