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Archives: December 2012

15 Free Books About Mayan Culture

Fed up with stories about how the world will end on December 21, 2012, NASA released the video embedded above: Why the World Didn’t End Yesterday.

The video provides some excellent insight into the Mayan calendar, an astrological masterpiece that scientists have studied for years. Instead of worrying about the end of the world, you should take this opportunity to learn more about the Mayan culture.

Below, we’ve linked to free eBooks about Mayans (available in all major formats) to help you learn more about this amazing culture.

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Bedford/St. Martin’s Seeks Talented Development Editor

Bedford/St. Martin’s is hiring! The publisher is seeking a creative development editor with strong writing skills to join its New York team.

In this role, you’ll manage content development for LearningCurve, the company’s online adaptive quizzing program, while working on additional online and print content for students and instructors. You’ll work with the media group to develop tutorials, grammar exercises, animations, videos and more, and be responsible for coming up with promotional copy. Read more

Twitter Fiction Infographic

Twitter opened its Twitter Fiction Festival this year, showcasing writers from more than 20 countries that will “push the bounds of what’s possible with Twitter content.”

Using a free infographic-making tool, we tracked the life of the #TwitterFiction hashtag where readers shared their stories. See the infographic below.

If you want to write your own Twitter fiction, we’ve created 25 Twitter Fiction Prompts to help you write–keep the #TwitterFiction hashtag alive!

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Most Expensive Book Sales of 2012

AbeBooks has released its annual list of the most expensive books sold by the used and rare books dealer.

This year, an 1603 astronomy text by Johann Bayer topped the list–selling for $47,729. An inscribed first edition of Ian Fleming’s  Casino Royale took third place as a $46,000 purchase. We’ve collected the top five books below, with Louisa May Alcott and Maurice Sendak tied for fifth place.

Here’s more from AbeBooks: “In third place is Franz Kafka’s novel Die Verwandlung (aka The Metamorphosis), which sold for $30,000.The original German edition is highly sought after because of Kafka’s ability to deliver unexpected impact at the end of his sentences. This effect has been difficult for English translators to replicate so the original German script is essential for Kafka collectors.”

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Scholastic’s Revenue Down 10% for Q2

As predicted in November, Scholastic reported that their revenue in the second fiscal quarter for 2013 has dropped by 10% compared to last year.

This also means that the company’s net profit has fallen down by 24%. These results came in part from lower-than-expected sales of The Hunger Games trilogy, reduced book club sales and decreased orders for educational technology and services.

Here’s more from the release: “Revenue for the second quarter was $616.2 million, compared to $685.3 million a year ago. Earnings per diluted share from continuing operations were $1.89, compared to $2.62 in the prior year period, which included one-time expenses of $0.21 per diluted share related to cost reduction actions.”

The Best Gift For Writers

Inspired by a GalleyCat post about the best gift you can give a writer, author and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi drew a Will Write for Chocolate cartoon (embedded above) illustrating our simple gift idea.

Give the writer in your life some extra time to write: “There are countless ways to give the writer in your life some extra time: let them borrow your office on the weekends; buy them a stay in a nearby bed and breakfast; promise to babysit on a weekday evening; purchase a mountain of gift certificates to your local coffee shop; volunteer to do their household chores for a day; buy them a spot in a weekend retreat; in short, do anything it takes to help your writer find a few consecutive hours of peace and quiet to write. They will never forget that gift.” Read more

Free Stories by the Brothers Grimm

Google has created an interactive Google Doodle to honor the 200th anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Click on the image embedded above for a visual exploration of the “Little Red Riding Hood” story.

To celebrate the milestone, we’ve rounded up free eBooks by the Brothers Grimm you can download download right now for your eReader, smartphone or tablet. Follow the links below to read.

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Cornell Library Installs Indoor Grass

The Olin Library at Cornell University has recently installed grass in the library lobby.

The library followed attention restoration theory, the idea that “people can concentrate better after spending time in nature.” We’ve embedded an image above, what do you think? Do you write better in a natural setting?

Here’s more from the library: “The lawn and plants in Olin Library are part of a larger project on campus from the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis to foster a healthy educational environment by creating natural spaces in high traffic areas. Studies have found that natural spaces have a unique ability to reverse the effects of mental fatigue caused by prolonged study.” (Via Library Journal)

Why One Publisher Used Medium to Share Book Excerpts

Are you looking for a way to share book excerpts with your readers outside of the retail websites?

When Wieden+Kennedy decided to launch the Sharp Stuff imprint, they decided to use the new social network Medium to share excerpts from their first title, American Dreamers. We caught up with director of content and communications Jake Dockter to find out why.

He explained: “Medium allows us to post content, interact with readers and seamlessly integrate into our twitter and social media. We post an excerpt from our newest book, American Dreamers, every day. Medium users can then read and vote on the content. The highest rated pieces rises to the top, allowing us to track which content users like the most. Publishers no longer need to guess what people like but can interact with content in a new way.”

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The Psalter, Wyoming Escape & ShockWaves: Coming Attractions

Here are some handpicked titles from our Coming Attractions page. Want to include your book? Just read our Share Your New Book with GalleyCat Readers post for all the details.

The Psalter by Galen Watson: “A medieval prayer book, a religious prophecy, and a forgery that changed the church—forever. Father Romano has run afoul of the modern inquisitors before. This time, it leads to a medieval manuscript and murder. Was it an ordinary theft gone wrong or something more? The Carabinieri in Rome would like to know.” (October 2012)

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