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Miranda July’s New Book Comes With Online Store

unnamedAuthor Miranda Julys new book The First Bad Man is coming out January 13th. To complement the release, today she has launched an online store featuring products tied to the novel.

“In it you can buy real objects mentioned in this fictional book,” she explained in an email. “How is that even possible?? It just is.”

Items for sale include a pair of “very high heels,” “pink boxers” and “one dollar bill and bobby pin.” All proceeds from the store go to The National Partnership for Women and Families.

July is going on a book tour in the US in January. Follow this link to find our more about the events.

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Memoir Writing

Memoir WritingStarting January 7, work with a published memoir writer to tell and sell the story of your life! In this course, Wendy Dale will teach you how to create your story around a marketable premise, hone your narrative voice, write a memoir with a solid structure, and sell your memoir before you've even finished writing it. Register now!

Designing Denis Johnson’s ‘The Laughing Monsters’ Cover

Denis Johnson's manuscript binder inspired the cover design

Denis Johnson’s manuscript binder inspired the cover design

In the Huffington Post series “Rejected Covers,” Rodrigo Corral–the designer behind a slew of recognizable covers for books by Gary Shteyngart, Chuck Palahniuk and Junot Díaz—shares the creation process behind the cover for Denis Johnson’s new book, The Laughing Monsters.

Johnson, a National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist, had created a manuscript cover that served as inspiration. Corral described it:

“His sketch is what I like to think of as three-quarters Basquiat, one-quarter ninth grade geometry class. I love the two joyful skulls–violent and rapturous somehow with their grins and sharpened teeth. Denis also suggested that we take a look at the paintings of Ronald Sloan, an outsider artist who creates macabre, almost Goya-esque paintings. These images were menacing in a lot of ways, but there was almost a childlike regard to that danger, a joy in the face of it.”

The designers experimented with Basquiat’s work and more traditional African imagery for contrast, in the end going with Johnson’s skulls because they captured the duality of humor tinged by death. Gold was used to reference the “get rich quick” aspects of the plot.

Corral told HuffPo, “The final cover is one that I hope conveys just how unsettling this book is and that nothing that transpires is ever black and white. Denis said it best to his editor here: ‘I’m not trying to be Graham Greene. I think I actually am Graham Greene.’”

 

The final cover design for "The Laughing Monsters"

The final cover design for “The Laughing Monsters”

Weinstein Books to Publish Ebola Memoir

WeinsteinBookslogo“The love of my life and the father of my son came to America to marry me. It was supposed to be the first happy day of a new life of joy for us all. But before we could make our new family, he died a terrible death in a quarantined room… I am writing this book to tell people about Eric, about our love story, about our family, and about my faith that has been tested but not broken.”

These are the words of Louise Troh, whose fiancé Thomas Eric Duncan became the first man on American soil to be diagnosed with the Ebola virus, and then, the first to die of the disease in America. She will tell her story for the first time in a book to be published in April 2015 by Weinstein Books, which is a joint venture of The Weinstein Company and The Perseus Books Group.

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, said, “This is a heartbreaking, emotional family story. Spanning continents and decades, Louise shows faith and grace through it all.”

According to AP, Troh says she will use part of the book proceeds for a down payment on a new home.

Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater to Partner On a New Middle Grade Series

ScholasticHighResJackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater are collaborating on a new middle grade series entitled Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures.

Both writers will work on the story; Stiefvater will be responsible for creating the artwork. Stiefvater has become well-known for her popular young adult fiction books; this project marks her debut as a children’s books illustrator.

Scholastic editorial director David Levithan negotiated the deal with Laura Rennert from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and Josh Adams from Adams Literary. Levithan secured world rights; the publishing house plans to release the first installment in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer Sign On as Indies First Spokespeople

Neil Gaiman & Amanda PalmerThe American Booksellers Association has recruited Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and his rockstar wife Amanda Palmer (both pictured, via) to serve as spokespeople for this year’s Indies First campaign.

Gaiman and Palmer penned an open letter calling for fellow writers to participate. Those who answer the call will be serving as volunteer sellers at their favorite independent bookstores on Saturday, November 29th (aka “Small Business Saturday“).

National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie conceived of the idea and helped to launch this initiative last year. More than 1,100 authors participated in the 2013 event including Kelly Barson, Cheryl Strayed, and Jon Scieszka.

American Teens Spend an Average of 4.2 Minutes Reading on Weekend Days

bookstack304Americans between the ages of 15 and 19 spend an average of 4.2 minutes of their weekends and holidays reading, according to new research from the Labor Department.

The research revealed that 20 to 24 year olds spend an average of 10.2 minutes reading on weekends and 55 to 64 year olds spend a whopping 26.4 minutes on weekend days reading. For the most part, the average time spent reading goes up with age, except among 25 to 34 year olds who only spend an average 7.8 minutes reading on weekends.

Vox Media has more: “The oldest Americans, meanwhile, read for more than an hour a day. These data only include reading for fun, however, which may be why the count for the student-age population is strangely low.”

Kickstarter Creates Journalism Category

kickstarterCrowd-funding site Kickstarter has launched a new category for fundraising: Journalism.

The site already has 993 projects that fit into the category ranging from books and photo essays to live tweeting events and digital magazines.

Drone on the Farm: An Aerial Expose by Will Potter is an investigative journalism piece that will use drone photography to see what industrial farms are hiding with ag-gag laws. Iran at the World Cup by Negar Mortazavi is a Twitter reporting project in which the author will will live-tweet “everything about Iran’s national team at the World Cup in Brazil; during their matches, trainings, and rest.” Bitcoin: The Past, Present, and Future by Daniel Fernandez is a book about the history and future possibilities of Bitcoin.

Kindle Used to Swear in U.S. Ambassador

suzilevineSuzi LeVine, the US Ambassador to Switzerland & Liechtenstein, became the first ambassador to be sworn in with a Kindle.

In her swearing in ceremony last week, LeVine placed her hand on an eBook edition of the U.S. Constitution stored which was opened on a Kindle. U.S. Embassy London tweeted the event:

Levine still received her oath in print form, as you can see from her tweet below:

(Via The Washington Post).

Why Newspapers Need Big Data To Stay Alive

News and media veterans like Steven Korn have seen a truly amazing shift in news within the last decade. As media finalizes its shift to online-based content delivery, exciting new opportunities come to companies who take advantage of it.

Of course, on the other side of the spectrum are the companies that have not hopped onto the trends related to online media. These companies are typically smaller local media and newspaper companies. In many cases, local and small media are missing out on a great deal of potential. This holds particularly true with the concept of big data. And without big data assisting them, newspapers and local media companies are falling behind on how news works in the Internet age. Read more

The Habits of British Book Readers: INFOGRAPHIC

graphicLovereading.co.uk has created an infographic called, “The Habits of British Book Readers,” which explores where readers like to read and how often they spend reading.

According to the graphic, 62 percent of readers read in bed at night; 16 percent read while relaxing over the weekend; 7 percent read in bed in the morning; 7 percent read in the bath; 3 percent read on their lunch break; 4 percent read while commenting; and 1 percent read somewhere more exotic.

We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump. Read more

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