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Archives: April 2013

Michael Arndt Struggles with Star Wars Script on Camera

Star Wars: Episode VII screenwriter Michael Arndt gave readers a peek at his process as he struggles to write a brand new Star Wars movie.

How would you write the new script? Funny or Die posted the satirical video, but all kinds of writers can relate to his struggle to crack the first few sentences of a major work.

Arndt also wrote the script for Little Miss Sunshine, and you can watch him deliver some serious writing advice in this Fora.tv video.

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Amazon Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Counts 300,000+ Books

Amazon reported that net sales increased 22 percent to $16.07 billion in the first quarter of the financial year, compared to the same period last year. At the same time, the company reported that net income had decreased. Check it out:

Operating income decreased 6% to $181 million in the first quarter, compared with $192 million in first quarter 2012. The unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter on operating income was $12 million. Net income decreased 37% to $82 million in the first quarter, or $0.18 per diluted share, compared with $130 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, in first quarter 2012.

In addition, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library has swelled to more than 300,000 books that readers with Kindle Prime membership can check out once a month.

Head First, No Helmet & Zombie Messiah: 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.

Head First, No Helmet by Robert P. Winkler: “Our intrepid hero stands at the cusp of adulthood, staring into the abyss from the safety of childhood. An entire world of choices lay before him as he looks to the future. He was always told he can do whatever he puts his mind to. Should he go to college? Get a job? Get two jobs? Find a wife and have some kids? Maybe fly on a plane for the first time, or move across the country? Go hunting or learn a martial art? How about all of the above.” (January 2013)

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Twitter Co-Founder Stars in Comic Book

Bluewater Productions has published a new comic book biography about Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter. The book sells for $3.99 on Comic Flea Market.

Patrick McCray wrote the script and Jason Moser illustrated the comic. The publisher released two covers, one drawn by Jason Moser and the other by drawn by Jason Marks. Publisher Darren G. Davis explained why his company continues to publish comic books about these unexpected characters:

Some of the most of the interesting stories don’t come from Hollywood but from the business world. People like Dorsey, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg created unique cultural touchstone that have more endearing value than the latest single from a pop single. Their stories are America’s Myths.

Top Children’s Books by Self-Published Authors for April

Looking for independently published children’s books? Every month, we sample books from this growing corner of the publishing industry.

Our weekly self-published bestsellers list is often dominated by the popular genres of romance and erotica. In an effort to help GalleyCat readers find other kinds of independent authors, we will offer regular genre-focused bestseller lists for other kinds of indie writers–we’ve highlighted three top children’s books from three different marketplaces.

If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups.

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Betaworks Acquires Instapaper

Betaworks has purchased Instapaper, an app we’ve covered for years. You can use the tool to save online magazine articles and download longer works by online authors.

Do you use the popular tool? AppNewser covered the sale of the digital tool:

Betaworks, a company that develops beta projects into more full fledged ideas, has purchased Instapaper — the popular app that lets you save content to read later. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Marco Arment, who founded Instapaper on his own back in 2008, said in a blog post that the company has, “grown far beyond what one person can do. To really shine, it needs a full-time staff of at least a few people.” Arment explained that he isn’t interested in taking on this task and wants “to try other apps and creative projects.”

Amazon Cracks Down on Kindle Books Under 2,500 Words

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is reportedly planning to remove Kindle books that have fewer than 2,500 words.

At the KBoards site for Kindle readers and writers, one author shared a letter from Amazon that explained: “Content that is less than 2,500 words is often disappointing to our customers and does not provide an enjoyable reading experience.”

UPDATE: We reached out to Amazon last week for commentary, but still have not received a response. We have reached out again.

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Scrivener App on Sale for Half Price

If you have ever considered using Scrivener writing software, Amazon is currently selling the writing app at a 50 percent discount from the list price.

Literature & Latte publishes the software, selling the PC version for $40 and the Mac version for $45. Over at Amazon, the PC version currently sells for $20 and the Mac version for $22.50. A number of published authors have praised the software. Journalist and author Jonathan M. Katz called the program “the Bruce Lee of word processors.” Here is more from Katz:

I know books were written before Scrivener, but I’m not sure how. And I certainly don’t care to find out. This program made it possible for me to think, compose, edit, and effectively use research, all while protecting the good people of Brooklyn from thrown laptops. Its only major shortcoming is that everyone doesn’t use it yet, meaning constantly jarring and injurious returns to Microsoft Word once a chapter was in the world. But other than that, five stars, and my heartfelt admiration. Scrivener is.

Literary Agent Julie Just To Join Pippin Properties

Literary agent Julie Just will head to Pippin Properties on May 1st.

Just (pictured) is looking for clients who write strong and distinctive young-adult and middle-grade fiction. She also has an interest in narrative nonfiction for adults and children.

In other revolving door news this week, three members of the editorial team at Simon & Schuster have been promoted…

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15-Year-Old Disney Star Lands Book Deal for YA Series

15-year-old actress and singer Bella Thorne has inked a book deal for a teen book series called Autumn Falls. If you want to see her writing, explore Thorne’s Twitter page with 2.9 million followers.

Delacorte Press will publish series, and the first book comes out the summer of 2014. DeFiore & Company agent Matthew Elblonk negotiated the deal with executive editor Wendy Loggia. Loggia will also edit the books. Here’s more from the release:

AUTUMN FALLS is the story of a 14-year-old girl whose high school life unexpectedly changes after an encounter with magic. AUTUMN FALLS is Thorne’s publishing debut, and she will co-write with Elise Allen. A multitalented teen star, Bella is best known for her lead role playing aspiring dancer “Cece Jones” on the hit Disney Channel original series Shake It Up, which is in its third season.

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