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Other posts by Susan Lulgjuraj

Amazon Breakthough Novel Award (ABNA) quarterfinalists announced
April 22, 2014 | 10:25 am

abnaThe quarterfinalists for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) were recently announced. One hundred books were selected in five categories: General Fiction; Mystery & Thriller, Romance; Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror; and Young Adult. Based on message board posts, many writers had been anxiously waiting for this day, which is just one of many steps to go through for ABNA. Writers have to go through various rounds until the books were whittled to the 500 listed now. The ones who made it are thrilled, but there are many more of whom did not make the cut. Those who didn’t make it shouldn’t look at...

Lonely Planet e-book travel guides now on Scribd
April 17, 2014 | 10:25 am

lonely planetThe popular Lonely Planet travel guide e-books have headed to Scribd. The e-book subscription service let customers know about the newest addition through email. When I think of e-book subscriptions, I tend to imagine a digital library with thousands of titles ready for me to read. I think more along the lines of fiction titles and perhaps memoirs and biographies. But the addition of a Lonely Planet makes it seem as though e-book subscriptions can also be used as a reference tool for the price of $8.99 a month. Having guides such as Lonely Planet at your fingertips seems useful especially for travelers. Scribd...

Bookmate wins innovation award at London Book Fair
April 16, 2014 | 4:25 pm

3platform-2-1024x527Bookmate has gained attention recently as the e-book subscription app grows overseas. It seems that readers aren't the only ones to notice the Russian-based company. Bookmate won the Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair last week. Hundreds of companies were in the running for the award, but Bookmate made it to the final with five other companies. Each company spoke to a group of digital publishing leaders, and the winner was picked by popular vote. "It's an honour to receive such recognition from many of the of the most important digital thinkers within the global publishing community," said Bookmate's...

Customers use Amazon Mayday button in unique ways
April 13, 2014 | 1:11 pm

Amazon MayDay Kindle Fire HDX owners may have used the Amazon Mayday button for assistance with their gadget, but not everyone is looking for technical help with their devices. In a letter from Jeff Bezos to shareholders on Thursday, Bezos recounted some of the more interesting ways customers have used the ‘Mayday’ button. - Mayday Tech Advisors have had 35 marriage proposals - 475 customers have asked to talk to ‘Amy,’ the Mayday television personality - 109 customers asked for help in ordering a pizza (Pizza Hut was the slim favorite over Domino’s) - 44 Mayday advisors have sung happy birthday to customers - There were 648 instances...

The Guardian creates monthly literary prize for self-published authors
April 9, 2014 | 12:30 pm

guardianThe Guardian has created a new monthly literary prize for self-published authors. The newspaper is joining publisher Legend Times to find the best writing from self-published writers. The contest is open to novels written in English (translations also welcome). The submissions will be read by a panel of Legend’s readers, according to The Guardian. Ten titles will be short-listed from submissions and then be read by judges who will pick the monthly winner. The judges include literary agent Andrew Lownie, Legend Press's commissioning editor Lauren Parsons, author Stuart Evers, and HarperCollins author Polly Courtney "We are hoping to be a magnet to find the...

Early Stephen King novels to be re-issued as special editions
April 8, 2014 | 3:25 pm

carrieSix of the early books by Stephen King are being re-issued as deluxe editions. The novels - Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Night Shift, The Stand and Pet Sematary – were released between 1974 and 1983 through Doubleday. The re-issued books will go through Cemetery Dance Publications with over-sized editions on heavy paper, according to The New York Times. The books will also have new artwork for the dust jackets with new introductions by King. According to the report, the 40th anniversary edition of Carrie will include an essay by Tabitha King, six paintings by Tomislav Tikulin, and a reproduction of the telegram Doubleday...

Penguin Random House UK launches online recommendation, retail platform
April 8, 2014 | 11:25 am

logobigPenguin Random House UK introduced a new platform for readers in what looks like an attempt to shift the retail marketplace. My Independent Bookstore launched on Monday for private beta testing and is available by invite-only right now. The platform will allow users to display 12 books in a virtual bookshop. They can share, review and recommend books while My Independent Bookstore will be integrated with Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The difference between this platform and others is that Penguin Random House UK is supporting independent bookstores with this measure. People can buy books through the virtual shops through hive.co.uk, the ecommerce...

Six reasons to use a pen name
April 6, 2014 | 12:08 pm

mynameispenname When an author publishes a book, they need to make a decision before the book hits the market. Do they want to use a pen name? Here are six reasons why a writer may want to use a pen name. 1. You write erotica: There is nothing wrong with writing in the genre, but writers may want to choose a pen name because they don’t want close friends or relatives to know. They may want to hide that book from dear old dad. 2. You write under different genres: If an author writes under several genres, they may want to use a different name...

Can we trust that selfie?
April 4, 2014 | 2:21 pm

What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie, @BarackObama pic.twitter.com/y5Ww74sEID — David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014 Twice in the last month, two popular selfies were torpedoed across social media. First, it was Ellen DeGeneres’ picture at the Oscars and, most recently, Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz took a selfie with President Barack Obama. The Red Sox visited the White House on Wednesday to celebrate their World Series victory last year, as all professional sports team do in this country. Ortiz’s selfie generated plenty of attention even more than a day after it was taken because it was revealed that it was a big marketing...

Which social media platforms are best for author promotion?
April 3, 2014 | 2:25 pm

social mediaWith so many social media outlets, authors and publishers may have a hard time finding the right platform for promotion. Promotion is huge part of the game, regardless if you have taken the self-publishing or traditional route. It’s important to connect and engage readers. Creating bonds with readers could potentially lead to more sales and create readers of your books for life. What are the options and how do you choose? If you use any platforms, let us know what works best for you in the comments. Twitter: People either love or hate Twitter. It scrolls quickly (depending on how many accounts you follow)...

Blogging for children: some practical considerations
March 30, 2014 | 12:25 pm

blogging for children Last Saturday, I spent the morning talking to children aged 8-12 about blogging for a writing workshop. I know about blogging. I have too many of them. However, I had to figure out what to tell a bunch of kids about it. First thing, I told them to make sure to ask their parents’ permission about everything they want to put online. Once I was done with that, my research turned up a number of blogs that are actually run by kids. I was fascinated. I didn’t realize so many children were out there writing blogs. The best part about the blogs was...

BookCon added to BookExpo America
March 28, 2014 | 4:24 pm

BookExpo America is adding a little pop to this year’s event. ReedPOP, the promoters of New York Comic Con, announced the inception of BookCon, which will bring in celebrity authors on May 31 at the Jacob Javits Centers in New York City. BEA is held May 29-31. The initial authors announced for BookCon include Amy Poehler, Martin Short, John Grisham and Stan Lee. BookExpo America hasn’t had a problem getting its own celebrity guests. This year’s list already includes Lena Dunham and Angelica Huston. Last year, BEA had basketball great John Stockton and actor Debra Messing. “We want to get to 10,000 fans this...