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First-Amendment

Thursday News: Update on EC v. DA, Atavist Books shutting down, Interview with After author Anna Todd, and mummifying Barbie

Thursday News: Update on EC v. DA, Atavist Books shutting down,...

Jane would also like everyone to know that she is doing fine and greatly appreciates all the well wishes.

I’d like to add another thank you to everyone who donated to the defense fund, which is currently more than $54,000. Given the awfulness of the past few days, this shared accomplishment has helped keep my faith in the integrity of our overlapping book communities. –Dear Author

“While we are very proud of the quality of the titles produced by Atavist Books to date, we have identified that the market for highly innovative enhanced full length literary e-books still heavily relies on a print component and has yet to emerge,” said a spokesperson for IAC, who confirmed the news, first reported yesterday. –Publishers Weekly

What this says to me is that we should not underestimate the market clout of readers in their late teens and early 20s.

On Wattpad, “After” has been read more than one billion times. The multi-part book has just under 10 million unique readers, who have left 6 million comments. It’s crazy. To make bestseller lists, authors generally sell tens of thousands of books per week. Then again, reading on Wattpad is free.

Todd’s method is madness, too. Just out of college, she wrote the million-word series in largely unedited spurts from her Android phone, over the course of a little more than a year. She told Re/code she started writing because she was an avid fanfic reader and was bored without new installments from Wattpad writers she followed. So she pulled out her phone and jotted down her own, typos and all.

Todd finalized the book contract in June of this year, just before wrapping up the epic story. For the print version, the character named after the real-life pop star “Harry Styles” — an abusive jerk with a heart of gold (well, maybe) — has been renamed Hardin. –Re/code

Tuesday News: PayPal separates from eBay, legal challenge to revenge porn laws, Kirkus books prize finalists, and history of a marriage advice column

Tuesday News: PayPal separates from eBay, legal challenge to revenge porn...

eBay’s leadership acknowledged this morning that PayPal has to be more aggressive and agile as it digs in for the battle ahead. “The pace of change accelerated in the past six months,” eBay CEO John Donahoe told the New York Times, citing the emergence of Apple Pay and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba as new competitive threats. Spinning off as a newly public company will likely give PayPal extra financial firepower in the form of stock that is expected to trade at a much higher price-to-earnings ratio than eBay’s current shares. PayPal will need that equity to make aggressive moves, including acquisitions and hires. –The Verge

The plaintiffs-in-suit are several bookstores, as well as the American Association of Publishers and the National Press Photographers Association. Bamberger, a First Amendment specialist who’s working together with the American Civil Liberties Union in this case, added that librarians are concerned they could be held liable simply for providing Internet access. –Ars Technica

On Tuesday, Kirkus announced the finalists for its first prizes — 18 books in fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. The winner in each of the three categories will receive $50,000, making it one of the largest literary awards in the world. (The Pulitzer Prize for fiction — perhaps the only literary prize that attracts significant reader interest — is a mere $10,000.)  –Washington Post

When I heard about the demise of the Journal, I decided to look at the history of ‘Can This Marriage Be Saved?’. What I found, dipping into the columns published across decades, was the archive of unhappiness that I remembered, full of thrown dishes, turned backs and late-night screaming matches. But I also read a starkly misogynist vision of proper wifeliness that shocked me in its matter-of-factness. We’re used to thinking of the 1950s ‘housewife’ as a vague, happy caricature on gift-shop mugs and postcards – vacuuming in pearls, offering a post-work martini to the returning husband. In its intimate individual details, this advice column resurrects a sharper history, showing the array of cruelties that this kind of marriage could entail, the number of wives who resisted their roles, and the way that mainstream culture tried to put them in their place. –Aeon Magazine

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