Your one-stop shop for the week’s most interesting bookish news and reviews
Following its publication last week, Grey by EL James has caused (almost) as much furore as the first trilogy. It’s Fifty Shades of Grey, as told from Grey’s perspective and it’s pretty much all we’ve heard about this week. The critics hate it and there has been a stream of negative reviews but there is no denying that the public love it and sales have been record breaking yet again. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t help but admire James and her publishers for hitting on such an astonishing (and money-making) win.
Perhaps the biggest bookish news of this week is Amazon’s announcement that they will be changing the way that they pay their authors. The idea is that rather than being paid by how many times a book is downloaded, instead authors will be paid by how many pages are read on the first read. Initially, the scheme only applies to those enrolled in the KDP Select programme, where books are included in Kindle’s Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited. For the time being, books that are purchased are not included in the scheme. Not all bad then.
Of course, this news has caused quite a stir in the self-publishing world. It has infuriated some yet thrilled others. The scheme certainly does seem to unfairly punish authors of short books or longer books that are perhaps ‘slow burners’. It also makes you wonder just how closely Amazon are monitoring their readers, too. Many people have argued, though, that this is perhaps just what’s needed to tighten up and improve the standard of writing – after all, the better a book is, the more pages a person is likely to read. If the payment scheme were to roll out to the rest of the e-book world though, the potential consequences are frightening.
A rare copy of the first Bible to be printed in English is set to be auctioned at Sotheby’s next month and is expected to bring in around £35,000 – a great result for the owner, who originally paid the equivalent of £1.25 for the book.
Roald Dahl’s stinky Mr Twit, from the beloved book The Twits, is now even stinkier as a new edition of the book is released, complete with scratch ’n’ sniff stickers with which to adorn his beard. Disgusting or disgustingly fun? My inner child says the latter!
Are there nouns that are always plural? Simon Thomas of Oxford Dictionaries says yes, of course there are! He compiled a list of the ten best ones – and everyone loves a list of language quirks right? Or is that just me? Hmmm…
The latest craze sweeping (at least some of) the nation is adult colouring books. If you haven’t heard about it, where have you been? There are hundreds and thousands of books to choose from and now, you can even get literary themed colouring books, from Game of Thrones to Marvel. Argued to be the latest instrument in the relaxation and de-stressing toolkit, adult colouring books took five of Amazon’s top-ten bestseller spots last week. A genuine tool for mindfulness or a nostalgia craze gone awry? Only time will tell. Fancy giving it a go? Have an owl…