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1. 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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2. Missouri Governor Proposes Massive Funding Cuts For Libraries

Jay Nixon, the governor of Missouri, is holding back $6.6 million in funding that was allocated to the state by the Missouri House and Senate last year.

“Of that $6.6 million, Governor Nixon has only release $724,000 and only to libraries serving communities of less than 40,000 people,” reports BookRiot.

The Kansas City Public Library is calling on citizens to contact the governor and ask him to release the additional funding to support the rest of the system. Citizens can also has sign this Change.org petition or this iPetition to help encourage the governor to comply.

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3. George Lucas Stars in Comic Book

OrbitGeorgeBluewater Productions has created a biographical comic book called Orbit: George Lucas: Rise of an Empire. The legendary filmmaker George Lucas has become well-known for his work with the Star Wars film trilogy.

John Michael Helmer and Brian Smith collaborated on the writing for this 26-page graphic novel. Smith also created the artwork.

Darren G. Davis had this statement in the press release: “Bluewater receives a lot of requests from fans and famous people to tell the stories of the famous and the infamous using this unique medium, and George Lucas has been at the top of that list for a long time. With interest in his creative work swelling, now was the time to tell his amazing story.”

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4. Cover Revealed For Kiera Cass’ Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After Selection Cover

The cover for Happily Ever After, an illustrated companion book for The Selection series, has been unveiled on Facebook. We’ve embedded the full image above—what do you think?

This new Kiera Cass title contains four novellas (The Prince, The Guard, The Queen, and The Favorite), three scenes starring the villainous Celeste Newsome, a second epilogue to The One, and other pieces of bonus content. HarperCollins will release it on October 6th.

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5. Rob Biddulph Wins Waterstones Children’s Book Prize

Rob Biddulph, a children’s book author and the art director the Observer Magazine, has won the Waterstones children’s book prize.

Biddulph’s first book, Blown Away, earned him the honor which carries a £5000 purse. The story is about a penguin who takes an unplanned trip to Antarctic.

Check out a sample of the book.

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6. Library Made of Books Will be Built at Bay Area Book Festival

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A nonprofit art group called FLUX Foundation will build a giant library made out of books at the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival this June.

The project is called Lacuna and will be constructed of 50,000 books donated to the effort by the Internet Archive. The installation will be a MLK Civic Center Park in Berkeley, CA.

Check it out:

Like a library, access is entirely free, and visitors will be able to peruse shelves and remove books that capture their imagination. As books are removed from Lacuna, the structure will morph—gaps in the book brickwork will cause changes in the way light and sound filter through Lacuna’s walls, creating an ever-changing play of color, shape, and sound that will evolve over time. Benches in and around Lacuna’s will provide places for reading, discussion, and contemplation of the ideas contained within Lacuna’s walls.

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7. Express Love in 50 Different Languages: INFOGRAPHIC

book heartWho doesn’t enjoy a good love story? The team at AlaskaJewelry.com has created an infographic illustrating “How to Say I Love You in 50 Languages.”

Some of the phrases being features include “ti amo” (Italian), “jag älskar dig” (Swedish), and “aloha au ia ‘oe” (Hawaiian). We’ve embedded the full infographic below for you to explore further—what do you think?

How to Say I Love You in 50 Languages

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8. BISG Executive Director Len Vlahos Resigns

Len Vlahos, Executive Director of The Book Industry Study Group (BISG), will resign his post on June 12th.

Vlahos and his wife Kristen Gilligan have purchased Tattered Cover, a bookstore in Colorado. Vlahos and Gilligan will serve as senior management of the Tattered Cover beginning on July 1, 2015 and will acquire a controlling interest in the business on July 1, 2017. At that time owner Joyce Meskis, the current owner will retire.

“Len has been a tremendous asset to BISG during what has been an exciting yet tumultuous time in the book industry,” stated Tara Catogge of Quarto Publishing Group USA and Chair of the BISG Board. “His hard work and insight over the last few years have positioned us well as we continue to provide the industry access to best practices, standards, research and education. We are all very sad to see him go but wish him well in his move to Denver.”

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9. ‘Rap Battle’ Video Stars Hodor vs. Groot

A new “rap battle” video has been posted on The Warp Zone YouTube channel. It features two literary characters who are famous for their limited vocabulary: Hodor (from Game of Thrones) versus Groot (from Guardians of the Galaxy). The video embedded above has drawn more than 590,000 views. Share your opinion—who’s the winner? (via Nerdist.com)

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10. Anders Walter to Direct the I Kill Giants Adaptation

I Kill GiantsOscar-winning filmmaker Anders Walter will helm an adaptation of the graphic novel I Kill Giants. Harry Potter movie director Chris Columbus will serve as a producer for this project.

Paste Magazine reports that these comics were created by writer Joe Kelly and artist J. M. Ken Niimura. Image Comics released each installment of the seven-issue series on a monthly basis from July 2008 to January 2009.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story follows “a girl who escapes from her difficult reality into a fantasy life where she has more power. It went on to be named one of the top graphic novels of 2010 by the Young Adult Library Services Association, and win the Gold Award at the Fifth International Manga Awards in 2012.” (via Variety)

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11. Neil Gaiman Praised Terry Pratchett for Going Public

Author Neil Gaiman had a huge amount of respect for how his friend, the late  Terry Pratchett responded to a diagnosis with early onset rear brain alzheimer’s in 2007.

In a recent discussion about Pratchett with author Michael Chabon, Gaiman said: “He did something huge and noble, which was after his diagnosis, he went public and he went loud. He risked being trivialized.”

Here is an excerpt from the discussion:

Terry was someone who fought for years to get people to understand that funny and serious are not opposites. The opposite of funny is not funny. You can absolutely be funny and serious at the same time and Terry was.

So here is somebody who has fought to be taken seriously and to make people realize that you can write a serious novel set in a fantasy context on the back of elephants on the back a giant turtle floating through space and it can still be a real novel and he’s got there. He’s won the Carnegie Medal. He’s got serious critical attention and now he risks losing it, but he did. He announced it to the world and he used it to an opportunity to start the dialog.

(Via Electric Literature).

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12. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Won’t Return For Fifty Shades Sequels

Fifty Shades TrilogyActors Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson may be set to return for adaptations of Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, but guess who won’t be coming back? Filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson has made a formal announcement about her future with this film series.

Despite the great box office success of the first movie, the director will not return to helm the next two film adaptations. For some, this may not be surprising considering the tense working relationship shared between Taylor-Johnson and writer E.L. James. According to The Huffington Post, “the Fifty Shades of Grey author clashed with Taylor-Johnson during production, a battle that was detailed throughout the film’s press tour earlier this year.”

In a statement shared with Deadline.com, Taylor-Johnson explained: “Directing Fifty Shades Of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota and Jamie. While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.” (via TheWrap.com)

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13. Jeff Kinney’s 10th Wimpy Kid Book is Coming this Fall

The tenth book in Jeff Kinney‘s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is coming out this fall.

The currently unnamed title will hit bookstores Nov. 3.

“The tenth Wimpy Kid book gives me a chance to reset the series,” Kinney said in a statement. “I’ve thought a lot about what’s made these books work and how it all got started. So for me, personally, it’s back to basics. I’m carrying that theme through the book.”

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14. ‘Montauk’ Poetry Video Goes Viral

Sarah Kay, a spoken word poet and the founder of the Project V.O.I.C.E. organization, recited a piece called \"Montauk\" at Inner City Arts. The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted a video (embedded above) featuring Kay’s performance and it has drawn more than 27,000 views.

Kay drew inspiration for this piece from a line found in Richard Siken’s poem, \"Detail of the Woods.\" Follow these links to listen to a reading of Kay’s poem “The Type” and her talk on the TED stage.

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15. Elvis Costello to Pen Memoir

Musician Elvis Costello is working on a memoir.

The book, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, will come out on Penguin’s Blue Rider Press in October. Check it out:

Born to a musical family outside of London and relocated to Liverpool, Costello created his own form of punk, became one of the first artists to exploit the newly-burgeoning MTV-Video world and managed to make himself a huge reputation in the UK and the U.S. through both his catchy tunes, provocative, poetic lyrics and more than a few instances of bad behavior. Now, having just turned sixty, Elvis is in the pantheon of elder statesmen musician/rockers, collaborating often with the likes of Paul McCartney, great ballet and opera companies, hip-hop groups, jazz ensembles while appearing frequently in venues like Carnegie Hall and on shows like David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon.

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16. Obama Loved Comics as a Kid

Barack Obama revealed a childhood love for comic books this week in an email he sent to constituents, soliciting Organizing for Action supporters to share how they got involved with the president’s organization.

“Back in the day, I was pretty into Conan the Barbarian and Spiderman,”  he wrote in the email. “Anyone who reads comics can tell you, every main character has an origin story — the fateful and usually unexpected sequence of events that made them who they are.”

The email encourages recipients to share the story of how they got involved in his movement. The winning writer gets to meet the president in DC.

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17. Thunder Road Nabs Film Rights to The Detainee

The DetaineeThunder Road and Film House Germany has picked up the movie rights to Peter Liney’s The Detainee. Screenwriter Grant Pierce Myers has been hired to adapt the novel for a script.

This dystopian fiction novel, the first in a trilogy, was written for adult readers. Jo Fletcher Books, an imprint of Quercus Publishing, released it back in March 2014.

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Set in the near future, The Detainee stands apart from recent glut of dystopian films by making the heroes older adults. The story follows ‘Big Guy’ Clancy, who along with the rest of society’s ‘waste,’ has been shipped to the island, a desolate outpost where satellites mete out instant punishment on those who break the rules or try to escape. Worse are the nights when fog prevents the satellites from working, and young gangs conduct terrifying raids. But when Clancy encounters a younger blind woman living in a secret network of underground tunnels, there is suddenly a chance for the elderly to fight back.”

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18. StoryCorps Founder Dave Isay Gives Talk at TED 2015 Conference

StoryCorps founder and author Dave Isay has been chosen as the winner of this year’s TED Prize. This award comes with a one million dollar cash prize.

Isay recently delivered a talk at the TED 2015 conference called “Everyone Around You Has a Story the World Needs to Hear.”  We’ve embedded a video showcasing the entire presentation above—what do you think?

Traditionally, those who win the TED Prize share a wish with the world. According to the TED Blog, Isay hopes “that you will help us to take everything we’ve learned through StoryCorps and bring it to the world so that anyone, anywhere, can easily record a meaningful interview with another human being, which then will be archived for history.”

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19. John Green On Why He Writes For Young Adults

John Green TFIOSWhy does John Green focus on the young adult genre? In an interview with The Huffington Post, Green feels that those within this age group exhibit great bravery in tackling difficult questions.

Green explains: “I think we should credit teenagers with the way that they grapple with that. I don’t know — I find them inspirational, actually, and I think they’re a lot of times smarter than I am — a lot smarter than I am — in terms of the way that they grab onto a question and really, really wrestle it without fear.”

When Green isn’t hunched over his writing desk, he can usually be found shooting a vlog or producing a movieClick here to watch the first trailer for the Paper Towns film adaptation.

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20. Kickstarter Breathes New Life Into Completed Campaign Pages

Kickstarter is a great way to raise money for creative projects. But up until now, the project pages have only been good as long as the campaign is live, making them slightly obsolete once a project has been funded. That has changed.

The crowd funding site has introduced Spotlight, a new way to update project pages for projects that have already been funded. The idea is to help creators continue to showcase their work beyond the funding phase and into the production, distribution and sales phases. It makes a lot of sense considering that Kickstarter pages are often in the top search results for projects funded by the site, and these mini web sites include a lot of details about a project.

One of the best parts is that Kickstarter creators can now use these pages to sell completed works. Now an author can list their book for sale on the Kickstarter page and include links to purchase the book from a bookseller like Powell’s or an eBook from iTunes.

The new spotlight view also includes a timeline feature, that shows a creator’s story at a glance. This helps supporters gain a quick visual chronology of news and updates about the project. The original project page will continue to exist behind a “Story” tab. Below is a video demo which explains how it all works.

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21. Indiegogo Campaign Launched For a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Documentary

Producer Cody Meirick has launched a crowdfunding venture on Indiegogo. He hopes to raise $28,000.00 to shoot a documentary about Alvin Schartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

The film will explore several topics including gothic folklore, censorship, and Schartz’s process for creating this classic children’s book. We’ve embedded a video above that features more details about this movie.

Here’s more about the project: “This upcoming documentary will explore the history and background of one of the most controversial works of modern children’s literature: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. In many American libraries of the ’80s and ’90s these books developed a growing interest from boys and girls who were taken in by the gothic tales, the whimsical tone, and the ghostly illustrations. Now the Scary Stories book series stands as the most challenged children’s book of the last 30 years and a testament to the power of something that is often taken for granted: a good scary story.” (via Nerdist.com)

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22. Maude Returns to Top of Self-Published Bestsellers List

Maude by Donna Mabry has returned to the No. 1 slot on 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 25, 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. Fisher’s Light by Tara Sivec: “I guess this is it, huh? After fourteen years together, starting a life of our own on this island, five deployments and countless letters I’ve written you through it all, I finally go out to the mailbox and see something I’ve always dreamed of: an envelope with your handwriting on it.”

3. My Stepbrother the Dom by Arabella Quinn: “For years, I had the worst crush on my stepbrother, Cole Hunter. We used to ride bikes, skateboard and go fishing together – now I couldn’t even be in the same room as him without my pulse racing. One cocky half-grin from Cole would have my face blushing while my panties melted. It was insane – and completely humiliating.”

4. Married to the Bad Boy by Vanessa Waltz: “I’m a player. A man whore. Whatever the hell you want to call it, I get around. During the day I crack heads and extort businesses. At night I find girls to f*ck. I live to hear them moan for me, but one night is all they get. No one ever made me want more.”

5. Shopping for a Billionaire Boxed Set by Julia Kent: “No? So it really is just me. Hmm. When you’re a mystery shopper, you get paid to humiliate yourself, all in the name of improving customer service. Romance isn’t in my job description.”

6. Revved by Samantha Towle: “Race car mechanic Andressa \"Andi\" Amaro has one rule—no dating drivers. With a good reason behind the rule, she has no plans on breaking it. Carrick Ryan is the bad boy of Formula One. With a face and body that melts panties on sight, and an Irish lilt that leaves women on their knees, begging for more. He races hard and parties harder.”

7. Departure by A.G. Riddle: \"Flight 305 took off in 2014…But it crashed in a world very different from our own…With time running out, five strangers must unravel why they were taken…And how to get home.\"

8. 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.”

9. The Atlantis Gene: A Thriller by A.G. Riddle: “The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they’ve hidden the truth about human evolution. They’ve also searched for an ancient enemy–a threat that could wipe out the human race. Now the search is over.”

10. 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.”

Smashwords Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of March 25, 2015

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

2. Private Practice Preparedness – The Health Care Professional’s Guide to Closing a Practice Due to Retirement, Death, or Disability By Rob Reinhardt, LPCS, M.Ed., NCC & Anne M. “Nancy” Wheeler

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

4. Anela Bay ~ Book Three ~ Evolution By Cheryl L. Hyde

5. The Caphenon By Fletcher DeLancey

6. Winter in Tirane: The Stories of Jiri Kajane By Jiri Kajane

7. Our Universal Journey By George Kavassilas

8. Wedding Favors By Josh Lanyon

9. The Prodigal’s Perspective By Bob Steinkamp

10. The Generous Qur’an: An accurate, modern English translation of the Qur’an, Islam’s holiest book. By Usama Dakdok

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23. Self-Published Author Offers Marketing Advice on Reddit

redditDylan Jones self-published his thriller novel Black Book back in December 2013.

Since its release, over 30,000 readers have downloaded this title. The book has earned more than 100 four-star reviews on Amazon.com. During a Reddit AMA session, one user inquired about Jones’ efforts in marketing and book promotion.

Jones offered several pieces of advice: “Sure, I made a list of all indie book bloggers and reviewers amd emailed each and every one that I could find. I searched Amazon’s most prolific product reviewers and emailed some of those asking if they would consider reading my book.(This got the least favourable results with people being genuinely angry at even being contacted). I entered competitions for book cover design and even won a “gold star” at bookcoverdesign.com or similar (I forget which without going through my emails to check).”

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24. Steven Spielberg to Direct Ready Player One Adaptation

Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct a film adaptation of Ready Player One, the 2011 cult sci-fi favorite by Ernest Cline, according to a report on Deadline.com.

The book has a lot of potential for the big screen. It is about one man’s experience trying to win the lottery in a virtual video game that players inhabit to escape their bleak realities. The story is set in 2044 inside a virtual world.

The paperback edition comes out in June.

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25. What if Dr. Seuss Wrote a Story Set in a Chipotle?

buzzfeedCould you ever picture The Cat in The Hat eating tacos? How about The Lorax chowing down on a burrito?

Two members of the BuzzFeed staff, writer Jean-Luc Bouchard and artist Andrea Hickey, collaborated on a story called “Dr. Seuss Goes To Chipotle.” This Theodor Seuss Geisel-inspired piece was created “with heaps of love and respect for Dr. Seuss, as well as full-bellied appreciation for Chipotle.”

Here’s an excerpt: “I asked for one meat. And then?  Why, for two! Ignoring the digestive impact I would rue. And that’s how I made-up a bowl of half-sneetch and a just-as-big ladle serving of beast.”

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