J. K. Rowling Teases Fans With Cryptic Tweets

On October 6th, J.K. Rowling was driving us insane when she sent out this tweet:

It’s an anagram! What was it? Well, twitter had a fun time figuring that out and by fun I meant agonizing over what the answer is and too lazy to figure it out. That could just be me though. Lucky for us, someone finally figured it out.

The hint is regards to the main character from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which going to be a new trilogy set in the wizarding world but not as a prequel or sequel to Harry Potter. Do you care about this particular tease? Are you sad it’s not another Harry Potter book? I’m actually really happy it wasn’t!

Nicholas Sparks Gets Sued by Former Headmaster

The former headmaster of a private school founded by novelist Nicholas Sparks says the author and other school leaders forced him out when he tried to recruit black students and faculty and supported a bullied group of gay students, and on Thursday he sued for damages.

Sparks founded a private school? That’s quite literally the most shocking thing about this news piece because, if true, these allegations are not surprising at all. Systematic racism and homophobia are sadly not new for those who identify as part of the LGBT community or racial minority like blacks. No one wants news like this to be true because it gets added to the list of really crappy and discriminatory practices in our institutions. If it’s true, I hope the judge dishes out the appropriate punishment.

Awards

2014 Nobel Prize In Literature Winner Announced!

Congrats! However if you want some really interesting reading in regards to the award, check out the comments made by one of the Nobel Prize judges on the “creative writing courses and the “professionalisation” of the contemporary Western-writer”. This was more in reference to the US Literary Culture and not the individual writers themselves. Some interesting stuff and I know from experience that there are MFA programs who would much rather take in students who’ve majored in something other than an English course (at least in Canada).

2014 Scotiabank Giller Finalists Announced

The six finalists for the Canadian prize have been announced!

  • David Bezmozgis for his novel The Betrayers published by HarperCollins Canada
  • Frances Itani for her book Tell published by HarperCollins Canada
  • Sean Michaels for his novel, Us Conductors published by Random House Canada
  • Heather O’Neill for her novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night published by HarperCollins Canada
  • Miriam Toews for her novel All My Puny Sorrows published by Knopf Canada
  • Padma Viswanathan for her book The Ever After of Ashwin Rao published by Random House Canada

The Scotiabank Giller Prize will air on CBC Television on Monday, Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) with host Jian Ghomeshi of CBC Radio’s Q.

Industry News

Egmont Is Selling Their US Division

Egmont doesn’t want to be a small fish in a big pond but rather a big fish in medium sized ponds and maybe even smaller ponds to help become the leading brand it was destined to be. Salute, Egmont USA. You and your YA titles will be missed.

HarperCollins Authors Given Opportunity For A  Direct Sale Option

HarperCollins is ramping up its direct sales efforts by giving its authors the chance to earn a higher royalty rate by selling their titles directly to consumers.

This is a “wait and see” moment in how this could change how authors get paid for their works. I can say that digital is a much more appealing form of getting compensated for the works of authors since less production costs tends to mean more money for the author. Direct sales also means more money since the middleman – i.e. Amazon – are cut from the equation.

Speaking of Amazon…

Amazon News

Amazon Gives Us The Goods On New Crowdsourcing Publishing Platform

Authors who submit a work must agree to a 45-day exclusivity agreement with Amazon. If their title is chosen for the program, and they choose to publish with Amazon, they will receive a $1,500 advance, a 50% e-book royalty rate, five-year renewable terms and marketing from the e-tailer.

To enter, the email says authors must submit the following:

A complete, never-before-published manuscript & book cover image. We’re looking for 50,000 words or more in Word format and a book cover image that reflects the essence and uniqueness of your book. Make sure your work is ready for others to read. Only the first pages will be posted to the website (approx. 3,000 words).

Book one-liner – A very short pitch (no longer than 45 characters) for your book that will be used on the homepage and throughout the website. Think of examples like “Space opera meets the Middle Ages” or “How far will one woman go to save her family?”

Book description – Help readers understand the content and quality of your book. Keep the description to 500 characters or less. Your bio & picture – Give readers a chance to learn more about you. You will also have a chance to answer relevant questions regarding your book and personal story in a short Q&A section.

Okay. Let’s see how this all plays out.