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1. 2015 Sami Rohr Prize Finalists Revealed

The Jewish Book Council has revealed the finalists for the 2015 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. The winner will take home a $100,000 prize.

The prize is given to contemporary writers that examine “Jewish life today and throughout the ages.” The prize alternates between fiction and non-fiction every year. This year, the prize is dedicated to fiction writing.

The finalists include: Panic in a Suitcase: A Novel by Yelena Akhtiorskaya; The UnAmericans: Stories by Molly Antopol; The Lion Seeker: A Novel by Kenneth Bonert; A Replacement Life: A Novel by Boris Fishman; and The Best Place on Earth: Stories by Ayelet Tsabari.


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2. Nick Bilton to Write Silk Road Book

Nick Bilton, author of the bestseller Hatching Twitter, has inked a deal with Portfolio, an imprint of the Penguin Group, to write a book about the deep web site Silk Road.

The AP has the scoop:

The book is currently untitled and no publication date has been set. Authorities have said Silk Road’s San Francisco operator generated more than $1 billion in illicit business from 2011 until the website was shut down in 2013.

Bilton tweeted the news, revealing that 20th Century Fox has acquired rights to a Silk Road film based on the book.

I have some news. I'm writing The Silk Road book, which has also been optioned as a movie by 20th Century Fox: http://t.co/LTLWfy7Jzg

— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) January 26, 2015

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3. China Forces Authors to Abandon Pen Names Online

Chinese authors have a tradition of using pen names, particularly when writing about controversial subjects. The government wants to put an end to this practice for authors publishing online.

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, has released new guidelines requiring all authors that publish literature online to register their real names with the publishing platforms they use.

The New York Times has more:

Under the guidelines, creators of online content will still be allowed to publish under pen names. But unlike before, when some writers registered accounts under fake names, websites will know exactly who is publishing what.

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4. David Foster Wallace Movie Debuts at Sundance

The End of the Tour, a biopic about author David Foster Wallace, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this week in Park City.

James Ponsoldt’s film is based on David Lipsky’s piece Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself in Rolling Stone. The essay is based on five days Lipsky spent interviewing Wallace while he was on a book tour in Minneapolis in 1996. Lipsky never published his intended profile, but after Wallace’s death published a transcript of the encounter. The film stars Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg.

Follow this link to check out a video from the set of the film.

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5. The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People: INFOGRAPHIC

Haruki Murakami works on creative projects from 4am to noon. He spends the next hour exercising and the rest of the day on food/leisure until he goes to bed at 9pm.

Maya Angelou wakes up at 5am and writes from about 6:30-3 and the rest of the day eating and having leisure time except for a half hour of creative time at 7:30.

Podio.com has created an infographic outlining the daily routines of famous creative people. We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump.

Want to develop a better work routine? Discover how some of the world’s greatest minds organized their days.
Click image to see the interactive version (via Podio).

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6. Young Adult Authors & The ‘How I Learned’ Storytelling Series 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.

Three young adult authors, Gayle Forman, Libba Bray, and E. Lockhart, will appear together at Barnes & Noble (Tribeca). Meet them on Tuesday, January 27th starting at 6 p.m. (New York, NY)

The next session of the “How I Learned” storytelling session will take place at Union Hall. Join in on Wednesday, January 28th at 7:30 p.m. (Brooklyn, NY)

Writer Marissa Meyer will celebrate the latest book from The Lunar Chronicles series, Fairest: Levana’s Story. Check it out on Thursday, January 29th at the 92Y starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

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7. Explore Dr. Seuss’ Creative Process: VIDEO

What type of creative process did Dr. Seuss use? In the video embedded above, Lynda Claassen talks about how the famous children’s books writer and artist created Green Eggs & Ham.

Claassen, the director of the U.C. San Diego Special Collections & Archives, showcases several pieces that illustrates the development process for Seuss’ beloved story. What do you think?

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8. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Creates a Video With Social Media Tips For Authors

The Eerdmans Books for Young Readers team has shot a Social Media 101 video for their YouTube channel. The video embedded above features “Facebook Tips for Authors.”

Follow this link to read the publisher’s social media and internet marketing guide for authors. Most successful authors know that their job is not limited to just writing. Last year, Jarrett J. Krosoczka verified this during an interview with MassLive.com.

Krosoczka explained: “You know people who are authors-only? Could I meet them? Because even though I, along with many of my peers, make my living from putting my imagination to paper, so many other roles are expected in today’s publishing landscape. Authors must also be speakers, performers, online marketeers and social-media mavens.” What do you think? Do you have any social media advice that writers would find helpful?

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9. Female Writers Who Won Nobel Prizes: INFOGRAPHIC

morrison111 writers have won the Nobel Prize in Literature; only a few of them are female. The team at freshessays.com has created the “13 Female Nobel Laureates in Literature” infographic to celebrate these women.

According to visual.ly, the piece showcases the “names of their best novels and poems and words of wisdom.” We’ve embedded the full infographic below for you to explore further—what do you think?

13 Female Nobel Laureates In Literature

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10. The Roasterie Develops Two Coffee Blends in Honor of Libraries

The Kansas City Public LibraryThe Roasterie, a specialty coffee roaster company, has created two different products to support libraries.

The Library Blend was crafted in honor of the Kansas City Public Library. The Library Lovers Blend was created to help the Mid-Continent Public Library.

Here’s more from BookRiot: “Buying bags of these beneficent beans sends 10% of the proceeds to these amazing libraries. The Library Lovers’ Blend even offers their Autopilot program, so anyone living anywhere can get the grounds or whole beans delivered directly to their door on a regular schedule.” What do you think?

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11. How Are You Celebrating National Readathon Day?

Tomorrow is the first annual National Readathon. Book lovers across the country will be cracking open the books and reading in solidarity from noon to 4 pm to promote literacy. How are you celebrating?

The National Book Foundation, Penguin Random House, Goodreads and Mashable have teamed up for the event and are calling all readers to share how they will spend the day with the hashtag ‪#‎timetoread‬ and post a photo of them reading along with the post.

If you don’t feel like reading alone at home, you can join others at a bookstore or library near you. Check out this map to find a participating location in your area.

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12. National Poetry Month Poster Unveiled

The Academy of American Poets has unveiled the official poster design for National Poetry Month, which takes place in April.
National Book Award finalist Roz Chast designed this year’s poster. The poster includes a line of poetry by the poet Mark Strand, who died last year. “Ink runs from the corner of my mouth,” reads the poster. “There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.” The poster will be handed out to more than 120,000 people in schools, libraries and bookstores during National Poetry Month. We’ve got the whole poster for you to view after the jump.

To get students excited about poetry this year, The Academy of American Poets has created the Dear Poet project. The project encourages students to write letters in response to poems written by award winning poets.

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13. IBM’s Watson Authors Cookbook

IBM’s artificial intelligence machine Watson is taking its computing power to the kitchen.

IBM has partnered with Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and Sourcebooks to create a new cookbook that comes out of a collaboration between the machine with real life chefs.

Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson presents readers with more than 65 original recipes brought together by man and machine. Chef Watson offered up ideas based on its understanding of compounds and food pairing theories and ICE chefs augmented the suggestions into yummy meals to create recipes.

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14. Most Indie Authors Make Less Than $1K a Year

Self-publishing tools might make it easier to get published, but writing a book is a tough way to make a living. In fact, according to a new survey from Digital Book World, indie authors make about $500-999 a year, much less than traditionally published authors who still only earn an average of $3,000-4,999 a year.

Hybrid authors, writers that take both routes, do better and earn an average of $7,500–$9,999 a year. The survey includes online feedback from 1,879 published authors of which 56 percent are self-published, 13 percent who are traditionally published and 31 percent who do both.

The Guardian has more: “Overall, half of the writers – traditional and independent – surveyed this year earned $1,000– $2,999 or less. At the top end, almost 10% earned $100,000 or more, with 4.1% earning $250,000 or more.”

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15. Buzz Books 2015 Brings First Look at Buzzed-About Spring/Summer Books

Publishers Lunch has two new editions in its free Buzz Books series, buzzed about as the first and best place for passionate readers and publishing insiders to discover and sample some of the most acclaimed books of the year, before they are published. Substantial excerpts from 65 of the most anticipated books coming this spring and summer are gathered in two new ebooks, BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Spring/Summer and BUZZ BOOKS 2015: Young Adult Spring, offered in consumer and trade editions (adult and YA). All are available free through NetGalley.

Book lovers get an early first look at books from actress and activist Maria Bello, \"Morning Joe\" co-host and bestselling author Mika Brzezinski, NPR/Weekend Edition’s Scott Simon, and bestselling fiction writers Dennis Lehane, Ann Packer, Ian Caldwell, and Neal Stephenson, among others. Highly touted debuts include Leslie Parry’s Church of Marvels, Erika Swyler’s The Book of Speculation, J. Ryan Stradal’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite’s War Of The Encyclopaedists, and Jessica Knoll’s Luckiest Girl Alive. From inside publishing, there’s Jonathan Galassi’s debut novel Muse, and George Hodgman’s memoir Bettyville.

The YA edition features the latest from Sarah Dessen, David Levithan, Barry Lyga, and Michael Buckley, plus renowned middle-grade authors including Newbery winner Rebecca Stead and Louis Sachar. There’s Alice Hoffman’s Nightbird, her first novel for this age range. We also get a first look at YA debut authors Margo Rabb, Maria Dahvana Headley, plus Paige McKenzie’s The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (adapted from the web series of the same name and already in development as a film from the Weinstein Company) and Sabaa Tahir’s debut An Ember In the Ashes (already sold to Paramount Pictures in a major deal).

Fourteen of the adult titles featured in last year’s Buzz Books 2014 were named to one or more major \"Best Books of 2014\" lists, and 18 became bestsellers. Of the 28 books published to date and previewed in the 2014 Fall/Winter edition, 19 have made \"best of the month/year\" lists and nine are New York Times bestsellers.

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16. Happy National Handwriting Day

Today is National Handwriting Day — a day to put down your computer and phone and get out you pen.

The event was founded in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) to fight the loss of penmanship. It falls on John Hancock’s birthday.

“Handwriting allows us to be artists and individuals during a time when we often use computers, faxes and e-mail to communicate,” explains the organization’s website. “Fonts are the same no matter what computer you use or how you use it. Fonts lack a personal touch. Handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.”

How are you celebrating?

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17. Cover Revealed For Final ‘School For Good And Evil’ Book

The School for Good and Evil 3

Children’s books author Soman Chainani has written the final installment of the The School For Good And Evil trilogy. MTV.com unveiled the cover for The Last Ever After.

The designs for all three books features the protagonists Sophie and Agatha—what do you think? HarperCollins has scheduled the book’s publication date for July 21, 2015.

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18. Jewish Holiday Book Featured On Kickstarter

Kate Perez hopes to raise $600 on Kickstarter for her holiday children’s book, Percival the Passover Pig. We’ve embedded a video about the project above—what do you think?

Here’s more about the project: “In the spirit of the holiday, Percival invites his neighbors to share in his Passover seder. Percival is denied by each neighbor, but the Prophet Elijah appears and shares Percival’s seder. Set in a barnyard, Percival the Passover Pig is a story about tolerance and acceptance.”

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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19. 2015 Edgar Award Nominations Revealed

The Mystery Writers of America have revealed the nominees for this year’s Edgar Awards. The annual prize is named after beloved writer Edgar Allan Poe, awarded to the best authors in the mystery genre since 1945.

These awards recognize the following categories: novel, first novel, paperback original, fact crime, critical/biographical, short story, juvenile, young adult, play, and TV episode. We’ve got the entire list of nominees for you after the jump.

Best Novel

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

Wolf by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)

The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)

Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown)

Coptown by Karin Slaughter (Penguin Randomhouse – Delacorte Press)

Best First Novel by an American Author

Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W.W. Norton)

Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh (Crown Publishers)

Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)

Best Paperback Original

The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani (Penguin Randomhouse – Penguin Books)

Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

The Barkeep by William Lashner (Amazon Publishing – Thomas and Mercer)

The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)

The Gone Dead Train by Lisa Turner (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books)

Best Fact Crime

Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America by Kevin Cook (W.W. Norton)

The Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

The Other Side: A Memoir by Lacy M. Johnson (Tin House Books)

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William Mann (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)

The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation by Harold Schechter (Amazon Publishing – New Harvest)

Best Critical/Biographical 

The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis by Charles Brownson (McFarland & Company)

James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction by Jim Mancall (McFarland)

Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: Classic Film Noir by Robert Miklitsch (University of Illinois Press)

Judges & Justice & Lawyers & Law: Exploring the Legal Dimensions of Fiction and Film by Francis M. Nevins (Perfect Crime Books)

Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe by J.W. Ocker (W.W. Norton – Countryman Press)

Best Short Story

“The Snow Angel” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Doug Allyn (Dell Magazines)

“200 Feet” – Strand Magazine by John Floyd (The Strand)

“What Do You Do?\" – Rogues by Gillian Flynn (Penguin Randomhouse Publishing – Bantam Books)

“Red Eye” – Faceoff by Dennis Lehane vs. Michael Connelly (Simon & Schuster)

“Teddy” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Brian Tobin (Dell Magazines)

Best Juvenile 

Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Clarion Books – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by \"Science Bob\" Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith (Quirk Books)

Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)

Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Best Young Adult

The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano (Penguin Young Readers Group – Kathy Dawson Books)

Fake ID by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children’s Books – Amistad)

The Art of Secrets by James Klise (Algonquin Young Readers)

The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Best Television Episode Teleplay 

\"The Empty Hearse\" – Sherlock, Teleplay by Mark Gatiss (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)

\"Unfinished Business\" – Blue Bloods, Teleplay by Siobhan Byrne O’Connor (CBS)

\"Episode 1\" – Happy Valley, Teleplay by Sally Wainwright (Netflix)

\"Dream Baby Dream\" – The Killing, Teleplay by Sean Whitesell (Netflix)

\"Episode 6\" – The Game, Teleplay by Toby Whithouse (BBC America)

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20. Final Bloodlines Book Gets Three Book Trailers

Penguin Random House has created three teaser trailers for the final installment of Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series, The Ruby Circle. The video embedded above features trailer #3. Follow these links to watch trailer #1 and trailer #2.

Razorbill, an imprint at Penguin Young Readers Group, will release the U.S. edition on February 10, 2015. For those who can’t wait, the first five chapters have been posted on TheRubyCircle.com. The publisher unveiled this content after Mead’s fans shared the #LoveWillConquerAll hashtag thousands of times on different social media platforms.

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21. J.K. Rowling’s Handwritten Harry Potter Notes

When J.K. Rowling was working on the fifth Harry Potter book, she mapped it out on a piece of lined paper.

The handwritten sheet which informed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, includes chapter titles, plot points and timelines among other details that helped her with the writing.

Additional columns map out subplots including the titles: \"Prophecy, \"Cho/Ginny,\" \"D.A.,\" \"Dumbledore’s Army,” \"O of P,\" \"Snape/Harry,\" and \"Hagrid and Grawp.\" (Via Open Culture). We’ve got the whole sheet for you to explore after the jump.


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22. Alec Baldwin Lands Memoir Deal

Alec BaldwinActor Alec Baldwin has landed a deal for his memoir.

Baldwin plans to write this book himself. Harper, an imprint at HarperCollins, plans to publish it in the Fall of 2016.

The Associated Press reports that “the book will cover everything from Baldwin’s childhood in Long Island to his acclaimed work on 30 Rock to the various run-ins and fallings-out he has experienced along the way, a story of ‘hits and flops, marriage, divorce,’ and some ‘opinions on the media and politics.'”

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23. Three Actors Sign On For The ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Movie

X-Men MoviesThree actors have been hired to join the cast of the X-Men: Apocalypse movie.

Filmmaker Bryan Singer announced on Twitter that Alexandra Shipp will play Storm, Sophie Turner will play Jean Grey, and Tye Sheridan will play Cyclops. ComicBookResources.com reports that this will be the final X-Men film project directed by Singer.

According to Vulture.com, “the three relatively young players join Oscar Isaac (the eponymous villain), Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender on the Singer-helmed project, which comes out May 27, 2016.” What do you think?

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24. Book On Japanese Vocaloid Hits The New York Times Bestseller List

Hatsune MixThe Unofficial Hatsune Mix book has spent five weeks on the New York Times bestseller list for mangas. Both the story and the artwork were created by Kei; this artist developed the original illustration for Hatsune Miku.

According to the press release, this omnibus stars the popular Japanese vocaloid and several supporting characters including Rin, Len, and Luka. Dark Horse Comics published this book back in September 2014.

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25. Miranda July, John Green, & Michael Bond Debut On the Indie Bestseller List

paddington bookWe’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending January 18, 2015–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.

(Debuted at #3 in Hardcover Fiction) The First Bad Man by Miranda July: “When Cheryl’s bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter, Clee, can move into her house for a little while, Cheryl’s eccentrically ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee—the selfish, cruel blond bombshell—who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.” (January 2015)

(Debuted at #1 in Children’s Interest) Looking for Alaska (Special 10th Anniversary Edition) by John Green: “Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words—and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called \"The Great Perhaps.\" Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young, who will pull Miles inter her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.” (January 2015)

(Debuted at #13 in Children’s Illustrated) Paddington written by Michael Bond & illustrated by R.W. Alley: “Nearly fifty years ago, a small bear from Darkest Peru set out on an adventure of a lifetime. With nothing but a suitcase, several jars of marmalade, and a label around his neck that read, “Please Look After This Bear,” he stowed away on a ship headed for faraway England. When the little bear arrived at London’s busy Paddington Station, he was discovered by Mr. and Mrs. Brown. As luck would have it, the Browns were just the sort of people to welcome a lost bear into their family.” (June 2007)

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