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Goodreads Partners with First Book to Fight Illiteracy

Goodreads has partnered with First Book, a charity group whose mission is to make sure children who reside in low-income communities are able to have access to books. Together, these two organizations will be fighting illiteracy using the Goodreads Book Club.

Every time 10,000 Goodreads members add A Visit From the Goon Squad to their shelves, the organization promises to donate 1,000 books. So far, 25,000 members have added the book. If another 5,000 members follow, then Goodreads will provide 3,000 books.

Here’s more from the site’s blog post: “Our initial goal is to donate 5,000 books—which means we need 50,000 people to add A Visit From The Goon Squad by August 2, when the Book Club concludes with a live video chat with author Jennifer Egan. If more than 50,000 people add the book before the end date, we will honor our pledge and donate up to 10,000 books!”

Radar Speculates Maria Shriver Could Land $15M Deal for Hypothetical Memoir

RadarOnline.com speculated this weekend that Maria Shriver could receive $15 million or more for a hypothetical tell-all book after her divorce from former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Despite the provocative post, Shriver has not expressed any desire to write such a book.

Here’s more from the article: “One top publishing exec told RadarOnline.com that California’s former First Lady could garner more than the all-time advance record, the $15 million paid to Bill Clinton for his memoir, My Life … But a tell-all about growing up a Kennedy and especially her life with the cheating Arnold and learning he fathered a child by their maid, that’s a whole different story — literally — and it could set sales records.”

Shriver has written three nonfiction titles and three picture books. Her 2000 title, Ten Things I’d Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out Into The Real World, was based on a commencement address she gave at the College of the Holy Cross. Shriver has also established a successful career as a television journalist with two Emmy Award wins under her belt.

Zynga Files for $1 Billion I.P.O.

The popular social gaming company Zynga has filed for a $1 billion I.P.O.. The company behind games like FarmVille and CityVille counted a $90.6 million profit last year in the filing.

Here’s more about the I.P.O. from the NY Times: “The start-up, founded four years ago by its 45-year-old chief executive Mark Pincus, said it expected to raise about $1 billion in the offering, based on a figure used to calculate the registration fee … According to people briefed on the matter, Zynga is expected to ultimately offer up to 10 percent of its shares at a valuation near or above $20 billion.”

Last year we offered tips on how book publicity efforts could focus on related communities, matching genre with social gaming audience. Read more in our post, “How Publishers Can Use Social Games.”

 

Possible Pottermore Memos Leaked

Two confidential documents concerning J.K. Rowling‘s mysterious Pottermore website have surfaced. A memo was reportedly sent to the Times UK by mistake and it describes the site as “a sophisticated online game” involving a treasure hunt.

Here’s more from paidContent.org: “The Times UK notes that it is ‘not clear whether the treasure hunt is Pottermore itself, or merely a marketing drive for another product,’ and it is also unclear whether the memo was actually accidentally leaked or is simply a savvy marketing ploy.”

With less than 19 hours to go until Rowling’s official announcement about the site, Harry Potter fans have been speculating that the site could be an eBookstore or a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game).

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Jack Kerouac Joins T.S. Eliot on Top Grossing App List

Over at eBookNewser, we have been tracking the Top Grossing iPad apps in the books category for the past two months.

So far, comic book apps and Bible apps tend to dominate the list, which isn’t a big surprise. Digital comic books benefit from the rich media afforded in an app format and the Bible is one of the top grossing books of all time in print, so why not in app form?

But over the past couple of weeks, classic literary works have also been popping up on the list. Penguin’s new app for Jack Kerouac‘s On The Road launched on Saturday and is already number 4 on the list. When T.S. Eliot‘s The Wasteland was released as an interactive app two weeks ago, the poem made Apple’s Top Grossing Apps list on its first day and has remained in the Top 10 ever since.

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Dirk Nowitzki Stars in New Dallas Mavericks Book

Triumph Books has released Mavericks Stampede: Dirk Leads Dallas to the 2011 NBA Championship by Rob Mahoney.

This book drops days after the Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 National Basketball Association finals. The eBook costs $9.99 and a print copy costs $14.95. Mahoney runs The Two Man Game, an ESPN blog dedicated to the Dallas Mavericks.

Here’s more from the release: “The Mavs were led by Dirk Nowitzki, one of the league’s most underappreciated superstars. The hard-working German forward and his veteran supporting cast-including Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, and Shawn Marion-executed coach Rick Carlisle‘s game plan nearly flawlessly in rolling to a well-deserved title. Packed with stunning color photography, this championship commemorative details every game of the thrilling postseason and profiles the Mavericks’ leading personalities, including Nowitzki, Terry, Carlisle, and colorful owner Mark Cuban.”

Narrative Urge Mystery Hits Atlanta

In Atlanta, envelopes containing handwritten notes, strange codes, story excerpts, and ten-dollar bills have been popping up in random spots recently.

According to Scoutmob Atlanta, the story excerpts are derived mostly from the works of local writers. The happy recipients have set up a Wikipedia page to try to crack this mystery.

The mystery writer goes by the name “Narrative Urge.” Scoutmob Atlanta interviewed the writer about his or her goals for this project.

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Huffington Post Blogger Lawsuit Adds Four Writers

Four new writers have joined the class-action lawsuit filed by Jonathan Tasini (pictured, via) against The Huffington Post. The suit argues that the online publication “was unjustly enriched by valuable content provided by over 9,000 writers while outwardly engaging in deceptive business practices by hiding the value provided by its contributors.”

The new plaintiffs included:  filmmaker and writer Molly Secours, writer Tara Dublin, marketing expert Richard Laermer, sports writer Billy Altman. HuffPo lawyers have already filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Attorney Jeff Kurzon elaborated in the release: “These new class representatives are the consummate cross section of The Huffington Post’s content providers … The class representatives are talented, well-respected writers who should have more opportunities to be compensated in the digital age instead of fewer.” (Via PaidContent)

Helium.com

Artist Drawing Every H.P. Lovecraft Monster

Over at Yog-Blogsoth, artist Michael Bukowski has been drawing every monster from the pantheon of horror novelist H.P. Lovecraft.

On the side, we’ve embedded a picture of the Grotesque Woodchuck, a monster from Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out Of Space.” However, you owe it to yourself to check out the entire series at his blog. Warning: A few of the drawings are NSFW.

Here’s more about the Grotesque Woodchuck: “In February the McGregor boys from Meadow Hill were out shooting woodchucks, and not far from the Gardner place bagged a very peculiar specimen. The proportions of its body seemed slightly altered in a queer way impossible to describe, while its face had taken on an expression which no one ever saw in a woodchuck before. The boys were genuinely frightened, and threw the thing away at once, so that only their grotesque tales of it ever reached the people of the countryside.” (Via Reddit)

How Independent Bookstores Can Use Google & Groupon

Today we interviewed Green Apple Books co-owner Pete Mulvihill, finding out how his bookstore uses Google and Groupon to build sales during this difficult time for independent booksellers.

This week, Mulvihill will host a Technology Petting Zoo at his bookstore, helping customers explore Google eBooks on a variety of platforms and sample the new technology.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview, as Mulvihill shared his experience of crafting a Groupon deal: “We were a little hesitant to use Groupon because the margins in bookselling are  worse than other things you see Groupons for … the economics didn’t seem feasible at first. But the response surprised both us and Groupon.”

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