Happy Friday and happy July, writers! We hope everyone in Canada and the US enjoyed their long weekend last weekend, and we hope everyone is managing to stay cool in this very warm weather – especially those living in regions experiencing a heat wave.

Let’s take a quick look at what’s been happening in the publishing and book world lately, shall we?

Amazon and the publishers involved in the eBook price fixing suit are trying to delay discovery.

Amazon, Publishers Seek to Delay Discovery in E-book Price-Fixing Case

In a letter to the court yesterday, lawyers for defendants Amazon and the Big Five publishers told magistrate judge Debra Freeman that they will soon file a motion seeking to stay all discovery in a lawsuit charging them with conspiring to fix e-book prices until the court rules on their motion to dismiss the case.

S&S’s Gallery Books is launching 13A, an imprint dedicated to renown Black voices.

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews, Chapel Hill, N.C., which opened in November 2019 in a 3,600-square-foot location, is expanding into the space next door and adding 2,200 square feet. Triangle Business Journal reported that co-owners Jaime and Miranda Sanchez “did not anticipate Covid-19 would disrupt their book cafe business five months after opening.

There has been some discussion over whether or not traditional publishers are paying authors fairly for digital content.

Audio royalties come under scrutiny as sales of audiobooks continue to soar

Debate is raging in the publishing industry over whether authors are benefiting fairly from the audio and e-book boom, with concerns over the “Spotification” of books, as sales soared even further in lockdown. Agents are urging for a greater share of royalties for authors beyond the standard 25% from these formats, while publishers argue writers do receive their fair share.

Authorities in Hungary have fined the distributor of a book featuring same-sex parents.

Hungarian authorities have fined the distributor of a children’s book featuring same-sex parents.

Some troubling news: Hungarian authorities have fined the distributor of a children’s book for its depiction of homosexuality. The book in question, a two-part Hungarian translation of Early One Morning and Bedtime, Not Playtime! by Lawrence Schimel, portrays the daily routines of two children, who each have same-sex parents.

The in-person Frankfurt Bookfair is starting to come together.

Frankfurt Book Fair Is Taking Shape

Plans for the Frankfurt Book Fair are shaping up: Professionals from 60 countries have committed to participating in the in-person fair to be held this October 20-24. Most German publishers are participating with individual stands, while the remainder of European, Asian, and North and South American countries will have national or collective stands, fair organizers said.

Meanwhile, the biggest pop-culture event of the year is once again going online.

San Diego Comic-Con: The Show Must Go On(line)

For the second year in a row, the streets of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter will be quiet this July. The immense pop culture carnival that is San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC) is the biggest event of the year for comics publishing-and a major event for media, video games, and collectibles.

Submissions have opened for the 2021 Watty Awards.

Wattpad opens submissions for 2021 Watty Awards | CBC News

On Wednesday, Toronto-based storytelling platform Wattpad announced submissions for its 12th annual Watty Awards have opened – and that the eventual grand prize winner will receive a book deal with the company’s publisher, Wattpad Books.

Canadian comedian Ron James is publishing his first book.

Canadian comic Ron James publishing memoir, All Over the Map, in fall 2021 | CBC Books

In All Over the Map, James will reminisce about growing up in Nova Scotia, his early struggles as an aspiring comic, and includes reflecrions of family, country, celebrity and lessons learned. All Over the Map will be released Sept. 28, 2021.

Exciting news for comic book fans, Batman: The Long Halloween is getting a follow-up!

‘Batman: The Long Halloween’ is getting a new follow-up comic in the wake of animated movie

The original creative team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are reuniting for a new 48-page special Batman: The Long Halloween isn’t over yet. For one thing, the animated movie that came to digital and Blu-Ray last month — starring Jensen Ackles as the voice of the Dark Knight and the late Naya Rivera as Catwoman — is still awaiting its “part two” installment later this summer.

An interesting (and unfortunately not entirely surprising) look at the gender split of readers.

Why do so few men read books by women? | MA Sieghart

he byline at the top of this piece reads MA Sieghart, not Mary Ann. Why? Because I really want men to read it too. Female authors through the centuries, from the Brontë sisters to George Eliot to JK Rowling, have felt obliged to disguise their gender to persuade boys and men to read their books.

I found this piece, which examines the different layers required when writing a PI of colour compared to their white counterparts, really interesting.

The PI of Color: When It’s About More Than the Crime

We all know the PI. You need only rattle off the names-Spade, Hammer, Marlowe, Archer-to conjure the picture. Tough, swaggering, fast-talking, busted nose, cigs, that Webley-Fosbery revolver. They’re Bogie-like, usually, men sure of themselves and sure of their place in the world.

And finally, a fun game going into the weekend: A list of literary questions from Jeopardy!

100 Literary Jeopardy Clues from Real Episodes of Jeopardy!

It’s officially time to socialize again. But maybe . . . you’ve forgotten how? Here’s one way to break the ice/pass the time/celebrate your vaccinations with your book-reading friends: organize a day of literary Jeopardy!. (You can also just play by yourself, right here, right now.)

Have a great weekend!

Staff Pick

Rachel, Author Engagement Coordinator

“Kristen Arnett’s Mostly Dead Things was one of my favourite books of 2019, so it’s no surprise that I absolutely could not put down her follow up, With Teeth. The book follows Sammie, a queer stay-at-home mom, and her tumultuous relationship with her son Samson. Unsure in her own feelings of motherhood, insecure in her postpartum body, and increasingly resentful of the uneven emotional labour in her relationship with her wife, Sammie continues to struggle as her picture perfect life starts to fall apart. With Teeth is a masterclass in character exploration, and the story is told with both emotional depth and cutting humour. I cannot recommend it more.”

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