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Archives: June 2011

eReader Adoption Hits 12% In U.S. Says Pew Research

The share of adults in the United States who own an eReader doubled in May 2011 to 12 percent from 6 percent in November 2010, according to the Pew Internet Project. Tablets haven’t seen the same level of growth in recent months. In May 2011, 8 percent of adults report owning a tablet, up only 1 percent since and 3 percent since November 2010.

These findings come from a survey conducted from April 26-May 22 among 2,277 adults ages 18 and over, including surveys in English and Spanish on landlines and cell phones.

The study found that both eReader and tablet adoption levels among U.S. adults are still far below the adoption of other tech devices. According to the study, cell phones are the most popular digital device among U.S. adults today, followed by desktop and laptop computers, DVRs, and MP3 players.

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What You Should Know About Google+

Google has unveiled Google+, a series of social tools to create sharing networks, interactive chats and video conferences with online friends.

The program has three tools that could help authors, readers and publishers connect. The program is still in field testing (but available in the Android Market), but you can follow this link to sign up for updates.

1. Google+ Circles could help readers and writers set up simple groups for contacts–putting your writing group in one circle, your book club in another circle and your work friends in their own circle.

2. Google+ Hangouts could be an quick and easy way to set up a book club, study group or informal author event. The “live multi-person video” chatroom lets you have spontaneous but controlled conversations with your online friends.

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Stan Lee, Yoshiki, & Todd McFarlane to Unveil ‘Blood Red Dragon’ Comic at Comic-Con 2011

The first issue of the comic book series Blood Red Dragon will be unveiled at Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 21st. This project features the collaborative efforts of Spider-Man comics creator Stan Lee, Japanese rock star Yoshiki (of the band X Japan), and Spawn comics creator Todd McFarlane.

GalleyCat reported back in October 201o when Lee and Yoshiki personally announced this project at New York Comic Con. Lee explained that the project would be a “motion comic,” which he described as “more than a comic, but less than an animated film. It’s somewhere in between.” The series is being published by Todd McFarlane Productions.

Here’s more from the release: “[The comic] focuses on the origin of an ancient and benevolent force, locked in an epic battle with the dark armies of Oblivion. Creative expression and destiny collide, as once in a generation an individual is born with the potential to unlock the awesome might of the Blood Red Dragon, thus channeling a power beyond comprehension and assuming the mantle of Earth’s protector.”

Jeff Bridges Hopes To Adapt Lowis Lowry’s ‘The Giver’

Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges will team up with producers Nikki Silver and Neil Koenigsberg to adapt Lois Lowry‘s The Giver. According to Variety, Bridges and Silver “came close” to making the feature film back in 2006.

Here’s more from the article: “They had been developing a feature version of the popular book for nearly a decade before it wound up at Warner Bros., which ponied up nearly $1 million to set up the tome with Red Wagon’s Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher in 2007. When the rights became available again, Bridges and Silver stepped up to reacquire them.”

Lowry set The Giver in a dystopian world starring 12-year-old Jonas. The book won the 1994 Newbery Medal and the 1996 William Allen White Award.

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How ComiXology Will Support Independent Creators & Publishers

Since Marvel and DC launched iPhone/iPad apps last year, digital comic book sales have been growing. In fact, digital comic book apps have been dominated Apple’s Top Grossing Book Apps list for months.

At eBookNewser, we interviewed  David Steinberger, CEO of ComiXology, a company that designs digital comic books for Marvel Comics among others. He told us how ComiXology is helping indie comic makers join the growing digital comic book market.

He explained: “We are empowering smaller publishers and creators to get digital distribution through our platform with our Guided View Authoring Tools program will help level the playing field by giving independent creators and publishers an equal chance for visibility in the digital marketplace through a standard format and ubiquitous platform. We have a program in the works that will empower partnering comic retailers to sell digital comics through their websites as part of our continued support.

Oxford Comma Dropped by a University of Oxford Style Guide

A University of Oxford Writing and Style Guide has decided that writers should, “as a general rule,” avoid using the Oxford comma. Will you miss the good old fashioned serial comma?

Here’s an explanation from the style guide: “As a general rule, do not use the serial/Oxford comma: so write ‘a, b and c’ not ‘a, b, and c’. But when a comma would assist in the meaning of the sentence or helps to resolve ambiguity, it can be used – especially where one of the items in the list is already joined by ‘and’ [for example]:  They had a choice between croissants, bacon and eggs, and muesli.”

Although we don’t know exactly when the rule was posted, Ranty Editor called our attention to the debate with an opinionated tweet this morning: “Oxford Style Guide ditches the Oxford comma. I have strong feelings about this, none of them good.” Be sure to watch Vampire Weekend’s “Oxford Comma” video as you ponder the rule change. (Via Don Linn)

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Janet Evanovich & Eva Gabrielsson Debut on Indie Bestseller List

We’ve collected the hardcover books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending June 26, 2011–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.

(Debuted at #2) Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich: “With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie Plum’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.” (June 2011)

(Debuted at #12) Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand: “Set against the backdrop of a Nantucket summer, the author delivers a suspenseful story of the power of friendship, the pull of love, and the beauty of forgiveness.” (June 2011)

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Clive Barker Lends Support To Kickstarter Project

After earning the support of horror novelist Clive Barker, filmmaker Mark Miller hopes to raise $7,500 to shoot a trailer for The Sickness–his film script about a zombie road trip.

Follow this link to watch his pitch (features a few shots of gory zombie makeup).

Here’s more about the project: “I showed my script for The Sickness to Clive and his resident make up effects team, Stephen Imhoff and Cris Alex. They went nuts for it and offered to help in any way possible … The budget for the trailer is bare bones. All of the money will go into makeup effects, locations, permits, and food. Everyone else involved has agreed to do this for the love of the project, and of course a sandwich or two. Then, once the trailer is filmed and edited together, we plan on showing it to investors.”

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How To Read Your Old Tweets

Many of the writers, editors and publishing professionals in the audience have been churning out tweets for years. However, it is very difficult to search, track and archive this massive collection of your writing.

Using the amazing tool TweetScan, you can actually generate an archive of all your tweets that goes back to the olden days of December 2007. Follow this link to create your own archive–a fascinating look at your microblogging evolution.

AllTwitter explained the service: “You can choose whether to view just your old tweets, or include and one or more of the following: @replies, your friends’ tweets, your followers’ tweets, direct messages, or favorite tweets. Your tweets are presented in a “TiddlyWiki” format, which means you can make notes and edit the pages. This service is great for an at-a-glance view of your older tweets, or if you want to review your tweet strategy in more detail.”

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5 eBooks for Less Than $5 Apiece

Digital publisher Open Road is running a sale on its eBook collection. The company is selling select digital books for between $.99 and $4.99. The “50 Summer Steals” promotion is good across eBook retailers through July 12th.

Here are five handpicked books from Open Road’s sale–you can find these titles at your favorite eBook retailer.

1. The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy: On sale for $4.99, this suspenseful novel is about military life in the South
2. A Word Child by Iris Murdoch: On sale for $2.99, this novel is the story of how a tragic accident changes the life path of a brilliant young man
3. Damage by Josephine Hart: On sale for $3.99, this work of fiction deals with obsession, jealousy and family politics
4. Predators I Have Known by Alan Dean Foster: On sale for $4.99, this travel memoir is about the planet’s most ferocious predators
5. Kinflicks by Lisa Alther: On sale for $2.99, this is a coming of age story of a young girl in the South in the 1960s

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