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Archives: December 2013

Wikipedia Brown: A Parody of Encyclopedia Brown

brownagencyWriter Adam Cadre has created a parody of the popular kids book Encyclopedia Brown for the digital era. It’s called Wikipedia Brown.

Like the original character, Wikipedia is a very knowledgeable fellow. Here is an excerpt from The Case of the Captured Koala: “Leroy Brow’s head was like Wikipedia. It was filled with facts he had learned there. He was like the entire Wikipedia web site walking around on sneakers. Simon Baron-Cohen had written a paper about him.”

You can read the story for free at this link.

Harry Potter Fan Creates a Website for The Ministry of Magic

harry potter logoOne Harry Potter fan has launched a website for The Ministry of Magic, the government that oversees the wizarding world featured in J.K. Rowling’s book series.

Andy Brown, the actual creator of this site, declared himself as “Head of Department of the Use of Muggle Technologies.” According to The Next Web, the site was fashioned after the United Kingdom’s own GOV.UK website.

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Blogger Jessica Shyba Lands Two-Book Deal

shybaJessica Shyba, the blogger behind Momma’s Gone City, has landed a two-book deal with the Feiwel & Friends, a Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group imprint.

Shyba (pictured, via) acquired 230,000 followers on instagram by posting nap time photos starring her rescue puppy and infant son, Theo and Beau.

According to Shyba’s blog post, the first book, entitled Bedtime for Theo and Beau, will be released on February 4, 2015. (via The Huffington Post)

Exploring The History of The Word ‘True’

What does the word “true” have in common with the word “tree?” The animated video embedded above features a four-minute TED-Ed lesson exploring the etymology of the word “true.”

Here’s more about the lesson: “With roots in Old English, ‘true’ shares etymological ancestors with words like betroth and truce…but also with the word tree. In fact, trees have been metaphors for steadfastness and faithfulness for as long as the word true has defined the same qualities.”

Over at the TED Ed website, linguistics fans can access a quiz, a discussion board, and more resources. Artist Brad Purnell served as the animated for this project. Gina Cooke, a language expert and the blogger behind LEX, took on the role of educator. In the past, Cooke crafted TED-Ed lessons called “Why is There a ‘B’ in Doubt?” and “Making Sense of Spelling.”

‘The Atlantis Gene’ Leads the Self-Published Bestsellers List This Week Again

theatlantisgene1The Atlantis Gene: A Thriller (The Origin Mystery, Book 1) by A.G. Riddle leads the Self-Published Bestsellers List this week for the third week in a row.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in three major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.

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

The Strand Reveals Record Book Sales on Christmas Eve

strandWhile many independent bookstores are struggling to keep their doors open, New York City bookstore The Strand is doing just fine.

The retailer tweeted on Christmas Eve that they had the best sales day ever, illustrating that print books and indie bookstores are still alive and well.

Will Tracking Readers Lead to Better Books?

scribdThe New York Times has a story this week examining the rise of eBook services that track reader behavior. According to the story, one benefit of being able to track readers is that publishers and authors can better understand how these readers respond to stories and, in turn, produce books that are more in tune with what readers want.

Here is more from The Times‘ story:

The move to exploit reading data is one aspect of how consumer analytics is making its way into every corner of the culture. Amazon and Barnes & Noble already collect vast amounts of information from their e-readers but keep it proprietary. Now the start-ups — which also include Entitle, a North Carolina-based company — are hoping to profit by telling all.

“We’re going to be pretty open about sharing this data so people can use it to publish better books,” said Trip Adler, Scribd’s chief executive.

Do you think that tracking readers will lead to better books?

Amazon Reports Record Sales This Holiday Season

amazon304Sycamore Row by John Grisham was the most popular Kindle book given as a gift this holiday season, according to Amazon. The online retail giant sold “millions” of Kindle devices this holiday season and Cyber Monday was the bestselling day for these devices.

These are tidbits are part of a number of holiday sales facts that Amazon published today. For instance, H.M. Ward was the best-selling Kindle Direct Publishing author during the holiday season. In addition, 150 Kindle Direct Publishing authors each sold more than 100,000 copies of their books this year. Top sellers included Hopeless by Colleen Hoover and Wait for Me by Elisabeth Naughton.

Amazon also revealed that Kindle Direct Publishing authors sold hundreds of thousands of books in November through Kindle Countdown Deals, a new discounting feature from Amazon. The company also pointed out that this year, Kindle offered more than 200,000 exclusive books through the Kindle store.

 

Best Writing Music of 2013

What’s your favorite writing music from 2013? I’ve rounded up my annual list of the best music that helped me write this year.

Follow the links below to listen to the instrumental songs we’ve picked so far this year. Share the instrumental songs or albums that inspired you in the comments section.

Follow this link to read our Best Writing Music of 2011 list and our 2012 list. If you want more inspiration, check out Largehearted Boy’s annual list of Year-End Music Lists and Open Culture’s timeless Best Music to Write By list.

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Six Libraries Exceed a Million Digital Checkouts This Year: OverDrive

overdrive304Six libraries in North America marked more than 1 million digital checkouts this year, according to digital book distribution company OverDrive. This includes eBooks, audiobooks, music and video files.

The libraries to make OverDrive’s ”Million Digital Checkouts Club” this year include: King County Library System in Washington, which recorded 1.6 million downloads up 25% over 2012; Toronto Public Library, which had 1.5 million digital downloads this year, up 68% over last year; New York Public Library which had 1.2 million digital downloads up 16% from 2012;  Hennepin County Library in Minnesota had 1 million digital downloads in 2013, a 41% increase from 2012; Cleveland Public Library in Ohio, which marked 1 million digital downloads this year,  a 32% increase over 2012; and the  Seattle Public Library which had a million downloads, representing a 22% increase over 2012.

 

 

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