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Archives: November 2010

Sarah Palin Compares WikiLeaks Exposure to HarperCollins Memoir Leak

On Twitter yesterday, author and reality television star Sarah Palin compared the WikiLeaks exposure of diplomatic cables to the leak of her embargoed memoir.

She tweeted: “Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book ‘America by Heart’ from being leaked,but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?”

What do you think? The comment has already generated hundreds of comments on Politico.

Last week, HarperCollins resolved their lawsuit against Gawker over a post containing photographed excerpts from Sarah Palin‘s memoir, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag. A federal judge ordered Gawker to remove the excerpts before the out of court settlement. When asked about “financial settlement,” a HarperCollins spokesperson “declined to comment.

NaNoWriMo Tip #30: Share Your Final Sentence

nanowrimo.jpgIf you need a little extra motivation to finish your 50,000-word novel draft, here’s an extra push from the National Novel Writing Month Facebook page: “We’re so close to the last day! If you’ve crossed the 50K finish line, please share your final sentence!”

As of this writing, more than 700 writers had already shared their final sentence and hundreds of readers had enjoyed the section. It contains an inspiring, funny, and compelling array of novel endings.

This is our final NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day for 2010. Congratulations to all our readers participating in the marathon this year. As writers around the country joined the writing marathon this month, we shared one piece of advice or writing tool to help them cope with this daunting project.

‘Writers Needed’ Spam Drives Literary Twittersphere Crazy

All day, hundreds of literary Twitter users have complained about mounting “Writers Needed” spam on Twitter. We won’t link to the offending tweets, but follow this link to see the long list of user complaints.

UPDATE: Follow this link to find out how to block and report Twitter spam. Earlier today, Michelle Wolfson tweeted this simple message (embedded above): “Dear @twitter please block @ messages that contain the words. “writers needed” @Spam is OUT OF CONTROL!!” The message has since been retweeted more than 30 times.

Is the ‘Writers Needed’ spam driving you crazy? What other spam accounts and messages have you seen floating around the Twittersphere?

Simon & Schuster Offers Groupon Discount

Groupon has struck its “first deal featuring a book publisher,” offering  an online store discount for Simon & Schuster–the offer expires today.

Here’s more about the deal: “Before books, wild words roamed free, devastating conversations and stories with roving misplaced modifiers and marauding dangling participles. Visit a page-bound petting zoo with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of adult hardcover books, trade paperbacks, audio books, and the entire children’s product list at Simon & Schuster‘s online store. This deal is not valid for e-books and mass-market paperbacks. No matter how many books are purchased in your Groupon order, Simon & Schuster will offer a flat, all-inclusive shipping rate of $4.99 for Groupon customers.”

What do you think? In September, we reported how Watermark Books and Cafe bookstore found 504 new customers this summer–each paying $10 for a $20 coupon for books, drinks, or sandwiches–by using Groupon.

Participatory Journalism & Poets Theater Get Booked

Our literary calendar includes everything from poetry to Tequila Tales. To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page.

Write About Now reading series features Florence Aubenas and Ted Conover an event titled In Character: The Role of the Participatory Journalist. It will take place at Le Skyroom in FIAF on Wednesday, December 1st starting at 7:30pm. (New York, NY)

6 Chicago poets have 48 hours to conceive, rehearse, and perform a program of Poets Theater. See their results at the Oracle Theatre on Sunday, December 5th starting at 6pm. (Chicago, IL)

Tequila Tales publication reading at {open} book on Tuesday, December 7th starting at 7pm. (Long Beach, CA)

20 under 40: Stories from The New Yorker will feature Gary Shteyngart, Wells Tower, and many others at the 92Y on Wednesday, December 15th starting at 7pm. (New York, NY)

Colin Robinson & OR Books: Handselling Online

orlogo.jpgToday’s guest on Mediabistro’s Morning Media Menu was Colin Robinson, co-founder of the new publisher, OR Books. The company focuses on a stripped-down distribution model with the unofficial motto, “No book printed until it’s sold.”

Robinson discussed OR’s newest book (Rich People Things),  book promotion strategies, and what he learned after he lost his job at a major publisher. Press play below to listen to the whole interview.

Here’s an excerpt: “At first we just put up some big ads on all the big sites. We did a lot of big advertising on places like The Nation and The Guardian, on BoingBoing and AlterNet … We’ve realized over the last year [that] blanket advertising is useful for putting the book into the Zeitgiest–but what really sells books on the Internet is a kind of handselling.”

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Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark Has Rocky Public Run-Through

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (the Broadway musical based on the comic book hero) staged its first public run-through yesterday, and The New York Times counted five full stops during the program. While the article admitted these early shows are “rarely” perfect, they described some dramatic mistakes.

Here’s an excerpt from the article: “[A] harness and cables lifted Spider-Man several yards up and over the audience, then stopped. A production stage manager, C. Randall White, called for a halt to the show over the sound system, apparently in hopes of fixing and re-doing the stunt. Crew members, standing on the stage, spent 45 seconds trying to grab Spider-Man by the foot, as the audience laughed and oohed.”

In September, U2 previewed music from the the upcoming musical on Good Morning America. The video is embedded above, playing after a 30-second advertisement. If you want something a bit darker, try our Spider-Man versus H. P. Lovecraft post.

Bookstore Co-Owner Helps Run Virginia Bookstore from London

Jenesse Evertson resides in London, England. Despite the geographical hurdle, she will run Narnia Children’s Books in Richmond, Virginia with her best friend, Jill Stefanovich.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports: “The partners talk — and Evertson attends meetings with designers and lawyers — via online video chat service Skype. The separation won’t hurt the business, the partners say. In fact, it allows them to focus on what they are good at individually.”

The store has been renamed BBGB which officially stands for “Bring Back Great Books.” Evertson and Stefanovich saved the store from being shut down when the previous owner wanted to retire. (Via Publishers Lunch)

Amazon Book Reviewer Feuds Profiled in The Daily Mail

Today The Daily Mail profiled two authors allegedly targeted by fake reviews on Amazon.

Rosie Allison‘s first novel, The Very Thought Of You, received 16 one-star reviews on Amazon after she was longlisted for this year’s Orange Prize. According to the article, author Polly Samson was targeted by another set of online critics because she is married to Pink Floyd guitarist, David Gilmour.

The article reports: “Guidelines set by Amazon state that reviews should not be posted by anyone with a financial interest or a competing book. But the online giant accepts anonymous reviews from anyone with a customer account. This has led PR firms to provide favourable reviews of new books, at a price. Nathan Barker, of Reputation 24/7, offers a service starting at £5,000.”

Lulu Titlescorer Tests Your Title: NaNoWriMo Tip #29

Last week, we posted about how the self publishing company Lulu developed Titlescorer–a way to measure your novel title’s hypothetical success against historical bestseller lists. It is the perfect tool for the final days of National Novel Writing Month.

Here’s how it works: “We commissioned a research team to analyse the title of every novel to have topped the hardback fiction section of the New York Times Bestseller List during the half-century from 1955 to 2004 and then compare them with the titles of a control group of less successful novels by the same authors. The team, lead by British statistician Dr. Atai Winkler, then used the data gathered from a total of some 700 titles to create this ‘Lulu Titlescorer’ a program able to predict the chances that any given title would produce a New York Times No. 1 bestseller.”

According to the program, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius has a 26 percent chance of being a bestselling title. Twilight has a 36 percent chance of being a bestselling title. The programmers remind us: “this is not an exact science” and that a good title requires “your own low-tech judgment” as well. This is our twenty-ninth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day.

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