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HarperCollins to Publish Beowulf With Tolkein’s Notes

beowulfThe Tolkien Estate has signed a worldwide rights deal with HarperCollins to publish Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien.

This is the first time Tolkein’s notes have been published alongside the work. The author’s son Christopher Tolkien edited the work.

“The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication,” stated  Christopher Tolkien. “This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the writt en form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.”

The book is slated for publication in May.

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

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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eBook Discounting Takes Off This Holiday Season

mockingjayOn Cyber Monday Open Road Integrated Media offered eBooks for up to 80 percent off. The publisher is not alone in offering such major discounts on eBooks this holiday season.

Many of the big retailers are offering huge discounts on bestselling eBooks. For instance, Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins is currently $6.99 from Kindle, down from the $14.99 eBook list price.

Digital Book World has more: “Authors, publishers and agents are still being paid the same amount for each copy of the book by the retailers, meaning that many of these books are being sold at a loss, the aim likely to accrue market share. While publishers with discounted books are likely moving many copies and shoveling in revenue, they may also be disconcerted with the new perceived value of their wares.”

Joël Dicker Signs Deal with Penguin Books

image003Swiss author Joël Dicker has signed a deal with Penguin Books. The publisher plans to produce a trade paperback edition of Dicker’s international bestselling novel, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.

The book has been recognized with with multiple awards in France. Executive editor John Siciliano won the acquisition rights in an auction.

According to the press release, a release date has been scheduled for Summer 2014. The story focuses on “the disappearance of a fifteen-year-old New Hampshire girl and, thirty years later, a young American writer’s determination to clear his mentor’s name—and find the inspiration for his next bestseller.” What do you think?

Go from Manuscript to Published eBook in Three Weeks

Self-Publishing Intensive

In Mediabistro’s Self-Publishing Intensive, kicking off December 5th, aspiring authors will be able to transform their manuscript into a published eBook over the course of the three-week class.

Each week will feature live webcasts led by industry experts including Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords, and New York Times bestselling author Melody Anne, among others. Webcast topics include setting up your author platform, pitching and budgeting, and reviewing your manuscript. View all webcast speakers here.

Through the online class portal, students will have the opportunity to participate in discussion forums, ask questions, post comments, and interact with other students. In addition to the weekly live sessions, Self-Publishing Intensive registrants can get individual feedback from class leaders, review archived sessions, and work on small group assignments to help sharpen newly-acquired skills. View the full agenda here.

Become a published eBook author – Register Now!

Writer Shares Advice for Coping with Layoffs

As a special Labor Day weekend feature, we are re-releasing our post about coping with layoffs.

Unfortunately, as the publishing industry evolves in the 21st Century, layoffs have become an all-too-common experience. Sometimes, it can be helpful to see how other writers coped with this devastating situation.

Journalist and author Matthew Newton published Death of a Good Job recently, a short memoir of losing his job as an editor during the Great Recession.

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Rich Gorman Reveals Key Questions About Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management is one of the most buzzed-about corporate catchphrases in recent memory—and according to Rich Gorman, there is a reason for that. What the Internet reveals about a brand has a direct, bottom-line impact on the brand’s sales, its client retention, and even its ability to attract top venture capitalists. As such, more and more companies are getting on board with the ORM bandwagon, seeking to seize control over their search result listings and their social media mentions—and to avert the threat of online defamation.

According to Rich Gorman, however, there remain many misconceptions about precisely what online reputation management is, and where the best online reputation management practices truly begin. Rather than jump headfirst into these deep waters, then, brands are encouraged to think long and hard about what prudent online reputation management truly entails.

There are seven specific questions that Gorman believes every company should be asking, Rich Gorman unpacks these questions—and offers his own answers—in the paragraphs that follow.

Rich Gorman Answers the Top Questions About ORM

The first question every company should ask, according to Gorman: How can I find out what people are saying about my brand? “This is the baseline concern for those zealous to defend themselves against online defamation,” Gorman comments. “Luckily, it’s fairly easy to develop a rudimentary sense of how your brand is perceived on the Web. Simply going to Google or Bing and conducting a thorough search for your company name, and all branded terms, can prove illuminating and helpful.”

But what exactly should companies be looking for? “In an ideal world, the top listing is your company website, and under that are your social media profiles and possibly some brand-enhancing press,” notes Gorman. “Be on the lookout for bad reviews or consumer complaints, or even for any listings that you don’t have full control of. Such listings could ultimately endanger your online image, in the long haul.”

The second question—closely related to the first—is that of how companies can stay abreast of new online mentions of their brand. “Search engine result notifications, like Google Alerts and Bing Alerts, can go a long way, though they are not quite comprehensive,” says Gorman. “As such, it is also important to look into other, third party reputation monitoring programs, such as Social Mention. ReviewTracker is also worth noting.”

The third question that all companies should be asking, concerning their online reputation, is simply this: Does my company website represent my brand in the most appealing and informative way possible? “There are several concerns here, starting with your online domain name,” Rich Gorman explains. “Your company needs to have yourcompany.com as its primary home page—and if you don’t have it, you need to either acquire the domain name, or else change your brand name to something for which you can acquire the domain. Exact-match domain ownership is that important to online reputation management.”

There are other website concerns, too. “Your branding should be consistent, meaning that all of the colors and fonts and logos and even the language used should be congruent from one page of your site to the next,” affirms Rich Gorman. “What’s more, the site should feature some information—not just promotion—about your industry, and what the business actually does. Finally, links to social media profiles and review site profiles should be clearly evident to all who visit the site.”

Fourth, Gorman says that companies should be asking what people are saying about them on review sites. “Statistically speaking, an overwhelming majority of consumers consult with online review sites, such as Yelp.com and TripAdvisor, before they make any big purchase,” he offers. “These sites have tremendous sway over consumer decision-making. They represent the new word of mouth, and no company can afford to take them lightly.”

Gorman recommends that companies take ownership of their reviews by signing up for review site profiles, and ensuring that all of the company information is thoroughly and accurately filled out. He also says that companies should get into the habit of responding to negative reviews in an appropriate manner.

“That’s the fifth question,” says Gorman. “How can brands respond to negative feedback? Negative reviews almost always happen, sooner or later, even for the best brands—so having a right response is crucial.”

Rich Gorman advises companies to respond promptly and politely to positive comments and even to constructive feedback, but to leave scathing or defamatory reviews well enough alone. “A response only draws more attention, and creates more Google traction,” he says. “Besides, what good could possibly come from engaging with online bullies?”

A better approach is to work to cultivate positive reviews, and also to build up plenty of positive, brand-enhancing online assets. What kinds of brand-enhancing assets can companies develop, though? That’s question #6 from Rich Gorman. “Here, the possibilities are endless,” he asserts. “Regular blogging, consistent social media posts, press releases, optimized YouTube videos—basically anything that engages users and presents your brand as authoritative is going to help build your online reputation.”

The seventh and final question that all companies should ask, concerning their online reputation: What about the reputation of the business owner, or the chief executive? “The reputation of your most visible executive and the reputation of your company are closely interwoven,” Gorman offers. “As such, it is absolutely important to ensure that your president or CEO is branded as someone who is authoritative and respected within the industry.”

For Gorman, the bottom line is that positive online reputations seldom happen by accident. “If you want to be portrayed as a brand of integrity and of quality, you need to take matters into your own hands,” he asserts. “Seize control of your online image by implementing the best, most tried and tested ORM techniques. It all starts by thinking through these basic questions.”

Rich Gorman is a long-time online marketing pioneer and an ORM advocate.

Publishing Jobs: Random House, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, John Wiley & Sons

This week, Random House is hiring a senior designer for Knopf’s advertising and digital department, while Ellora’s Cave Publishing still needs a managing editor. John Wiley & Sons is seeking a photo editor, and Cambridge University Press is on the hunt for a temporary editorial assistant. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great publishing jobs on the GalleyCat job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented GalleyCat pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Random House To Publish Novel Retellings of Shakespeare Plays

Random House’s Hogarth fiction imprint will publish prose versions of William Shakespeare‘s plays, commissioning bestselling novelists to write The Hogarth Shakespeare.

The project will open with Anne Tyler rewriting  The Taming of the Shrew and Jeanette Winterson retelling The Winter’s Tale. The program will open in 2016, marking the 400th anniversary of the great author’s passing. Winterson had this comment in the release:

All of us have talismanic texts that we have carried around and that carry us around. I have worked with The Winter’s Tale in many disguises for many years. This is a brilliant opportunity to work with it in its own right. And I love cover versions.

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Robin Desser Takes 2013 Maxwell E. Perkins Award

Alfred A. Knopf editorial director Robin Desser has won the 2013 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction.

The Center for Fiction will present the award at its Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York City on December 11, 2013. Desser joined Knopf in 1988. She worked on debut novels by scores of great writers, including Sandra Cisneros, Rita Dove, David Guterson and Nam Le. Here’s more from the release:

The Maxwell E. Perkins Award recognizes an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of his or her career has discovered, nurtured, and championed writers of fiction in the United States. It honors Maxwell E. Perkins, of Scribner, one of the most important and admired editors in American literary history. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and Ernest Hemingway are three of the many writers he supported over his long career.

(Photo via Michael Lionstar)

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