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Archives: January 2014

Philosophers Launch a News Site

philosophersmailThe School of Life has created a new news site called The Philosophers’ Mail, which looks a lot like The Daily Mail but has a very unusual take on headlines.

Rather than just report big stories, the team of journalists are writing these stories from the point of view of  philosophers. For example, today’s headlines are: “How Much We Wanted Amanda Knox to Get Away With It,” “Kristen Stewart’s Socks Provide Lesson in Friendship,” and “One Bowl of Dutch Strawberries Could Save Your Relationship.” The site categorizes news into various themes including: Perspective, Tragedy, Disaster, Virtues, Capitalism, Shopping, Utopia and Relationships.

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Mediabistro Course

Memoir Writing

Memoir WritingStarting January 7, work with a published memoir writer to tell and sell the story of your life! In this course, Wendy Dale will teach you how to create your story around a marketable premise, hone your narrative voice, write a memoir with a solid structure, and sell your memoir before you've even finished writing it. Register now!

How a Photo Collecting Hobby Turned Into a Bestselling Novel

ransomriggsRansom Riggs the author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children did not set out to write novels. In fact, the filmmaker and nonfiction author got his start in fiction through his hobby of collecting creepy photos with captions written on them.

Riggs shared these photos with his editor at Quirk Books, who had the idea that Riggs could build a novel from them.

Fine Books Magazine has the story: “Riggs ‘leapt on the idea,’ and began writing a story inspired by the vintage snapshots. ‘My collection was small then, and I knew I’d need many, many more photos to choose from while writing, so I started contacting and meeting with other collectors.’ With help from other photo collectors, Riggs assembled enough odd and intriguing—some say ‘creepy’—photos to illustrate the novel, which attracted rave reviews and critical acclaim upon publication in 2011.”

The project was a success. The book became a bestseller on the The New York Times and the story is even being adapted into a film by Tim Burton.

Judge Sentences Fugitive to Read Malcolm Gladwell

gladwellAs part of her punishment for aiding the Earth Liberation Front in burning $40 million worth of property, ecoterrorist Rebecca Rubin has been sentenced to read David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell and  Nature’s Trust by Mary Christina Wood.U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken also ordered Rubin to serve 5 years in prison and pay $13 million in restitution.

Aiken apologized for her actions in a letter in which she also detailed how she became an animal rights activist after reading books as a child. Here is an excerpt:

For as long as I can remember, I have been sensitive to the suffering of animals. My favorite books as a child were Charlotte’s Web and Beautiful Joe, both which centre on mistreated non-human protagonists. I gave my grade seven speech on cruelty to animals, and I read and wrote on environmental and animal issues throughout middle and high school.My whole life I wanted (or wished I was) a veterinarian, and were it not for the cruelty inflicted on animals in the schooling, I believe that I would have pursued that goal. (Via NBC News).

Unreturned Books Are Shrinking the Collection at Brooklyn Libraries

brooklynlibraryBrooklyn Public Library’s collection is shrinking because of unreturned books. According to a report in The Daily News, the library systems counted 70,144 books unreturned books in 2012 across the system’s 60 branches. This was up from 61,543 books that weren’t returned in 2011. (Numbers for 2013 have not yet been calculated).

These unreturned books are leading to smaller collections. In 2009, the library housed about 4.1 million books. As of 2012, the system only had 3.3 million titles.

Here is more from The Daily News: “GED prep guides, nursing and other professional exam cliff notes were high on the list of frequently filched books — but so too were graphic novels, library officials said. “Those are always going missing,” a librarian at the Brooklyn Heights branch told the Daily News Thursday.”

 

Sorcerer & Love Water Memory: Coming Attractions

love-water-memory-pb-225Here 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.

Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge: “Who is Lucie Walker? Even Lucie herself can’t answer that question after she comes to, confused and up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay. Back home in Seattle, she adjusts to life with amnesia, growing unsettled by the clues she finds to the selfish, carefully guarded person she used to be.” (April 2013)

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eBook Platform Screwpulp Raises $330K in Investment

screwpulpSelf-publishing startup Screwpulp has secured $330,000 in seed investment. The eBook publishing platform plans to use the money to improve the site’s shopping and reading experience for readers, as well as to make the publishing tools for authors better.

“We feel that the traditional book publishing model is daunting and leaves many great books to gather dust,” stated Richard Billings, CEO of Screwpulp. “Screwpulp’s platform empowers authors with the tools they need to publish, market and profit from their work. Additionally, our demand-based pricing model gives clear indications to readers about the quality of a book’s content and puts the power of a book’s success into the proper hands, the readers.”

The company also revealed that it is expanding its board. Brad Silver, CEO of Quire, and Joe Wikert, formerly of O’Reilly Media will join the board.

NY Historical Society to Host the ‘Madeline in New York’ Exhibit

9780670445806HThe New York Historical Society will host an exhibition called “Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans.”

This art show was organized to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of the first Madeline picture book. It will open on July 04, 2014 and close on October 13, 2014.

Visitors will see more than 90 original art pieces. This exhibit will showcase illustrations from all the books in the Madeline series as well as ”Bemelmans’ drawings of the old Ritz Hotel in New York, murals from a rediscovered Paris bistro, panels from the Onassis yacht, and a cache of fabrics based on an early picture book.”

Amazon’s Net Sales Were $74.45B Last Year, Up 22% From 2012

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Amazon’s net sales increased 22 percent to $74.45 billion in 2013, as compared to $61.09 billion in 201, the company revealed today. The company’s net sales increased 20 percent to $25.59 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, as compared with $21.27 billion in fourth quarter of 2012.

Here is more about full year sales from the press release:

Operating income increased 10% to $745 million, compared with $676 million in 2012. The unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year on operating income was $29 million. Net income was $274 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $39 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, in 2012.

“It’s a good time to be an Amazon customer. You can now read your Kindle gate-to-gate, get instant on-device tech support via our revolutionary Mayday button, and have packages delivered to your door even on Sundays,” stated Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

ABC to Shoot Pilot for TV Show Based on Eddie Huang Memoir

huangABC plans to shoot a TV show pilot based on chef Eddie Huang’s memoir, Fresh Off the Boat.

Random House’s Spiegel & Grau imprint released the book back in January 2013. Deadline reports that Huang himself will serve as a producer for this project.

Nahnatchka Khan, a TV industry veteran, has signed on for double duty as both a script writer and an executive producer. The premise for this show “revolves around a Chinese family that moves to suburban Orlando” during the 1990′s. What do you think? (via Eater.com)

Fruitlands Museum Featured on Kickstarter

fruitThe Fruitlands Museum team hopes to raise $5,000 to create a commemorative book called 100 Objects 100 Stories 100 Years at Fruitlands. In addition to crowdsourcing for funds, the organizers are asking people to share their personal memories of visiting the museum.

Some of those stories will be published in the finished book along with essays by Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia author Richard Francis, English professor Cecilia Macheski, and the museum’s chief curator Dr. Michael Volmar. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“We’re asking the public to pick the most popular 100 objects from a portion of our vast collection of transcendental, Shaker, Native American and American art. You can vote for your favorite objects by going to www.fruitlands.org/vote…The voting and story submissions close at the end of January. The photography of the 100 objects will begin soon after and the stories will be selected and sent to the editor.”

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