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Archives: September 2011

Facebook Reads, Grammar PSA & Zombie Jogging: Top Publishing Stories of the Week

For your weekend reading pleasure, we’ve collected the ten most popular publishing stories of the week–ranging from a sign by frustrated Borders employees (embedded above) to Stephen King‘s sequel to The Shining to gloomy bookstore predictions.

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1. Borders Employees Vent Frustration
2. Facebook to Introduce a ‘Read’ Button
3. Stephen King Reads from Sequel to The Shining
4. Stop Abusing the Word ‘Literally’
5. Can You Be A Writer Without Being A Reader?
6. Bible Study Leaders Fined $300 for Weekly Meeting
7. 5 Free College-Level Writing & Lit Videos
8. ‘One for the Money’ Trailer Released
9. TechCrunch Predicts Bookstores Will Disappear by 2018
10. Change Your Boring Workout into a Zombie Story

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John Perry Wins Ig Nobel Prize for Literature for Theory of Structured Procrastination

Stanford University professor John Perry has won the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize for Literature for his work developing a “Theory of Structured Procrastination.”

The annual awards ceremony recognizes strange and improbable research from all corners of the world, a Bizarro World version of the Nobel Prizes. Perry (pictured via, jump-roping with seaweed) originally wrote about structured procrastination for The Chronicle of Higher Education, in an essay called “How to Procrastinate and Still Get Things Done.”

Here’s an excerpt from the award-winning work: “the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important. Structured procrastination means shaping the structure of the tasks one has to do in a way that exploits this fact. The list of tasks one has in mind will be ordered by importance. Tasks that seem most urgent and important are on top. But there are also worthwhile tasks to perform lower down on the list. Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list. With this sort of appropriate task structure, the procrastinator becomes a useful citizen.” (Via io9)

How to Fight Twitter Spam

Frustrated with Twitter spam clogging your reading list? Turn your account housecleaning into a game with Later, Spam.

Later, Spam is a new Twitter app that lets you fight spam and earn points for spotting fake Twitter feeds in your stream. The app also keeps track of how many spam accounts you have destroyed with a simple points system. Developer Andre Torrez was frustrated by the lack of spam fighting games and built the new app.

Here’s more from AllTwitter: “If you’ve got a bit of vigilante blood in you, this app is perfect. You will not only be cleaning house, making Twitter safer and less cluttered for other users, but you’ll also get points while doing it – and anyone who’s played Farmville or who watches their follower tally like a hawk knows how satisfying points can be.”

East Village Books Store Owner Nabs NYPL Book Thief

Earlier this week, the owner of East Village Books captured a man who unsuccessfully tried to sell stolen New York Public Library books.

Donald Davis, owner of East Village Books, admitted that he had been fooled by Hansen in the past, but was able to stop him this time. Davis reportedly wrestled Hansen to the floor and called the police to catch the alleged thief.

Have you ever caught a bookstore or library thief? Share your story in the comments. The New York Post has a quote from the bookseller: “‘There’s no other situation where I would do this. I was so angry that he was stealing from the library … The library is just a very important piece of our community.’” (Via The Wall Street Journal).

Kardashian Sisters May Publish Crystal-Studded Edition of Their Novel

HarperCollins may publish a special edition of Dollhouse by Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, decorating the novel’s cover with Swarovski crystal.

HarperCollins’ senior vice president Lisa Sharkey shared some behind-the-scenes details about the book in Diane Clehane‘s “Lunch at Michael’s” feature this week. 

Here’s an excerpt: “There was quite a fracas coming up with a title. Lisa wanted to call it Keeping Up but, she told me, the powers that be at E! put the kibosh on the idea saying that was their brand. Lisa then came up with the idea of launching a contest on Twitter asking followers to come up with their own titles. The winning entry, Dollhouse, was submitted by a gal named Courtney who will herself be written into the book as a wedding planner. Savvy Lisa, who is always coming up with clever ways to market her books, decided the cover will be in leopard print and is hoping to do a special edition adorned with Swarovski crystal (‘Kim loves bling!’). The sisters’ fans can also turn the cover over for a special keepsake poster that is sure to find its way into plenty of teen bedrooms.”

Maile Meloy on Her Transition from Adult Fiction to Middle Grade Books

Many authors have transitioned from adult fiction to young adult or children’s books recently. We caught up with author Maile Meloy to find out how she made the transition and find advice for other writers.

Meloy will publish her debut children’s book, The Apothecary, on October 4th. The Apothecary was written for a middle-grade audience. Meloy (pictured, via) built her career with two novels and two short story collections for adults.

Q: What advice do you have for authors looking to make the transition from writing for an adult audience to a middle-grade audience?
A: Make interesting stuff happen. I want that from books for adults, too, but I think kids are even more demanding than adults about plot—about what happens next. I also think there’s no need to write down for a younger audience, or to leave out words that seem hard. Kids are smart.

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Audible Hires Major Actors to Make Audiobooks

Audible.com has hired major actors to produce “tour de force performances” of new audiobooks. The stars helped choose the books, and the lineup includes Samuel L. Jackson reading A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes and Kim Basinger reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

What celebrity would you choose to read your favorite book? The program will add more celebrities in the future. We’ve included the current list below…

Kate Winslet explained why she read Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola:  “You use a different part of your brain and it keeps your creative juices flowing … It is challenging, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun as well. As a listener, being able to tune out and be taken into another world, an atmosphere, an environment that is being created entirely for you by somebody else’s voice is really a wonderful, magical thing.”

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Los Angeles Review of Books Taps YA Authors for Banned Books Week

The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) celebrated Banned Books Week with a series of essays by YA authors called “Getting Banned.”

The authors in the Getting Banned essays have all had their work banned or challenged at some point. Follow these links to read essays by Ron Koertge, Ellen Hopkins, Susan Patron, Sonya Sones and Lauren Myracle. LARB‘s YA editor Cecil Castellucci explained: “YA authors are on the front lines of today’s censorship battle.”

The web publication will also publish a two-part essay by English professor Loren Glass about the 1960′s obscenity trials Grove Press faced for publishing William Burroughs‘ Naked Lunch and Henry Miller‘s The Tropic of Cancer. Nickel and Dimed author Barbara Ehrenreich will also publish a Banned Books Week essay on Saturday.

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Don Campbell Celebrates Sound & Silence

Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect, has a book out from Hudson Street Press called Healing at the Speed of Sound.

The release includes both a print book and an enhanced eBook. The enhanced edition includes 70 links to audio recordings and videos from the authors.

eBookNewser has more: “The book, which is a collaboration with scientist Alex Doman, teaches readers how to meditate using sound and silence. Here is more from the press release: ‘Sound. The click of keys on a typewriter . . . the buzz of cars outside your window … the ‘sound’ of silence. Sound is everywhere, it is universal, and it one of the most powerful tools you have access to in your life. From your morning commute, to your workout mix, to the last sounds you hear as you fall asleep, sound can vastly impact your emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being—in both positive and negative ways.’”

Archie Comics to Donate Proceeds from 70th Anniversary Issue

Archie Comics will be celebrate its 70th anniversary with Archie #625. The thirty-two page comic book hit stores on September 28th. For a first look at the issue, follow this link.

Here’s more from the release: “The special issue, written by noted educator Alex Simmons and veteran Archie artist Dan Parent, reveals that a friend of Archie and the gang has a family member with cancer, and because of treatment, may have to move. The Archies then band together to provide help for their friend and get them a spot at the Ronald McDonald House, so they won’t have to leave Riverdale.”

Proceeds from the issue will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House. This charity provides temporary housing to pediatric cancer patients.

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