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1. Peek-a-WHO Sells 1 Million Copies

The popular children’s board book Peek-a-WHO by Nina Laden has sold more than 1 million copies.

The book has been out for 15 years and sales have increased incrementally every year. Last year, the book sold more than 150,000 copies.

“Word of mouth generated sales from the beginning, and they remained stable for six or eight years,” stated Chronicle Books Editor Victoria Rock. “Then the numbers took a big leap, and I think that had to do with the fact that the Internet and social media came more into play. People began reviewing the book online, and word of mouth travels much faster that way.”

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2. Shay & Ivy: More Than Just a Princess Picture Book: Kickstarter

Sheena McFeely hopes to raise $8,000 on Kickstarter to create a book called Shay & Ivy: More Than Just a Princess. She is working with freelance illustrator Casie Trace and branding expert Manny Johnson on this children’s book.

The funds will be used to cover the costs of producing the book and developing an app version. The app edition will feature interactive videos done in both American Sign Language and English. We’ve embedded a video about the project above.

Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: “At the end of day if a child wants to be a princess. that’s alright. If a child wants to be more than just a princess, that’s great too. As long you follow your heart, do not give in to society’s pressures in being someone else, and be truly the happiest of all. That’s the goal of this book – to spark girls and even boys’ imaginations to go beyond a kingdom or an aisle to define themselves.”

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.

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3. Rosie Revere, Engineer to Be Read in Space

Layout 1The Story Time from Space team (STFS) has selected Rosie Revere, Engineer for its next reading project.

This picture book was written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts. Abrams Books for Young Readers released it back in September 2013.

School Library Journal reports that it was chosen because the author gifted a copy to an astronaut named Alvin Drew. He then shared the book with educator Patricia Tribe. STFS will make a video with a recitation of this story available on its website in the fall of 2015.

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4. Frozen Takes Over World Book Day

Today is World Book Day in the UK and Ireland, a day in which kids were encouraged to dress up as their favorite book character.

The most popular costume this year? Elsa from Frozen, who is technically not a book character (though the Disney franchise has released a ton of Frozen books based on the movie). Twitter users are not amused. The Telegraph has the scoop:

On social media, annoyance over Disney’s all-conquering film Frozentaking over World Book Day is threatening to trump the irritation over children dressed as comic book characters.

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5. Kim Gordon & Pam Munoz Ryan Debut on the Indie Bestseller List

Home CoverWe’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending March 01, 2015–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.

(Debuted at #5 in Hardcover Nonfiction) Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon: “Gordon takes us back to the lost New York of the 1980s and ’90s that gave rise to Sonic Youth, and the Alternative revolution in popular music. The band helped build a vocabulary of music—paving the way for Nirvana, Hole, Smashing Pumpkins and many other acts. But at its core, Girl in a Band examines the route from girl to woman in uncharted territory, music, art career, what partnership means—and what happens when that identity dissolves.” (February 2015)

(Debuted at #10 in Children’s Illustrated) Home by Carson Ellis: “Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio.” (February 2015)

(Debuted at #14 in Early & Middle Grade Readers) Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan: “Lost and alone in the forbidden Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives, binding them by an invisible thread of destiny.” (February 2015)

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6. It Is Never Too Late To Start Writing Your Bestseller: INFOGRAPHIC

Feeling too old to write your first book?

Essaymama has created an infographic called, “It Is Never Too Late To Start Writing Your Bestseller,” which highlights examples of authors who wrote their most popular books in the later years of their lives.

We’ve got the full graphic after the jump.essay writing never too late to start writing

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7. Luke Evans Cast as Gaston For Live-Action Beauty & The Beast Film

Luke EvansLuke Evans will play Gaston in the live-action adaptation of Beauty & The Beast. This actor (pictured, via) has been seen in a number of book-based-movies including The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Dracula Untold.

Variety reports that Bill Condon, the director behind The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn films, will helm this project. Evan Spiliotopoulos, a screenwriter, wrote the first draft of the script. Stephen Chbosky, the author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, stepped in after Spiliotopoulos to work on the screenplay.

Evans joins a cast that includes Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast. Like the 1991 animated movie and the hit Broadway musical, the story for this live-action project will be based on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s beloved fairy tale \"La Belle et la Bête.\" Who would you cast as Lumière the candelabra and Cogsworth the clock? (via Elle.com)

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8. Marvel Unveils a Third Trailer For The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Marvel Entertainment has unveiled a third trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. Comic books fans spread the #AvengersAssemble hashtag across the Twittersphere to unlock it.

The video embedded above offers a deeper look at the robotic supervillain that will challenge Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, and The Hulk. Follow these links to watch another trailer and a clip from this film adaptation. (via IGN.com)

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9. Pubslush Foundation Gives $10K Grant to NaNoWriMo

The Pubslush Foundation revealed a new grant for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The $10,000 prize will be used to fund future literacy initiatives, including NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program. The financing comes from Pubslush authors that have donated a percentage of their campaign budgets to fund literacy initiatives.

“We’re thrilled to receive such generous support from Pubslush,” Grant Faulkner stated Executive Director of NaNoWriMo. “We believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that everyone’s story matters. This grant will help fuel NaNoWriMo’s creative revolution so that more people can realize themselves as creators.”

Pubslush has also official partnered with NaNoWriMo to promote its crowd funding platform to NaNoWriMo participants.

 

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10. Grammar Help: INFOGRAPHIC

big starKeeping track of all the rules of grammar can be tough. To lend a hand, the team at Big Star Copywriting has developed an infographic called “10 Grammar Mistakes Every Writer Needs To Avoid.”

We’ve embedded the full infographic below for you to explore further—what do you think? Follow this link to check out other online sources for help with grammar.

10 Grammar Mistakes Every Writer Needs To Avoid

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11. Neil Gaiman Honors Douglas Adams

Author Neil Gaiman honored the late Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in a talk at the Royal Geographical Society in London last night.

In the presentation, Gaiman told stories about his friend pointing out that Adams had predicted eBooks decades ago, and yet, still felt strongly about print’s future. The Guardian has more:

Adams told Gaiman: \"Look at a book. A book is the right size to be a book. They’re solar-powered. If you drop them, they keep on being a book. You can find your place in microseconds. Books are really good at being books and no matter what happens books will survive.’ And he was right,\" said Gaiman.

You can watch a video of the lecture here.

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12. Maude Leads the Self-Published Bestsellers List

Maude by Donna Mabry returns to the top of the Self-Published Bestsellers List this week.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in three major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.

If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups.

Amazon Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of March 4, 2015

1.  Maude by Donna Mabry: “In 1906, I was barely over fourteen years old, and it was my wedding day. My older sister, Helen, came to my room, took me by the hand, and sat me down on the bed. She opened her mouth to say something, but then her face flushed, and she turned her head to look out the window. After a second, she squeezed my hand and looked back in my eyes.”

2. Falling for My Best Friend’s Brother by J.S. Cooper: “He’s devastatingly handsome, sexy, arrogant and he’s out of reach.
He’s my best friend’s brother and the one man I can’t have.
However, now that my best friend Liv is getting married, I’m seeing him more than ever.”

3.  Trace Trace Part Three by Deborah Bladon: “Vanessa Meyer has overcome the struggles of her past to build a life that she can be proud of. She’s a nurse in the ER and her relationship with attorney Garrett Ryan fulfills her in a way that nothing else can. She has accepted the fact that her mother held damaging secrets but she’s ready to move on and start a new life.”

4. Their Stepsister by Alexa Riley: “Sweet, innocent, virginal Sarah had never once stopped thinking about her stepbrothers since she left for college. Identical in looks but opposites in personality, the twins were everything Sarah wanted in a lover.”

5. Boxed Set: Destined For Love Series by Janelle Denison: “The Millionaire’s Proposal . . . Grace Holbrook believed she couldn’t have children, but now she was pregnant after just one night with sexy, bad boy Ford McCabe. She was delighted by the news, but not so thrilled when Ford insists they get married, especially when his recent return to Whitaker Falls after eleven years away is shrouded in secrets.”

6. Beneath This Ink by Meghan March: “I’ve always known she was too good for me, but that never stopped me from wanting her. And then I finally had her for one night. A night I don’t remember. I figured I’d blown my shot.”

7. The Deal by Elle Kennedy: “Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.”

8. Departure by A.G. Riddle: “Harper Lane has problems. In a few hours, she’ll have to make a decision that will change her life forever. But when her flight from New York to London crash-lands in the English countryside, she discovers that she’s made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined.”

9. The Hurricane by R.J. Prescott: “Emily McCarthy is living in fear of a dark and dangerous past. A gifted mathematician, she is little more than a hollow, broken shell, trying desperately to make ends meet long enough to finish her degree.”

10. Prick: A Stepbrother Romance by Sabrina Paige: “Caulter Sterling is a prick. A filthy-mouthed, womanizing, crude, spoiled, arrogant prick. The tattooed, pierced, panty-melting-hot son of a celebrity.”

Smashwords Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of March 4, 2015

1. Sixty Words or Phrases Commonly Misused by ESL/EFL Students Preparing for Universities By Kenneth Cranker

2. Communications for ICT: The Essential Guide By David Tuffley

3.  English Grammar and Essay Writing, Workbook 2 By Maggie Sokolik

4. Job Searching in Student Affairs: Strategies to Land the Position YOU Want By Patrick Love

5. Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills By George J. Siedel

6. Neuropsychopharmacology By Nicoladie Tam, Ph.D.

7. Health Promotion Pathways: Applied Activities for the Collegiate Classroom By Jennifer J. Edwards, Ph.D.

7. This Time Is Divine: A Tribute To Black Tusk’s Jonathan Athon By Stereo Embers Books

8. Principles of Biology: Animal Systems By Nicoladie Tam, Ph.D.

9. The Key To Your Car By Dominic Vinci

10. Throwing Like a Girl By Robin Bourjaily

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13. Patrick (H) Willems Shoots an X-Men Parody Video

What would have happened if Wes Anderson took the helm on an X-Men film adaptation? Patrick Willems decided to find out by creating a short video.

The parody piece embedded above has drawn more than 19,000 views on YouTube—what do you think? Click here to access a behind-the-scenes video. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

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14. Ridgefield Locals Hope to Establish a Maurice Sendak Museum

Maurice Sendak 200A group of locals from Ridgefield hope to build a museum to honor the legendary children’s books creator, Maurice Sendak. Sendak spent forty years of his life as a resident of this small Connecticut town.

Both the Maurice Sendak Foundation and the townspeople have approved the pursuants’ proposal. They hope to build this institution inside a glass building which was notably designed by architect Philip Johnson.

Here’s more from The Associated Press: “The 45-acre campus of the energy services company Schlumberger, including the proposed museum site, was acquired by Ridgefield in 2012 for $7 million. On Tuesday, town voters approved the sale of 10 of the acres for residential construction, returning $4.3 million to the town. The first selectman, Rudy Marconi, said the sale could help the museum proposal by giving planners flexibility on decisions regarding the rest of the property.” (Photo Credit: John Dugdale)

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15. 2015 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award Winners Announced

Poets & WritersPoets & Writers, Inc. has unveiled the recipients of the 2015 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards.

Margaret Atwood, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, and Christopher Castellani have been named the winners. In addition, Barbara Epler has won the Editor’s Award. The awards will be presented during the organization’s annual benefit dinner on March 23rd.

Here’s more from the press release: “The Writers for Writers Award was established by Poets & Writers in 1996 to recognize authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. It is named for Barnes & Noble in appreciation of the company’s sponsorship of Poets & Writers. Winners are selected by a committee comprised of current and former members of the Poets & Writers Board of Directors.”

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16. USPS Reveals Maya Angelou Forever Stamp

USPS has released a preview of the upcoming Maya Angelou forever stamp.

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.\"

The stamp will be issued at a dedication ceremony on Tuesday April 7th. In the meantime, you can preorder the stamps here.

 

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17. George R.R. Martin Gives Away a First-Edition Hobbit

georgerrmartinGame of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has given away a rare, first-edition, copy of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This particular volume contains illustrations created by Tolkien himself.

The donation was made to Texas A&M University. According to the school’s blog post, the book will be displayed at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives for a few weeks.

During his visit, Martin explained that “there’s no doubt his effect upon me was profound and I take a strange pleasure in seeing him included in a library like this, to be a 5 millionth book with Cervantes and Walt Whitman. It represents an acceptance of fantasy into the canon of world literature which I think is long overdue, frankly.” Do you agree with Martin’s opinion? (via Chron.com)

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18. 3 Comics Legends to Serve as Educators For a MOOC

EdX Smithsonian InstitutionStan Lee, Michael Uslan, and David Uslan have established great careers within the comics and entertainment industry. Soon, they will also take on the role of educators.

EdX, a nonprofit education organization, will present three newly-formed massive open online courses (MOOCs) developed by the Smithsonian Institution. The “Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture” class will feature instruction from the three comics legends.

Lee gave this statement in the press release: “It’s a great honor being invited to share my views on the evolution of superheroes and the genre’s overall impact across all generations of people. Throughout my career, characters have evolved so much – from drawings on a page to other-worldly special effects only animation could produce, to live-action and so much more. I can’t wait to dive into these discussions thanks to Smithsonian and edX.” (via The Hollywood Reporter)

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19. Stephen King Story Hits The New Yorker

Author Stephen King has released a new short story in the latest issue of The New Yorker.

The story is called “A Death”. Here is an excerpt:

Jim Trusdale had a shack on the west side of his father’s gone-to-seed ranch, and that was where he was when Sheriff Barclay and half a dozen deputized townsmen found him, sitting in the one chair by the cold stove, wearing a dirty barn coat and reading an old issue of the Black Hills Pioneer by lantern light. Looking at it, anyway.

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20. HBO Seeks Submissions For Writing Fellowships

HBO logoHBO seeks candidates for the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship.

Beginning on March 4th, “emerging writers from diverse backgrounds” can upload a resume, a writing sample, a completed release form, and an essay (500 words or less) “explaining how his/her background has influenced his/her storytelling.” Throughout the months of May and June, applicants will be chosen to take part in a series of interviews. Eight writers will earn a spot in this program.

According to IndieWire, those who are selected will take part in a week of master classes at the company’s Santa Monica campus. These fellows will study story development, pitching ideas, securing an agent, and networking. From there, “each participant will then enter into an 8-month writing phase where he/she will be paired with an HBO development executive and guided through the script development process. At the conclusion of the program, HBO will hold a reception and staged reading for industry professionals where the writers will be introduced to the entertainment industry.” Follow this link to learn more about the rules and details.

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21. Cover Unveiled For Aziz Ansari Book

Modern Romance Cover

Aziz Ansari revealed the cover for his forthcoming book, Modern Romance: An Investigation. We’ve embedded the full image above—what do you think?

Penguin Press will release the comedian’s nonfiction title on June 16th. Ansari became inspired to work on this project when he was drafting stand-up comedy jokes about dating.

In an interview with TIME.com, Ansari explains that this is “a sociology book that has my sense of humor, but it also has some academic heft to it. I wrote it with this sociologist, Eric Klinenberg, and he helped me design this huge research project that we did. We interviewed hundreds of people all across the world — we went to Tokyo and Paris and Wichita to really get a wide scope. We also interviewed all sorts of academics.”

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22. Nick Offerman to Star in A Confederacy of Dunces Play

Nick Offerman, a star on NBC’s comedy Parks and Recreation, has signed on to star in the stage adaptation of John Kennedy Toole’s novel A Confederacy of Dunces.

Offerman will play Ignatius J Reilly, the lazy 30-year-old that lives with his mother. The Guardian has more:

Offerman heralded the chance to play him, saying in a statement: \"I am simply tumescent at the prospect of assaying the beloved character of Ignatius J Reilly with our team of magnificent and weird artistic champions. It seems only fitting that I should follow seven seasons of Ron Swanson’s beef with the pudding of Toole’s corpulent fop.\"

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23. Prodigal Son Leads iBooks Bestsellers List

Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel has joined the iBooks bestsellers list this week at No. 10.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending March 2, 2015. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is No. 1 and E L James Fifty Shades Darker is No. 1 and Fifty Shades of Grey is No 3.

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

iBooks US Bestseller List – Paid Books 3/2/15

1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group) 2. Fifty Shades Darker by E L James – 9781612130590 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James – 9781612130293 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 4. Fifty Shades Freed by E L James – 9781612130613 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 5. American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Jim DeFelice & Scott Mcewen – 9780062190963 – (William Morrow) 6. Still Alice by Lisa Genova – 9781439157039 – (Pocket Books) 7. Fifty Shades Trilogy Bundle by E L James – 9780345803573 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 8. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press) 9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – 9780307588388 – (Crown Publishing Group) 10. Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel – 9780804179621 – (Random House Publishing Group) 11. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – 9781476746609 – (Scribner) 12. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler – 9781101874288 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group) 13. Private Vegas by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro – 9780316211147 – (Little, Brown and Company) 14. Motive by Jonathan Kellerman – 9780345541383 – (Random House Publishing Group) 15. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger – 9780316123242 – (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) 16. Falling For My Best Friend’s Brother by Helen Cooper & J. S. Cooper – 9781502215000 – (J. S. Cooper) 17. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 9780062368683 – (Harper) 18. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – 9780698138636 – (Penguin Publishing Group) 19. Indestructible by Angela Graham – 9781311074379 – (Angela Graham)

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24. Publishing Jobs: Oxford University Press, St. Martin’s

This week, Oxford University Press is hiring a development editor, while St. Martin’s Press needs a marketing manager. HarperCollins is seeking a social media manager, and Penguin Random House is on the hunt for a senior designer for Grosset & Dunlap. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great publishing jobs on the GalleyCat job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented GalleyCat pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

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25. Writing Tips From Famous Authors: INFOGRAPHIC

writing methodsHave you ever wanted to ask for advice from a great author? The team at BestEssayTips.com has created an infographic with “Timeless Original Writing Techniques of Famous Writers.”

The image features tips from The Shining author Stephen King, The Old Man And The Sea author Ernest Hemingway, and A Wrinkle in Time author Madeleine L’Engle. We’ve embedded the full infographic below for you to explore further—what do you think?

Writing Techniques of Famous Writers

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