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Archives: August 2011

JCPenney Stirs Controversy with ‘Too Pretty to do Homework’ Shirt

JCPenney drove the Twittersphere bonkers this morning, selling 7-16 year old girls a new jersey that reads: “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.”

UPDATE: Spokesperson Ann Marie Bishop told ABC News: “We’ve immediately discontinued sales of that T-shirt. It was only online … We agreed that the shirt does not deliver an appropriate message.” The link to the shirt has been removed from the site, but follow this link to see an archived image.

The shirt featured hearts, flowers and an unfinished math problem doodled around the slogan, discouraging writing and math in a single swipe. What do you think? Follow this link to read more Twitter responses.

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Mediabistro Course

Nonfiction Book Proposal

Nonfiction Book ProposalStarting September 4,work with a literary agent to complete a full proposal that wins an agent and a contract! Ryan Harbage from The Fischer-Harbage Agency, Inc. will teach you how to convey your idea in a winning book proposal format, write your proposal letter, understand the nuts and bolts of the nonfiction book industry, and more. Register now! 

Maya Angelou Objects To MLK Monument Quote

Poet Maya Angelou is not a fan of the new Martin Luther King monument in Washington, DC (pictured, via). In a Washington Post article, the poet objected to the quote carved on the newly unveiled MLK monument.

The original King quote read: “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” But it has been shortened to read “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”

Here’s Angelou’s quote, from the article: “The quote makes Dr. Martin Luther King look like an arrogant twit … He was anything but that. He was far too profound a man for that four-letter word to apply.”

Salman Rushdie Short Story Gets Soundtrack

Booktrack has commissioned an entire score for a Salman Rushdie short story so readers can listen to a soundtrack (played by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra) while reading the eBook app.

Booktrack creates eBooks with a synchronized soundtrack, adding music, sound effects and ambient sound to the reading experience. On the Morning Media Menu today, we interviewed Brooke Geahan, the vice president and publisher at the new eBook company (introductory video embedded above).

Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “We are releasing ‘In the South,’ a beautiful story [Rushdie] wrote about two friends and the tsunami that hit India. For that we had composer John Psathas, an award winning musician and huge fan of Rushdie. So he jumped at the chance to actually read ‘In the South’ and interpret it–as well as compose a score for it.”

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Antipiracy Service Targets eBooks on File Sharing Sites

The Curtis Agency and E-Reads will tackle eBook piracy as a team, making it easier for authors to find pirated material and send take-down letters.

They have enlisted the technological assistance of Muso TNT, a company that targets piracy for other media industry clients. Muso developed a system that targets popular file sharing sites like RapidShare and Megaupload.

Here’s more from the article: “Using the Muso technology, legitimate content providers authorize the antipiracy service to launch search engine ‘spiders’ to crawl over the Internet and detect unauthorized files. A significant feature is that the search criterion is by author, not by title. As the spiders locate pirated files, they store the results on a password-protected login page for review.”

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Free eBooks of Long, Long Novels

What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? Flavorwire has collected a list of long, long books in the post, “10 Novels That We Dare You to Finish.”

If you are interested in taking the challenge, we’ve listed links below to free eBook copies of five massive novels. This GalleyCat editor loves reading digital copies of long, long novels–it seems like the perfect way to interact with these unwieldy titles.

Here’s more from Flavorwire: “we’ve compiled a list of 10 novels that could also function as doorstops if you decide to give up on them. Maybe you’ve tried to impress your friends by casually mentioning that you’re finally reading Proust, or you’re the annoying person on the train with the weighty tome in both hands, jostling into your fellow passengers because you can’t spare a free hand — whatever the reason, we salute you, foolhardy readers.

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12-Year-Old Comic Book Artist on Kickstarter

12-year-old comic artist Arion D. Rashad hopes to raise $3,000 to publish and promote his creation, Mii Toons Comics. Above, we’ve embedded a video about the project, a report from a local news station.

Rashad has finished a total six Mii Toons comic books and will soon complete a seventh. He will use the funds to rent exhibition tables at conventions, purchase ISBNs and bar codes for his books and keep his website running.

Here’s more about the project: “I really hope to inspire other kids like me to create comic books. I also hope kids my age will want to read comic books and not just go see the movies about comic book heroes. I love going to comic book stores, but I usually only see adults there. So if you’re a parent, perhaps picking up one of my comics will inspire your kids to read and write more once they know the books are created entirely by another kid!”

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Jessica Tribble Named Publisher of Poisoned Pen Press

Jessica Tribble has been named publisher of Poisoned Pen Press, an indie house specializing in mystery fiction.

Tribble began her career in 2004 as an intern at Poisoned Pen Press. In her new role, she will oversee publication schedules, print quantities, budgetary decisions and staff management.

President Robert Rosenwald gave this statement in the release: ”Jessica is passionate about having our readers discover new and exciting mysteries from Poisoned Pen Press by authors with original, fresh voices. Her contributions have helped bring joy to our readers and she is uniquely qualified to take on the role of Publisher because of her experience and skills.”

This Week on the mediabistro.com Job Board: Chronicle, Penguin, Palgrave Macmillan

This week, Chronicle Books is looking for a new director of e-commerce, and Palgrave Macmillan is looking for a new national sales representative. Meanwhile, Penguin has two great openings — the company is looking for a pre-media associate and a digital business director. Get all the details on these gigs below, and find more just-posted opportunities on mediabistro.com.

For more job listings, go to the Mediabistro job board, and to post a job, visit our employer page. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Slake Seeks GOOD Award to Pay for 10 Slow Lit Essays

The literary journal Slake has applied for a $2,500 GOOD award to help pay for ten nonfiction essays for the next issue. GOOD L.A. and EPIP L.A. have decided to celebrate “awesome efforts that are moving Los Angeles forward” with a special award.

Here’s more from Slake: “Help the editors fulfill their mission to revitalize the city’s literary scene by financing 10 deeply reported pieces for its next issue …. Slake’s co-founders and editors are spearheading a movement they call ‘Slow Lit’ with deeply reported investigative journalism and a committed engagement with the city.”

Readers and supporters can can vote for the proposal for the next eight days. The GOOD L.A. Fund currently counts 42 different project proposals, many with literary themes. Follow this link to explore all the proposals.

Barnes & Noble Posts Q1 Net Loss of $57M

Today Barnes & Noble reported a two percent increase in total sales for the first quarter, but also counted a consolidated net loss of $57 million.

Nook eReader sales have increased dramatically along with online sales. However, trade and academic have both suffered decreases in physical store sales.

Here’s more from the release: “Barnes & Noble store sales decreased 3% to $1 billion, with comparable store sales decreasing 1.6% for the quarter. While traditional physical book sales declined during the quarter, the stores posted large increases in sales of the NOOK product line and Toys & Games. In a non-back-to-school period, Barnes & Noble College Bookstore (‘College’) sales declined 2% to $220 million, with comparable store sales decreasing 1.8%.”

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