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Mark Zuckerberg starts Facebook book group

Following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Oprah Winfrey and Richard & Judy, Mark Zuckerberg has started a massive book group for his fans. In a post on his personal page over the weekend, the Facebook founder said that his ‘challenge for 2015′ is ‘to read a new book every other week’ (presumably bringing him up to 26 in total across the year), particularly focusing on ‘learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.’

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Judy Blume’s first adult novel in 17 years coming in 2015

Judy Blume is primarily known for her beloved novels for young people but she has also written for adults throughout her long career, most recently 1998’s coming of age tale Summer Sisters. In the 16 years since, Blume has maintained a fairly relaxed work rate – editing a collection of short stories by authors censored in the USA (1999), a fourth entry in her Fudge series of children’s books (2002), a couple of picture books (2007, 2008). Next year, however, she is set to reemerge with a new novel for older readers, one based around a mysterious series of plane crashes that took place in the same New Jersey town over a three month period in the early 1950s.

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Why Is Video Conferencing Good For Business?

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Any business can benefit from video conferencing. Rather than the traditional setup of meetings and consultations involving plane trips,long drives, and hotel expenses, videoconferencing opens up a business’s possibilities from the limits of their office location to the rest of the world. There are several reasons to enlist the services of a videoconferencing provider like Blue Jeans; here are just a few of the many benefits you can experience:

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50 book challenge

50 Book Challenge for 2015?

This is a guest blog from Stacey Croft. Stacey blogs about books on Pretty Books (on WordPress & Tumblr) and works as a Marketing Executive in children’s book publishing. She loves taking photographs of books, exploring London and visiting new bookshops and coffee shops. You can find her at @theprettybooks

You’ve probably come across the BBC’s Top 100 Books, but on social media, people have been getting creative and making their own lists. I discovered the 50 Book Challenge on LiveJournal and LibraryThing in 2009 and in 2010, I brought it over to Tumblr, where I’ve been running it over on Pretty Books ever since. Laura stumbled across my blog and invited me to talk a little bit about the challenge.

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Kobo releases figures to shame you into finishing The Goldfinch

Though online activity may offer the illusion of anonymity and impermanence – of a malleable realm where we can throw caution to the Vonnegut and not care how careful we are about who we pretend to be – everything leaves a footprint, as anyone who’s ever requested their tweet archive has no doubt discovered to their chagrin. Now, with the advent of e-readers, you can’t even do a simple thing like lie about having finished Infinite Jest or skipped merrily through Ulysses in under a week without cold digital evidence to contradict your claims: Kobo has released figures illustrating which books downloaded by British readers this year most often went unfinished.

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Self-publishing

The End of the Indie Gold Rush?

This is a guest post from Ricardo Fayet. Ricardo is an avid reader and startup enthusiast who has been studying the publishing industry with interest for several years. He co-founded Reedsy, to help authors collaborate with publishing professionals.

An  ALCS survey in the UK last summer crystalised industry concerns about whether career authorship is a viable profession these days. The report painted a somewhat grim picture for professional and part-time authors alike–regardless of whether those authors publish traditionally or independently. (For a crash-course on the industry landscape, I recommend Kristine Kathryn Rush’s exhaustive report on “things indies learned in 2014”.)

The question now is, has the inde “Gold Rush” passed? Is success finite, and has it been mined to depletion?

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Survey reveals industry-wide pay disparity in publishing

Later today (16/12) the House of Commons will vote on a bill brought forward by Labour MP Sarah Champion that would make the need for large companies to reveal the disparities in their workers’ salaries legally binding. If passed, the bill could make for some uncomfortable publicity for publishing firms in particular, with a recent survey carried out by independent careers consultancy Bookcareers.com suggesting industry-wide failures on the gender wage gap and the disparity between entry level and salary average pay.

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Design an image [COMPETITION]

BookMachine

Everyone we know is either super frantically busy with end of year deadlines or twiddling their thumbs, nursing hangovers and waiting for that last day of work to arrive. There are those who fall somewhere in-between of course, and this competition is aimed at all of you. Well, all of you with design talent.

On your BookMachine.me profile you’ve got a cover image a bit like on Facebook, but they are the same for all profiles. (see this one designed by HLStudios after our 2013 competition). If you have a promoted profile, you can change the image, otherwise they are set for all users.

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How to pick the best cover image ever

This is a guest blog post from Stacie Vander Pol. Stacie is a marketing entrepreneur with nearly 10 years of dedication to self-publishing. Through her experience publishing hundreds of titles, she knows first-hand that the key to a successful book is more than great writing; it’s also great marketing. Stacie’s passion to support self-published authors was the inspiration behind her latest endeavor, CoverDesignStudio.com.

Do you know the fastest way to connect with potential readers? Your book cover image. That’s because we connect with pictures faster and more easily than we do with words, which makes images ideal for attracting instant attention. Images are so effective, you rarely see a book without one.

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