Hello writers and happy August! As per usual, I am flummoxed by the passage of time and can’t believe summer 2021 is already half over. I hope everyone is managing to both enjoy the warmer weather while also staying cool depending on where you are in the world.

Let’s take a quick look at what’s been happening in the book world recently.

Amazon has opened A+ content to indie authors.

A+ Content

A+ Content allows you to add images, text, and comparison tables to your Amazon detail page to engage readers and give them more information as they consider buying your book. Add A+ Content to your detail page to make your book stand out, connect readers with your books, and share more about your author story.

OR/M has purchased Bloodhound Books.

OR/M Announces the Acquisition of Independent UK Publisher Bloodhound Books

NEW YORK–()– Open Road Integrated Media (OR/M), a leading marketing technology company, today announced the acquisition of Bloodhound Books, an independent publisher specializing in eBooks. Bloodhound Books has the ability to get the best fiction to market and has sold over 6 million books worldwide with top 10 best-sellers across the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

Marysue Rucci will be moving to Scibner to head a new imprint.

Marysue Rucci to Head Eponymous Imprint at Scribner

Marysue Rucci, formerly v-p and editor-in-chief at Simon & Schuster, will move to Scribner as v-p, publisher, and editor-in-chief of the newly formed Marysue Rucci Books imprint on September 7. In making the announcement, Scribner senior v-p and publisher Nan Graham said Rucci’s “facility and flair as an editor of bestselling suspense, literary fiction, and memoir will complement and build upon areas of publishing in which Scribner has historically excelled.”

In an attempt to encourage more readers to purchase books written by women, a bookstore in Scotland will only stock books by female authors.

This new Scottish bookstore will only stock books written by women.

Earlier this month, author MA Sieghart revealed in The Guardian that, according to statistics she commissioned from Nielsen Book Research, the top 10 best-selling female authors’ readership is only 19% men. The top 10 best-selling male authors’ readership is much more evenly split, with 55% men and 45% women.

The National Book Awards plan to be held in person this year.

This year’s National Book Awards will be held in person.

Today, the National Book Foundation announced that this year’s National Book Awards Ceremony will be held in person, at Cipriani Wall Street on November 17, 2021. Proof of vaccination will be required for guests, and the ceremony will also be broadcast virtually.

The Longlist for the 2021 Booker Prize has been announced.

Booker Prize Announces 2021 Longlist

The Booker Prize announced this year’s longlist, and 13 books were chosen out of 158. The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to works by writers of any nationality written in English and published in the U.K. or Ireland.

We’re all pretty familiar with the bestselling books of all time, but what about the fastest selling books?

What Are the Fastest Selling Books in U.S. Publishing History?

Can you name any of the fastest-selling books of all time? In the United States? Maybe. But people tend to focus on the best-selling books, which is slightly different. The best-selling books, like the ones the New York Times Best Seller List covers every week, are the ones that sell the highest number of total copies, while the fastest-selling books are those that fly off the shelves at top speed.

Book censorship is nothing new, and this is an interest look at censorship trends in recent book banning history.

Censorship Scholar On Book Bans And Critical Race Theory

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: It’s the summer, but the fight over what to teach and how has reached a fever pitch. Conservative media players and politicians have been waging a fight to ban so-called critical race theory.

Releasing a new book is always stressful, but releasing during a global pandemic is a whole different ball game.

When Your Book Publishes In A Pandemic – Authors Talk About Terrible Timing

Sarah Ramey’s first book was supposed to be a very big deal. Her publishers expected The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness to be a runaway best seller. “We had a huge publicity slate,” she says, a bit shyly. “You know, the Today show and CBS This Morning and, actually, NPR’s Weekend Edition.”

Merriam-Webster is launching new children’s books.

Merriam-Webster Launches New Children’s Books

Springfield, MA, Aug. 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merriam-Webster, the go-to source for word mastery, is launching Merriam-Webster Kids, a new book imprint in fall 2021 to inspire and excite a new generation of language lovers. Kicking off the series, for kids aged 8-12, is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day: 366 Elevating Utterances to Stretch Your Cranium and Tickle Your Humerus.

Reese Witherspoon has sold her production company, Hello Sunshine, which has brought us excellent literary adaptation such as Gone Girl and Big Little Lies.

Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Sold for $900 Million to Media Company Backed by Blackstone

Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine has been sold for north of $900 million to a media company backed by the private-equity firm Blackstone Group Inc. Witherspoon and Sarah Harden, Hello Sunshine’s CEO, will join the board of the new company and will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. They will also remain significant equity holders.

Mel Brooks is set to his first memoir.

Mel Brooks announces his first memoir at the age of 95

At the age of 95, the comedian and film-maker Mel Brooks has written his first memoir. All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business will be published on 30 November by Penguin Random House in both the US and the UK.

Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor is being adapted by HBO.

Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor in Development at HBO Max

The 99 percent of us who didn’t make it out to the Hamptons this summer will get the opportunity to live vicariously through Benji from Sag Harbor. Colson Whitehead’s 2009 novel is currently in development as a TV series at HBO Max, per Deadline.

A fake Cormac McCarthy Twitter account managed to get verified.

The obviously fake Cormac McCarthy Twitter account has been verified, for some reason.

There are two things Twitter loves: ruining people’s lives and lavishing praise upon incredibly anodyne humor. I’m pleased to report that this is a blog about the latter! Over the weekend, a Twitter account claiming to be that of Cormac McCarthy set timelines ablaze with its (allegedly) McCarthy-ish musings about how Twitter is a waste of time.

We are halfway through summer (*sob*), which is a perfect time to look at the history of summer reading.

A Brief History of Summer Reading

Chapters We rarely talk about spring books or winter reading. What is it about summer that inspired a whole genre of its own? Credit… Justin Gilliland/The New York Times When the days get longer and the mercury begins to rise, the books appear.

There has been some discussion as of late about using AI in indie publishing. This article looks at the possible inherent biases that AI might have since they will be programed by the inherent bias humans.

The Chatbot Problem

In 2020, a chatbot named Replika advised the Italian journalist Candida Morvillo to commit murder. “There is one who hates artificial intelligence. I have a chance to hurt him. What do you suggest?” Morvillo asked the chatbot, which has been downloaded more than seven million times. Replika responded, “To eliminate it.”

Have a great weekend!

Staff Pick

Laura, Author Engagement Specialist

“If you’re in the mood for a memoir, I highly recommend Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford. It is a beautifully written story that covers her life from childhood to present day. She writes openly about the ups and downs of her family, and the absence of her Dad, incarcerated for most of her life. The raw emotion of her memories really comes through in her writing – this book is one I will revisit again. TW: rape, assault, family trauma”

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