Has it really been 25 years since those blue-and-white newspaper vending machines started showing up on street corners? I feel old…but as least I’ll have plenty of USA Today-themed puzzle books to occupy me in my dotage, thanks to a new six-publisher branding project put together by the licensing firm Nancy Bailey & Associates. Andrews McMeel is just about ready to start publishing its puzzle books, with Sterling Publishing contributing crossword collections and a sudoku-a-day calendar in 2008. There’s also going to be a monthly sudoku magazine from MultiMedia Publishing, and a puzzle-a-day calendar from Mead Westvaco. The licensing venture isn’t just limited to puzzles, either: Nolo is putting together a series of legal and business guides, and Sports Publishing has plans for a 25th anniversary volume and a sports almanac.
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These days, writers aren’t just writers: They’re social-media mavens, seasoned public speakers, and one-person publicity machines. And they still have to find time to write their books! Find out what life is like once you've landed that dream book contract in a free web chat with young-adult authors Elizabeth Norris (Unraveling and Unbreakable) and Brodi Ashton (Everneath and Everbound) — plus special guest Kristin Rens, editor at HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray. Thursday, May 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET. on Figment.com.