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‘The Fault in Our Stars’ Gets Banned in Riverside Middle Schools

tfioscoverJohn Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has been banned in the middle schools within the Riverside Unified School District (based in California).

Vanity Fair reports that a parent named Karen Krueger raised a complaint against the popular young adult novel because she “felt the morbid plot, crude language, and sexual content was inappropriate for her children.” Krueger convinced a committee of educators and guardians put it to a vote which resulted in this act of censorship.

Green shared his reaction to this situation on Tumblr. He claims to feel both happy and sad; the sadness comes from a desire “to introduce the idea that human beings die to the children of Riverside, California and thereby crush their dreams of immortality.” What do you think?

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How Long Would it Take You to Read the ‘Harry Potter’ Series?: INFOGRAPHIC

blinkboxHow long would it take you to read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series from start to finish? Blinkbox Books, a digital book retailer, has created an interactive infographic for readers who wish to test their reading speed.

Thus far, more than 100,000 people have taken this quiz. Try it out for yourself—we’ve embedded the entire infographic below.

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Simon & Schuster Forms Partnership With Mofibo

simon-and-shusterSimon & Schuster has formed a partnership with a European eBook subscription service called Mofibo.

Mofibo users, who hail from Denmark and Sweden, now have access to Simon & Schuster’s backlist. This formidable collection contains more than 20,000 English and local language titles.

Simon & Schuster UK publisher Ian Chapman had this statement in the press release: “Scandinavia has long been an important international market for English language authors, and Mofibo’s early success makes evident the strong appetite for content in electronic form. A continental-based subscription service is a wonderful opportunity for reader, author, and publisher alike.”

Blogger Remixes Pop Songs Into Shakespearean Sonnets

shakespeareWilliam Shakespeare has inspired countless artists including songwriters. How would Shakespeare himself tackle this particular craft?

The writer behind the “Pop Sonnets” blog re-imagines modern day pop tracks into Shakespearean-style poems. So far, 23 poetic pieces have been posted.

Some of the songs that have gotten the remix treatment include Journey’sDon’t Stop Believin’,” The Backstreet Boys’I Want it That Way,” and Idina Menzel’sLet it Go.” What do you think? (via The Huffington Post)

Lena Dunham Records Advice Videos to Promote New Book

Actress Lena Dunham has shot a series of “Ask Lena” advice videos in promotion of her forthcoming memoir/advice book. Thus far, twelve videos have been uploaded to YouTube on the “Not That Kind of Girl” channel.

The video embedded above features the “ASK LENA #5: Insecure writer” piece. Random House has scheduled a release date for September 30, 2014. (via Entertainment Weekly)

Gale Launches the ‘My Library Story’ Online Community

1935747_307090845071_1759048_nGale, a division of Cengage Learning, has launched the “My Library Story” community project. With this new website, the organization invites library advocates to share stories about what public libraries mean to them.

From now until February 28, 2015, every story submission will prompt Gale to donate $1.00 to a library advertising fund. Follow this link to watch a promotional video about this project.

Senior V.P. Frank Menchaca had this statement in the press release: ”If we’re going to change the headlines about libraries today, we need to tell a stronger story around what it is that libraries do and how they change lives for the better. Through the Career Online High School program, which brings accredited education to public libraries and our newly launched My Library Story community, Gale is providing the tools and the platform for libraries to demonstrate their value.”

The Financial Realities of Hybrid Publishing

Hybrid-Publishing-ArticleWriters today have more choices than ever when it comes to getting their work in the hands of millions. They can self-publish an eBook, hold out for a traditional publishing deal or do a combination of both, otherwise known as hybrid publishing.

Hybrid publishing uses aspects of traditional publishing (someone is doing the marketing for you), but you’ll still need to see this as running your own business. In our latest Journalism Advice column, we got the inside scoop on the financial realities of hybrid publishing:

The truth is, hybrid authors will need to put aside marketing and production funds to produce a high-quality book. That is not to say you can’t enjoy a high cash flow as a hybrid author, but you need to determine if you are willing to take a bit of a financial gamble. “I hesitate to say it’s a model that leads to success because success varies from author to author,” says Brooke Warner, co-founder of hybrid publisher SheWritesPress.com. “For us the parallel measure would be that a book ‘earns out’ its expenses, meaning that it breaks even. Many more than 10 percent of our authors are breaking even, so for me, this is an exciting place to be.”

To learn more about hybrid publishing, including how to broaden your reach with digital platforms, read: What You Need to Know About Hybrid Publishing.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Emma Thompson & Barbara Shoup Get Booked

barnes-noble-logo11Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.

To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Actress Emma Thompson will discuss her new book, The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit, at Barnes & Noble (Tribeca). Meet her on Thursday, October 2nd starting at 6 p.m. (New York, NY)

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Lorde Unveils New Song From ‘Mockingjay’ Part 1 Soundtrack

Lorde has unleashed the lead single from the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack. The video embedded above contains the full track, “Yellow Flicker Beat.”

According to Lorde’s Tumblr post, this piece is the Grammy Award winner’s attempt at getting inside Katniss Everdeen’s head. Do you think she succeeds?

Lionsgate has created several promotional videos for this movie including two “Panem Addresses” from the evil President Snow and the recently unveiled trailer. The next installment of The Hunger Games film series will be released on November 21, 2014. (via The Wall Street Journal)

Stephen King Predicts That Physical Books Are Here to Stay

Stephen KingAuthor Stephen King predicts that the physical book will “be here for a long, long time.”

In an interview with The Huffington Post, the famed horror novelist talks about why he doesn’t think books will meet the same end as “compact discs or even phonograph records.” One reason he gave is that books have been around for more than 300 years and there is a “deeply implanted desire” within society for them. Follow this link to watch the entire interview.

King has been working on a number of projects as of late. He wrote the script for a film adaptation of his short story, A Good Marriage, and soon he will go on a book tour in promotion of his new novel, Revival. What do you think? (Photo Credit: Shane Leonard)

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