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Dianna Dilworth

Dianna Dilworth is Editor of Mediabistro's digital publishing blog AppNewser and a contributor to GalleyCat. As a freelance writer, she has been covering technology, design and digital marketing for the last decade for publications including: The Architectural Record, The Believer, Businessweek, California Home & Design, DMNews, Dwell and PRWeek. She is also the author of the upcoming book, Mellodrama: The Mellotron Book, from Bazillion Points, a book that will change the way you hear the flutes at the beginning of The Beatles' song "Strawberry Fields Forever."

Soundtrack Tool Booktrack Now Has 1 Million Members

booktrackBooktrack, a tool designed for self-published writers and publishers to add soundtracks to their eBooks, now has more than a million users.

The company, which launched 11 months ago, expects to reach 2 million by the end of its first year. Over the last year, more than 4,000 authors have joined the platform and Booktrack users have published more than 6,000 titles in 30 different languages. This includes more than just authors. Here is more from the press release:

Booktrack’s reach also extends to the classroom, where it has been proven to dramatically improve student literacy. More than 4,000 educators around the world have adopted the Booktrack Classroom application to help students more deeply engage with creative writing, essays, novels, and poetry studies.

Gone Girl Has Sold More Than a Million Copies

gone girlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn has sold 1, 049, 943 paperbacks, according to Nielsen Bookscan.

The book has earned the Nielsen Book Platinum Award, an honor given to books that have sold a million copies.

The title joins the ranks of The Da Vinci CodeTwilight, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceOne Day and The Lovely Bones.

 

 

Paco Porrúa, Credited With Popularizing Gabriel García Márquez, Has Died

UnknownThe Spanish editor and translator Francisco “Paco” Porrúa has died. He was 92 years old.

As the editor at Editorial Sudamericana, a publishing house in Buenos Aires, Porrúa discovered Gabriel García Márquez’s classic novel, 100 Years of Solitude.

The Buenos Aires Herald has more: “Apart from his undeniable gift as a translator and his keen eye for extraordinary, even if unknown or too daring, literary gems, Porrúa will forever be remembered as the man who, running contrary to the opinion of other editors and publishers who easily dismissed it as far too imaginative, devoured and became fascinated with García Márquez’s unpublished manuscript. Such was the fascination that Porrúa wrote him an advance payment cheque of US$500, which in 1967 was a small fortune for the impoverished writer and his wife, both living in Mexico at the time.”

The Hobbit Film Earned $90.6M in First 5 Days in Theaters

thehobbitPeter Jackson’s latest chapter in his adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit brought in $90.6 million in its first five days in theaters.

Variety has the scoop: “The franchise finale debuted Wednesday at 3,875 locations and easily trumped tracking that predicted a debut of about $70 million. For its inaugural three-day weekend, the fantasy adventure earned $56.2 million.”

In celebration of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies movie, comedian Stephen Colbert recently dressed up as Bilbo Baggins, Legolas Greenleaf and Gandalf the Grey for the cover of Entertainment Weekly.

Celebrity Memoirs Are Losing Steam

e3c5ab0ba6905343649b90e53f53ad08_400x400Celebrity memoirs are past their prime, according to Charlie Redmayne, the CEO of HarperCollins UK. After a slump in sales in books written by famous people, the publisher admits that they are acquiring less of these titles.

The Daily Mail has more:  ”He claims their profits are now ‘hit and miss’ – and says even those expected to do well, written by some of the country’s biggest names, are failing to match expectations. ‘A lot of books were bought last year for large amounts of money which just didn’t do the numbers at all.”

The  Guardian explored the stats and pointed out that according to Nielsen BookScan, sales of autobiographies and memoirs are down about 4 percent this year over last year.

 

Nick Cave’s Personal Dictionary

nickcave24234223Author and musician Nick Cave has a way with words.

So it comes as no surprise that the Bad Seeds frontman and author of the novels And the Ass Saw the Angel and The Death of Bunny Munro has a history of creating his own personal dictionary.

Dangerous Minds has the scoop: “As a younger man Cave kept a journal in which he jotted down new words he wanted to remember and arranged them in alphabetical order. It’s definitely a good tip for writers starting out, you’re always learning, there’s always something to learn. Take notes endlessly and don’t waver!”

Authors Share Their Favorite Audiobooks of the Year on Audible

AudibleLooking for recommendations for some good audiobooks to listen to during your holiday travels?

Audible.com has had some bestselling authors pick out their favorite audiobooks of the year, which is probably a good place to start.

Author Anthony Doerr recommends Karen Joy Fowler’s audiobook We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; Lisa Genova recommends You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero; and Lev Grossman recommends Ian Fleming’s Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Check it out:

The best audiobook I listened to this year was On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming. It’s not new — in fact its 50 years old — but you might be surprised at how fresh the original Bond novels still feel….Simon Vance does a consistently nuanced, world-weary take on Bond-James-Bond and is absurdly comfortable with just about every possible European accent. Plus he does Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series too, and the occasional similarities in the voices suggests the tantalizing possibility of a trans-historical Bond-Maturin team-up.” –Lev Grossman

Macmillan Has Made a Deal With Amazon

macmillanMacmillan has reached a multiyear distribution agreement with Amazon to distribute its print and eBooks, beginning on January 5, 2015.

John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, revealed the news in a blog post earlier this week. “All our other retailers will also be on the agency model, leaving Apple as the only retailer who is allowed unlimited discounting. Irony prospers in the digital age,” he wrote. “This odd aberration in the market will cause us to occasionally change the digital list price of your books in what may seem to be random fashion. I ask for your forbearance. We will be attempting to create even pricing as best we can.”

Under the new terms, authors will continue to earn the same net percentage of the proceeds they always have from eBooks, based on the sale price of their book.

Macmillan will also begin testing a new eBook subscription in the coming weeks. “Several companies offer ‘pay per read’ plans that offer favorable economic terms,” wrote Sargent. “We plan to try subscription with backlist books, and mostly with titles that are not well represented at bricks and mortar retail stores. Our job has always been to provide you with the broadest possible distribution, and given the current financial and strategic incentives being offered, we believe the time is right to try this test.”

Nashville Stars Lennon & Maisy Sign Picture Book Deal With HarperCollins

bio_photoLennon & Maisy, the 15 and 11 year-old sisters that star on the  ABC drama series Nashville have signed a book deal with HarperCollins Publishers.

The  Canadian born performers are working on a picture book called In the Waves. 

The Associated Press has more: “Based on their song of the same name, “In the Waves” tells of boogie boards and homemade lemonade and a few unexpected adventures. The illustrations will be by Steve Bjorkman. The book is scheduled to come out April 28.”

William Shatner Uses Kickstarter to Raise Money For New Book

Star Trek star William Shatner is trying to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter to fund a book and website dedicated to teaching people over 50 how to reinvent themselves.

According to the Kickstarter page, Catch Me Up will be about two things: “Achieving great things in your life at any age” and “How to leverage the new technology around us today to do anything you want, at warp speed.”

Check it out: “I’ve been unemployed over 400 times in my life. I’ve had to reinvent myself over and over to get hired by TV shows, movie producers, and even by Priceline.com when I was 60+ years old. If you or someone you know is over 50 and feels like it’s too late to catch up and re-invent the second half of their lives, TRUST ME…IT’S NOT!”

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