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‘Unbroken’ Joins iBooks Bestsellers List This Week

unbrokenUnbroken by Laura Hillenbrand has debuted on Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week at No. 2.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending 7/7/14. Invisible by David Ellis & James Patterson and The Silkworm and The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling also made the list this week.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump. Read more

Australian Ad Agency Launches a Line of ‘Game of Thrones’ Wines

westeros wines

Common Ventures, an Australian-based ad agency, has been working on a line of Game of Thrones-themed wines.

According to the company website, “The Wines of Westeros” are not officially affiliated with the popular HBO adaptation; the executives launched this “side project” because they love the show. Fans can enjoy twelve different varietals; each one represents different “houses” found in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series including the Tyrells, the Lannisters, and the Starks.

In an interview with PSFK, founder Jane Burhop explained that “the reds are all associated with the houses that are head strong and robust. The whites on the other hand are more cunning, perceptive and mysterious.” The Greyjoy bottle contains a sauvignon blanc while the Baratheon bottle showcases a pinot noir. Which house has your allegiance? (via The Huffington Post)

London is Peppered With Book-Inspired Benches

bookbenchesHow to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll are among books that have been given a new life in London this summer. The National Literacy Trust in Britain has developed a public art project that commemorates 50 books in an new and innovative way: as public benches.

The project is called Books about Town. Artists have been asked to adapt famous books into benches which have been placed throughout the city. The “BookBenches” project is designed to encourage reading. Readers can find four different literary maps of these sculptures online and use them to guide their literary treasure hunts. The routes include: Greenwich Trail, Bloomsbury Trail, City Trail and Riverside Trail.

The exhibition is up through September 15th.

Writers Star in ‘The Magician’s Land’ Book Trailer

Writer Lev Grossman turned to crowdsourcing to create the book trailer for the third and final installment of the Magicians trilogy.

The video embedded above features American Gods writer Neil Gaiman, Wicked author Gregory MaguireFangirl novelist Rainbow Rowell, and many others reading the first chapter of the The Magician’s Land.

Which one of these authors would you choose as the narrator for the audiobook? (via BuzzFeed)

HarperCollins’ New Website Design Focuses on E-Commerce

harpercollinsHarperCollins Publishers has redesigned its website with new capabilities that make it easier for readers to buy books directly from the publisher, in a move to have a more direct relationship with its customers.

The site allows bookworms to purchase print, eBook and audiobook titles directly from the publisher. The update also includes new author tools which will make it easier for writers to embed the HarperCollins shopping cart on their own websites, giving authors an alternative to adding Amazon buttons. “We are excited to be able to offer an e-commerce solution to our authors, ensuring their books are always available to their fans,” stated Chantal Restivo-Alessi, Chief Digital Officer at HarperCollins. “As a publisher, we want to offer as many paths to the consumer as possible.”

The redesign also brings with it enhanced search and navigation, and a new design which includes more promo options such as author videos, sample chapters, audiobook excerpts and a daily deals email newsletter.

J.M. Lee Wins ‘The Dark Crystal’ Author Quest Contest

969658_286630688148585_854746099_nJ.M. Lee has won the Dark Crystal Author Quest contest.

Last summer, Penguin Young Readers Group formed a partnership with the Jim Henson Company to publish a young adult series inspired by the classic film, The Dark Crystal. The two companies launched a contest to find a writer to pen the first installment of this project. Lee’s story, “The Ring of Dreams” was chosen as the winning piece from a pool of more than 500 submissions.

Lee had this statement in the press release: “The Dark Crystal was my first Jim Henson experience after being coerced into a viewing by my father, who since has admitted he just thought I would like the ‘soundtrack performed by a bunch of giant crows.’ And I did! I’ve always been a fan of dark fantasy, but thinking back on how early it was that The Dark Crystal became part of my VHS(!) library, I wonder which came first: the Skeksis or the egg. Even now, the depth of world and profundity has continued to reveal itself as I grow into my so-called adulthood.”

Harry Potter Reconnects With Old Pals to Watch the World Cup in New JK Rowling Piece

harrypotter304JK Rowling has published a new piece starring Harry Potter for the Harry Potter fan site Pottermore.com.

In the 1,500 word piece, which is called Dumbledore’s Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup Final, reads as a gossip column written by the Daily Prophet’s Gossip Correspondent Rita Skeeter. In the piece, Harry hangs out with his old friends to watch the final of the Quidditch World Cup 2014.

Here is an excerpt: “The Potter family and the rest of Dumbledore’s Army have been given accommodation in the VIP section of the campsite, which is protected by heavy charms and patrolled by Security Warlocks. Their presence has ensured large crowds along the cordoned area, all hoping for a glimpse of their heroes. At 3pm today they got their wish when, to the accompaniment of loud screams, Potter took his young sons James and Albus to visit the players’ compound, where he introduced them to Bulgarian Seeker Viktor Krum.”

Rebecca Dinerstein Inks Deal with Bloomsbury For Debut Novel

BeckyWriter Rebecca Dinerstein (pictured, via) has landed a deal with Bloomsbury for her debut novel, The Sunlit Night.

Editor Lea Beresford negotiated the deal with Union Literary agent Jenni Ferrari-Adler to secure world rights. Alexa von Hirschberg, an editor based in the UK division of Bloomsbury, will edit the manuscript. The publisher plans to release the book globally in 2015.

Here’s more from the press release: “The Sunlit Night explores the intersection of two young lives: Frances, who flees her claustrophobic childhood apartment in Manhattan and seeks refuge at an obscure Norwegian artist colony; and Yasha, an eighteen-year-old Russian immigrant raised in a bakery in Brighton Beach, who heads north to carry out his beloved father’s last wish to be buried ‘at the top of the world.’ The two meet in Lofoten, an archipelago in the Norwegian Sea. Their unlikely connection fortifies them against the turmoil of their distant homes and teaches them that however far they travel for independence, it is ultimately love that gives them their place in the world.”

Average UK Author Salary Down 29% From 2005

ALCSThe average salary for an author in the UK dropped 29 percent to £11,000 a year  in 2013 from 2005, according to a new study from the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) done in conjunction with Queen Mary, University of London.

In fact, according to the “What Are Words Worth Now?” study, the majority of authors are finding it difficult to make a living from writing. In 2013, only 11.5 percent of professional authors reported earning their income just from writing. Back in 2005, 40 percent of authors reported living off of writing alone.

Here is more from the ALCS blog: “In contrast to the sharp decline in earnings of professional authors, the wealth generated by the UK creative industries is on the increase. Statistics produced by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2014 show that the creative industries are now worth £71.4 billion per year to the UK economy (over £8 million per hour) and the UK is reported as having “the largest creative sector of the European Union”, and being “the most successful exporter of cultural good and services in the world”, according to UNESCO.” (Via The Guardian).

The Effectiveness of Free eBooks is Declining: Smashwords

smashwords304Offering up a free copy of your eBook has been a good way for self-published and first-time authors to promote their books to new readers. However, according to a new report from self-publishing site Smashwords, that tool may soon be played out.

Here is more from the Smashwords blog: “Free ebooks, according to our data derived from iBooks downloads, generated 39 times more downloads on average during our survey period than books at any price. Yet the effectiveness of free is down dramatically compared to our 2013 (91X) and 2012 (100X) survey results. While there is still much untapped greenfield opportunity for indies to leverage free, I expect the effectiveness of free will continue to decline as more authors learn to take advantage of it.”

The report, which includes 12 months of sales data for 250,000 titles across eBook retailers, also revealed that $2.99 and $3.99 were a popular price point for strong sales.

We’ve embedded the entire report for you to explore after the jump. Read more

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