Tag Archives: Twitter

Pottermore Launching ‘Harry Potter’ Book Club

wwbookclubIn case my “book club” — which, let’s be honest, is really just a blog and not an actual club — isn’t enough for you, soon you’ll also be able to participate in a Harry Potter Wizarding World Book Club, launched by the Pottermore web site.

All you have to do is register on the site and agree to read one Harry Potter book per month (or some over a few months since the books later in the series get longer), and you can use the virtual book club to discuss the books. The idea is to connect Potter fans from around the world — and of course, reinvigorate their love for HP.

Each week, Pottermore will announce a new theme to be discussed on a new Twitter account, @wwbookclub. The account is already active. Though the book club is set to officially launch this month, an exact date for the first topic doesn’t appear to have been announced yet. Stay tuned, Potter fans!

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Latest ‘Fifty Shades’ Novel, ‘Grey,’ Released, Already a Bestseller

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.49.53 AMHappy birthday, Christian Grey! And happy day to fans of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, who already got their hands on the latest novel in the series, GreyThe novel was released today, in honor of the main character Christian Grey’s birthday.

But before the clock struck midnight, Grey was already a bestseller. According to Entertainment Weekly, preorders helped it shoot to the top of the Barnes and Noble and Amazon bestseller lists.

But just because it’s a bestseller doesn’t necessarily mean the book is that great — as we all know. While the prose of E L James has been criticized in the past, it seems her writing hasn’t gotten much better this time around, according to the tweets copied on US Weekly.

So will you be reading it?

Get Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian in paperback for $9.89.

Or on your Kindle for $7.99.

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Goldman Sachs Parody Book Gets New Publisher

gselevatorA little more back and forth about that Goldman Sachs Twitter feed turned book deal — the book is back on!

Last week, I reported that after having gotten a book deal with Simon & Schuster imprint Touchstone, the Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance and Excess in the World of Investment Banking author had lost the deal since he never actually worked for Goldman Sachs.

But according to The New York Times, author John LeFevre got a new publishing deal, this time with Grove Atlantic, an independent publishing house. Plans for the book remain virtually the same; the book will be based on the Twitter account @GSElevator, a parody account that includes dark, harsh, but funny tweets supposedly overheard in the elevators at Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest investment banking firms in the world.

LeFevre, who until now had remained anonymous, received a six-figure advance from Grove Atlantic. Publishers promise the book will be strictly marketed as a work of fiction — again, because he never worked for Goldman Sachs. (He worked for Citigroup.) The book is due to be released in November.

Sounds like it’s hard to say no to this wolf of Wall Street!

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Goldman Sachs Parody Book Cancelled

Just as I was about to write this fabulous post about the seemingly funny and great book due out this fall, I learned that plans for it had been cancelled.

According to Time, the  book based on the parody Twitter account @GSElevator will no longer released. This comes after the publisher learned that the writer of the Twitter account never actually worked for Goldman Sachs, the company that the tweets are based on.

@GSElevator is a parody account that includes dark, harsh, but funny tweets supposedly overheard in the elevators at Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest investment banking firms in the world. The account has more than 600,000 followers.

Entitled Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance and Excess in the World of Investment Banking, the book was expected to “go beyond” the “over-the-top behavior that has become associated with big Wall Street banks”  described in the @GSElevator tweets.

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Twitter Fiction Festival

In the literary world, there are all kinds of events and festivals — book festivals, author signings, book readings, book sales, the list goes on and on. But just a few weeks ago, the world of literature merged with social media for the first ever Twitter Fiction Festival.

According to The L.A. Times, the festival was an online, virtual gathering that included authors from 20 different countries selected by a group of “experts.” One writer, for example, had to write a Greek myth in 100 characters. It was less of a lesson in great writing, and more of a lesson in concise writing. The festival also included some live events.

Personally, I think it would be kind of cool to read how the authors brought these elaborate stories down to just a few characters. In a nerdy way, I think it was probably a fun event. But part of me also wonders what the point is? Other than teaching writers how to connect on Twitter, I don’t see how a fun festival like this serves any purpose — unless it was just that, a fun festival.

Thoughts?

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Author Caught Writing Fake Amazon Reviews

The only thing better than a great writer is one who’s also humble. Crime writer RJ Ellory, apparently, does not fall into this category.

According to ABCNews.com, the author was caught writing positive Amazon reviews for his book and negative reviews for his competition’s books under a pseudonym. It was another writer, Jeremy Duns, who discovered the fake reviews, when he realized both “Jelly Bean” and “Nicodemus Jones” repeatedly wrote 5-star reviews for Ellory’s work, while trash-talking novels written by others.

Ellory also slipped up a few times, forgetting which account he was using and signing the reviews “Roger.”

The reviews were taken down after Ellory was caught, but not before other authors, like Duns, snapped screen grabs of the reviews and posted them to Twitter.

Ellory issues an apology statement to The Daily Telegraph, writing:

“The recent reviews – both positive and negative – that have been posted on my Amazon accounts are my responsibility and my responsibility alone.

“I wholeheartedly regret the lapse of judgment that allowed personal opinions to be disseminated in this way and I would like to apologise to my readers and the writing community.”

A spokesperson from the Crime Writers Association said this is happening more frequently — authors tooting their own horns, so to speak, on sites like Amazon and Twitter.

It’s times like this I miss the days without social media.

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Why It Pays To Be a Tweeting Author: Jennifer Weiner’s ‘Bachelorette’ Gig

For most of us, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are domains to express how we feel about, well, pretty much anything. Sometimes we’re funny. Most of the time we’re not. But we tweet anyway in the hopes that someone will read our 140 attempts at getting attention. If you’re a bestselling author and write for a living, you know people will see those tweets. But when In Her Shoes author Jennifer Weiner wrote a Facebook post about Jason Mesnick from The Bachelor a few seasons back, she was surprised at the response she got.

So began her weekly Bachelor/Bachelorette live-tweets, which have now led to a new gig at Entertainment Weekly, according to a post on her Facebook page last month. Though I’ve been unable to find out any more details about it, Weiner states “I am THRILLED to announce that, starting 5/14, I’m going to be live-blogging ‘The Bachelorette’ for the kind folks at Entertainment Weekly! Stay tuned for details…”

Coincidentally, EW wrote up this article on Weiner and other celebrity tweeters in January. In the reality world of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Jennifer Weiner has become a favorite tweeter. In fact it earned her a spot on Time‘s list of 140 Best Twitter feeds last year. So it’s no surprise it would lead to an EW gig like this. Weiner is outspoken, hilarious, and seems like the best friend you’ve never met — all perfect attributes for a good live-tweeter.

So for all your Bachelorette fans, here’s Weiner’s Twitter handle, @jenniferweiner, if you’re looking for someone to gossip with about the drama that’s set to begin tomorrow night at 8pm on ABC. Will you tune in?

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E-Readers Are Getting More Social

Here are a few reasons why e-readers are great: they’re portable, can hold hundreds of books in one device, and have wifi and Internet capabilities. Here are a few reasons why some are still hesitant to purchase an e-reader: setting bookmarks can be difficult, as can adding notes and highlights — though they are all still possible, and of course there’s just nothing like reading a real book.

But the e-reader experience may just be getting started. According to the Los Angeles Times, reading is becoming more and more like a social network. It’s called “social reading.” For instance, on the Amazon Kindle, people can post favorite passages to Facebook and Twitter. On Canada’s popular Kobo e-reader, you can see what people are reading, if they’re reading what you are, and join in on their comment string about the book. It not only bookmarks your pages; it keep statistics about your reading habits.

On an app called Subtext, readers can even connect with the author, as Carolyn Kellogg explains.

Built for the iPad and launched less than two months ago, Subtext offers all of the social reading elements with the added bonus of content from authors themselves. “I was very excited about this,” says Amy Stewart, author of “Wicked Plants” and “Wicked Bugs,” an L.A. Times bestseller….Marginal icons show where she added links, video, color images and commentary, including a “Spoiler Alert” warning just to see how the function worked (the determined reader has to tap a second time to see the spoiler). Just like on Facebook, Stewart can respond to reader comments, which also are indicated by icons in the margin.

For some, I imagine social reading could be a bit much. But since we’re social about everything else nowadays, why wouldn’t we be social about more clever habits, like reading? And as the article points out, it’s also the perfect way to enhance reading in a classroom. For those who are not interested in social reading, stick to a good old-fashioned book. But I wouldn’t entirely discount it.

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Authors’ Words in 140 Characters

More and more nowadays, authors are using their literary prowess to not only write novels, but write tweets as well. And while their 140-character thoughts might not take as long to type, it’s equally as fun as writing a novel — and equally as fun for us to read.

This fun essay by The New York Times explores modern-day authors’ intrigue with Twitter. Some who use it see it as a marketing tool; others use the popular micro-blogging site as way to interact with their readers. And some authors hate the idea altogether. For them, the reader should remain distant from the author, as Anne Trubek explains.

In “A Note From Jeffrey Eugenides to Readers,” he described his joy at meeting them, but concluded by saying he doesn’t know when or if he’ll post on the page again: “It’s better, I think, for readers not to communicate too directly with an author because the author is, strangely enough, beside the point.”

Eugenides makes a good point. But the ability to directly communicate with your favorite author is exactly the kind of thing that inspired me to join Twitter. When I learned celebrities were on the site, I said, “Wait. I HAVE to join now.” And to me, these authors are  celebrities. Of course, I’m interested in what they’re doing, what they’re writing, and what they have to say. My theory is, if I like their books, I’d probably like them too. And based on their tweets, I do.

I think Jennifer Weiner (@JenniferWeiner) is one of the most hilarious authors out there, and her tweets confirm it. I also follow Jodi Picoult (@JodiPicoult) and Judy Blume  (@JudyBlume) . Authors who tweet form a strange, but lovely online bond with their readers, which I think is a win-win situation for everyone involved. If an author can’t be bothered to use 140 characters to communicate with me, so be it. But I rather like the ones that do.

And if you’re interested, follow me on twitter @LaraBryn.

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