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Mary Shelley’s Missing Letters, Barnes & Noble’s Newest Woes, and Jimmy Fallon’s Latest Book List

Barnes & Noble News

Big news comes from Barnes & Noble as they have appointed their newest CEO, William Lynch.  He comes to the company just as news falls of another plunge in retail, and of course, Nook sales.

Frankenstein’s Author’s Found Correspondence

150 years after being written, the missing letters of Mary Shelley have been accidentally discovered. The letters, which seemed so lost no one was even looking for them anymore, were written to her friends Horace Smith and his daughter Eliza, between 1831 and 1849.

Cormac McCarthy’s Gun-Slinging Ex-Wife

A very strange story has surfaced this week of author Cormac McCarthy’s ex wife, who was arrested after pulling a gun from her genitals during an argument with her boyfriend over space aliens.  Understandably, the article begs more  questions than it answers.

Love for Famous Love Quotes

Moving on, BuzzFeed is making it easy to feel good about people again with 13 quotes from famous authors about falling in love.

Adolf Hitler’s Book is an Amazon Hit

Don’t feel too good about people though, because Mein Kampf has become an online best seller in Amazon’s online UK store, according to Chris Faraone on  Speculation by Faraone suggests that the privacy of e-reading has allowed people to give in to curiosity, but the question left unanswered by the article is the ethical responsibility of those profiting from the notorious book’s sales.

The “Do-Not-Read” List

In lighter news, there are some great books out there, and all too obviously there are… the not so great books. Jimmy Fallon is looking out for you with his latest “Do Not Read” list, available here.


Happy weekend reading, everyone!

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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

Ho-Ho-Hope You’re Writing! 5 Writing Tips from Santa Himself

santa claus
credit: Eric Lanning

Seasons’ greetings, fellow writers.  It’s that time of year where the eggnog starts pouring and the coloured lights are a twinklin’.

The busyness of the last few weeks of the year can leave very little time for writing, but it bears saying:  write anyways.   Whether it’s just 15 minutes, 500 words, whatever your method for squeezing in some writing time, do it.

While the expertise of Father Christmas lies in the industry of distribution and holiday cheer, there are a few things we can learn from his gift giving strategy when it comes to the picking up that pen, or committing to some keyboard clatter:


1.  Not everyone will believe in you.

Let’s rip this bandage off quickly.  There are probably people in your life who don’t believe you are a writer, or don’t believe that the effort in pursuing the craft is worth your time.  These people might be bitter and malicious or they might be very well meaning.

You are still a writer.

 Don’t waste time feeling like you have to convince them otherwise.  Just because they aren’t putting out the writer’s equivalent of milk and cookies for you, doesn’t mean you don’t have a sack full of plot lines and protagonists in your sleigh– which brings us to our second tip:

2.  Deliver.  

Don’t be an aspiring writer.  Be a writer.  Write often, write purposefully, and write until you’ve finished something.  That big velvet bag full of description and literary devices that you’ve been telling people about?  You need wrap them up nicely so people can open up their browser,fire up their tablet, or crack open those pages and read them.

3.  Santa has a workshop.

Good ol’ St Nick has his work space well established, and while you don’t necessarily need an area the size of the north pole for writing, you do need a designated writing zone.    Someplace  to sit, or stand, something to support your writing devices (a computer, paper pad and or pen), and somewhere you can focus with relatively few distractions.

4.  Practice and Perfect.  

I don’t mean “practice makes perfect”. Santa has been doing this a long time, and we’ve heard enough wacky tales about his misadventures delivering goodies to know that he still hasn’t got it completely right.  But Santa sticks to it, even after the set backs.

Santa also evolves.  He’s tried new things for better results, and you can too!  Just think: what if one foggy Christmas eve, Santa didn’t add another reindeer to his team?

5.  Santa knows what’s up… and so should you.

Santa does his research.  He knows what his audience is looking for, though his means of acquiring such data is potentially questionable (He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…?).  Do you know who your audience is?  Do you know what they want to read about, or how to present it to them?

So here it is: Santa doesn’t execute his one night flight of gift giving with out a little bit of planning. He makes a list, and he checks it twice, so review this list: do you follow his advice?

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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!