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A Game of Thrones - now digitally enhanced
Incredibly, this year marks the 20th anniversary of 'A Game of Thrones', and to mark the occasion, George RR Martin has teamed up with Apple to release a new interactive digital edition of the book.

The new release 'A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition' features interactive maps, character journeys and timelines, family trees. audio clips and annotations. It was released on Thursday through the iBooks platform.

“We’re now entering a new period in the history of publishing […] The digital book gives readers the ability to experience all this rich secondary material that had not been possible before,” said Martin of the new edition.

Publishers Harper Collins are already working on enhanced releases of the remaining books with A Clash of Kings scheduled for 27 October and A Storm of Swords scheduled for release on 15 December. Books four and five will be enhanced in February and March.

The release of book six, The Winds of Winter, may, however, take a little longer.

Amazon - why pay anyone else?

Amazon have introduced Prime Reading to its US Prime members. The programme offers unlimited free reading from a selected range of books, magazines, comics etc.#

This marks an expansion of Amazon's general strategy to make TV, film, and music available for free through Prime. It doesn't seem as though Amazon recognises a difference between these forms or whether the making available of free, big-name books will have a negative impact on the thousands of self-published authors that make money for the company.

Prime Reding currently features over 1,000 books with a list including Stephen Covey, Barry Eisler and Rachel Abbot.


October - Spine-Chilling scariness!


Bath Flash Fiction Award

Prize: 1st £1000, 2nd £300, 3rd £100

Deadline: 16th October

Entry fee: £9

Word count: 300


UCG International Literary Award

Prize: 1st £500, 2nd £100, 3rd £50

Deadline: 31st October

Entry fee: £10

Word count: 4000


Spine-Chilling Fiction Writing Competition

Prize: £500

Deadline: 31st October

Entry fee: £3.50

Word count: 1,000


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Lawyers
Monster mash-ups and movie deals - nice work.

Seth Grahame-Smith caused quite a stir in 2009 with his hit novels, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the follow-up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, both of which sold well, and brought Zombie Mash-Up into the literary mainstream.

In 2010, with striking success and a breakthrough genre, Graheme-Smith signed a $4m deal with a $1m advance. In return the author agreed to produce two new works, with delivery of the second novel expected by 2013.

According to The Guardian, Hachette is not satisfied that the second novel, which was finally submitted in June 2016, meets the terms of its contract with Graheme-Smith. The publisher is unhappy, believing that the text is “in large part an appropriation of a 120-year-old public-domain work”.

The publisher is suing the author and his company Baby Gorilla for at least $500,000.

Documentation at The Passive Voice



 print, digital, reading, ebook
Print books still dominate but e-books close the gap.

The number of Americans who read books in print remains strongly ahead of those who read e-books, but the gap is narrowing year on year. The survey, conducted by The Pew Research Center, found that while only 6% of Americans are 'digital only' compared to the 38% who describe their reading habits as 'print only', the percentage of readers who have read a book digitally has increased to 28% from 17% in 2011.

Further good news for those who publish digitally is the increasing use of mobile phones and tablets to read, especially among the young. 22% of 18-29 have read a book using a mobile phone in the past year. The percentage of readers using mobiles to read books has more than doubled since 2011 while the percentage using tablet computers has more than tripled to 15%.

College graduates are nearly four times as likely to read ebooks compared with those who have not graduated high school. Perhaps this is indicative of the cost of the technology as a barrier to entry into the e-book market, and we might expect this gap to close as the the tech becomes more broadly used. Men and women are equally likely to read ebooks and audiobooks.

The findings are taken from a telephone survey of 1,520 American adults conducted between March 7 and April 4, 2016.


Jeff Noon missed out; Becky Chambers on the shortlist

The Arthur C Clarke award for science fiction has changed its rules to allow self -published titles to be considered.

The competition's director, Tom Hunter, cites the changing publishing environment. He makes the point that under previous rules, works like Jeff Noon's Channel Skin have not been considered, and that the judges would not have been able to include Becky Chambers' The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet on this year's shortlist.

Hunter told The Book-Seller the search for the UK's best science fiction will be widened across new frontiers.


New writers and old publishers: Richard and Judy

This autumn's Richard and Judy Book Club list features three debut novels. The debut texts are Fiona Barton’s 'The Widow' published by Corgi (Penguin Random House), Katarina Bivald’s 'The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend' Vintage, (Penguin Random House), and Sharon Guskin’s 'The Forgetting Time' published by Pan Macmillan.

It's great to see R & J championing new talent, and that publishers are actively promoting new talent. That said, with half of the books coming through Penguin Random House and no independent titles on the list, we perhaps have a right to be cautious in our optimism.


 ghost story competition
Ghost story competition this month.


Short Shorts Flash Fiction Contest

Prize: $250 plus publication

Deadline: 15th September

Entry fee: $10

Word count: 500


The Short Story competition 2016

Prize: 1st £300, 2nd £150, 3rd £50

Deadline: 15th September

Entry fee: £5

Word count: 5000


The Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award

Prize: 1st $1000, 2nd $250, 3rd $100

Deadline: 30th September

Entry fee: $20

Word count: 10,000

ALL NEW Bridget Jones
Bridget Jones' Baby to arrive after a phantom pregnancy

Those of us around in 1996 will remember the mega-phenomenon that was Bridget Jones's Diary – the novel that emerged from Helen Fielding's 1995 column for The Independent newspaper. The iconic everygirl was everywhere and everyone either knew a Bridget
or, just as likely, was one.


And the good news for Bridget Jones fans is that Jonathan Cape have just announced that there will, after-all,  be a new release to tie in with the release of the new film, Bridget Jones's Baby, which is due for release in cinemas on the 16th of September.


The new book, Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries, is to focus on Bridget's first pregnancy, some time before the events of the most recent novel – Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy - in which Bridget's children are all grown up and husband, Mark Darcy, is dead.


Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries, is set to be published on 11 October and is available for pre-order on Amazon.


NEW NEW Harry Potter
Cursed Child breaks more records for Rowling.

Anyone visiting a supermarket last Sunday will no doubt have seen half-emptied display stands with the last few copies of the Cursed Child playscript by Jack Thorne and JK Rowling.


The book launch has been marked by midnight openings, special discounts and record-breaking pre-orders with chains like Amazon and Waterstones. This Special Rehearsal Edition of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book contains the script used by the cast in crew in development of the stage show, along with further details about those involved in the stage production.


This current rehearsal edition is to be available for a limited time only, and will soon be replaced by the Definitive Collector’s Edition. This will contain the finalised, definitive script of the play, and other extras related to the production.


The book has received four stars in The Telegraph, 6/10 in The Irish Times.


NEW OLD Harry Potter
Hogwarts Houses for everyone - except you muggles, not for you.

The 26th June 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, which Bloomsbury will mark with an unprecedented year long marketing campaign.


The occasion will see special 'Hogwarts House Editions' of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for each of the the four Hogwarts houses. There will be shields on the jackets, extra content, and edges sprayed in house colours.


There will also be an exhibition on the magic of Harry Potter run in partnership with the British Library, set to open in October.


Longer Lives For Readers
 reading, longevity, long life, health

The New York Times reports on a study that links reading with longevity in the Elderly. The study reported in Elsevier journal Social Science & Medicine, found that those readers who read up to three and a half hours a week were 17% less likely to die in the next 12 years,
with those reading over 3.5 hours 23% less likely to die.


The results suggest that readers live on average approximately two years longer than non-readers, even after adjusting for gender, wealth and education.