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1. “The Haunting of Sunshine Girl” Goes From Screen to Page

Paige McKenzie’s \"The Haunting of Sunshine Girl\" YouTube series has more than 130 million views, her @hauntedsunshine page has 10.7k followers, and her book just pubbed. She’s 20.

Alexandra Alter in the New York Times described how McKenzie, a business partner at 16 with film producer Nick Hagen and her actress/voice-over artist mother, Mercedes Rose, launched the mockumentary web series almost five years ago. In about a year, the \"Haunting\" videos had more than five million views.

Shot, starring, and edited by McKenzie, the story features teenager Sunshine Griffiths, who captures on film the ghost that haunts her home and then struggles to save her mother from being possessed by dark forces. Weinstein Books has brought \"The Haunting of Sunshine Girl\" brand to print in a YA novel series, slated to include three books so far, with screen rights optioned, as well.

Here’s the book trailer posted yesterday by McKenzie and Weinstein:

Alter describes how literary agent Mollie Glick spotted a piece on McKenzie in Seventeen magazine. She introduced McKenzie to YA writer Alyssa B. Sheinmel, who drafted a few chapters and an outline. A book deal quickly followed, and McKenzie is quick to credit Sheinmel:

\"I can’t do this by myself, are you crazy?\" Ms. McKenzie said. \"I’ve never written a book. I don’t know how to do that.\"

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2. A Dispute May Erupt Between HarperCollins & Amazon

harpercollins200Rumors have been swirling that HarperCollins may enter into a dispute with Amazon.

Here’s more from BusinessInsider: “The contract presented to HarperCollins was the same contract recently signed by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan, our source says. If HarperCollins and Amazon don’t come to an agreement, no print or digital HarperCollins books will be available on Amazon once its current contract runs out ‘very soon,’ our source says.”

Last year, Hachette Book Group USA had to deal with a similar issue. The publisher was locked in battle with the internet retail giant due to disagreements over eBook pricing. Several authors spoke out about the situation including Trigger Warning author Neil Gaiman, The Fault in Our Stars author John Green, and David & Goliath author Malcolm Gladwell. (via GeekWire.com)

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3. Poetry Performances to Kick Off National Poetry Month 2015

NPM15_ForSite_FINAL_FINALHappy National Poetry Month! To kick-off the celebration, we’ve compiled a list of five videos with poetry performances from Sarah Kay, Priyam Redican, Megan Falley, Doc Luben, and Jesse Parent.

We’ve embedded an image of the Academy of American Poets’ official poster to the side. It was designed by author and artist Roz Chast.

To listen to even more pieces, check out the Button Poetry YouTube channel’s “Best of Button” playlist. Who are your favorite poets?

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4. Adult Coloring Book Leads Book Sales on Amazon

Last year’s Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by illustrator Johanna Basford and her latest Enchanted Forrest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book are the bestselling books on Amazon.

Unlike most coloring books, these books are made for adults. Why the trend towards coloring books for adults? As The International Business Times points out, adult coloring books are gaining in popularity thanks to digital detoxes.

The books, from Laurence King Publishing, feature intricately hand drawn designs of flora and fauna and animals inspired by the author’s rural home in Scotland. Some pages feature unfinished works, so that the reader can finish the patterns themselves.

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5. Becoming Steve Jobs Joins iBooks Bestsellers List

Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli has debuted on the iBooks bestsellers list 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 March 30, 2015. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins remained at No. 1 and The Stranger by Harlan Coben landed the No 3 slot.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list.

iBooks US Bestseller List – Paid Books 3/30/15

1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group) 2. Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli – 9780385347419 – (The Crown Publishing Group) 3. The Stranger by Harlan Coben – 9780698186200 – (Penguin Publishing Group) 4. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks – 9781455520664 – (Grand Central Publishing) 5. Paper Towns by John Green – 9781101010938 – (Penguin Young Readers Group) 6. NYPD Red 3 by James Patterson & Marshall Karp – 9780316284561 – (Little, Brown and Company) 7. Fifty Shades Darker by E L James – 9781612130590 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 8. Fifty Shades Freed by E L James – 9781612130613 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 9. Dead Wake by Erik Larson – 9780553446753 – (Crown/Archetype) 10. Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James – 9781612130293 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 11. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – 9781476746609 – (Scribner) 12. Allegiant by Veronica Roth – 9780062209276 – (Katherine Tegen Books) 13. Divergent by Veronica Roth – 9780062077011 – (Katherine Tegen Books) 14. Almost Broken by Portia Moore – No ISBN Available – (Portia Moore) 15. Beautifully Broken by Portia Moore – No ISBN Available – (Portia MOore) 16. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press) 17. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – 9780307459923 – (Crown Publishing Group) 18. Insurgent by Veronica Roth – 9780062114457 – (Katherine Tegen Books) 19. Manwhore by Katy Evans – 9781501101564 – (Gallery Books) 20. Before I Break by Portia Moore – No ISBN Available – (Portia Moore)

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6. Aurora Theater Gunman’s Mother Has Published a Book

Arlene Holmes, the mother of James Holmes, the man on trial for a massive shooting at a movie theater in Colorado during a screening of \"The Dark Night Rises\" back in 2012, has self-published a book.

When the Focus Shifts: The Prayer Book of Arlene Holmes is a collection of prayers from Arlene’s journals, written in the aftermath of the tragedy. In the book, she analyzes the guilt that her family has experienced after the horrible event. Check it out:

Few people have analyzed the effect on the family of an accused shooter facing the death penalty. This prayer book is a unique look at the aftermath of a mass shooting from the perspective of the accused’s mother, as she prays her way through the pretrial court proceedings.

 

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7. The Very Fairy Princess to Be Adapted For Television

The Very Fairy Princess, a popular children’s book franchise from actress Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton will be adapted into a television series.

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Enterprises, a producer and distributor of children’s animated content, has teamed up with the two authors to produce the series.

The series star a young girl named Geraldine, who lives her day to day as a fairy princess. There are currently eight books in the franchise with a ninth book, The Very Fairy Princess: A Spooky, Sparkly Halloween, coming out this fall.

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8. Poetry Festivals & YA Lit Discussions Get Booked

92YHere are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.

To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Four young adult writers are set to participate on a panel called “New Twists On Old Fairytales.” Hear them on Tuesday, March 31st at the 92Y (on Lexington Ave.) starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

The Miami Poetry Festival will take place throughout the entirety of April. Join in from April 1st to April 30th for events throughout the entire city. (Miami, FL)

The next session of the “Selected Series” event will focus on April Foolery. Check it out on Wednesday, April 1st at Symphony Space starting 7:30 p.m. (New York, NY)

Author Jeffrey Bennett will sign copies of his book What is Relativity? at the UTA Maverick Activity Center. Meet him on Wednesday, April 1st starting 7:30 p.m. (Arlington, TX)

Three young adult authors will take part in the “Great Teen Reads” panel at Books of Wonder. See them on Sunday, April 5th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (New York, NY)

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9. Knuffle Bunny Statue May Be Installed in Brooklyn

Knuffle BunnyThe Friends of Park Slope Library group hope to secure $250,000 to build an outdoor storytelling garden. If they are successful, they plan to install a statue of Knuffle Bunny.

This character appears in Mo Willems’ Caldecott Honor-winning picture book Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and the sequel Knuffle Bunny Too. In the past, Willems used to be a resident of this Brooklyn neighborhood.

Here’s more from DNAinfo.com: “The garden is one of several neighborhood upgrades that could receive funding through City Councilman Brad Lander’s participatory budgeting program, which kicks off April 14. Voters in Lander’s 39th District will choose their favorites from a list of 13 possible projects, and the top five vote-getters will split $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars from Lander’s discretionary budget. Now in its fourth year, the citizen-led budgeting initiative has paid for several local improvements that were dreamed up by residents, from new computers at libraries to bathroom renovations at elementary schools.” (via The Mo Willems Blog)

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10. RSVP For Maya Angelou Stamp Dedication

Author Maya Angelou is getting a forever stamp from the USPS and you can go to the dedication ceremony on Tuesday, April 7.

The event, which will also be attended by Oprah Winfrey, Al Sharpton and poet Nikki Giovanni, will take place at the Warner Theatre in Washington DC at 11 a.m. You can RSVP to attend at this link or by calling866-268-3243 before 5 p.m. ET April 3. Each RSVP is limited to two (2) seats.

The stamp features a hyper-realistic painting of Angelou by the Atlanta-based artist Ross Rossin. The original painting is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery through Nov. 1. The stamp also features a quote from the author:  \"A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.\"

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11. Cover Revealed For Book Four of The Millennium Series

The Girl in The Spider's WebThe cover for The Girl in The Spider’s Web, the fourth installment of the bestselling Millennium series, has been unveiled by The Wall Street Journal.

Swedish writer David Lagercrantz picks up where the late Stieg Larsson left off. Deadline reports that Lagercrantz did not consult “the partial manuscript for a fourth book that the author’s partner, Eva Gabrielsson, reportedly found in his computer.”

According to The Guardian, Quercus Books will publish the United Kingdom edition of this book on August 27th. Click here to watch the book trailer and see the cover art for this title. Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House, won’t release the American version until September 1st. Follow this link to see the American publisher’s book trailer.

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12. Brad Garrett Announces His Book of Autobiographical Essays

Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett announced the release of his first book.

Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will publish When the Balls Drop on May 5th. In the video embedded above, Garrett reveals some of the topics he explores in his essays: “middle age,” “mid-life crisis,” and “erectile dysfunction.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC may develop the content from this book into a sitcom. At the moment, “the pilot script for the single-camera comedy is being penned by Garrett and How I Met Your Mother writer Chuck Tatham. Like the book, it will examine the life of a divorced, middle-aged man trying to balance home life and work.”

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13. Sean Fay Wolfe Lands Deal With HarperCollins

Minecraft PictureSean Fay Wolfe, a teen writer, has signed a three-book deal with HarperCollins. Wolfe became well-known for writing fan fiction stories inspired by the video game Minecraft.

Senior editor Pamela Bobowicz negotiated the terms of the agreement with Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agent Rick Richter. The publisher will release book one of Wolfe’s middle-grade trilogy, entitled Quest For Justice, on July 28, 2015. Book two will come out on October 27, 2015 and book three will follow on January 26, 2016.

Here’s more from the press release: “Sean Fay Wolfe was just 16 years old when he wrote, Quest For Justice, the first book of The Elementia Chronicles trilogy, which he originally self-published. Inspired by the best-selling game, this unofficial trilogy brings Minecraft fans and middle grade readers on an action packed adventure. In Quest for Justice, dark forces are at work on the Elementia server, and when new players Stan, Kat and Charlie arrive on the scene, they quickly find themselves in peril.”

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14. ABC Family Gives the Green Light For a Mortal Instruments TV Show

City of BonesABC Family has given the green light for a TV show based on Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments young adult novels. The executives plan to create a 13-episode drama series.

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Constantin Film will produce, and Ed Decter (Helix, Unforgettable, The Client List) is on board to serve as showrunner and executive producer…Production will begin in May in Toronto.”

Back in August 2013, Constantin released a feature film adaptation of the first book City of Bones. No announcements have been made as to whether or not the lead actors of that movie, Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, will come back to reprise their roles as Clary Fray and Jace Wayland. (via Variety.com)

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15. Thoughts From Iceland on Kickstarter

Lonnie Mann is trying to raise $3,000 on Kickstarter to fund a comic strip book called Thoughts from Iceland, a Travelogue Comic.

Inspired by John & Hank Green’s \"Thoughts From Places\" videos on YouTube, the comics recount Mann’s experiences traveling around Iceland. Check it out:

I’ve self-published very small runs of the comic in 3 short volumes, which I sell at cons, and online. But they’re expensive to print, and so they’re also expensive for people buy!

This kickstarter is to raise money to print professional-quality, perfect-bound, softcover books of the whole finished comic.  Plus, it includes 30+ pages of new watercolors and stories about the second trip I took to Iceland, a year later. And that’s not even to mention the Icelandic glossary, and pronunciation guide!

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16. Berkley Books to Republish Robert Durst Book

Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is re-releasing a book on Robert Durst, the subject of HBO’s popular documentary series The Jinx.

A Deadly Secret: The Bizarre and Chilling Story of Robert Durst by Matt Birkbeck, was originally published in 2002 and had two new chapters added in 2012. This year, the author wrote a new introduction to bring the story up to date with current developments, including Durst’s recent arrest.

The book follows the search for Durst’s first wife, medical student Kathie Durst, who went missing in 1982, a case that was reopened 18 years later. Birkbeck, covered the investigation for People magazine and Reader’s Digest and had access Durst’s NYPD files. The eBook is already available and the trade paperback will be out on April 14, 2015.

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17. Philip W. Errington On J.K. Rowling’s Four ‘Daily Prophets’

harry potter logoWhat did the man behind J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997-2013 dig up? In an interview with Entertainment WeeklyPhilip W. Errington revealed that J.K. Rowling created four special pieces of Harry Potter universe content early on in her career.

Errington explained: “She actually wrote four editions of The Daily Prophet, the newspaper within the Wizarding World, which were printed and distributed by Bloomsbury to the Harry Potter Fan Club. Those four issues are entirely by her. So if you were looking at the author’s work, you would know that between the American publication of The Sorcerer’s Stone and the English publication of The Prisoner of Azkaban, she wrote two issues of The Daily Prophet. Between Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, she wrote another version of The Daily Prophet.”

In the last few months, Rowling herself has unleashed several new pieces of Harry Potter-related writing on the Pottermore website. Fans have been treated to essays and stories about potions master Severus Snape, antagonist Draco Malfoy, villainous bureaucrat Dolores Umbridge, singer Celestina Warbeck, and the final match of the Quidditch World Cup 2014.

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18. Disney Junior to Adapt Fancy Nancy Into a New TV Movie & Series

Fancy Nancy Cover copyDisney Junior plans to create an animated TV movie and show based on the Fancy Nancy picture book series. The adaptation projects will be released in 2017.

This development has prompted HarperCollins and Disney Publishing to form a partnership. The two publishers will collaborate on a new Fancy Nancy books inspired by the forthcoming television series.

Here’s more from the press release: “The stories, geared towards kids age 2-7, have an underlying theme of self-expression and love of family as they follow the adventures of a girl who likes to be fancy in everything from her creative, elaborate attire to her advanced vocabulary…Now in its 10th year, Fancy Nancy includes over 60 titles, has sold more than 28 million books and has been translated into 20 languages. Beloved by young children around the world, Fancy Nancy was named 2008’s Book Character of the Year by Global License.”

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19. Tomas Tranströmer Has Died

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer has died. He was 83 years-old.

BBC has more:

His publisher, Bonniers, said the writer died in Stockholm on Thursday after a short illness.

A trained psychologist, Transtroemer suffered a stroke in 1990 that affected his ability to talk.

Tranströmer won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature. Follow these links to the Poetry Foundation and Poets.org to read his work online.

 

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20. FSG Unveils Cover For New Jonathan Franzen Novel

Purity Cover

The cover for Jonathan Franzen’s forthcoming novel, entitled Purity, has been unveiled on the Farrar, Straus & Giroux blog. We’ve embedded the full image above—what do you think?

This jacket was created by famed book designer Rodrigo Corral. FSG has scheduled the publication date for September 1st. (via BuzzFeed)

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21. Actress Constance Wu Stars in Speed Reading Video

Constance Wu, the lead actress from the Fresh Off the Boat TV series, took on First Book’s speed reading challenge. In the video embedded above, Wu reads aloud from Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit.

Wu (pictured, via) managed to recite 59 words in 10 seconds. Click on these links to watch speed reading attempts from author Mo Willems, two actors from the Agent Carter show, and two actors from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show.

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22. HBO Unleashes Trailer For A Casual Vacancy Mini-Series

HBO has unveiled its own trailer for the A Casual Vacancy mini-series. This show, based on J.K. Rowling’s novel, aired in the United Kingdom back in February 2015.

United States audiences will get to see this adaptation on April 29th and April 30th. Click here to watch the BBC One trailer. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

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23. YouTube Sensation Jenn McAllister Inks Deal With Scholastic

JennxpennYouTube sensation Jenn McAllister (also known as JennXPenn) has landed a deal with Scholastic for a book called Really Professional Internet Person.

According to the press release, the 18-year-old internet star’s title will be “a personal and funny guide to creating successful online content and handling the pressures of internet fame.” It will contain pictures, screenshots, social media posts, and biographical stories.

Vice president and publisher Debra Dorfman negotiated the terms of the agreement. A release date has been set for September 2015. Click here to watch McAllister’s video announcement about this project.

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24. Sjohnna McCray Wins Walt Whitman Award

Poet Sjohnna McCray is the 2015 recipient of the Walt Whitman Award, an esteemed first-book prize for poetry given annually by the Academy of American Poets each year. McCray’s manuscript for Rapture earned him the award.

McCray will receive $5000 and his first book will published by Graywolf Press as part of the prize. In addition, McCray will be invited to a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy.

An Ohio native, McCray’s work has been published in a number of journals, including: The Southern Review, Chicago Quarterly Review and Shenandoah. Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Tracy K. Smith selected McCray for the award.

“These poems are so beautifully crafted, so courageous in their truth-telling, and so full of what I like to think of as lyrical wisdom—the visceral revelations that only music, gesture and image, working together, can impart—that not only did they stop me in my tracks as a judge, but they changed me as a person,” stated Tracy K. Smith of his work Rapture. “Sjohnna McCray’s is an ecstatic and original voice, and he lends it to family, history, race and desire in ways that are healing and enlarging. Rapture announces a prodigious talent and a huge human heart.”

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25. BookRiot & The Harry Potter Alliance Team Up to Host a BYOB Book Drive

World Book Night UK 2015Earlier this year, the organizers behind the United States version of World Book Night announced its shut down. To retain some presence of this beloved event in this country, BookRiot and Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) will host a BYOB Book Drive.

In this case, BYOB stands for “bring your own, outrageous, outstanding, overflowing books.” Four meet-ups will take place on April 23rd (the same night as this year’s United Kingdom edition of World Book Night) in Chicago, Richmond, Washington, and New York City.

Here’s more from the announcement: “While we can’t provide multiple copies of favorite books to givers, we figure that if you’re anything like us you’ve got mountains of beloved books at home that you’re more than willing to share with others. So set aside some to donate, swap favorites and stories with fellow participants, and help the HPA’s Accio Books campaign reach this year’s goal of 60,000 books collected. With our powers combined!”

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