Link of the Week: Brooklyn Book Festival

BBFhomepagelogo-2014Make sure to mark your calendars, because the Brooklyn Book Festival is coming to town this Sunday!

Many serious readers, if asked, would tell you that there are few ways to better spend a day than to be surrounded by books in a cozy environment, enveloped in a world they can hold in their hands. There is also the kind of reader who forays into the realm of nature with just a book, no library or comfy couch needed.

Books unite us, despite our genre, reading device, and environmental preferences. And what better way is there to celebrate the book than by checking out the Brooklyn Book Festival? As the largest free literary event in New York City, the Festival promises events for every kind of reader and book professional, and even the causal passerby. From author readings and Q&A’s, trivia night and scavenger hunts, workshops, talks from top professionals and panel discussions, with music, art and food thrown in, attendees have a wide range of events to choose from. Click here to see the full list of events.

Events will be organized around the Brooklyn Borough Hall, but be sure to check out confirmed locations for any events you’re particularly interested in.

Events run from Sept. 15th until Sept. 22nd; main event is Sunday, Sept. 21st from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

logo_wnbaThe WNBA is coming!
Take some time to check out the WNBA’s booth at the Festival on Sunday, the 21st. They’re currently looking for interns, so drop by their booth (#703) and meet some new people from this fabulous organization! Read about this event.

Link of the Week

lownerdfighterWhat happens when a successful content creation company releases a new, digital-only imprint?

Well, with the release of a site like Full Fathom Five (FFF) Digital, we’ll have a chance to find out. Digital is where it’s at, and James Frey, founder of the FFF, has recognized this and has taken steps to engage a new generation of readers.

“We are looking forward to discovering unconventional projects that have the potential to connect with a wider community of readers that haven’t been available to them before,” Frey said in an article on  Mashable. Check out the full article.

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Click the image to visit FFF’s site!

This new digital imprint’s goal is to publish “quality fiction e-books for modern readers.”  Every Wednesday, a new ebook is scheduled for release, beginning with Amanda Black’s The Apartment on October 1st. E-books will be released in every leading e-book retailer, as well as in a number of niche outlets.

Find out more about Full Fathom Five Digital

With titles like I Am Number Four and Dorothy Must Die already on the New York Times bestseller list, it will be interesting to see how this new imprint fares in the digital market.

 

Link of the Week: Books in a Series for the End of Summer

With the summer semester coming to a close on August 15th, you have about three weeks to read that one great last summer series before the fall semester begins on September 3rd. If you are a very fast reader, you may be able to squeeze in a couple series.

Here are a few of my favorite series that will get you ready for the creeping chill of fall:

The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater

This series is perfect for the summer to fall transition. The story follows a group of werewolves whose transformation is triggered by the dropping temperatures of the Midwest. Of course, what would a summer read be without a romance? The protagonists of the series must figure out how to keep the cold from changing them, and ultimately how to be together as humans. The longer the summer, the longer the time is to be human. Being a werewolf in New York wouldn’t quite work out any better for these characters.

Across the Universe series by Beth Revis

Indeed, this series takes place in outer space. However, reading the series is a great reminder for how wonderful the planet we live on really is. The story occurs in the very distant future when Earth has begun to run out of resources. In the hopes of finding a similar planet, several hundred people volunteer to be frozen for 300 years while the ship Godspeed makes its journey to the other planet. Of course, there have to be people on board the ship who are awake in order to keep it functional. When the protagonist of the story wakes up from her slumber 50 years too early, she must uncover the ship’s hidden secrets in order to survive.

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

This series takes place in a future where, when you turn sixteen, you get to become “pretty.” It doesn’t simply end there, unfortunately. Those who become “pretty” also appear to become something else, different somehow. Tally cannot wait to turn sixteen. However, Tally’s friend, Shay, would rather run away then allow any plastic surgery to change her. The entire series is a wonderful depiction of how the desire to become society’s picture of beautiful can lead to devastating outcomes. The characters must learn to accept their “ugliness,” when in fact, they aren’t truly ugly at all. Going back to school can be hard when you don’t feel your most confident. This series is about finding strength in qualities other than other appearance, and that is one of the most important factors we struggle with today.

Now, what are you waiting for? Go read!

Link of the Week: National Book Foundation Introduces Summer BookUp in NYC

Discovering a love for reading is one of the most memorable experiences about growing up. Learning all about the adventures of Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, and the Hungry Catepillar, is something that brings a smile to my face to this day.

With the increasing popularity of digital devices and platforms, it is more important than ever that we help to ensure that children of all ages continue to uncover their own love for reading. Whether with a physical book or an e-book, reading is something that can only enhance a person’s life. Once a child reaches middle school, it is sometimes difficult to continue that love of reading, especially with all the homework, chores, and friend-time a thirteen-year-old has! When school is out for the summer, homework is often replaced with video games. I know I was guilty.

Thankfully, BookUp, an after school reading program sponsored by the National Book Foundation, has introduced a summer reading program for middle school students. The summer program is part of a partnership with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.

Created in 2007, BookUp is a series of extracurricular reading groups led by published authors who also have teaching experience. Instructors have included Elisha Miranda, John Murillo, and Elsa Ulen.

Leslie Shipman, assistant director of the National Book Foundation, said, “At the end of the summer, each BookUp participant will have their own free personal library of 10 age-appropriate books. Our students will cherish and benefit from that resource and their summer BookUp experience for years to come.”

In conjunction with the Department of Youth and Community Development, BookUp is currently running ten summer programs that serve over 200 students throughout New York City. Ultimately, BookUp hopes “to create new approaches to developing life-long readers that can be adapted in after school programs across the country.”

Learn more about the BookUp summer reading program on Publishers Weekly.

Link of the Week: HarperCollins Partners with BitLit

Should I buy the physical book, or should I buy the e-book? This is a question I am sure many of us ask ourselves when we encounter a new book that we would like to read. It would be great to have the hardcover edition of the 500 page epic fantasy with the full color pullout maps included. However, the idea of bringing that treasure of a book onto a crowded subway would be absolutely horrifying; not to mention how heavy it would be. If only you could have the e-book, too, so that you could read it conveniently anywhere on your smartphone or e-reader. Although I imagine that many of us don’t want to buy both because of the added price, even if it might be only a few more dollars.

Introducing BitLit, an app that gives consumers an easy way to claim free or discounted e-book editions of the physical books that they already own. According to Publishers Weekly, “Once a consumer has downloaded the BitLit app, they can use it to take a photo/scan of the cover of the print book they own. Then they must write their name clearly on the book’s copyright page and take a photo/scan of the page with the app. Once the copyright page is scanned, the e-book is registered to that consumer and they will receive an email with a link to download the e-book in e-Pub or PDF formats.”

So, no, you cannot go to the bookstore or library and take photos of every cover and copyright page. The book must belong to you.

You can use the BitLit app with your Apple products or your Android. Currently, the app offers access to about 20,000 titles, most of which are from independent publishers. Some of the publishers and distributors that have partnered with BitLit are IPG, Chicago Review Press, O’Reilly Media, Other Press, and Kids Can Press.

Wouldn’t this be nice to have as an e-book?

HarperCollins is the first of the Big Five to partner with BitLit. With its introductory program, HarperCollins will launch six titles priced from $1.99 to $2.99. A few of these titles will include Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon15 Seconds by Andrew Gross, and Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison. HarperCollins plans to offer a new title each week, and will promote the bundling program via its newsletter and its recently relaunched wesbite, HarperCollins.com.

Chief-Digital Officer at HarperCollins, Chantal Restivo-Alessi, said BitLit “offers readers another way to engage with the books they’ve purchased so they can read in various formats as they choose. It provides added value to consumers at a discounted price, and additional sales for our authors.”

Overall, it appears that BitLit is both a store for e-books and a hub for retrieving, sometimes free, e-book versions of the physical titles we already own. Using BitLit as the outlet for providing e-book versions is a great option for publishers. Then, all the publisher would have to do is simply advertise on the physical book, or through a newsletter like HarperCollins, that the e-book version is available through BitLit for free or for a discounted price.

I really hope this catches on with even more publishers. I know I would have loved to own the e-book version of Haruki Murakami’s massive novel 1Q84 in congruence with my physical book. It definitely would have saved some space, and backache, on the subway.

Find out more about the partnership with HarperCollins and BitLit on Publishers Weekly.