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New Book From the Founder of Essence Celebrates the Mag’s 44-Year History

Nine years after selling his magazine to Time Inc., Edward Lewis reveals how Essence came to be in his new book, The Man From Essence: Creating a Magazine for Black Women (Atria Books). Mediabistro recently interviewed Lewis to discuss the beginnings of one of the first magazines devoted to black women and why now was the right time to write his book.

Essence was first published in 1970 with a modest 50,000 copies before growing to more than a million four decades later. That type of growth will keep anyone busy and it was the “day-to-day running” of Essence that stalled him from telling its story earlier on. Lewis says this was an important story to tell because:

I wanted black women to know that a group of men thought so much of them that we wanted to bring something into the world that would celebrate their beauty and intelligence. Other women’s magazines weren’t talking about black women and we wanted to fill the void in the marketplace.

To find out more on the early days of Essence and what the magazine was almost called, read: So What Do You Do, Edward Lewis, Founder of Essence Magazine?

Marvel Makes Major Changes to Thor, Captain America, & Iron Man

marvel logoMarvel plans to shake things up in The Avengers universe for three major characters: Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man.
Female Thor

Henceforth, a woman will swing the Uru hammer in the Thor series. A Nerdist article reveals that the original Asgardian God of Thunder proved “himself to be unworthy, as per the inscription on his mighty hammer Mjolnir, Thor is stripped of his godly powers and this new mystery woman will take up the charge.”

Captain America Sam Wilson With all the super soldier serum extracted from his body, Steve Rogers is in no condition to continue on as Captain America. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sam Wilson, an African-American best known as The Falcon, will pick up the shield and serve in Rogers’ place.

Tony Stark will trade in his iconic burgundy and gold suit for a silver version. According to Entertainment Weekly reports that Stark has not only developed an upgraded suit, but also “a new perspective on life” that includes great ambitions.

So far, it seems that these changes apply exclusively to the comic books. Female Thor will be introduced in Thor #1 due out in October 2014. African-American Captain America will make his debut in All-New Captain America #1 due out in November 2014. Tony Stark will show off his new gear in Superior Iron Man #1 also set for release in November 2014.

 

Publisher Revenues Up 6.5% in Q1 2014: AAP

AAPstats

According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP) StatShot report for the first quarter of 2014, publishers saw total trade sales increase 6.5 percent over the same period for 2013.

The report looked at net revenues for 1218 publishers from January through March 2014. The AAP also revealed that, “In categories, Children’s/Young Adults continued its double-digit growth in publishers’ total net revenue vs the previous period:  +31.5% for Jan-March 2014 over 2013.  Additionally, each of the four C/YA formats (Hardcover, Board Book, Paperback and eBook) showed double-digit growth over the previous quarter.”

The AAP chart embedded above shows total net revenue for the first quarter broken out by format as well as by category.

David Levithan Inks Deal For Musical YA Novel

David LevithanDavid Levithan, a New York Times bestselling author and Scholastic editorial director, has landed a deal with Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Levithan plans to pen a musical novel entitled Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story. Fans will recall that this musical was featured in the collaborative novel written by Levithan and The Fault in Our Stars author John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson. For this project, he plans to share the full script.

Publisher Julie Strauss-Gabel negotiated the deal with William Morris Endeavor literary agent Bill Clegg. She will edit the manuscript herself. A release date has been set for March 2015 to honor the fifth anniversary of the publication of Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Read more

Lion Forge Comics & IDW Partner to Bring Airwolf & Knight Rider Digital Comics to Print

airwolfLion Forge Comics has teamed up with IDW Publishing to introduce bring its digital comics library into the print comics market. This begins with print editions of the digital comics Airwolf and Knight Rider, which are based on the classic NBC Universal television series.

In addition, IDW has plans to publish a print edition of Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier, inspired by MMA fighter, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The partnership will include additional titles, which will be announced down the road.

“We are excited to be entering this creative endeavor with IDW, a company we feel is on the forefront of progressive publishing,” stated David Steward II, CEO, Lion Forge. “With IDW’s experience and reputation for innovation, this partnership will exponentially  increase Lion Forge’s potential to explore new and unique avenues for our content.”

Apple to Pay $450M in eBook Settlement

doj304Apple has agreed to pay $450 million in damages to put an end to the eBook price fixing case. The company agreed to the settlement last month, but terms of the deal were just disclosed this week.

The Washington Post has more: “The settlement, which would provide $400 million for consumers, is conditioned on the outcome of a pending appeal of a New York federal judge’s ruling last year that Apple was liable for violating antitrust laws. A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York reversing the judge could, under the settlement, either reduce the amount Apple pays to $70 million, with $50 million for consumers, or eliminate payments altogether.”

Apple was found guilty of eBook price fixing in July 2013. A trial was scheduled for this July to determine the damages that Apple would have to pay. Apple lost an appeal in the eBook judgement back in February, and had since been pushing to delay the trial.

Unconventional Fairy Tale Collection Featured On Kickstarter

Raymond Friesen hopes to raise $9,986 on Kickstarter for a short story collection called Fairy Tales I Just Made Up. The funds will be used to cover the cost of printing.

Friesen’s take on fairy tales feature a bunch of crazy characters including dinosaurs, robots, aliens, and more. He hired a team of artists to create the illustrations. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“I like to write stuff. Silly stuff. To amuse myself, as well as anyone else who’s paying attention. I’ve made hundreds of dozens of people giggle. And now I’ve written a children’s book anthology, featuring a bunch of crazy versions of familiar stories.”

Read more

Have You Ever Wondered About ‘Stuff YA Readers Say’?

This is Teen, the young adult division of Scholastic publishing, has produced a video called “Stuff YA Readers Say.”

The video embedded above features references to several popular books including The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, Twilight, and more.

What are your favorite young adult books? (via The Huffington Post)

Filip Sablik to Head Publishing & Marketing at BOOM! Studios

filipsablik

Filip Sablik has been promoted from Vice President of Publishing and Marketing at BOOM! Studios to President of Publishing and Marketing at the company.

Sablik joined BOOM! in 2012 after serving as publisher at Top Cow. He got his start in comics back in 2000 when he joined Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2006, he joined Top Cow as VP of Marketing and Sales before his promotion.

BOOM! Studios is home to Mike Carey’s Suicide Risk, Clive Barker’s Next Testament, Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos’ Planet of the Apes, as well as Charles Schulz’ Peanuts, Jim Davis’ Garfield and Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. In his two years at the publisher, Sablik is credited with masterminding the successful 2013 #WeAreBOOM campaign as well as relaunching the company’s website to boom-studios.com, which led to a 100 percent increase in sales. 

“There’s a reason Filip Sablik is recognized as one of the most respected executives in the business,” stated Ross Richie, founder and CEO of BOOM! Studios. “The guy’s a force to be reckoned with and has been instrumental to the company’s growth and critical to our operational excellence as BOOM! expanded.”

Amazon May Have an eBook Subscription Service in the Works

amazon304Amazon may be joining the likes of Scribd and Oyster to offer readers unlimited access to eBooks in exchange for a monthly subscription fee, in the same way that Netflix offers access to movies for paying members.

Community members have been discussing the potential service on the Kindle Boards. It is supposedly called Kindle Unlimited and will allow readers to pay $9.99 a month for unlimited access to Prime books. Posters shared links for the new service on the discussion board, but there is no longer any evidence live on these links. However, there appears to be a “KU” feature in the search menu indicating that perhaps this feature will go live soon.

Amazon already gives free access to streaming movies to Amazon Prime members. In addition, Prime members can borrow one book a month through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to be read on a Kindle device. (Via The Digital Reader.)

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