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Merriam-Webster Names ‘Culture’ Word of the Year

Merriam-Webster Cloud

Merriam-Webster have chosen “culture” as the Word of the Year for the United States.

The other nine words that appear on this “top 10″ list include nostalgia, insidious, legacy, feminism, je ne sais quoi, innovation, surreptitious, autonomy, and morbidity. The team posted a word cloud image featuring all ten words on Twitter (embedded above). The web edition of this dictionary has listed several definitions for “culture”:

  • The act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education.
  • Expert care and training.
  • Enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training.
  • The integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.
  • The act or process of cultivating living material.

Here’s more from Merriam-Webster.com: “Culture is a big word at back-to-school time each year, but this year lookups extended beyond the academic calendar. The term conveys a kind of academic attention to systematic behavior and allows us to identify and isolate an idea, issue, or group: we speak of a ‘culture of transparency’ or ‘consumer culture.’ Culture can be either very broad (as in ‘celebrity culture’ or ‘winning culture’) or very specific (as in ‘test-prep culture’ or ‘marching band culture’).”

Barbara Walters Declares George R.R. Martin to Be a Fascinating Person

georgerrmartinGeorge R.R. Martin has made it onto the 2014 edition of Barbara Walters’10 Most Fascinating People.”

Martin earned his place on Walters’ list due to the great popularity of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series and the Game of Thrones TV adaptation; both projects have made a serious mark in pop culture history.

The nine other people alongside Martin include Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Chelsea Handler, Neil Patrick Harris, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Michael Strahan, David Koch, and Amal Clooney. (via The Huffington Post)

James Patterson Completes His Promise to Donate $1M to Indie Bookstores in 2014

jamesPattersonBestselling author James Patterson is giving a generous gift to independent bookstores this holiday season. He is donating $473,000 to 81 different stores across the country.

The donation is part of the author’s promise to give $1 million to indie bookstores this year. This brings the author’s donations for the year up to $1,008,300 which he handed out to 178 independent bookstores across the country.

“Here’s to a joyful holiday season for booksellers everywhere,” said Patterson in a statement. “Yes, joyful! Here’s to more parents and grandparents coming to their senses and giving their kids books—yes, books—for Christmas and other holidays. Here’s to local governments waking up to the fact that bookstores and libraries are essential to our way of life. Here’s to media coverage of books, booksellers, and publishers, and to a wiser, more literate America. Happy holidays to one and all!”

 

 

The Onion Reveals Best Books of 2014

avclub-logoThe Onion’s A.V. Club has revealed its list of best books of the year list.

Titles on the list include: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell; The Martian by Andy Weir; Wolf In White Van by John Darnielle; Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi; and An Untamed State by Roxane Gay.

Here is more about how they came up with the list:

As usual, The A.V. Club invited our regular books writers to pick their favorite titles released in 2014. Since very few of our contributors read the same list of books each year, a ballot system doesn’t work as well. Here is a list of our 2014 book recommendations, from reviewed favorites to unsung gems. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite reads of the year in our readers’ poll.

How Does One Create a Pop-Up Book?

What does it take to make a pop-up book? The TED-Ed team has created a video called “Bringing a Pop-Up Book to Life.”

The book within the lesson focuses on the subject of tectonic plates. We’ve embedded the animated video above—what do you think?

Scribd Recruiters Will Join Mediabistro’s San Francisco Networking Party Tomorrow

Network-San-Fran-WP

For a chance to meet and chat about career opportunities with media company recruiters, head to Mediabistro’s networking party tomorrow, Dec. 16 at Harlot (46 Minna Street). From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. PT, you can discuss openings with recruiters from organizations such as Scribd. The subscription-based audio and eBook provider seeks developers and editorial assistants to join its team. 

The event is hosted by Camille Schmidt of Camille Schmidt Public Relations

To register for this free event and to check out the full listing of employers in attendance, go here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Teens Prefer Print Books: Nielsen

teen-booksTeens may be tech savvy, but they still prefer print books, according to new research from Nielsen.

In fact, according to the report, this demographic is less likely to buy an eBook than older readers. Twenty percent of teens reported that they would buy eBooks, less than the 25 percent of 30-44 year olds and 23 percent of 18-29 year olds that buy eBooks. Here is more from the Nielsen blog:

Several factors may play a role in teens’ tendency toward printed publications. Parents’ preference for print could have an effect or teens’ lack of credit cards for online purchases. But another explanation may be teens’ penchant for borrowing and sharing books rather than purchasing them, which is easier to do in print. Over half of teens are still looking for books on library or bookstore shelves. And in-store browsing is about level with browsing online for this group.

Jerry Garcia Stars in Comic Book

Tribute Jerry GarciaBluewater Productions has created a biographical comic book profiling Grateful Dead rock star Jerry Garcia.

This book is part of the publisher’s Tribute series. According to the press release, Michael L. Frizell wrote the story, Andre St-Amour created the interior artwork, and David Frizell produced the cover art.

For Frizell, researching Garcia proved to be difficult because it required “separating the myth from the man.” Despite these challenges, he feels that this Garcia project is “every writer’s dream. Drugs. Rock culture. Conflict. Social turmoil. Unparalleled talent. Humble and rebellious beginnings.”

Book Sales Up 4.9% in First 3/4 of 2014: AAP

TOTAL TRADE* NET REVENUE – BY CATEGORIES (in millions)

Jan. -  Sept. 2014 Jan.-  Sept. 2013 Percent Change
TOTAL TRADE* $5023.8 $4888.6 +2.8%
Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction $3310.6 $3423.3 -3.3%
Childrens/Young Adult $1311.9 $1072.2 +22.4%
Religious Presses $401.4 $393.2 +2.1%

TOTAL TRADE* NET REVENUE – BY FORMATS

Jan. – Sept. 2014 Jan. – Sept.  2013 Percent Change
Total Trade eBooks $1195.1 1131.5 +5.6%
Total Trade Hardback $1643.0 $1658.6 -0.9%
Total Trade Paperback $1506.8 $1447.3 +4.1%

*Total Trade includes all formats in Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction, Children’s/Young Adult and Religious Presses.

For the first three quarters of the year, sales across all categories of publishing were up 4.9 percent, according to the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The overall Trade publishing sector saw sales increase 2.8 percent for the first three quarters of the year.

The above September 2014 StatShot from the AAP shows publishers’ aggregated net revenue from all Trade categories in three formats: Hardcover, Paperback and eBook.

Children & Young Adult Books saw sales increase 22.4 percent from January to September 2014, over the same nine-month period in 2013. eBooks grew the most in this category, up +52.7 percent in the first nine months of the year.

 

Jeff Bezos Feels That Books Should Be Less Expensive

jeffbezos304Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sat for an interview Business Insider.

Throughout the conversation, some of the topics that came up included the Fire phone, how his role at Amazon has changed over the years, and his personal vision for bookselling. He revealed that the aim of the Kindle team is to make books as accessible as possible. For him, part of that means reducing the current $30.00 price point that is typically assigned to hardcover books. Bezos explained:

“Books are the competitive set for leisure time. It takes many hours to read a book. It’s a big commitment. If you narrow your field of view and only think about books competing against books, you make really bad decisions. What we really have to do, if we want a healthy culture of long-form reading, is to make books more accessible. It takes many hours to read a book. It’s a big commitment. If you only think about books competing against books, you make really bad decisions. You’re competing against Candy Crush and everything else. If we want a healthy culture of long-form reading, you have to make books more accessible. Thirty dollars for a book is too expensive. Part of that is making them less expensive. Books, in my view, are too expensive.”

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