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Craig Morgan Teicher

‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ Hits the (Small) Big Screen

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It’s one of the eBooks featured in the new Nook TV ad, and it’s on the front page of every eBookstore: Rebecca Skloot‘s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has been a smash hit in both print and electronic formats. Now it will be made into a movie for HBO, produced by Oprah Winfrey and American Beauty co-producer Alan Ball.

Skloot, an avid Twitterer, spent yesterday, when the announcement was made, fielding questions about the adaptation on Twitter. Our sibling blog, GalleyCat rounded up what she said.

Here’s more from GalleyCat:

Skloot revealed that the producers will include both herself and her subject’s family: “I’ll [be] a consultant on film, so will Lacks family. That was important [to] me & HBO. That’s [one] of many reasons HBO was right home [for the book.]” She added: “I’ll be a consultant, and so will Lacks family.”

She also noted: “I’ve known [for] a while, just couldn’t say anything about it until it was public, which happened this AM while I was sleeping.”

The day concluded with casting suggestions from her Twitter followers: “Most popular votes [for] playing me in #HeLa movie: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway & Natalie Portman. For Henrietta: Halle Berry & Viola Davis.”

Open Road Media Releases Styron eBooks

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That tiny banner above is ad now running on Amazon’s Kindle books page advertising the release of the eBooks of William Styron, published by Open Road Integrated Media. So they’re out. Did you know that?

Open road released eight titles on May 4th, including Sophie’s Choice, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and Darkness Visible, ranging in price from $8.60 to $9.99. Here’s the whole list, plus a few other eBooks pub’d by Random House.

So how do you feel about this? Does it feel fresh and new to start a new media company with Styron…Styron’s books are really, really good…

Amazon to Split Kindle Bestsellers List Into Free/ Paid Categories

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The top bestselling titles on Amazon’s Kindle bestsellers list are free eBook downloads, a fact that’s gotten on the nerves of publishers who are in the business of selling their eBooks for money. Publishers Weekly reports that Amazon has given in to protests and decided to split the Kindle bestsellers list into two lists: one for paid titles, another for free titles. This will look similar to what Apple does in its App and iBooks store.

Here’s more from PW: “A representative at the e-tailer has confirmed that the company will be splitting its Kindle bestseller list, creating one list for paid books and another for free titles. The date for the switch is vague—the rep would only say it will happen in ‘a few weeks’”

What do you think? Does this make the list more or less representative of what eBook fans are reading?

Vanity Fair Comes to iPad

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It’s not a book, it’s a magazine, but it’s like a book in that it’s got pages–and it’s going digital. Vanity Fair announced today that it will be launching its iPad edition starting with the June issue. It will be available as an app. The initial purchase–the app and the June issue–will cost $4.99, then subsequent issues will be $3.99.

This iPad digital version will include every page of the issue, ads and all, plus a handful of enhancements, such as videos from photo shoots, extra photos, and digital only articles. And there will also be fancy, digital exclusive ads! Lookout!

Here’s a peek at the app from The New York Times, which reports the app/issue, feature Emma Watson of the ‘Harry Potter’ films, will be out Thursday.

Richard Nash Explains Cursor, Leaves Readers Curious

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The inimitable Richard Nash spilled a few of the beans behind his current venture, Cursor, in an interview with the UK publication The Literary Platform.

So let me say here: each community is also a publishing imprint, one that will publish one to two books a month. So, for Red Lemonade, the first community/imprint based on the Cursor platform, each of these books will be published digitally—both in the cloud, and as a download—and mechanically, as a limited edition and as a trade paperback original, this trade edition being distributed in the conventional manner by leading distributors around the world (details of authors, distributors, etc., to be announced at Book Expo America) and all editions being promoted with galleys, co-op, review copies, hustling, moxie, and my own brand of pimpin’ and hoin’.

Still, one can’t help but have more questions, or be intrigued. Nash says he’ll say more at BEA.

[Via Publishing Perspectives]

Apple Loses Another iPhone 4

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Keep your eyes peeled, cause iPhone 4 prototypes are turning up everywhere, or at least in two places. Photos of a second iPhone prototype showed up on a Vietnamese Web site, which right now won’t load. But ZDNet has lots of pics.

Remember, this is the one that’s a bit boxier in shape and will most probably launch with iBooks on it. Speculations are high that Apple will launch it in June; rumors have been circulating (this link points to Slashgear) that AT&T has been pushing up customers iPhone upgrade dates to June so that folks can get themselves one of these new-fangled iPhones.

Sarah Palin’s Next Book–Both Print and eBook–Due Out November 23rd

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Sarah Palin’s follow-up to her two-million selling Going Rogue will be called America By Heart, is due out November 23rd. It’s a collection of Palin’s favorite inspirational reading, patriotic documents, and profiles of great Americans according to Mrs. Palin.

Her publisher, HarperCollins, won’t be making the same mistake it made with her first book: both the print edition and the eBook will be coming out the same day. Read more about it in USA Today.

Buy Books, Not Cigarettes

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This isn’t about eBooks, but it’s about machines, which is close enough. Hamburg, Germany-based publisher Automatenverlag has refurbished old cigarette machines and turned them into book vending machines, reports Publishing Perspectives. This is a great-grandchild of the Penguincubator, which we showed you a couple of weeks ago (also via Publishing Perspectives, actually).

For four euros, you can get yourself writing by local Hamburg authors–poetry, comics, travel guides. When is somebody going to bring a book vending machine to the US? When?

Google Editions Backed by ‘Almost All’ US Publishers?

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That’s the word on the street–at least according to Engadget, which is one among several blogs reporting on something in Japan Today, which said that Google has the support of “almost all” US publishers. That’s a lot. Betcha we could think of a few that aren’t on board–simply because they were to small to be asked.

But, neverminding that, this news puts the number of publishers selling through Google editions somewhere around 25,000, with 4,000,000 titles available at launch (half of those are the public domain eBooks that Google already offers through Google Books.

Of couree, this deal makes a lot of sense for publishers–Google has already scanned all of everyone’s books. We actually heard that Google is offering publishers a deal through which they could put older backlist titles into the eBook market by simply giving Google the go-ahead to sell the scans it had already done. So we’ll be seeing some old books, maybe ones not even available in print, appearing in Google’s eBook store.

HP Tablet Rumored for Late This Year

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File this one under “stuff you might read your eBooks on other than an iPad (assuming you’ve had your fill of E-Ink)”: HP is apparently putting its new purchase–Palm–to work, scheduling a new tablet computer for release as soon as 3Q this year, according to eWeek, which reports on both the above rumor and the fact that HP has also scrapped plans for its own Windows tablet in favor of this Web OS device.

If you’ve ever fiddled with a Palm Pre smartphone, you’ll know Web OS is pretty cool, but if this HP tablet does indeed come out, that will mean there are no fewer than four operating systems motoring the available tablets–iPhone OS, Android, Windows, and now Web OOS–which makes for a lot of incompatible apps, and lots of versions of the Kindle app that Amazon has to churn out. Sounds potentially confusing.

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