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Archives: February 2011

Heaven, Playdates, & Epidemics: Coming Attractions

Here are some handpicked titles from our New Books section. Want to include your book? Just read our Facebook Your New or Upcoming Book post. Don’t forget to include your title’s exact release date and a link.

Blue Heaven by Jadette Paige: “Worshiped all his life, the Godchild is shocked by the stranger who dares lay hands on him, even if it is to save him from assassins. With a different name given by his new ally, Blue is freed from the constraints of the holy order for the first time. He revels in the extraordinary experiences opening to him, then in the passion that sparks between him and the hard-edged, oddly gentle Stryver.” (December 2010)

Playdate by Thelma Adams: “Set in suburban California, this witty debut novel features bed-hopping parents who get into more trouble (and have more fun) than their kids.” (January 2011)

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Hunger Games Fan Films & A Reading Life Ends: Most Popular Stories of the Week

As we head home for the weekend, we wanted to make sure you had plenty of publishing headlines to keep you busy. Here are the most popular headlines of the last week, ranging from Barnes & Noble’s self-publishing news to The Hunger Games’ fan trailers (one is embedded above) to the reasons why Borders went bankrupt.

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1. 6 Reasons Why Borders Went Bankrupt
2. Bible Sharing Couple Hijacked by Somali Pirates & Killed
3. L. K. Madigan Has Died; How To Contribute To Her Son’s College Fund
4. Scientists Date Unreadable Manuscript
5. Hunger Games Fans Fill YouTube with Homemade Movie Trailers
6. Barnes & Noble Opens Doors for Self-Published Writers
7. Borders Attempts To Reassure Customers
8. Katherine A. Powers ‘A Reading Life’ Column Discontinued at Boston Globe
9. WordPress Tools To Put Your Book in Browsers
10. Kathryn Stockett Sued By Her Brother’s Maid

HarperCollins Library eBook Policies Generate Protests

Today HarperCollins set off a wave of Twitter protests as librarians, readers, and authors criticized a new eBook lending policy for libraries. Follow all the angry tweets at the #hcod hashtag.

Library Journal reported that HarperCollins wants library eBook provider Overdrive to reduce the number of times a digital eBook can be checked out under a single license. Here’s an excerpt:  “HarperCollins has announced that new titles licensed from library ebook vendors will be able to circulate only 26 times before the license expires.”

Following the news, librarian Leah L. White tweeted: “If you are frustrated and angry about the @harpercollins decision to cap ebook lending, the hashtag is: #hcod.” eBookNewser has more details about the evolving library policies. We’ve collected a few tweets from the thread below…

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Top 10 Pirated eBooks at The Pirate Bay

CNET journalist and author David Carnoy recently wrote about a steep increase in the number of Kindle eBooks floating around file sharing networks, stripped of protective software by hackers.

His essay focused on eBook bundles created by Pirate Bay members: “[W]hat the publishers should be most concerned about, is the fact that a library of 2,500 books can be downloaded in a matter of hours. E-books are small files and 2,500 of them can be packed into a single download (Torrent) that’s only about 3.4GB. If you set the average price per book at a measly $2, the worth of said download would be $5,000. Bring it up to $4 a book and you’re at $10,000.”

What do you think? Will piracy keep increasing? We visited Pirate Bay and made a list of the top ten most popular single titles (using the site’s “Top 100″ list for eBooks) on the file sharing site. As you can see by the list below (titles, but no links!), the most popular books aren’t the titles you might expect…
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James Franco to Play the Wizard of Oz

Oscar-nominated actor James Franco will play the man behind the curtain. Deadline reports that the Academy Awards co-host will play the title role in the Disney prequel, Oz: The Great and Powerful. The video embedded above shows Franco with actress Anne Hathaway, his co-host at the Oscars.

Spiderman director Sam Raimi, producer Joe Roth, and screenwriters Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire will also join the project. In addition, Flavorpill says that Black Swan actress Mila Kunis will play the younger version of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Flavorpill speculates: “we can’t help but wonder if this is a weird attempt by Disney to make Oz into a sexy franchise, a la Pirates of the Caribbean. Nothing against those films, but when you’re dealing with a beloved original that’s as ingrained in the collective subconscious as The Wizard of Oz.”

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Indian Comic Writer & Illustrator Uncle Pai Has Died

Indian comic writer and illustrator Anant Pai (known fondly as Uncle Pai) passed away this week at 81-years-old.

According to the Associated Press, Pai would’ve been presented with a lifetime achievement award at India’s first-ever Comic Con this weekend. The video embedded above features a tribute from a fan.

Uncle Pai began the popular Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) series in 1967 to teach Indian children about their culture and heritage. The series has spawned more than 400 titles and sold more than 100 million comics.

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Katie Couric on Her First Book: ‘I Don’t Really Consider This My Book’

Random House will release TV news anchor Katie Couric‘s first book on April 12th. The Best Advice I Ever Got will be a collection of essays, commentary, and poems Couric collected from 114 celebrities. She wrote the book’s introduction and introduced each section.

According to The New York Times, Couric’s former Today Show partner Matt Lauer composed an essay, Modern Family actor Eric Stonestreet wrote a poem, and Twitter co-founder Isaac “Biz” Stone provided a tweet. Other contributors included rock star Sheryl Crow, Google executive Eric Schmidt, and novelist Salman Rushdie.

In a telephone interview, Couric explained: “Some [entries] are maybe four or five pages long. Some are maybe two lines … I don’t really consider this my book. It’s a collection, and I’m sort of the overseer.” She went on to reveal that the book’s contents discusses topics such as the power of tenacity and finding your passion in work. (via TV Newser)

Sarah Landis Joins HarperCollins

Sarah Landis has been named senior editor at HarperCollins’ Children’s Books. She will work primarily on teen fiction titles and report to editorial director Farrin Jacobs.

Landis served as an editor at Hyperion Books/Voice for almost five years. Prior to this, she held positions in editorial and marketing at Penguin Group (USA).

At Hyperion Books/Voice, Landis edited several novels including The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan, The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club by Gil McNeil. Some of the memoirs she has edited include Perfection by Julie Metzmoir and Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver.

Could the Living Room Save the Book Tour?

As Borders closes 200 stores and indie bookstores struggle around the country, the number of places where authors can read are also diminishing. This week HTMLGIANT interviewed Cassandra Troyan, a writer who decided to co-host the Ear Eater literary reading series in her own apartment.

It’s a great example of the do-it-yourself attitude that writers, readers, and publishers need to tap in the future. Follow this link for more information about the next reading, held tomorrow night (February 26) in Chicago.

Here’s more from HTMLGIANT interview: “The intimacy makes you responsible in a different way too. Even if you just come to listen it is never passively. Everyone is an active participant just by the fact of their being there. Plus, what is better than live, personal entertainment? Hearing poetry in someone’s living room, you can’t help but feel that it’s actually for you. Or that the pleasure of reading or being read to is so much a part of that.”

iPad Letterpress: Kickstarter Project of the Week

In the future, digital devices like the iPad could wipe out traditional print technology like letterpress. Now, designer John Bonadies hopes to preserve the art of letterpress with a $15,000 Kickstarter project–bringing letterpress tools to the iPad.

Here’s more about the project: “much of the letterpress’s traditional technology was sold for scrap metal and replaced with computers over the last 30 years. Wood type was burned, thrown in a landfill, or divided up as knick-knacks in antique and craft shops. The destruction of manual presses and thousands of type collections has made the tools of letterpress a scarce resource these days … Our goal is to give designers, artists, students, lovers of type—anyone—the ability to produce their own authentic letterpress designs and artwork.”

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.

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