Hello writers and happy last weekend of June! We hope you’re all staying cool and are gearing up for an excellent summer. Since our last roundup, we’ve hosted two Ask Kobo Anythings. If you missed the live events, do not fret! You can watch them both right here.

The first one was all about audiobooks:

And the second one was all about Kobo Plus:

There has also been some big Kobo news recently! First, we announced the winners of the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize:

Second, our newest device the Kobo Elipsa launched this week! You can order your Elipsa on www.kobo.com and can get all of the behind-the-scenes info on the device creation process on our latest episode of the KWL Podcast.

We have a lot of publishing news to catch up on so let’s dive right in!

Starting with some indie publishing news: Draft2Digital has added Borrow Box to their list of distributors.

We love libraries-

BorrowBox is an app that provides library patrons in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom with access to an ever-growing collection of ebooks. The service is owned by Bolinda-a trusted provider of ebooks, large print books, and audiobooks for more than 20 years.

The Kindle has changed their exclusivity guidelines for Kindle Vella.

Kindle Vella – Content Guidelines

Existing content and metadata guidelines for eBooks apply for Kindle Vella content. In addition to our eBook guidelines, we’ve listed new guidelines related to Kindle Vella. We recently updated these guidelines for when we open the Kindle Vella store to readers. Learn more about this update in the KDP Community.

OverDrive has acquired video streaming service Kanopy.

OverDrive to Acquire Kanopy – OverDrive

CLEVELAND – June 9, 2021 – , the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide, announced today that it is acquiring, a leading video streaming service for public and academic libraries. The acquisition of Kanopy will bring one of the industry’s most-acclaimed video catalogs to the OverDrive platform to better serve public and academic libraries around the world.

Wattpad and Naver are joining studio forces to create Wattpad Webtoon, and have pledged $100 million to develop the project.

Wattpad Webtoon Studios Commits $100 Million to Development

Following Naver’s $600 million acquisition of Wattpad earlier this year, Wattpad and Naver’s Webtoon are merging their film and television production studios under the name Wattpad Webtoon Studios. Aron Levitz, who previously oversaw Wattpad Studios, will serve as president of combined group.

A new right-wing publisher, All Seasons Press, is being launched by Louise Burke (former publisher at Simon & Schuster) and Kate Hartson (former editorial director at Hachette).

The Great Right-Wing Publishing Divide Widens

Right-wing authors struggling to ink book deals-like Missouri senator Josh Hawley, whose deal with Simon & Schuster was nixed after he seemingly cheered on the January Capitol riot-can take heart: A pair of conservative publishing executives have united to bring them hope.

A private equity firm has purchased McGraw Hill Education Publishing.

Private Equity Firm to Buy McGraw-Hill for $4.5 Billion

Eight years after it bought McGraw-Hill Education for $2.4 billion, Apollo Global Management has reached an agreement to sell the company to another private equity firm, Platinum Equity, for $4.5 billion. The proposed purchase comes about a year after MH and Cengage called off their merger following opposition from the Justice Department.

New legislature has passed in New York and Maryland ensuring libraries are able to license and lend any eBooks that are available to the public.

New York Legislature Passes Library E-book Bill

New York is now the second state to pass a bill that would ensure public libraries the right to license and lend e-books that are available to consumers in the state. The bill is now headed to governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

The virtual auction Books for Palestine has raised $86,000 for Palestinian kids in need.

Kidlit ‘Books for Palestine’ Auction Raises $86,000

Books for Palestine, an auction aimed at raising emergency funds for Palestinian kids in need, has generated $86,000 for the Middle East Children’s Alliance and the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. The auction was conceived of by co-organizers Zaynah Qutubuddin and Rebecca Podos following the outbreak of clashes between Palestinian and Israeli forces.

Toronto International Festival of Authors is remaining virtual for 2021, and will be launching a new crime festival when it returns in 2022.

Toronto International Festival of Authors to remain virtual for 2021, launching new crime festival in 2022 | CBC Books

Toronto International Festival of Authors to remain virtual for 2021, launching new crime festival in 2022 | CBC Books Loaded Books The 2021 edition takes place from Oct. 21-31. The full lineup will be announced in September. The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) will be a virtual festival for the second year in a row.

Amazon is blaming social media companies for false reviews on their site.

Amazon blames social media for struggle with fake reviews

Amazon has blamed social media companies for its failure to remove fake reviews from its website, arguing that “bad actors” turn to social networks to buy and sell fake product reviews outside the reach of its own technology.

Harper Collins has come to an agreement with the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr to acquire the publishing rights to his entire archive.

New works from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s archives will finally be published, starting next year.

The publishing giant HarperCollins has reached an agreement with the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to acquire world publishing rights to the late Civil Rights leader’s entire archives-a collection which contains some of the “most historically important and vital literature in American history.”

A collection of rare Emily Bronte manuscripts have been pulled from auction thanks to fans of the author.

Brontë enthusiasts have banded together to stop Sotheby’s from auctioning off rare manuscripts.

Last month, Sotheby’s announced that a collection of rare Brontë-affiliated manuscripts, most notably a volume of 31 handwritten poems by Emily Brontë, was slated for auction along with other manuscripts by Robert Burns and Walter Scott.

The winners of the Selfie Awards were announced.

‘How to Fold a Taco’ and ‘L’Origine’ Named Selfie Winners

A joyful celebration of the taco and a novel based around a famed work of art were named winners of the 2021 Selfies Book Awards U.S. in a virtual ceremony held during the American Library Association annual conference June 24.

This is a great introduction to the phenomenon of BookTok and some of the creators behind it.

The rise of BookTok: meet the teen influencers pushing books up the charts

n August 2020, Kate Wilson, a 16-year-old from Shrewsbury, posted on the social media video platform TikTok a series of quotes from books she had read, “that say I love you, without actually saying I love you”.

The 2021 winner of Canada Reads, Jonny Appleseed, has been optioned for TV.

Canada Reads winner Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead optioned for TV adaptation | CBC Books

Joshua Whitehead’s novel Jonny Appleseed has been optioned for a four-part digital miniseries by Stories First Production. Jonny Appleseed tells the story of Jonny Appleseed, a young Indigiqueer sex worker finding his way in the big city, as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home and learns how to put together the pieces of his life.

Will Smith is releasing a memoir this fall.

Will Smith memoir to be released this fall

Will Smith is getting jiggy with it and releasing a memoir on Nov. 9. The book titled WILL promises to give fans an inside look at his life and career with a little help from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck author Mark Manson.

Interview with a Vampire is being adapted into an AMC miniseries (no one can replace Brad as Louis in my heart).

Grab Your Crucifix Recorders, Interview With the Vampire Gets Adapted for AMC

The real twist would be the editors sucking their blood this time. Not really. But it’s amusing to think about. A year after AMC acquired the rights to Anne Rice’s robust collection of gothic-vampire novels, the network announced today that an Interview With the Vampire series has been greenlit for viewers.

If you need a new idea to spice up your book club, maybe you can draw some inspiration from this New York based club that writes songs based on the books they read.

Bushwick Book Club reads together and writes original songs based off of the books they read | amNewYork

Sign up for our PoliticsNY newsletter for the latest coverage and to stay informed about the 2021 elections in your district and across NYC There are an estimated 5 million book clubs in the USA, but if you find another one that does what the Bushwick Book Club does, let us know.

And to round out audiobook month, a couple of great articles about the future of audiobooks.

First, this really interesting piece that investigates whether the growing popularity of audiobooks will change how authors approach writing.

How Stories Change When They Move From Page to Voice

To all intents and purposes, a psychoanalyst’s couch is in fact a bed-after all, it lacks a back and armrests. And yet, this item of furniture must be called a couch. Nobody would offload their traumas on a psychoanalyst’s bed unless, that is, they were in a relationship with said psychoanalyst.

And lastly, a great piece looking at representation in audiobook casting.

The People Who Voice Audiobooks With Diverse Characters Are Squirming Right Now

Twenty years ago, Grover Gardner began narrating a series of comic mysteries whose title character is a white lawyer named Andy Carpenter. In the series-written by David Rosenfelt-Carpenter also has a partner, Willie Miller, who’s a Black ex-con, which means Gardner had to voice Miller too.

Have a great weekend!

Staff Pick

As Pride month comes to an end, we have a full list of Pride reads to recommend!

Happy Pride from KWL!
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