One Direction Fan Fiction Scores Six-Figure Advance

imageWe really shouldn’t be surprised should we?

After the success of once-upon-a-time Twilight fan fiction 50 Shades of Grey, a One Direction fan has been given a six-figure advance to rework her erotic FanFic.

For those out of the loop, Fan Fiction is a term for stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator.

Anna Todd has been writing a steamy One Direction fanfiction for years. Titled After, it follows an undergrad called Tessa who falls for a punk version of Harry Styles. The story has been read over 800 million times on FanFic platforms.

image“It really started when I was on Instagram one day, and I saw these little mini stories people were writing about Harry Styles, which was crazy to me,” Todd said recently in an interview, “Then one of the girls I had followed on Instagram put her story on Wattpad. I had no idea what that was, but I followed the link and it was this whole world of 1D fan fiction.”

According to sources, Todd’s story is currently being shopped around to movie studios. There has been no comment (and likely will never be) from One Direction or Harry Styles.

The Book Industry: Living or Dying? Three Experts Have Their Say

Are you a fan of Anne Summers Reports? Lately it has hosted some wonderful articles and opinions on the future of the Australian Book Industry. We thought we’d share some with you. Click the links below to read the full pieces.

Fifty Shades of Bookselling

by Foong Ling Kong

Foong Ling has nearly two decades’ experience as an editor and a publisher of books across a wide range of genres. She is also Managing Editor of Anne Summers Reports.

Australians bought 22 million books in 2013: that’s one per head of population, but it still wasn’t enough to stem the slow leak in print-book sales since 2009, when the book trade turned over $1.29 billion. Last year, it did $917 million, a number that doesn’t factor in ebook sales, which are about 20 per cent of the market, and so did not make up the gap. Who knew that 2009 would be the last great bookselling year that saw growth? The book trade has received a remarkable hammering in the last five years, despite efforts at every level to address the multiple challenges. These have included a rising exchange rate, the advent of ereaders, the closure of quality bookshops and the rise of discount retailers.

For more from Foong Ling Kong click here

The Role of Authors in the New Book Economy

by Angelo Loukakis

Angelo is the Executive Director of the Australian Society of Authors and has worked as a writer, teacher, editor and publisher.

The numbers provided highlight a decline in trade book sales, but while Nielsen Bookscan figures capture the vast bulk of general book sales they do not include the dollar value of books bought by Australian online purchasers. There is no entirely accurate figure available although PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimated that, for 2010, approximately $150 million worth of books were purchased from Amazon and the Book Depository by Australian consumers. Anecdotally we’ve heard estimates the figure may be even higher than $250 million today. The volume of books being bought directly from overseas suppliers is obviously of no comfort to local booksellers.

For more from Angelo Loukakis click here

The Ingredients for a Healthy Bookish Future

by John Purcell

John is Booktopia’s Head of Marketing and Chief Buyer and sold 50,000 copies of his trilogy, The Secret Lives of Emma, under the pseudonym Natasha Walker.

Books are not groceries. One of the hardest things for business-minded people who find themselves working in the book industry to accept is that there isn’t a single product or just a few product lines to market and to sell. There are millions of products and thousands of product lines, otherwise known as books. The selling of books should be left to booksellers who are, more often than not, readers themselves.

The internet has changed reader behaviour forever. Diversity is the thing. The internet fosters the specialist, it encourages the clique, it supports grassroots enthusiasms by allowing people of a like mind or interests separated by culture, geography or age to meet and exchange ideas and recommend books. And readers will source their very particular titles, wherever they are sold. The store that can deliver them quickly and cheaply will win their custom.

For more from John Purcell click here

John Purcell on Oz Publishing

The World of the ‘Well-Read’ and the Dangers of Book Lists

Q: Have you read the latest Hilary Mantel?

A: No. I prefer her earlier work…

It’s easy to imagine two cavemen standing at the foot of a rock painting and grunting softly over the irony of using mammoth blood to draw a wounded deer. Readers, like all passionate art lovers, tend to argue over the merit of works at the drop of a hat.

All arguments over books boil down to one common point. How is one book ‘better’ than another?

Is Dan Brown’s latest novel really worse than Green Eggs and Ham? Is a blockbuster hit really better than a self-published thriller?

Occasionally book lovers will come up with a list of books, saying you must read these books to call yourself well-read.

I ask these people, on behalf of all readers, to please, please not do this.

Debate is a wonderful thing. For my part, is Green Eggs and Ham better than Dan Brown’s latest novel? Absolutely.

But that’s only my opinion, and you certainly don’t have to have read it to be called well read. Dr Seuss famously wrote it as a bet with his publishers that he couldn’t write a book with just fifty different words.

Only a few days ago one of my friends (an intelligent chap, though a non-reader) told me he had read my review for Dan Brown’s Inferno, and wanted to know if he should read it. I unequivocally replied ‘yes’.

Well-read 2Would I have rather recommended Jane Austen? Or Ernest Hemingway? Or George Elliot?

Of course, but that’s just my opinion. Will he enjoy Inferno? Yes.

Will he read another book because of it? Yes.

And my job, as a preacher of the word of the book, is complete.

If you finish a book and think to yourself – I enjoyed that – that’s all that matters. Yes, in my opinion there many wonderful books that don’t contain wizards and werewolves. But that’s just me, and my opinion.

Putting together a list of books someone must read is helpful.

Saying someone must read all of these books to be called well-read is silly, and ignorant of the diversity, not just of human beings, but of centuries of literature.

Author Maude Casey once said ‘I was born with a reading list I will never finish‘. Embrace that thought, and read what you want. Feel no pressure to read what people tell you. Only then, can you find yourself immersed in the magic of books.

_____________________________________

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He learned to read on a two hour bus trip to school every day, and learned to write in lecture halls and cramped tutorial rooms. He sometimes wins things for the lecture hall stuff.

You can follow his ramblings on twitter at @andrew__cat

Independent Study says Australians reading more often

2013 Miles Franklin winner Michelle de Kretser

More Australians are reading, and they are reading more often, says Arts in Daily Life, an independent study commissioned by the Australia Council, which provides insight into how Australians participate in the arts today.

The report provides a comparison of shifting attitudes and behavioural trends by benchmarking the findings in 2013 against those from the original study in 2009.

Novels are being read by more Australians and are still the most popular form of literature read in Australia. 73 percent of people have read a novel in the previous year, 3 percentage points higher than in 2009.

Creative non-fiction, which includes biographies, memoirs or histories, is read by 56 percent of people, up from 52 percent in 2009. Poetry is read by 26 percent of people, up from 21 percent in 2009.

jackie1

2013 Australian Children’s Laureate Jackie French

Other interesting statistics from the study include:

- More than four in five Australians agree that it is exciting to see new styles and types of art; this is up from 81 percent in 2009 to 84 percent in 2013.

- 44 percent of Australians use the internet to research, engage with or follow artists, arts events or art organisations.

- In 2013, about 16 percent of Australians engaged in creative writing over the previous 12 months, the same as in 2009.

- Writing a play is the most social writing activity. A third of people who write plays do this as part of an organised club or group, 19 percent of them with family and friends.

- 19 percent of Australians read a graphic novel or comic book in 2013.

Click here to see the full report

Booktopia wins Best Online Retailer at the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards

We are so proud to announce that Booktopia was awarded Best Online Retailer at the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards in Sydney on Friday night.

The award served to recognise ‘the retailer that best demonstrated excellence and innovation in the marketplace and that supported the local industry’.

ABIA - Booktopia

In a evening dedicated to celebrating the Australian Book Industry, Graeme Simsion’s celebrated novel The Rosie Project took out the coveted Book of the Year award.

Other big winners included the recipient of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, for International Book of the Year and the multi-award-winning debut Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, who beat illustrious fellow contenders Richard Flanagan, Fiona McFarlane, Christos Tsiolkas and Tim Winton to scoop Literary Fiction Book of the Year. The full list of winners is below.


the-rosie-projectGeneral Fiction Book Of The Year

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

The feel-good hit of 2013, The Rosie Project is a classic screwball romance. Simsion’s book has been sold to 30 different countries and advances have well exceeded $1 million.

Grab a copy of The Rosie Project here


Literary Fiction Book Of The Year

Burial Rites

by Hannah Kent

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes… read more

Grab a copy of Burial Rites here


General Non-Fiction Book Of The Year

The Stalking Of Julia Gillard

by Kerry-Anne Walsh

This is the story of one of the most extraordinary episodes in recent Australian political history, of how a powerful media pack, a vicious commentariat and some of those within her own party contrived to bring down Australia’s first woman prime minister.

Grab a copy of The Stalking of Julia Gillard here


Illustrated Book Of The Year

I Quit Sugar

by Sarah Wilson

Quitting sugar is not a diet. Quitting sugar is a way of living without processed food and eating like our great-grandparents used to before the crap.

With her bestselling book, I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson helped tens of thousands of Australians to kick the habit. In I Quit Sugar for Life, Sarah shows you how to be sugar-free forever.

Grab a copy of I Quit Sugar here


Biography Of The Year

The Crossroad

by Mark Donaldson, VC

On 2 September 2008, in a valley in eastern Afghanistan, Trooper Mark Donaldson made a split-second decision that would change his life. His display of extraordinary courage that day saw him awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, making him the first Australian to receive our highest award for bravery in wartime since Keith Payne in 1969.

Grab a copy of The Crossroad here


Book Of The Year For Younger Children

The 39-Storey Treehouse

by Andy Griffiths And Terry Denton

Andy and Terry’s amazing treehouse has 13 new levels including a chocolate waterfall, a non-erupting active volcano, an opera house, a baby-dinosaur petting zoo, Andy and Terry’s Believe it or Else! museum, a not-very-merry merry-go-round, a boxing elephant called the Trunkinator, an X-Ray room, a disco with light-up dance floor, the world’s scariest roller-coaster and a top secret 39th level that hasn’t even been finished yet!

Grab a copy of The 39-Storey Treehouse here


Book Of The Year For Older Children

Weirdo

by Anh Do

My parents could have given me any first name at all, like John, Kevin, Shmevin … ANYTHING. Instead I’m stuck with the worst name since Mrs Face called her son Bum.

Weir Do’s the new kid in school. With an unforgettable name, a crazy family and some seriously weird habits, fitting in won’t be easy… But it will be funny!

Grab a copy of Weirdo here


International Book Of The Year

The Luminaries

by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction, which more than fulfils the promise of The Rehearsal. Like that novel, it is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery.

Grab a copy of The Luminaries here


the-rosie-projectBook Of The Year

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

Irresistibly charming, genuinely funny and cleverly plotted this is intelligent romance for grown ups whose arteries have not hardened with cynicism.

Grab a copy of The Rosie Project here

Happy Star Wars Day – May the Fourth Be With You!

For the uninitiated,  May the Fourth is International Star Wars Day.

The pun, largely credited as the greatest pun of all time, was first used in 1979 when Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party placed an advertisement in the London Evening News after her election win that stated “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations,”

May 4th wasn’t observed as a holiday, however, until a group in Toronto, Canada organized a celebration in 2011. The event has gained traction every year since then and last year Disney celebrated the holiday with several Star Wars festivities and more.

To celebrate Star Wars Day we’re discounting our Lego Star Wars books by 30% or more!

It’s what the galaxy, however long ago and far far away, would have wanted.

Click here to see our Star Wars Lego range

 

New Jodi Picoult Novel To Be Published In October – Read An Extract Today

Allen and Unwin have announced the Australian and New Zealand publication of Jodi Picoult’s new novel, Leaving Time.

Due to be released in October 2014, Leaving Time will make the perfect Christmas present so start dropping hints to your loved ones now!

Read an extract of Leaving Time here

Leaving Time

by Jodi Picoult

Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it’s been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment – or worse.

Still Jenna – now thirteen years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief – steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother’s desertion. So she decides to approach the two people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother’s disappearance and the strange, possibly linked death of one of her mother’s coworkers.

Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Jodi Picoult’s 21st novel is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters.

About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-one novels. Her most recent, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf and Sing You Home, have all been number one on the Australian and New Zealand fiction bestseller lists. Jodi lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit Jodi’s author page.

Read an extract of Leaving Time here

Who wrote The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August?

It’s the question on everyone’s lips. Who wrote The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August? Already being spoken about as one of the books of the year, with Booktopia’s John Purcell calling it ‘fascinating’ and ‘a real page turner’, the greatest question is who could have written it?

On the book itself Claire North is described as “an acclaimed author who has previously published several novels”. Our investigations, listening in to the literary grapevine, indicate it is a UK writer, likely a woman, and one who would usually write a completely different genre to the sci-fi tinged The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

UK newspaper The Independent recently did some sleuthing and was informed that Ms North’s identity will be revealed in two weeks, with an announcement on 22 April. Fingers crossed it happens!

Grab a copy of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August here

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

by Claire North

The extraordinary journey of one unforgettable character – a story of friendship and betrayal, loyalty and redemption, love and loneliness and the inevitable march of time

Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

Every time Harry dies, he is reborn in exactly the same time and place, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, and nothing ever changes. He only knows that there are others like him, living with, but apart, from the rest of us.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message. It has come down from child to adult, child to adult, passed back through generations from a thousand years forward in time. The message is that the world is ending, and we cannot prevent it. So now it’s up to you.’

This is the story of what Harry August does next – and what he did before – and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

About the Author

Claire North is a pseudonym for an acclaimed British author who has previously published several novels. This book is completely different from any of them.

Grab a copy of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August here

 

Creative Genius Dead at 41

Silverstone: “…shocked and dismayed…”

In news just handed to me, the creative genius behind hit films, CluelessBridget Jones’s DiaryBride and Prejudice has died.

Perhaps better known these days for her novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, she was once revered for her wit, intelligence, light touch and moral clarity.

When asked to comment on the news, a shocked and dismayed Alicia Silverstone is reported to have said, “I am shocked and dismayed, I thought she was long dead.”

Keira Knightly, who famously portrayed Lizzie Bennet in the film, Pride and Prejudice is said to have reacted thus on hearing the news, “She’s dead? I can believe it.”

But it is her younger fans who will find her sudden demise most shocking and it is to them our thoughts must turn.

Let us join them in their grief in the only way we can. #RIPJaneAusten.

Colin Firth had this to say after learning of her passing.

Click here to celebrate the late author’s incredible work

5 Choose Your Own Adventure Books You Never Knew Existed

What child’s bookshelf isn’t complete without a collection of Choose Your Own Adventure Books? While the rules could always be bent (finger still on the page means you haven’t chosen yet), they remain one of the best ways to get young kids into books.

But as the craze wore on and more and more titles began to flood the shelves, authors began to take some strange turns with the adventures. Here are some of our favourites.

the-brilliant-dr-woganThe Brilliant Dr. Wogan

by R. A. Montgomery

It takes a hell of a lot of imagination to create a choose your own adventure book. With twists and turns you never see coming, characters that come and go, villains that will take your breath away. One wonders who decided to call the most brilliant mind in the world Dr. Wogan. It’s an odd decision.

You need to save Dr. Diana Wogan, presumably from the ghost of Guy Fawkes by the look of the cover. She has created a machine that will neutralise radiation, putting an end to nuclear war and microwaves until the end of time. You need to save Wogan. Save Wogan!

Who is the shadowy figure? Is he a government official? Is he a terrorist? Is he the CEO of a profitable microwavable pizza company? With 20 possible endings, I’m sure all these questions will be revealed. Answered, no. But revealed, yes.

Want to save Dr. Wogan from the Microwave Lobby? Click here

Track Star!

by R. A. Montgomery

Don’t let that optimistic exclamation mark fool you, Track Star! is a searing tale of right and wrong. This book was actually endorsed by the World Anti-Doping Agency when it was published, so it’s fair to say you probably shouldn’t take that flu jab your coach wants you to take on page 114.

With 12 possible endings, I’m going to go out on a limb and say taking steroids may land you in hot water. Just my thoughts.

Track Star! is another example of the power of the Choose Your Own Adventure series in teaching kids the right thing to do. I had a friend who would always choose to keep the suitcase of money he found, flick to page 213, and be immediately arrested by the police. I won’t say what he’s doing now, but rest assured, he chose his own adventure. He chose his own adventure.

I’m not sure if one of the adventures ends with you in tears on Oprah ten years after retiring, but it’s a twist I like.

Want to make a tearful confession on Oprah? Click here

The Island of Time

by R. A. Montgomery

The Island of Time.

It doesn’t really make the heart leap out of the chest does it? Perhaps The Island of Thyme would have been worse I suppose, although much better with fish.

You go on a boat. You hit a storm. You go back in time. To The Island of Time. Monty really phoned this one in didn’t he?

I’m guessing Aztecs, sacrifice, all that. The CYOA series loved the Aztecs. The floating shadowy figure also makes another appearance, looking mysteriously like Jafar from Aladdin.

In Choose Your Own Adventure World, as in life, never trust anyone with a goatee.

Want to defeat The Evil Manscaper? Click here

Prisoner of the Ant People

by R. A. Montgomery

From the outset you’ll notice that the graphics department at CYOA didn’t liaise with the publishers all that much. Granted I’m an amateur zoologist, but I’m pretty sure the cover of Prisoner of the Ant People just shows giant ants, along with a shadowy figure.

Where are these Ant People? Do they have their own planet or is there some sort of Planet of the Apes scenario and Earth is actually Ant Planet now? Have we been breeding with the ants to make Ant People? I have my questions about how that works logistically.

Prisoner of the Ant People contains 28 possible endings, which is about as many as the series usually gives you. With 28 endings, I’m confident that one of your adventures could land you as King of the Ant People. I’m extremely okay with that. They’re great workers, and a stable agrarian based economy is essential for both Homo sapiens and Hymenoptera to live in perfect harmony.

Want to become King of the Ant People? Click here

A Girl Walks into a Bar

by Helena S. Paige

I know what you’re thinking. Why all this Choose Your Own Adventure love? Has something happened in the CYOA universe?

Yes, my friends. Behold. We now have Choose Your Own Adventure Erotica!

When your friend cancels on your girls’ night out at the last moment, you suddenly find yourself all dressed up and alone at an exclusive bar. What do you do now?

Will you spend the evening drinking tequila with a rock star? Or perhaps the suave and charming millionaire businessman is more your style? But the angelic young barman with a body made for sin has also caught your eye. . .

Then there’s the bodyguard who has the keys to his boss’s sports car and is offering you a ride. . .

Maybe you want to head home instead – to your sexy new neighbour. Whichever way you decide to go, each twist and turn you make will lead to an unforgettable encounter. Can you choose the ultimate sensual experience? The power is entirely yours…

Choose Your Own Erotic Adventure with A Girl Walks into a Bar

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