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Archives: February 2013

How Some Authors Buy Spots on Bestseller Lists

Recently the practice of buying a spot on the bestseller list has made headlines. Do you think the publishing community should work harder to stop this kind of behavior?

Our sibling blog PRNewser has more:

For authors and publishers alike, the very ability to claim “bestseller” status can significantly increase sales in addition to related speaking and consulting fees (especially relevant if you write about business). Unfortunately, it seems that more authors are now responding to the PR and financial challenges of writing for a living by simply buying their way onto bestseller lists … Oh, and in case authors want to, you know, work to promote their own books, here’s a list of 89 helpful marketing hints. We don’t know if they’ll “change your life”, but they are practical!

Amazon to Change Free eBook Policy for Associates

Next month, Amazon will change its policy for associates who help readers find free Kindle eBooks online, making certain sites ineligible for advertising fees. Here’s more from the company:

Starting March 1, 2013, Associates who we determine are promoting and meet both conditions below for a given month will not be eligible for any advertising fees for that month within the Amazon Associates Program …
1. At least 80% of all Kindle eBooks ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links are free Kindle eBooks
2. 20,000 or more free Kindle eBooks are ordered and downloaded during Sessions attributed to your Special Links

The company predicted that the new policy will only affect .1 percent of its associates and will not count for advertising fees accrued before March 1, 2013.

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Toni Morrison to Headline Google+ Hangout & Digital Book Signing

Novelist Toni Morrison will headline a Google+ Hangout and a digital book signing.

Morrison will join the hangout from Google New York offices on Wednesday, February 27th starting at 3:00 p.m. EST.  You can watch this event online via the Google+ page, Morrison’s Google+ page or the Google Play YouTube channel.

Here’s more about the event: “Using a Wacom tablet, Morrison will sign digital versions of her newest national bestseller, Home, published by the Knopf Doubleday Group, and will be signing the Vintage Books paperback edition of Home for Google employees. The live Hangout celebrates the paperback release of Home, as well as the culmination of Black History Month events sponsored by the Black Googler Network.” (Image Via)

Author Picks Book Subject Out of a Hat

Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten picked the subject for his next book out of a hat. Literally.

Blue Rider Pres will publish One Day in 2015, “a non-fiction account of the events of a single day, chosen at random, in American History.” The book will focus on the randomly selected date of December 28, 1986. Gail Ross of The Ross Yoon Agency negotiated the deal with publisher David Rosenthal. Here’s more from the release:

Weingarten, best known for his long-form pieces for The Washington Post and books such as The Fiddler on the Subway, promises an in-depth look at one day in the life of the people of the United States as it happened, “but from high above, covering matters great and small – wide-angled, panoramic, with the added illuminating dimension of time.” The date, chosen at random by a waitress and two children at an oyster lunch (each drew a number from a hat: one for date, month and year), is the starting point for a book that will study “the universal power of humble truths,” says the author.

(Photo credit: Bill O’Leary)

What Can Libraries Do with Old Card Catalog Boxes?

When libraries made the shift to digital records, many librarians were stuck with beautiful old card catalog boxes and shelves. One high school library converted the boxes into writing supply storage.

Here’s more from Reddit user Wcubed3: “I am a student volunteer in my high school’s Library Media Center. We often lend out supplies to students working on projects during their study hall or lunches, and were tired of being interrupted every five minutes for whiteout or a glue stick, so we created a self-serve station out of our old card catalog that was doing nothing besides being another horizontal surface to lose paper on.”

What did your library do with the old card catalog boxes?

Artist Revives Gothic Blackletter Script by Hand

One artist will recreate a lost style of gorgeous handwriting, using web video to share his ancient practice.

Type designer, illustrator and artist Seb Lester will revive the BlackLetter script that has been out of use for more than three hundred years. He will document his efforts on video, a gorgeous tribute to handwritten letters (embedded above). Check it out:

BlackLetter was used throughout Europe from about 1150 until the end of the 17th century. One of my current preoccupations is developing a set of modern BlackLetter capitals that are highly legible, in BlackLetter terms, and yet retain the richness and beauty inherent in this ancient category of letterform.

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Thomas Pynchon, Elizabeth Gilbert & Charlaine Harris to Publish Novels This Year

Today Penguin USA released its year-end report, counting a $156 million operating profit for the year.

The publisher also gave readers a peek at Thomas Pynchon‘s upcoming novel, Bleeding Edge. Publication is set for September 17th. Here’s more from Penguin Press: “it is 2001 in Silicon Alley, New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11.”

In addition, Elizabeth Gilbert will also publish a novel in October, “infusing her inimitable voice into a story of love, adventure, and discovery.” In May, Charlaine Harris will end her Sookie Stackhouse series with Dead Ever After. (Via Sarah Weinman)

Jodi Picoult, Linda Fairstein & Jonathan Lethem Get Booked

Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar. To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Night Watch novelist Linda Fairstein will appear at the Center for Fiction to share practical writing tips for aspiring crime fiction authors. Hear her on Tuesday, February 26th starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

The 4th Anniversary Show of the “How I Learned” reading series will take place at the Happy Ending Lounge. Join the party on Wednesday, February 27th starting 8 p.m. (New York, NY)

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Children’s & YA Hardcover Revenues Up Nearly 22%

According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP) StatShot report for October 2012, year-to-date hardcover sales in the children’s and young adult category rose nearly 22 percent compared to the same period last year–rising to $675.6 million.

In the same category, paperback sales sagged more than 5 percent and eBook revenues rose a whopping 160 percent during that same period. Counting sales in all these formats, children’s and YA sales were up nearly 19 percent for the year-to-date (AAP chart embedded above).

Meanwhile, adult fiction and nonfiction hardcover revenues decreased by more than two percent, mass market paperback sank 17 percent and eBooks increased nearly 36 percent compared to the same period last year. We’ve embedded the adult fiction and nonfiction chart below…

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Quentin Tarantino: ‘This Will Be the Writers’ Year’

“This will be the writers’ year, man,” Quentin Tarantino cheered as he accepted the best original screenplay prize at the Academy Awards.  Screenwriter Chris Terrio won the best adapted screenplay Academy Award for his Argo script.

Earlier today, KCRW’s ‘The Business‘ producer Darby Maloney, TVNewser’s Alex Weprin, FishbowlLA’s Richard Horgan and GoldDerby editor Tom O’Neil joined us for a post-Oscars Google+ hangout about the awards (video embedded above).

We’ve linked to all the nominees in the screenwriting categories below…

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