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Archives: April 2012

2012 Edgar Award Winners Revealed

The Mystery Writers of America have revealed the winners of this year’s Edgar Awards. The annual prize is named after beloved writer Edgar Allan Poe, awarded to the best authors in the mystery genre since 1945.

Follow this link to read free samples of all the finalists, the best mystery books of the year.

These awards recognize the following categories: novel, first novel, paperback original, fact crime, critical/biographical, short story, juvenile, young adult, play, and TV episode. Last year’s winners included Steve Hamilton, Dori Hillestad Butler, and Charlie Price. Below, we’ve listed the winners in several top categories. Read more

Amazon Sales Up 34% in First Quarter of 2012

Amazon has released its earning report for the first quarter of 2012, beating Wall Street estimates. Nevertheless, net income decreased by 35 percent compared to the same period last year.

Here’s more from the release: “Net sales increased 34% to $13.18 billion in the first quarter, compared with $9.86 billion in first quarter 2011 … Net income decreased 35% to $130 million in the first quarter, or $0.28 per diluted share, compared with net income of $201 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, in first quarter 2011.”

Experts had expected the online retailers sales to increase by 31 percent, estimating Amazon would count $12.9 billion in sales. The company also counted “more than 130,000 new, in-copyright books that are exclusive to the Kindle Store.”

Pearson to ‘Mount a Robust Defence’ Against DOJ Suit

Pearson, the corporate parent of Penguin Group publishers, announced that company-wide sales had grown by eleven percent over the last three months. The release also said the company would “mount a robust defence” against the Department of Justice price fixing lawsuit. Check it out:

Following several years of particularly strong performance relative to the overall consumer books market, we expect Penguin to perform in line with its industry this year. It will benefit from its consistently strong publishing schedule, which is more concentrated in the second half this year, and its strong position in the fast-growing market for digital books. The industry continues to face significant structural change and, as one example, we intend to mount a robust defence of our actions in the civil proceedings recently announced by the US Department of Justice against Apple and several consumer book publishers including Penguin.

The company also broke out circulation statistics for The Financial Times, counting 320,000 print subscribers and 285,000 digital subscribers.

Shel Silverstein Sings ‘Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too’ Poem

In honor of National Poetry Month, we dug up an animated video of children’s author Shel Silverstein performing his poem, “Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too.”

The poem was included in Silverstein’s celebrated collection, Where the Sidewalk Ends. It was originally published in 1974 and dedicated to children’s books editor Ursula Nordstrom.

Since the poet died in 1999, HarperCollins has published two volumes of Silverstein poetry. What’s your favorite Silverstein poem?

David St. John: ‘My advice would be for most poets to read more slowly.’

Happy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we interviewed poets about working in the digital age. Recently we spoke with National Book Award finalist David St. John.

St. John has written and edited several volumes of poetry. He serves as a creative writing professor at the University of Southern California. In March 2012 he released a new poetry collection entitled The Auroras.

In this book, the poet divided up his poems into three separate parts. The first explores sensuality, the second deals with the past and the third talks about mortality. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

Read more

William Morrow Seeks Talented New Designer

Are you a bookworm with creative skills? William Morrow needs you. The publishing company is looking for a new designer to join its New York team.

In this role, you’ll work with art directors to conceptualize and create jackets and covers for adult trade hardcover and paperback books. You’ll prepare mechanicals for production, participate in larger discussions and help execute art directors’ ideas. Read more

Henry David Thoreau Video Game Gets $40,000 NEA Grant

The University of Southern California has received a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to produce a video game based on the work of Henry David Thoreau. You can explore the game in the video embedded above–what do you think?

Here’s more about the project: “The game will take place in a real-time 3D environment which will replicate the geography of Walden Pond and the woods in which Thoreau made his home using both game technologies and video. Beyond the replication of a virtual environment, however, the gameplay itself will embody the experiment that Thoreau set for himself, reinforcing the basic messages of his work. Walden, a game posits a new genre of play, in which reflection and insight play an important role in the player experience. ”

You can download free eBook edition of Thoreau’s Walden at this link. At the same time, a number of PBS shows saw significant reductions or cuts in their NEA grants this year.

Read more

Double Dragon Seduction & What Happened to Tom: Coming Attractions

Here are some handpicked titles from our New Books section. Want to include your book? Just read our Facebook Your New or Upcoming Book post. Don’t forget to include your title’s exact release date and a link.

A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage by Marly Youmans: “A bright, unusual boy who is disillusioned at a young age, Pip believes that he sees guilt shining in the faces of men wherever he goes. On his picaresque journey, he sweeps through society, revealing the highest and lowest in human nature and only slowly coming to self-understanding.” (March 2012)

What Happened to Tom by Christopher Taffen: ”An allegorical horror story. A psychological/philosophical thriller. A must-read for every man.” (April 2012)

Read more

Ellen DeGeneres Narrates ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Talk show host and author Ellen DeGeneres shared a short skit online, attempting to read the audiobook version of E. L. James‘ steamy erotica, Fifty Shades of Grey.

We’ve embedded the video above (Completely Safe for Work)–what do you think of her charming sound effects?

Last month, James landed a seven-figure book deal and a movie deal for her bestselling title. In another post, we explored the novel’s previous incarnation as sexy Twilight fan fiction.

Celebrate Poem In Your Pocket Day

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day, a time for readers to carry a copy of their favorite poem and share it with the world.

What poem will you carry in your pocket? As a younger man, GalleyCat editor used to carry around a beat-up pocket edition of Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg. However, today we are sharing a digital copy of “Dirge” by the great Kenneth Fearing (more background on the poem here).

Check it out: “The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you on Poem In Your Pocket Day, sharing it with co-workers, family, and friendsPoem In Your Pocket Day has been celebrated each April in New York City since 2002, and nationwide since 2008. Each year, parks, bookstores, workplaces, and other venues burst with open readings of poems from pockets.”

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