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Summer Stories

Melville House Hosts Opera Singer Bookstore Visits

Want to have an opera singer pay a visit to your local bookstore?

Melville House has a special offer to publicize its new edition of Carmen, hosting quick opera performances for readers. Check it out:

Any bookstore that orders 20 copies of Melville House’s Art of the Novella edition of Carmen (978-1-61219-226-0, available August 2013), can contact Melville House (claire [at] mhpbooks [dot] com) to request (1) an in-store “flash” performance of an aria from Carmen, or (2) a personalized recording of a Carmen aria to use on a store website or in an email newsletter. These “flash” opera performances will be promoted on social media and publishing trade and opera media and will generate publicity for the book and participating stores. We imagine these performances to last about 3-5 minutes, be hosted at high-traffic shopping times, and be introduced by the store’s manager or event coordinator.

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Boris Kachka on His Book’s Perilous Publishing Path

Few writers ever speak frankly about their book deals for nonfiction books. In a candid interview at The AwlNew York magazine journalist and author Boris Kachka shared the story behind his nonfiction book.

As he wrote the manuscript for Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, Kachka’s book a perilous journey between publishing houses. Kachka explained in the interview:

A small house picked up the book for $30,000. It was not an easy sell, and in fact [the eventual editor] Jofie Ferrari-Adler was one of the editors who declined to take it on the original proposal. He was at Grove/Atlantic then. Things didn’t work out with Thomas Dunne Books, my original publisher … We parted ways with Dunne, returned the half-advance I’d gotten, and went out to others. It was easier to do that with a completed book, but it was a risky thing of course. Jofie eventually sent me a note: “This book is marvelous, baby.” He had lots of suggestions and there was some rewriting involved. He matched that first advance.

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Structure Your Book with Some Free Scrivener Templates

Do you use Scrivener writing software to write your books?

Writer Justin Swapp has collected a series of free Scrivener templates on his blog, helping short story writers and novelists plan their work more effectively. A few of the templates even follow popular methods for plotting a novel (like the hero’s journey or the snowflake method), useful storytelling techniques for any writer.

To use these templates, you need to buy the Scrivener software. The links below will download zipped versions of the templates you can use with the program…

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Australian Swimmers Turn To ’50 Shades of Grey’ For Relaxation

What do Olympians do to help take the edge off and cut the stress during the games? The Australian women’s swim team has been reading E.L. James‘ popular erotica novel 50 Shades of Grey, as a way to help them turn off and relax at night.

The International Business Times has more: “200m individual medley silver medalist Alicia Coutts said that she became hooked on the book after picking it at a service station when she and the 20 other members of the team traveled from their training camp in Manchester to the Athletes Village in East London.” Coutts told The Herald Sun: “Most of the swimming girls are reading Fifty Shades of Grey. We’re all talking about it.”

Before the Olympics began, Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice tweeted a photo of herself reading the book (embedded above), writing “Have heard a mixed review on the book. What’s ur opinion?? I’m just starting it #fiftyshades.” What other books would you recommend to Olympians?

Free Samples from Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List

For his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard this week, President Barack Obama has packed a long list of books to read.

If you want to build a presidential reading list, we’ve put together Obama’s five reads with links to free samples of each title.

  1. 1. The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell Publisher Mulholland Books describes this work: “The Bayou Trilogy highlights the origins of a one-of-a-kind author, a writer who for over two decades has created an indelible representation of the shadows of the rural American experience and has steadily built a devoted following among crime fiction aficionados and esteemed literary critics alike.” Read more

What’s Your Favorite Summer Fluff Piece?

Executive editor Bill Keller wants to ban books and read Twitter instead. Or at least that is the satirical claim he made in a piece in The New York Times this week–“Let’s Ban Books, or at Least Stop Writing Them.”

Welcome to July, the month when media organizations (including GalleyCat) fill slow news days with fluff pieces. We would like to nominate Keller’s piece as the top summer fluff piece of 2011.

What was your favorite publishing puff piece of the summer? Read more

Five Sale Books For Your Holiday Reading

Are you getting ready for a big July 4th trip and need something to read on the cheap? We’ve put together a list of books that are on sale this week for your holiday reading enjoyment.

The list includes titles for grownups and kids. If you are looking for book apps, over at eBookNewser, we made a list of book apps on sale this week.

Five Books On Sale For Your Holiday Reading:

1. Claire DeWitt and The City Of The Dead: Powell’s Books has this new thriller from Sara Gran on sale for $16.80. The first in a series, the book chronicles the adventures of a pot-smoking, psychic detective in post-Katrina New Orleans.

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Old Spice Guy Defended Libraries: Top Stories of Summer

In the happiest video of the summer (embedded above), Old Spice spokesmodel Isaiah Mustafa defended libraries in a surreal speech.

Mustafa stole the hearts of millions of Americans with his ads that mix stream-of-consciousness narration with surreal special effects. In the video, he answered librarian Andy Woodworth‘s question–how do you feel about libraries?”

Welcome to our Top Stories of Summer 2010 series. For all our readers returning from summer homes and Caribbean yacht trips, we’ve created a short list of the 15 stories you may have missed during this long, strange summer for the publishing industry.

Worst Sentence of 2010: Top Stories of Summer

mollyringle.pngAt the end of June, author Molly Ringle (pictured, via) won the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, writing the world’s worst opening sentence to an imaginary novel. The contest was named after Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, who wrote the line: “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Welcome to our Top Stories of Summer 2010 series. For all our readers returning from summer homes and Caribbean yacht trips, we’ve created a short list of the 15 stories you may have missed during this long, strange summer for the publishing industry.

Here is the award winning sentence: “For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss–a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.”