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Archives: February 2011

‘The Lost Thing’ Short by Shaun Tan Wins Academy Award

Author and illustrator Shaun Tan helped adapt his picture book, The Lost Thing, into a hand-painted short. Last night, the animated film won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.

Tan accepted his Academy Award with a speech: “Our film is about a creature that nobody pays any attention to, so this is wonderfully ironic.”

Tan is well-known in his native Australia, but Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books imprint will make three of his picture books available as a single collection entitled Lost & Found: Three in March 2011.

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HarperCollins Boycott Launched Over Library eBook Policy

Angry library patrons and librarians launched a simple website (image embedded above) urging readers to boycott HarperCollins over its new eBook lending policy for libraries.

eBookNewser has more details. We wrote about the debate last week as the publisher decided eBooks could only been checked out 26 times by library patrons–setting off a wave of Twitter protests.

What do you think? The boycott site explains: “Until this policy is revoked, join us by not buying any new books or ebooks published by HarperCollins or any of its imprints … In addition, support your local library if it chooses to participate in the boycott and write a letter to HarperCollins explaining your actions. The boycott will end as soon as HarperCollins agrees not to limit the number of times a library can loan each ebook.”

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Is the Remix Genre Exhausted?

Author Alan Goldsher sold another remix book to Thomas Dunne books last week, mashing-up The Sound of Music, vampires, and Nazi zombies.

We caught up with the author of Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion to ask a single burning question–is it possible to do anything new with the remix genre?

Goldsher replied:  “Absolutely.  My latest, My Favorite Fangs, tries to be very different. The one-sentence, high-concept pitch is The Sound of Music with vampires, and that sounds pretty simplistic — and some might say silly, even — but it’s way more than that.  I’ve taken elements of the movie, and the real von Trapp family history, and undead myths, and jammed them together, then gave it a Monty Python or Family Guy vibe, which has — fingers crossed — created an entity until itself.”

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Johnny Temple: ‘We in the Publishing Business Need to Complain Less’

Akashic Books publisher Johnny Temple joined us for a Media Beat interview this week, talking about how he transitioned from rock star to literary publisher over the last 10 years.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s installment (embedded above): “I had no publishing background, but looking back, I think it gave me a boost … I was unburdened by this morose attitude in book publishing, [thinking] ‘Nobody reads books anymore, our business is in decline’–all these doom and gloom attitudes. Unfortunately, I’ve never had that.”

Below we’ve included more interview excerpts with Temple–a publisher and Girls Against Boys bassist. Visit Akashic Books to explore the publisher’s long and varied list.

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Charlie Sheen Pitches $10 Million Memoir

Actor Charlie Sheen doesn’t seem to be shedding tears over the mid-season shutdown of his television show, Two and a Half Men. In fact, he hopes to sell a tell-all book about his experiences for $10 million.

Back in the 90′s, Sheen wrote a book of poetry entitled A Peace of My Mind. We believe we’ve found an Amazon link to the self-published collection–a screen-shot is embedded above (click to enlarge). The  collection features illustrations by Adam Rifkin.

TMZ reports on the unwritten memoir: “Sheen tells us he wants the world to know what really happened behind-the-scenes of the show during his 8-year run … the good times and the bad … and he plans on naming names — including co-stars. We’re told Sheen even has a title in mind — When the Laughter Stopped.” (via Publishers Weekly)

Broadcastr Storytelling App Launches

Electric Literature c0-founders Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum introduced the storytelling site Broadcastr at the eBook Summit last year. The beta-version of the site launched this morning.

The storytelling app will let people record audio versions of location-specific stories around the globe–like Foursquare for storytellers. Above, we’ve embedded a video of the eBook Summit presentation.

Check it out: “Just like in human memory, every story is bound to a place.
Whether dishing last night’s details to friends, uncovering local lore, perusing restaurant reviews, listening to travel guides, tuning in to citizen journalism, contemplating oral histories, or sharing hilarious anecdotes, Broadcastr amplifies all our voices. Users can take a GPS-enabled walk as stories about their surroundings stream into their headphones, like a museum tour of the entire world.”

Lindsay Lohan & James Franco Reportedly Will Pose for Racy Photography Book

Lindsay Lohan has reportedly signed a £2.1million deal to pose for a nude photography book. According to The Daily Mirror, Academy Award host James Franco will be her partner for this project.

The video embedded shows the pair in the trailer for an imaginary action film in the 2006 film, The Holiday. Lohan and Franco will be shot by celebrity photographer Terry Richardson. In the past, Richardson has snapped the pictures of Lady GagaLeonardo DiCaprio, Jay-Z, and many others.

The Mirror reports: “Richardson has persuaded Lindsay and James to get involved. He has assured them it will be provocative but tasteful … Obviously there will be comparisons to Madonna’s 1992 Sex book. But James and Lindsay believe theirs will be classier.” (Via Sarah Weinman)

Tumblr Site Dedicated To ‘Writers No One Reads’

Who is your favorite obscure author?

Submit your beloved but unknown author to Writers No One Reads, a Tumblr blog dedicated to lost writers. It’s the perfect site for uncovering weekend reading material.

Here’s one of our favorite entries: “No one reads Polish avant superman Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, a.k.a. Witkacy (1885 – 1939). Publisher description of his first play, Maciej Korbowa and Bellatrix (1918): “A psychotic guru known as the Master, Maciej Korbowa, aided by his gender-shifting alter-ego Bellatrix, presides over a secret club of disciples addicted to drugs, alcohol, and sado-masochistic orgies and leads this band of metaphysical desperados and decadent artists no longer able to create on a philosophical quest for absolute Nothingness — until he finally betrays them all to the revolutionary Sailors of Death.”

Neovella & Co-Writing Stories with Your Friends

ms23.jpgHow will the next generation of readers read and write stories? One 22-year-old entrepreneur thinks the future of publishing is collaborative.

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Michael Siedlecki (pictured), the founder of Neovella. The new collaborative website allows writers to co-write stories with friends online and share them with other friends (both online and offline).

Follow this link to listen to the interview (MP3 link). Here’s an excerpt: “I would say publishers should be worried. Our generation gets all its reading done online, and its not necessarily high quality content. The stories that they get are not necessarily stories they find in a bookstore. Online, it’s stories about their friends. I tried to tie in the social aspect by having multiple people writing a story at once. If their friends see it, it’s like listening in on a conversation–which makes it more attractive.”

Andrew Sullivan Will Join The Daily Beast & Newsweek

Author, editor and blogger Andrew Sullivan will leave his popular online post at The Atlantic and join The Daily Beast. His work will start in April with his own dedicated channel on the website.

Sullivan (pictured, via) will also write for Newsweek, the weekly magazine that recently merged with the website. Sullivan’s site counts 1.2 million unique visitors a month. In 2006, Sullivan published The Conservative Soul.

Here’s more from Sullivan’s blog: “I am very proud to have played a part in the Atlantic’s self-reinvention in this period and its first profitable year in memory. To have played any part in perpetuating this legacy in an environment that has been as tough on magazines as any in memory is an honor I will cherish to the end of my days. But there are some opportunities you just can’t let pass by. The chance to be part of a whole new experiment in online and print journalism, in the Daily Beast and Newsweek adventure, is just too fascinating and exciting a challenge to pass up.” (Via Morning Media Newsfeed)

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