Category Archives: Industry Updates

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Scary Authors, Twitter Essays and Claire’s Imaginary Reads

Keep Calm and Read YA

Young Adult author A.S. King has had her share of criticism for the mature subject matter of her novels. She posted the article Who’s Afraid of A.S. King?  on her blog, Here’s Me Using the Word Blog in a Sentence.  King asks if it is the content itself that disturbs her critics: the cursing, the sex, violence, death, abuse, drugs, alcohol, or bullying that offends them, or rather if it simply that she chooses to explore the topics in novels designed for teen readers.   Quite wonderfully, she explains the importance of writing about the concepts, choices and consequences that teens face rather than hiding it, to which we say, write on, King, write on.

Twitter’s First Immigration Essay

Last week, author Teju Cole published a 4000 word essay on the American immigration system and its injustices… on Twitter. Cole told BuzzFeed that the he chose Twitter for the medium of the essay because a serious topic written about in a serious essay doesn’t have to be printed out in a serious major magazine.  Teju Cole continued, “I just feel so strongly that there’s an audience here, and audience that deserves to be treated with the same seriousness as the paper crowd”.  We love the idea of exploring new methods and mediums for getting a good story or idea out, and if you haven’t yet, “A Piece Of The Wall” is well worth the read.

Claire Underwood’s Bookshelf

Claire Underwood, the captivating, incisive leading woman of Netflix’s House of Cards, probably has amazing literary tastes.  Since she’s fictional, we probably won’t ever have a full understanding of what her favourite authors and to-be-read list would consist of, but that hasn’t stopped Book Riot contributer Wallace Yovetich from supposing the front runners of her book collection.  Of course, he’s got to be right on the money with Sun Tzu’s Art of War, and Machiavelli’s The Prince, but I bet you could find Slaughterhouse Five and The Bell Jar on her nightstand as well.

The Giver Is Finally Here

Or at least its trailer is anyways. The long awaited movie adaptation of Lois Lowry’s The Giver is well on its way, starring a strange and wonderful cast, including Meryl Streep (of several Oscar winning performances) , Jeff Bridges (of The Big Lebowski), Alexander Skarsgård (of True Blood) and Taylor Swift (of pop-country music that inevitably gets stuck in your head). The dystopian story of the boy chosen to bear the memories of his society is set to open in theatres August 15, 2014.


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The Code, the Cookbook, the Stage and the Series…

Independent’s Code of Ethics Approved

The Independent Book Publisher’s Association has approved a new code of ethics for members to abide by.  The Executive Director of the IBPA, Angela Bole, describes the need for independent publishers to be about more than just dollar value, saying  “The new code assumes that being part of a professional association of independent publishers and self-published authors means something more than discounts on editorial, distribution, and marketing services“.  The Code of Ethics encourages sustainable practices and quality content, and can be found here on the Directors Desk of the IBPA website.

The Anarchist Cookbook Author has had Enough

William Powell was nineteen when he penned The Anarchist Cookbook out of anger, and in opposition to the Vietnam war. Having long since renounced his view that violence can prevent more violence, Powell is asking that it be taken out of print. The how-to manual for mass murder has been linked to several violent attacks including the recent shooting by Karl Pierson at a Colorado high school.

The publisher, Billy Blann of Delta Press, disagrees.   As the “cookbook” is his most popular publication and “contributes largely to his annual $3 million in revenue” it doesn’t take a genius to sense a less than savoury financial motive for this.  

A Roof for Writers in Detroit

Write a House, a new non-profit organization is fixing up homes in Detroit for writers.  The goal is to revitalize neighbourhoods in the broken down city, believing the liberal arts can play a large role in doing so. Their first chosen neighbourhood is a diverse enclave surrounded by the city of Detroit. The area is small, and the organization is hoping that will boost the level of impact.

Write a house is encouraging interested writers to apply with a sample of writing and a letter of intent.  The want to bring life back to Detroit, and they are certain they can find writers who are interested in that aim too.

Harry Potter is Getting Set for the Stage 

JK Rowling has turned down countless proposals for a staged production of her Harry Potter series, but has finally found one she can support.  Rowling will co-produce a stage play about Harry Potter’s early years as an orphan and outcast, before finding a home at Hogwarts.  The vision for the play was that of Sonia Friedman (co-producer of The Book of Morman) and Colin Callender (of Boadway play Lucky Guy).  The production is set to open some time in 2015.

New Book, New Author for Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Series

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo kicked off what was to be a ten book series before the acclaimed author passed away in 2004.  Quercus, the publishing house with rights to the English language version of the story,  is seeing to it that the series be carried on; David Lagercrantz, another Swedish author known for creating complex characters, will carry on with Larsson’s fourth book, set to be released August 2015.

Happy holidays everyone- we leave you this week with this image of Neil Gaiman dressed as Charles Dickens.  How amazing is this?  You can also catch his reading of A Christmas Carol here.

credit: Jonathan Blanc
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A Generous Comic, a Paradigm Comic, and a Digital Approach

New Paradigm Studio’s Fresh Take on the Famous Detective and Doctor

Comic Publisher, New Paradigm Studios, is telling new stories of the famous Sherlock and Dr Watson from a new angle: Watson and Holmes, an African-American doctor-detective duo set in Harlem, New York.   The goal of revitalizing the stories of the legendary detective has come with another twist:  the stories will focus on Watson, a tall and muscular former combat medic, and now emergency room intern.

Jason Segal Will Play the Lead in David Foster Wallace Biopic

The late author David Foster Wallace will be played by Jason Segal in the forth coming film, The End of the Tour.  The  movie is based on Rolling Stone journalist’s David Lipski’s book,  Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace  The story is an account of conversations with Foster Wallace during his book tour for Infinite Jest.  David Foster Wallace became one of America’s most celebrated modern authors before committing suicide in 2008.

Norway Goes Digital

Norway has been in the process of digitizing all of their books since 2006,  upping the ante for the rest of the world:  all public works will be digitized and available for free to Norwegians through the library, with the project expected to be finished 15 to 20 years from now.  While the National Library of Norway intends to maintain their physical collection of material, the purpose of a complete digital collection is to act as a “national memory bank”.

Archie Gives Back

The famous comic featuring Archie Andrews, the lovable, love-crazed and clumsy teen, has donated over $1 million worth of children’s books to the charity Toys for Tots.  A new initiative called the Archie’s Give-A-Book program has been launched, and the comic creators are encouraging fans to get in to the gift of giving and holiday spirit with them.

Don’t Count the Library Out!

According to a new PEW Survey, 90% of Americans believe that “the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community“, despite only 54% of Americans actually using one in the past year.

Canada has also made significant discoveries related to Library use:  the first Canadian study to measure the Toronto Public Library’s economic impact has been conducted and the results are in:  For every dollar invested in Toronto Public Library, Torontonians receive $5.63 of value.

What’s your favourite publishing story this week?  Let us know by tweeting us @sumbolacosi!

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Book Price Fixing, Ancient Bibles and (Good Grief) Charlie Brown

Quebec Takes a Step Forward in Price Fixing Plan

The go ahead has been given to allow for a planned law, after the holidays, to impose a price fixing system on new books, restricting discounts of more than ten percent. While the measure is unclear on how it will treat international online retailers, it is being supported in hopes to  “protect Québec’s identity and culture” and that books were not to be “treated like any other commodity.”

Ancient Bibles to go Live Online

A landmark digitization project is underway to bring ancient texts, including the first printed Bible from from the Gutenberg press online, in a partnership between the Bodleian and Vatican libraries.  The hope of the three year, two million euro project is  “that through digitizing and making openly accessible some of the most significant books in our collections we will increase their potential for research and broader understanding of these ancient texts.”

Conservative Plans for Charlie Brown

Regnery, a publishing house home to the works of Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump, has just bought the rights to the iconic comic characters of Peanuts.
The socially awkward and uncomfortable Charlie Brown, along with his comrades will be used to “teach children about what makes America strong”.

Nelson Mandela:  Mourning a Loss, Celebrating a Life

This Thursday, December 5th, Nelson Mandela passed away in his home in Johannesburg at the age of 95.  To honour his memory, we end with a quote from his autobiography, A Long Walk to Freedom:

I had no epiphany, no singular revelation, no moment of truth, but a steady accumulation of a thousand slights, a thousand indignities and a thousand unremembered moments produced in me an anger, a rebelliousness, a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people. There was no particular day on which I said, Henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.