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1. John August to Script ‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’

Scary StoriesJohn August has signed on to write the script for a film adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.

August frequently collaborates with Tim Burton. Two of those movies were created for child audiences, The Corpse Bride (2005) and Frankenweenie (2012). At the moment, no director has been hired for this project.

Here’s more from Deadline: “The three-book children’s series that’s sold more than 7 million copies worldwide began with 1981′s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, continuing with More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones(1991). The collection of folk tales and urban legends also memorably haunted generations of youngsters with its surreal and nightmarish illustrations by award-winning artist Stephen Gammell.”

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2. Hey indie ebook authors, here’s how to succeed

Smashwords

Smashwords

Attention, indie ebook authors. Mark Coker at Smashwords wants you to know that there’s never been a better time to be you. He writes, “Thanks to an ever-growing global market for your ebooks, your books are a couple clicks away from over one billion potential readers on smart phones, tablets and e-readers. In the world of ebooks, the playing field is tilted to the indie author’s advantage.”

Then, the wake-up call. Coker goes on to report that “the gravy train of exponential sales growth is over,” with indie (self-published) authors seeing “significant” sales decline at Amazon, especially since the July launch of Kindle Unlimited. He had predicted the slowdown and attributes it to the glut of high-quality low-cost ebooks, the increasing rate of ebook supply outpacing demand, and the slowing, much-discussed transition from print to ebooks.

However, all is not lost. He offers tips on how to succeed in this new ebook environment. You’ll want to see his entire piece at Smashwords, as space constraints require editing them down. Here is a short take on Mark Coker’s 20:

1. Take the long view; focus on aggressive platform building.
2. Good isn’t good enough. Are you bringing your best game?
3. Write more, publish more, get better.
4. Diversify your distribution.
5. Network with other indie authors.
6. Publish and promote multi-author box set collaborations; you can build your base.
7. Leverage professional publishing tools, like preorder, to your advantage.
8. Best practices; there are seven, and Mark gives a good summary in his blog. Your fellow indie authors pioneered these practices, so listen up.
9. You’re running a business: be nice, ethical, honest, and humble. It pays.
10. Pinch your pennies; practice expense control.
11. Manage your time.
12. Take risks, experiment, and fail often.
13. Dream big dreams; aim high. Salvador Dali said: “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”
14. Be delusional.
15. Embrace your doubters.
16. Celebrate your fellow authors’ success. Their success is your success.
17. Remember that past success is no guarantee of your future success.
18. Never quit.
19. Own your future.
20. Know that your writing is important.

I’ll just repeat that last one: Know that your writing is important.

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3. Daniel Handler Contributes $10K to the We Need Diverse Books Crowdfunding Campaign

Daniel Handler 300Daniel Handler incited fury within the literary community for the offensive jokes he made at the recent National Book Awards ceremony. Handler, who served as the master of ceremonies, has publicly expressed remorse for those remarks and found a way to make amends.

Handler (pictured, via) revealed on Twitter that he plans to contribute $10,000 to the We Need Diverse Books Indiegogo campaign. For the next 24 hours, he will match whatever donations come in up to $100,000.

Below, we’ve collected all the tweets that make up Handler’s apology and announcement in a Storify post embedded below. What do you think? (via BuzzFeed)

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4. New James Patterson Children’s Book Inspires Animated Web Series

Collective Digital Studio will develop a five-part animated web series inspired by James Patterson’s forthcoming book, House of Robots. The story follows a fifth grader named Sammy and his robot named E (which stands for “Error”).

Here’s more from the press release: “It was never easy for Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez to fit in, so he is less than thrilled when his genius mom insists he brings her newest invention to school: a walking, talking robot he calls E—for ‘Error.’  The web series brings to life several scenes from the book as Sammy discovers the amazing secret E holds that could change him and his family forever…if all goes well on the trial run!”

The video embedded above features the House of Robots book trailer. The first episode will debut on the FЯED YouTube channel on November 28th. Each subsequent installment will be posted on Fridays.

Chris Grabenstein, Patterson’s collaborator for the I, Funny and Treasure Hunters series, served as the co-author for House of RobotsJuliana Neufeld, the artist behind the Treasure Hunters series, created the illustrations for this new project. Little Brown Books for Young Readers will publish the book on November 24th.

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5. Oxford Dictionaries Team Creates a ‘Word of the Year’ Infographic

Oxford DictionariesEarlier this week, the executives behind the Oxford Dictionaries announced that “vape” was chosen as the 2014 Word of the Year. With the popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) on the rise, usage of this word has increased.

Over at the OxfordWords blog, the team posted an infographic to share “the history of vape and why we’ve chosen it for Word of the Year – as well as looking at previous winners of Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year over the past decade.” We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump for you to explore further.
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6. NaNoWriMo Tip #15: Consult Cheat Sheets

blue color

NaNoWriMo participants can use all the help they can get! That’s why we encourage consulting with cheat sheets—check out these three links:

(1) Author’s Craft cheat sheet from the Hello Literacy blog (via Shannon Ford’s pinterest board)

(2) The Hero’s Journey map from Storyboard That

(3) Ingrid Sundberg’s Color Thesaurus

This is our fifteenth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. To help GalleyCat readers take on the challenge of writing a draft for a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, we will be offering advice throughout the entire month.

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7. Small Town Council in Poland Bans ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ From Playground

Winnie the Pooh 200The town council of Tuszyn, Poland have banned Winnie-the-Pooh from a local playground. The politicians who made this censorious decree first examined A.A. Milne’s famous bear when they were trying to appoint a famous character as the face of this public space.

This group found Pooh’s lack of pants and questionable gender to be offensive and “wholly inappropriate for children.” All four Winnie-the-Pooh short story collections feature illustrations by artist E. H. Shepard; Shepard’s artwork consistently depicts Pooh not wearing pants.

Here’s more from the The Independent: “The meeting of officials was sneakily recorded a councillor and leaked to local press, according to The Croatian Times. One unnamed councillor can be heard discussing Pooh’s sexuality, arguing that ‘it doesn’t wear underpants because it doesn’t have a sex’ before another, Hanna Jachimska starts criticising Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne.” (via Jezebel)

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8. Singer Mary Lambert Performs Slam Poetry

Many people may not know that Mary Lambert, the singer featured on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ hit trackSame Love,” is an award-winning spoken word poet. The video embedded above features Lambert performing a slam poetry piece called “Pistol Whip.” What do you think?

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9. ABA to Take On the Operations of the ABFFE

abfe logoThe American Booksellers Association (ABA) will handle the operations of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).

Here’s more from the press release: “As was the case when the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC) voted to become part of ABA in 2010 as the ABC Children’s Group, ABFFE will become a distinct group within ABA, the American Booksellers for Free Expression Group at ABA (ABFE), beginning January 1. The ABFFE board will be reconstituted as the ABFE Advisory Council.”

According to this new agreement, ABFFE President Chris Finan will be appointed group director for the ABFE. The ABA has designated all of its members as official supporters of the ABFE. Every single indie bookstore with an ABA membership will receive a sticker advocating for free speech and a subscription to a new monthly newsletter called “Free Speech Report.”

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10. Ellen DeGeneres Inks Deal With Grand Central Publishing

EllenTalk show host Ellen DeGeneres (pictured, via) has landed a deal with Grand Central Publishing to write a book about interior design.

According to the press release, “DeGeneres, who has bought and renovated over a dozen properties, most recently launched a line of home goods on QVC and will launch Ellen’s Design Challenge, a new show on HGTV, in January of 2015.” Home will be released in Fall 2015.

Deb Futter, the editor-in-chief of hardcovers at the imprint, negotiated the deal with Esther Newberg, a literary agent of ICM Partners. Karen Murgolo, editorial director of Grand Central Life & Style, will edit the manuscript.

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11. Hachette Book Group Forms Contract to Acquire Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers

Hachette-Book-Group-LARGE11-300x89Hachette Book Group has established an agreement to acquire Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. The executives have designated Black Dog & Levinthal to be a new division at the Hachette Books imprint.

J.P. Leventhal founded the company in 1993; it specializes in publishing illustrated books and creative non-fiction titles. Hachette plans to retain the management team with Leventhal as publisher, Maureen Winter as associate publisher, and Rebecca Koh as editorial director.

Here’s more from the press release: “The impressive range and variety of the Black Dog & Leventhal list is evident in their recent bestsellers, which include The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, Skyscrapers, Take Me Out to the Ballpark, The Complete Front Pages of the New York Times, The Louvre: All the Paintings, Theodore Gray’s The Elements, as well as the more recent Molecules, which is currently on the New York Times science bestseller list. The company publishes 20 to 30 books per year, in the categories of art, history, science, humor, cooking, crafts, music, and theatre, as well as a selection of books for young readers.”

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12. Amanda Bullock Moves to Literary Arts, Inc.

Amanda BullockLiterary Arts, Inc. has named Amanda Bullock to take on the role of festival and events manager for the Wordstock Festival. Prior to this move, Bullock served as the director of public programming for the nonprofit cultural institution Housing Works Bookstore.

Literary Arts acquired the Wordstock Festival earlier this year. This literary event will be re-launched on November 07, 2015 at the Portland Art Museum. Powell’s Books has signed on to serve as a community partner for this venture.

Bullock gave this statement in the press release: “Wordstock 2015 will reflect the dynamic literary culture of Portland and the Pacific Northwest, as well as attract authors and attendees from across the country and around the world. I am excited to start the next chapter of my career and my literary life. I hope to bring my experience in New York City publishing, literary programming, and community building to reinvigorate Wordstock and collaborate with the amazing literary community to create a festival that will be bigger and better than ever: a destination event that is truly Portland.”

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13. The Grolier Club is Hosting the ‘Quotations of Chairman Mao’ Exhibit

getImageThe Grolier Club is hosting an exhibit focused on the “Quotations of Chairman Mao.”

Here’s more from The New York Times: “The exhibition begins at the beginning, and even before, with several precursor anthologies that can be seen as steppingstones to the Quotations, first issued with a white paper cover in spring 1964. Vinyl bindings in three shades of blue were tried out, but within a few months, the red vinyl cover with an incised red star in the center, now familiar, appeared, and red it remained, all over the world. One of the more arresting display cases includes nearly identical copies of the Quotations in dozens of languages, from Albanian to Uighur.”

Justin G. Schiller, a collector and rare bookseller, loaned many items for this display. It was organized in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Communist leader’s little red book. A closing date has been scheduled for January 10, 2015. Follow this link to read an English translation of some of the text.

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14. Bono Stars in Comic Book

Fame BonoBluewater Productions has created a biographical comic book profiling U2 frontman Bono.

According to the press release, Michael L. Frizell wrote the story, Jayfri Hashim created the interior artwork, and David Frizell produced the cover art.

For Frizell, “Bono is a fascinating artist. Equal parts rock star, goodwill ambassador, and humanitarian, his work has stood the test of time…In writing the comic, I wanted to convey the legendary performer as the ultimate Everyman.”

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15. NaNoWriMo Tip #14: Pare Down the Districtions

lifehackNaNoWriMo participants have 10 more days to complete their projects. To give writers that extra edge, we suggest paring down distractions.

According to lifehack.org, some methods that can help with reducing distractions include: cleaning up one’s workspace, arranging some alone time, and setting a timer for both writing and breaks. Do you have any further suggestions to add?

This is our fourteenth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. To help GalleyCat readers take on the challenge of writing a draft for a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, we will be offering advice throughout the entire month.

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16. Oxford Dictionaries Names ‘Vape’ Word of the Year

Oxford DictionariesThe Oxford Dictionaries have chosen “vape” as the Word of the Year for the United States.

According to the OxfordWords blog, this word “originated as an abbreviation of vapour or vaporize. The OxfordDictionaries.com definition was added in August 2014: the verb means ‘to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device,’ while both the device and the action can also be known as a vape. The associated noun vaping is also listed.”

As electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) rise in popularity, linguists predict that usage of word will only continue to increase. Some of the words that made it to the short list include “budtender,” “normcore,” and “slacktivism.” In past years, the organization picked “selfie,” “gif,” and “refudiate” to receive this honor.

 

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17. Simon & Schuster Modifies its Library eBook Program

SimonSchusterlogoSimon & Schuster has made some changes to the rules for its library eBook program.

Henceforth, all the digital books from the publisher’s catalog (this includes both frontlist and backlist titles) will be made available to all libraries throughout the country. Prior to this, a library could only access these titles with participation in the “Buy It Not” merchandising program.

CEO Carolyn Reidy gave this statement in the press release: “Since we first began offering ebooks to libraries, we have been gratified by the enthusiastic response and valuable feedback we have received from our partners in the library community. We very much look forward to serving the broadest possible segment of the library community in order to bring our ebooks to their patrons, while at the same time we hope libraries will consider ‘Buy It Now’ as a new and viable option to generate revenue for the library and provide a service for their patrons.”

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18. Do Men Read Books Written By Females?: INFOGRAPHIC

goodreads_icon_200x200_febDo men read books written by female authors?

To answer this question, the Goodreads team examined the reading habits of 40,000 active members (20,000 men and 20,000 women). From there, the collected data was used to create an infographic called “Sex and Reading: A Look at Who’s Reading Whom.”

Here’s more from the Goodreads Blog: “This year the #readwomen movement inspired us to take a closer look at where readers fall along gender lines. There’s a lot of well-documented press about the fact that women’s books tend to have ‘girly’ covers instead of gender-neutral ones, and the VIDA count shows us that traditional book reviewers are predominantly male and books being reviewed in ‘top tier’ publications are mostly by men.” We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump for you to explore further.

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19. Ursula K. Le Guin Shares Writing Advice at The National Book Awards

ursula_leguinLegendary author Ursula K. Le Guin is receiving the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the National Book Awards ceremony tonight in New York.

GalleyCat caught up with the author at the show and asked for her advice for writers. “Write,” she said. “Put it away and then write some more.”

When we asked her about getting published, Le Guin admitted that these days publishing can be tough. “Write and hope,” she responded.

Le Guin also gave advice for how to work with editors. She says that you should listen to the editor but also to your own instincts. ”You’ve got to decide who is right, and you get to,” she stressed.

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20. Neil Gaiman & Ursula Le Guin at the National Book Awards

ursula_leguinAuthor Neil Gaiman presented the 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Ursula Le K. Le Guin at the National Book Awards this evening.

Before tonight, the two had only met once in an elevator at a sci-fi writer’s conference more than two decades ago in the Midwest. They were on an elevator together and she asked him, ”Are there any room parties tonight that you know of?”  and he replied, “I don’t know.”

While Gaiman had never met LeGuin in person, her work played a huge role in influencing his writing. As a young writer, Gaiman couldn’t figure out how to copy her style as he did with other writers because her work was so “clean.” So he cheated and read her essays on writing to help inform his own writing when he was a young writer.

“She raised my consciousness,” he said explaining that she opened his eyes to women’s issues. “She made me a better writer and much more importantly, she made me a better person who wrote.” (more…)

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21. National Book Award Nominees Share Writing Advice

nbaGalleyCat is at the 65th annual National Book Awards tonight in New York. We have been speaking with the nominees about their advice for writers.

Maureen N. McLean, the nominee in the poetry category for This Blue said: “Have open ears and read dead writers because they are channeling sounds that are still alive and they might attune you to things in the air that aren’t necessarily on the web or on TV or on a video game. English is a huge big weird language and why not swim in it.”

Steve Sheinkin, Young People’s Literature nominee, for his book The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights told us that the goal is: “to get to that point where you just show it to somebody. Everyone will always tell you, ‘you have to write every day,’ so you know that. But what really accelerates the improvement, is getting past that fear of showing it to somebody and really listening to what they say open-mindedly. It will be so much better after two or three smart and trusted readers have given you feedback and the whole rest of the world will never know that it was bad to begin with.” (more…)

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22. Lemony Snicket Has Sympathy For Writers

snicket_lemony_lg_400x400Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, knows that it is tough for writers. The author and host of the National Book Awards ceremony in New York tonight told GalleyCat that he knows how tough it is to write.

“People who are trying to be writers have my sympathy,” he told GalleyCat. “I am sympathetic to their plights. I know the feeling of working on something and feeling lonely and undesired. Anyone who is foolhardy and or brave enough to be writing nowadays has my utter support and sympathy.”

His advice for writers: “Eavesdrop and have an excuse ready so when  you are caught eavesdropping the excuse can be uttered immediately,” he told us.

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23. What Makes an Award Winning Book?

sharondraperWhat makes for an award winning book? Author/teacher Sharon M. Draper, the chair of committee of judges for the Young People’s Literature, says that it is all about “the language, the charters, the imagery, the history.”

We caught up with Draper at the National Book Awards ceremony where she let us in on how the committee went about selecting books for the category. Faced with 294 submissions, the team set out to find “books that were compelling, books that were lasting, books that young people would want to read over and over again,” Draper explains.

“It is almost indescribable what makes an excellent book, but you know it when you read it and you just say, ‘this one is something that is worthwhile,” concludes Draper. “I used to be a teacher, so I know what young people do, I write for young people so I kind of know what they are looking for and what they like and what they’ll reject.”

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24. National Book Award Winners for 2014

nationalbookawardPhil Klay has won the Fiction award for his book Redeployment from The Penguin Press/Penguin Group (USA).

Evan Osnos has won the Nonfiction award for Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Louise Gluck won the Poetry award for Faithful and Virtuous Night from Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

The Young People’s Literature award went to Jacqueline Woodson for Brown Girl Dreaming from Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan.

The National Book Award winners for 2014 were revealed tonight. If you want to read all the finalists, we’ve collected free samples of the finalists in all the categories below. Who was your favorite this year?

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25. CBS Films Unveils Trailer For ‘The DUFF’ Movie

CBS Films has unveiled a new trailer The Duff movie. Thus far, it has drawn more than 10,000 “likes” on Facebook. The video embedded above offers glimpses of Mae Whitman in the titular role (whose real name is Bianca).

When we spoke with author Kody Keplinger, she explained that the word “duff” (which stands for “designated ugly fat friend”) is “a real word that real teens use.” Little, Brown Books for Young Readers first released this book back in September 2010. This film adaptation is scheduled to hit theaters in 2015.

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