Archive for the ‘The Book Scoop’ Category:

The Book Scoop: Hugo Awards and Crowdsourcing New Releases


Here’s the weekly round-up of bookish news and articles that I found interesting. And it’s barely more than the first scoop of what’s available out there.

Hugo Award Winners Announced for 2014
The annual awards for science fiction, the prestigious Hugo Awards, have announced their winners for this year. With fifteen categories spanning both the written word and dramatic presentations (movies, television shows) the awards celebrate science fiction and its different forms. This year’s big winner for Best Novel goes to Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. I’ve heard so much buzz about Ancillary Justice this year that I’m not very surprised it won! And for those Game of Thrones fans out there amongst us, the ‘Red Wedding’ episode of the television series (actually called “The Rains of Castamere”), won for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Congratulations to all those who took the prize and had the honor of being nominated!

BBC’s The 10 Best New Books to Read
It seems that there are a few new lists being released by news outlets on which books to read. I think it’s that time in the book season. I’m not complaining though—I love these lists! It’s made me aware of quite a few books I might have missed otherwise. I have actually not heard of any of the books on BBC’s list of the Ten Best New Books to Read, but Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford caught my attention along with The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith.

Favorite Required Reading Picks
In the second top ten list of the week, Huffington Post gathered the staff to discuss what their favorite summer required books from school were. It’s nice that not all required reading books are disliked, that their merits are appreciated by their students. I’ve read a few from this list and remember them somewhat fondly (if I remember them at all! Damn bad book memory!). There are a few that I have actually never heard of and I look forward to checking them out!

Publishing Imprint Takes Readers’ Votes on Next Book
Have you heard of Swoon, a young adult imprint of Macmillan Publishing? They have a pretty cool way of selecting which books to publish—they ask you. Taking the lead from more and more services that use crowdsourcing, Swoon allows readers to vote on which books should get published as well as which narrator should record the audiobook. How cool, right? According to the New York Times, there is a growing movement towards more input from the crowd in the publishing world. While it results in readers getting more of a say in what they would like to have made available to them, it doesn’t mean that everyone’s books gets published. The article really is an interesting read, and I plan on keeping an eye on this. Trends can become the way through time…

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The Book Scoop: What Publishers Do and 9 Standout Books


Here’s the weekly round-up of bookish news and articles that I found interesting. And it’s barely more than the first scoop of what’s available out there.

The Nine Standout Books of 2014 According to Goodreads
Goodreads released their list of the nine standout books of 2014 this week. It’s a list based on the numbers: their popularity on people’s want-to-read shelves and their above average ratings. I –believe- that this is the first time Goodreads’ has offered us this mid-year review. So for fiction, The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and The Martian by Andy Weir. Of those, I’ve heard some great things about The Martian, am aware of All the Light We Cannot See, and haven’t heard of The Invention of Wings. They also offered up books in the nonfiction and young adult categories, of which I actually read one: The One by Kiera Cass. Go me! Check out the list—it’s nice to know what is popular before the year is out.

The New York Times Evaluates Book Subscription Services
With the news breaking of Amazon’s latest service to provide books for a subscription fee, in a model similar to Netflix with movies and television shows, The New York Times has offered some pretty interesting notes on similar services. Looking at not just the Kindle Unlimited service, but also Oyster and Scribd, they note the pros and cons to each. Personally, I think I’ll stick to the public library.

Outlander is Amazing
Well, clearly. But the popular book by Diana Gabaldon has been making buzz with its television show adaptation on Starz. The first episode is available for anyone to view online for a limited time and the consensus I’m seeing is that people are really pleased. And I received an email from my cable provider that they would be opening up Starz and Encore to be viewed by those without the subscription for this weekend, likely to allow for more subscriptions as people demand to watch Outlander.

Simon & Schuster Explain What Publishers Do
It’s not new news that publishers are working in a different environment than years before. Self-publishing has taken off, leaving some to wonder what the purpose behind the publishing houses are. Several of the other publishing houses have offered videos or documents explaining the processes behind the scenes at the publishers that add value to an author’s work. Simon & Schuster is the latest to do so, releasing a series of videos with their editors giving details, called “Behind the Book.” While it may or may not make a difference, it is certainly very interesting!

Hachette Not the Only Publisher to Argue with Amazon
Or would it be better to say that Amazon is the one arguing? Hachette and Amazon have been arguing over their e-book contract for four months now. But Kensington Publishing Corp, a small New York publisher, has announced that they have reached a new deal with Amazon. This new deal ends next July. The kicker? This deal took 18 months! While it’s probably safe to say that both sides could have been at fault, it’s good for us consumers to know that Amazon is using the same business practices on all publishers.

pj - michelle

Two Imprints of Angry Robot Close

Strange Chemistry

I became aware of the news from Twitter. Publishers’ Weekly tweeted the news that the two imprints of Angry Robot will be immediately closed: Strange Chemistry, a YA imprint and Exhibit A, a crime/mystery imprint. In their statement, they explain that because those imprints weren’t able to find their footing (or insert similar analogy) in the market, that they will be closing immediately. No further titles will be published from those two imprints.

exhibitaMy Twitter feed was then awash with tweets of sympathy for the authors. A good synopsis of the reaction can be found at Storify. One of the authors only found out that they were without their publisher late last night and posted their reaction on their Tumblr.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to be an author in the middle of a series to find out that you are without a publisher and now left trying to figure out what your next steps are. The Bookseller talked to author Kim Curran about her reaction, who stated, “I’m shocked and devastated to learn that Delete – the last in my Shifter series – won’t be published by Strange Chemistry in August as planned. I hope I will find another way to get the book out to all my readers who’ve been so supportive over the years. And my heart goes out to everyone affected by the closure.” As far as I am aware of, I didn’t have any highly anticipated novels that were to be published by Strange Chemistry or Exhibit A. But I feel for those readers who now don’t know if they will see the conclusion or the next installment in a series that they were enjoying.

I was curious when this news broke as to how often imprints are closed. So I did a quick Google search to see what I could find. Now, I’m no expert in researching, but I found an article just from last week about an imprint from the Hachette Book Group closing, Business Plus. In that instance, again, market constraints pushed the closure, in particular the battle with Amazon (which is a whole other issue deserving a separate post).

A few other hits came up about small publishers closing their doors or people discussing the fate of publishing companies. I didn’t want to begin linking to articles from one to four years ago, but they exist. I’m sure if I had the time, I could really delve into the internet and resurface with more articles about the closing of imprints.

While this is a very sad occasion and I feel for the people who worked for those imprints, it appears that this is not an isolated incident. As one person tweeted, publishing is filled with all kinds of things that not necessarily could happen, but DO happen. And it’s important to remember that agents don’t just serve an author in finding their publisher but in helping when crisis strikes.

pj - michelle

The Book Scoop: eBook Refunds, Sandman, and Tennessee Williams


Here’s the weekly round-up of bookish news and articles that I found interesting. And it’s barely more than the first scoop of what’s available out there.

I got my refund, did you?
As an Amazon Kindle owner who on occasion buys books, I was quite happy that I received refund at all due to the ebook price fixing settlement. I received a grand total of $2.92 added to my account. That’s like three things from the vending machine! One of my coworkers, who has a Barnes & Noble Nook, discovered that he received over $40! Definitely check your emails about these refunds. It might fly underneath your radar as some type of spam promotion, but it’s legit! So what should you do with your refund money? Buy more books of course! Time Magazine created a list of the ten books you should buy with your refund.

Amy Poehler Named Honorary Chairperson for World Book Night
The 3rd Annual World Book Night takes place on April 23. 25,000 volunteers will give away a total of 500,000 books to help bring books to areas where they are not as prevalent. Amy Poehler adds star power to the event, which will give free books to teachers and students in underfunded schools. It’s a great cause, and I know some bloggers who participate, so props to Poehler for joining in!

Gaiman Resurrects Sandman
After ten years, Neil Gaiman is returning to the Sandman series. According to his interview with CNN, he does so because of the joy he experiences in working on the comic book series. “The ‘Sandman’ series primarily follows the character Dream, who appears with various names and forms and has control over the dreams of everyone and everything” (CNN). Check out their interview with him; it’s definitely interesting and the photo gallery is fun.

President Carter’s New Book Released
President Jimmy Carter may have been president before I was born, but he’s not quite retired yet. His new book, “A Call to Action” addresses what is widely unaddressed, the challenge of “the deprivation and abuse of women and girls.” The book is being published by Simon & Schuster and is already generating positive reviews. I happened to catch him speaking on The Diane Rehm Show on NPR. For a guy that’s in his eighties, he sure still has it.

New Story by Tennessee Williams Published
There are those that whose names resonate as one of the classic authors, those who people try to hold a candle to but perhaps can never steal the light coming off of them. Tennessee Williams is one of those authors and news that a never before published story coming to the light has all those English majors in a tizzy. “Crazy Night” is a short story that was found amongst some of Williams’ journals that takes place on a college campus. Decidedly risqué, it appears that Williams wrote this story when he himself was fairly young. In just reading the description of this story, it certainly sounds like something that even those who don’t typically read ‘classics’ should check out.

The Book Scoop: Nonsense, Hilary Clinton, and The Giver


Here’s the weekly round-up of bookish news and articles that I found interesting. And it’s barely more than the first scoop of what’s available out there.

Apple CEO Calls Book ‘Nonsense’
A former Wall Street Journal reporter has written a book about Apple after interviewing past and current employees and business partners. It claims that the best days of the technology company’s best days are behind it. CEO Tim Cook denounces the book as ‘nonsense’ and that it fails to capture the true spirit of the company as well as anyone else associated with the company. Nonetheless, I expect that there will be plenty interested in reading this book to learn more about this illustrious company.

The Trailer for The Giver is Released and Some People Aren’t Happy
I have long given up hope that any movie adaptation of a thoughtful novel will likely end in huge deviations from the book’s original plot. I have learned to sever any memories of the book when going into its movie; they are two very separate mediums and different plots and purposes. Viewing the movies with that separation really eases the heartache when the movie butchers the canon. So, as to be expected, lovers of Lois Lowry’s The Giver are disappointed with the trailer for its movie. The movie has gone through quite the ringer in getting made and funded, and while now it will be released, it has taken on the feel of the wash of young adult dystopia movies. I find this very unfortunate. The Giver is a classic and it’s a little shameful that it has to be commercialized (the movie is all in color, instead of mimicking the main character’s color-blindness). It’s time to once again separate the movie from the book.

Hilary Clinton Could Name Book ‘Bossy Pantsuit’
Well, that’s highly unlikely, but in a recent speech at the Association of American Publishers’ annual meeting in New York, Hilary Clinton joked about some of the possibilities of the title of her book. There is a Washington Post contest where anyone can suggest names for her upcoming book slated to be released in June. Some of the suggestions are awesome. Her (and mine) favorite: “The Scrunchie Chronicles: 112 Countries and It’s Still All About My Hair.” Take that.

Are Books Losing the War with Technology?
I found this article, and I actually really disagree with it. But as someone who actually spends hours each week working on a blog that solely focuses on books, I think it’s safe to say that I am a bit biased. The author of this article in The Washington Post believes that books are threatened by technology. Our phones, computers, and televisions demand our attention to the point that books lose their appeal or don’t get the attention that they deserve. The author provides different mitigation strategies, but I’m not so entirely convinced that books are threatened in the first place.

The Book Scoop: Anne Rice, Keith Richards, and Oprah


Here’s the weekly round-up of bookish news and articles that I found interesting. And it’s barely more than the first scoop of what’s available out there.

Eleventh Book in the Vampire Chronicles Series Announced
Anne Rice is usually the first reference in a list of good vampire literature. I admit, that I have never read any of her works, in particular “Interview with the Vampire,” the first novel in the series with French vampire Lestat de Lioncourt. Despite previously announcing the series as finished, Rice has announced that the eleventh book, “Prince Lestat” will be released in October 2014 and will be the rue sequel to the third book in the series, “Queen of the Damned.” Perhaps it’s about time I started that series.

Award Season Never Ends – Finalists in Best Translated Book Awards Announced
I don’t think award season ever truly ends when it comes to books. The movie award season is over, but the Best Translated Book Awards finalists were announced this week. These awards were first created in 2007 and go to both fiction and poetry, with the winning authors and their translators receiving $5,000 in prize money. It’s safe to say that I am completely unfamiliar with these books but definitely check them out.

Keith Richards to be an Author Again
Keith Richards has become a grandfather again and at 70 years old will be publishing a children’s book with Little, Brown Book for Young Readers. The illustrations will be done by his daughter and the story will draw upon some of Richards’ childhood experiences. The book, “Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar” will be released as both a hardcover book with a CD and an ebook on September 9, 2014.

Amazon Launches German-Language Imprint
Amazon Publishing continues to grow with the launch of its German-language imprint. The company will be looking for German fiction for both print and digital release. Some spring titles have already been identified and there is hope that this move will be very successful. The demand for German translations has been big enough to warrant this move so it will be interesting if an imprint focusing on the language will have a noticeable impact.

Oprah to Publish Her Articles
O, the Oprah Magazine has been around for 14 years and in each issue, Oprah has written a column in them. Now, Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan will be publishing the collection of articles. Both the column and the book will be titled “What I Know for Sure” and will be released September 2, 2014. To add to the bylines, Oprah will also write the book’s introduction.

The Book Scoop: NoVa Teen Book Festival & Other Findings


Here’s the weekly round-up of bookish news and articles that I found interesting. And it’s barely more than the first scoop of what’s available out there.

Reading a Book a Week
Part of the way I typically try to achieve my yearly goal of 50 books a year is by reading a book a week. So far this year I am behind, but here is someone’s tips on how to read a book a week. While I disagree with some of his techniques (reading first thing in the day? Who’s schedule allows for that?),  it is still a good read.

NoVa Teen Book Festival is Coming
One of the authors and booksellers who is a member of the YADC group is also the brainchild and hard worker behind the creation of the first Northern Virginia Teen Book Festival. Of course, this might only be relevant news to those of us in this area, but it’s really quite an exciting thing. A ton of authors are going to be there, including Victoria Schwab, whose books I just finished this week and will hopefully not be fangirling too bad. If you’re in the area, you should definitely go!

Questions to Ask Before Publishing
Lots of people have the dream of publishing, but there are some important questions that perhaps should be thought about before pursuing one form of publishing. Huffington Post offered some advice on this issue, like is the manuscript ready and who are the readers for the book? Even if you’re not looking to publish, it’s still an interesting read.

LinkedIn Offering Limited Publishing Capabilities
A lot of people blog and LinkedIn is looking at keeping some of that content within their sphere of influence by offering publishing capabilities to a limited number of their users. Instead of users creating a following on another blogging platform, now the following and the content can remain on LinkedIn, potentially growing LinkedIn’s influence and relevance. Personally, I know I could be using LinkedIn better and if the community is already there, I could definitely see this making sense for a few people.

The Book Scoop: Naked Booksellers, Apple, and Calvin & Hobbes


Here’s the weekly round-up of bookish news and articles that I found interesting. And it’s barely more than the first scoop of what’s available out there. (This was a slow news week.)

One Way to Battle Censorship? Pose NudeNaked French booksellers and publishers
A member of one of France’s political parties spoke out against a book that was recently published which caused quite the interesting reaction. The book was aiming to lessen some of the stigma around being undressed for children, showing different people undressing. (Okay, my American eyebrows raised at that, but I also understand that there is quite the interesting cultural divide between what is acceptable and what is not; why BBC shows nudity and so on.) A politician was outraged about this book and spoke out publicly about it. Well, a group of booksellers and publishers reacted to the censorship by posing naked with just books. That’s one way to do it.

Apple Appealing eBook Ruling
Remember that big case regarding eBook price fixing? It’s not quite over. As would be expected, Apple is appealing the decision that found them at fault for price fixing eBooks, partnering with different publishing houses. The publishing houses settled, but Apple isn’t going down without a prolonged legal fight. Earlier this month, the 2nd Circuit rejected Apple’s request to stop the oversight that was required based on the initial ruling. So Apple has now filed again. I think it’s safe to say that whichever way this ends up will leave a lasting impression on the digital media market.

Calvin & Hobbes Creator Releases New Work
I remember checking out every single Calvin & Hobbes book from the library and devouring them. They are easily my favorite comics once I graduated from Garfield. There is a a simplicity and a humor so unique to them that really make them so appealing to me. Bill Waterson is back with a film poster. It’s for a documentary called ‘Stripped’ which is, as you might imagine, about comic strips. The artwork is so clearly Waterson. I would definitely check it out!

CBW_Poster-small2014 Children’s Book Week Poster Revealed
The poster commemorating the 95th annual Children’s Book Week, to be held May 12-18, 2014, has been revealed! It will be distributed nationwide at no cost beyond shipping. The poster has been illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser who was the 2013 Children’s Choice Illustrator of the Year Award winner. If you are interested in ordering a poster, definitely visit the site!

The Book Scoop: 3D Westeros Street Art, Iain Banks’ Final Book & Rowling’s Sequel


Here’s the weekly round-up of bookish news and articles that I found interesting. And it’s barely more than the first scoop of what’s available out there.

Stunning, Amazing, So Cool Advertisement for New Game of Thrones SeasonRex_GameofThrones_3574601h-3079200480-O-658x1024
In addition to the announcement of the new covers for A Song of Ice and Fire books (this time the pictures are based on the  landscapes of the world), HBO paid for what is easily the coolest television advertisement yet. 3D street artists created artwork showing the Wall with wildings? White walkers? attempting to scale the ice barrier. It can be viewed from multiple angles, making it the first of its kind! It’s really quite stunning, but unfortunately it’s in London. I don’t know what my reaction would be if I stumbled across it. It does give you a good perspective of quite how tall the Wall is.

The Jenner Teens are Authors with Their Own Cover Reveal
Now, I do not watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and nor do I really know that much about their family. But I know some people who do and will likely buy the Jenner teens’ book for that reason alone. Kylie and Kendall have written a dystopian/science fiction young adult novel that is planned for release on June 3. Titled “Rebels: City of Indra,” the cover was revealed on E! News.

2013 L.A. Times Book Prize Finalists Announced
It continues to be award season and the finalists for the 2013 L.A. Times Book Prize were announced this week. As is the theme with all the awards, I’ve only heard of a few of the nominations and have read even fewer, but here are some of those that I’ve at least an awareness of.

Bolivar: American Liberator by Marie Arana for Biography
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink for Current Interest
The Maid’s Version: A Novel by Daniel Woodrell for Fiction
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith for Mystery/Thriller
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for Young Adult Literature

Iain Banks Final Work to be Published February 2015
Last year, Scottish author Iain Bank passed away after battling cancer. However, he will have one more published book. It will be a book of poetry and his publisher, Little, Brown will be marking what would have been his 60th birthday by releasing this final book. In a final interview last year, Banks stated that he wanted to publish these poems regardless of the manner-saying that he would self-publish them if he had to. I’m glad to see that the poems will finally be published in a what I hope is a nice way of honoring his legacy.

Robert Galbraith Returning with a Sequel to “The Cuckoo’s Calling”
And by Robert Galbraith, I of course mean J.K. Rowling, the architect of my adolescent reading obsession. Last year, it was revealed that J.K. Rowling had published a new mystery under a pseudonym. As could be expected, it rocked the publishing world and sales of The Cuckoo’s Calling skyrocketed. Readers can now expect the sequel, titled The Silkworm to be published in the UK on June 19 and in the US on June 24. Keeping with the original, it will be published under the name Robert Galbraith with none of the mystery of the real author.

The Book Scoop: Self-Publishing, Antique Books and a $50,000 Advance



Here’s the weekly round-up of bookish news and articles that I found interesting. And it’s barely more than the first scoop of what’s available out there.

Antique Books for Young Dealers
There’s a new growing trend that antiquarian book dealers are younger than they were before. This is an interesting story with the prevalence of ebooks and digital forms of literature. It might be easy to assume that younger people might have no interest in antique books (so not the case for myself), but here it is. A few incidences of how the antique book trade is evolving.

Kindle Worlds Expands
Last spring, Amazon created a platform for fan fiction. They acquired certain rights to Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars. Those right allow people to then write within those worlds, be it originally from television, movies, or books. Now, Amazon has obtained additional rights, this time for seven worlds, including G.I. Joe, Veronica Mars, and Ravenswood. It must mean that the first round of rights worked out well, and if more story-owners are cool with Kindle Worlds, it could mean that even more will be jumping on this. I still wonder about the end-game here…

A Degree in Self-Publishing
That is basically the root of this story. The University of Lancashire is now offering a Masters in Self-Publishing. While self-publishing is certainly a bit of a phenomenon with what I believe is lasting power, I’m curious what the benefit is in a masters in self-publishing versus perhaps attending a single seminar. Perhaps this will create job opportunities for people to then consult and work as an agent for aspiring authors.

Another Footprint for Amazon: A Writing Competition
I hate highlighting so much from Amazon, so consistently, but really, it’s like they set it up this way. There is a competition that allows for the winner to receive a publishing contract and a $50,000 advance. That’s a pretty big advance (she says, despite never having written anything)! I’d imagine a lot of people will be trying to enter, but hey, it’s worth the try!