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Amazon Has Established a New Contract With Simon & Schuster

SimonSchusterAmazon and Simon & Schuster have established a new multi-year print and digital agreement. The previous contract was scheduled to expire in two months.

Here’s more from The Wall Street Journal: “Simon & Schuster, whose recently published works include Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators and Colm Toibin’s Nora Webster, will set the consumer prices of its digital books, and Amazon will be able to discount titles in certain situations, according to one person familiar with the agreement. Simon & Schuster titles also will be well promoted on Amazon’s website, the person said.”

Many speculate that this development will put more pressure on Hachette to wrap up the ongoing dispute. Several writers have publicly spoken about the situation including Stephen Colbert, John Green, and Malcolm Gladwell. Earlier this week, economist Paul Krugman wrote New York Times article criticizing Amazon’s business practices. How do you predict this will affect the conflict between Amazon and Hachette?

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Constantin Film to Reboot ‘The Mortal Instruments’ as a TV Series

City of BonesConstantin Film plans to create a TV show based on the Mortal Instruments books. Last year, the movie studio released a movie version of the first installment in Cassandra Clare’s young adult series, City of Bones.

The story for the TV show will follow the plot from City of Bones. No announcements have been made as to whether or not the stars of the film adaptation, Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, will come on board for this project to reprise their roles as Clary Fray and Jace Wayland.

According to the press release, Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, two filmmakers who worked on the feature film, will serve as executive producers for the TV show. Ed Decter has signed on as the showrunner.

Judith Regan’s New Multimedia Company to Release Book on Virtual Reality

Virtual RealityPublishing veteran Judith Regan has become the head of a Phaidon Global multimedia company called Regan Arts.

According to the press release, the first publication is an educational title called Virtual Reality Beginner’s Guide. A release date has been scheduled for October 28th.

TechCrunch staffer Frederic Lardinois and DODOcase co-founder Patrick Buckley collaborated on writing this book; Buckley also worked on the design. It comes with a VR Smartphone Viewer Toolkit that works with all smartphones universally including the latest Apple iPhone devices.

Pearson Picks First Book to Oversee the ‘We Need Books’ Digital Platform

First BookThe First Book organization will be overseeing a digital platform called “We Need Books.” The website features 300 beloved children’s books that youngsters, guardians, and educators can access using a tablet or computer.

The Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group (USA) originally developed this project and launched it 4 years ago. Pearson will also be donating $1.3 million to First Book.

Here’s more from the press release: “In addition to inspiring lifelong readers, We Give Books also provides a platform for giving back. Books read at www.wegivebooks.org trigger donations of new books that are given to programs and classrooms serving children in need…By assuming control of We Give Books and associated programming initiatives – including the 2015 Read for My School program in the United Kingdom – First Book adds the distribution of digital books to its growing catalog of offerings for under-resourced classrooms and community organizations.”

Dark Horse Comics Offers Star Wars Humble Bundle Deal

Star WarsDark Horse Comics has formed a partnership with Humble Bundle. The two organizations have crafted a digital comics package tailored for Star Wars fans.

According to the press release, this deal makes it so that “fans of the epic sci-fi franchise can pay what they want for up to $190 worth of digital comics.” Buyers who pay $15.00 or more will have access to a total of 89 different titles.

Customers can choose whether the funds go towards the publishing house or the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. This Humble Bundle deal will be made available until October 29th. What do you think?

Macmillan to Publish New Board Book By Jimmy Fallon

DadaThe Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon has been working on a new book. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group will release Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada as a board book on June 09, 2015.

The story follows a father as he tries to make is so that his child’s first word is “dada.” This project was inspired by Fallon’s mission to compel his daughter, Winnie Rose, to say “dada” for her first word. Sadly, the young girl did not comply and instead said “mama.”

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “This is Fallon’s second board book. The first, Snowball Fight, about kids having fun when school is canceled for snow, came out in 2005. He’s also the author of a couple of funny books for adults — Thank You Notes and Thank You Notes 2 — that were based on skits from his late night TV show.”

Margaret Atwood Fans Invited to Take Part in a Wattpad Writing Contest

Stone MattressRandom House has released Margaret Atwood’s new short fiction collection, Stone Mattress. One of the nine tales, “The Freeze-Dried Groom,” has been posted on Wattpad. This particular piece leaves the reader with many unanswered questions.

Some of these queries include “Will Sam be a killer or a victim?” and “What are the other characters’ versions of events?” Fans are invited to take part in a writing contest to answer these questions. Follow this link to learn about all the rules.

The deadline has been set for October 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST and a winner will be announced on November 18th. The grand prize winner will receive a signed Stone Mattress anthology, a tweet from Atwood, and loot from Wattpad. Two runner-ups will also receive autographed of copies of Atwood’s book.

How To Craft a Wreath With Old Books

Autumn is in full swing! Don’t feel like going to the craft store? YouTuber Jenna DeAngeles shares her design for a door wreath using old books.

If you want to make this seasonal decoration, watch the video tutorial embedded above. Follow this link to learn how to make a DIY book-themed pumpkin statue. What Fall decor pieces do you enjoy making?

Coloring Books Could Help Adults De-Stress

Art-thérapieFeeling a bit tense and anxious? Perhaps picking up a coloring book may be the solution.

Many psychologists recommend that adults cast aside the notion that only children should color.  These experts theorize that “when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries.” According to The Huffington Post, “the practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.”

A number of publishers throughout Europe and North America have released these types of books for adult readers. Some of these publications have become bestsellers in France and the United Kingdom. What do you think?

Paul Krugman Speaks Out Against Amazon

NYT_Twitter_KrugmanNobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has written a New York Times op-ed criticizing Amazon. For book selling, he goes so far as to say that it has a “robber-baron-type market power.”

In his piece, Krugman (pictured, via) compares Amazon with Standard Oil and talks about the consequences that may ensue should the online retail giant continue its current standard of operations. He feels that Amazon has abused its powers to retaliate against Hachette throughout the dispute between the two companies. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“So far Amazon has not tried to exploit consumers. In fact, it has systematically kept prices low, to reinforce its dominance. What it has done, instead, is use its market power to put a squeeze on publishers, in effect driving down the prices it pays for books — hence the fight with Hachette. In economics jargon, Amazon is not, at least so far, acting like a monopolist, a dominant seller with the power to raise prices. Instead, it is acting as a monopsonist, a dominant buyer with the power to push prices down.”

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