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J.K. Rowling Breaks Goodreads Record

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling set a Goodreads record for the all-time biggest “started reading” day. Currently, more than 40,000 people have marked the book “to-read.”

The book unseated Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins as the book with the strongest “started reading” day. Insurgent by Veronica Roth holds third place. As of this writing, The Casual Vacancy has 38 percent five-star ratings on Goodreads.

Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler had this statement: “The Casual Vacancy is one of those stand-out books where people not only pre-order it, they start reading it as soon as they get their hands on it. On Goodreads, it beat the record for our previous all-time ‘started reading’ day which was set by Mockingjay.”

Avon Books Taps Community for Site Relaunch

Avon Books has turned to the crowd for its relaunched its website. The site, which is a collaboration between Avon and social publishing company Tidal, is populated with content from readers, reviewers, authors, and the publisher itself creating a community experience around romance novels.

AppNewser has more: “For example, the site pulls content from AvonAddicts, an exclusive group of romance enthusiasts, reviews from sites including Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and this content will live next to author videos and publisher promos. Readers can interact with all of this content by commenting and sharing the books. Books that are being talked about are highlighted at the top of the homepage.”

Avon is looking for readers to contribute. The site explains: “Avon Romance, powered by Tidal Labs, features posts and reviews about your favorite romance novels. Signing up lets you submit unique content to be published on the Avon Romance site.”

Author Solutions Removes Fake Social Media Accounts

Following a GalleyCat article yesterday, self-publishing company Author Solutions will remove social media accounts for Jared Silverstone–a set of profiles for an “Awesome Publishing Consultant at Author Solutions” that used a fake image from a stock photo company.

Copywriter and editor Emily Seuss discovered a collection of social media accounts sharing the same stock photo picture (embedded above), all credited to an employee named Silverstone. You can see screenshots from the social accounts and read more at this link.

Here is the official statement from the self-publishing company: “At Author Solutions we take our social media activities very seriously, and we are committed to following industry best practices. The manner in which the accounts were set up is not supported by our company-wide social media policy, and in no way is condoned by our company. We are taking appropriate action and we are in the process of removing the content from social media accounts.”

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Open Book Projects Is Looking For Writers

User-generated online writing project Open Book Projects is looking for writers to participate in its crowd-sourced community writing project. The site is inviting writers to view the trailer (which we have embedded above) and write the next chapter in the story.

Writers are encouraged to take the story to the next level. The website explains more: “At the end of the most recent chapter, readers all over the world are asked to write the next episode themselves and send it to us. From all the stories received by the deadline, an in-house jury then chooses one as the official next episode. After that episode is published, readers are again called upon to continue the story.”

The first title from this community storytelling project will be published under the name, “Face.” Authors whose submissions are chosen will share in the revenue generated from eBook sales. The project comes from a collaboration between technology company Mzure and digital publisher Osutoria Publishing.

Nicholas Sparks Beat Box Office Predictions After Social Media Campaign

Novelist Nicholas Sparks reached out to his Twitter and Facebook community to promote the release of The Lucky One film earlier this year. Following the campaign, the adaptation of one of his novel defied box office predictions.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Sparks talked about his recent experiments in social media strategy, including tweets from actors in his film, a Foursquare push and a Google+ Hangout (video embedded above). Here’s more about the campaign:

The result: social media conversation about Mr. Sparks spiked by more than 300%, and tracking surrounding opening weekend for “The Lucky One” started to climb, according to Eric Kuhn, an agent at United Talent Agency who was hired last year as a specialist in social media. (The movie ultimately opened to a $23 million weekend, more than 50% better than predicted.)

LinkedIn Profile Tips for Writers & Publishing Pros

LinkedIn has launched a new redesign, changing the way individual profiles will look on the social network.

To make sure GalleyCat readers are prepared, we’ve listed three simple things you can do to make your LinkedIn page shine in the new layout. Social media advisor Donna Serdula also created a video (embedded above) showing you the coming changes to your LinkedIn profile.

SocialTimes described the new layout: “At the top of the page is a larger profile picture, a quick summary, and bullet points that highlight the user’s current job, previous employer, and educational background. All other details, such as contact information, have been moved farther down on the page.”

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Scribd Gets A Makeover

Social publishing site Scribd has been revamped and the iPhone app have been updated as well. The idea behind the redesign is to make it easier for new users to navigate while at the same time making it more engaging to long-time users.

TechCrunch explains the update: “The website was previously dominated by your social feed, showing you the documents uploaded and read by other users that you’re following. Now the social feed has been pushed off to the side, and in its place there’s a feed of ‘featured’ content, which has been hand-picked by Scribd.”

The latest iPhone update includes the ability to bookmark documents for reading when offline. The update should hit the company’s Android app soon.

(Via @TechCrunch).

Pinterest Launches New Apps

Pinterest, the social networking site that lets users “pin” images to a virtual cork board, has launched a new iPad app and a new Android app, as well as updated its iPhone app, the company said a blog post.

To help writers and readers get the most out of the social network, we’ve put together a number of lists of literary Pinterest pages. Check out our Pinterest Boards for Book Lovers list, our Pinterest Tips for Writers post, and our list of 10 Pinterest Boards for eBook Fans.

AppNewser has more: “The company previously had an iPhone app, but this has been updated based on user feedback to include a 2 column layout. The newly launched Android app has been optimized to fit the varying Android devices and is available in Google Play and in the Amazon App Store. Pinterest said that the iPad app may have the best experience of all.”

What Writers Need to Know about Medium

Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone have launched a new publishing platform called Medium. The entire network is built upon themed collections of text and images, giving writers more space beyond the 140-character confines of Twitter.

Here’s more about collections, from the founders:  “Collections are sometimes closed (like this one) but optionally open to contributions. For example, here’s an open collection of crazy stories. Here’s one of nostalgic photos. Collections give people context and structure to publish their own stories, photos, and ideas. By default, the highest-rated posts show up at the top, helping people get the most out of their time in this world of infinite information.”

Below, we’ve collected all the information writers need to know about this new site.

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Goodreads Reaches 10 Million Members

Goodreads, a social networking site for readers, has grown its membership to 10 million members. Collectively, these users have shelved 360 million books (chart embedded above).

The rate of growth has gained momentum in the last year and a half. The site earned its first 5 million members in four and a half years, and doubled its membership from 5 million members to 10 million members in the last 18 months.

Goodreads founder Otis Chandler blogged the news: “When we first launched in January of 2007 we waited until we hit what then seemed like a magical number of 100,000 members before we hired our first employee and secured angel funding. Since then, the vibrant Goodreads community and company has continued to blossom. We now have a team of 30, we’ve just moved into bigger, fancier offices in San Francisco, and we’ve launched an array of new products, including our super-awesome and successful Recommendations Engine.”

Goodreads has great resources for tracking popular titles and discovering reader preferences. For example, Goodreads discovered that dystopian fiction is more popular now than it has been in 50 years and made this infographic about the findings. The site recently launched a tool to make it easy to add Goodreads updates to your Facebook timeline. Follow this link to find out how.

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