Monday News: Yiannopoulos sues S&S, free audiobooks, communal reading, and Prime Day deals
Milo Yiannopoulos Sues Simon & Schuster for $10M After Book Deal Gets Dropped – Just when you thought he was gone, professional troll Milo Yiannopoulos bolts back into view with a self-published book on Amazon and a lawsuit against S&S. Not that I feel one bit sorry for S&S; after all, they agreed to publish the book to begin with and then defended that decision. Although when S&S canceled the contract it does not appear that they asked for any of the money back they had already dispersed (some $80 of his more than $250K advance). So more grandstanding? Will he try to sue the DC transit system for pulling his book ads on the grounds that they “violated a Metro rule against advertisements intended to influence public policy”? Note that commercial speech is much more limited when it comes to 1st amendment protections. And that S&S hardly comes out of this looking squeaky clean:
At one point, Mitchell Ivers, editorial director at Simon & Schuster, asked Yiannopoulos and his literary agent, Thomas Flannery, for their advice on handling liberal objections. “I’m looking for best responses to Alt-Right, white supremacists, and Leslie Jones,” he wrote in an email.
Ivers also asked Yiannopoulos to end a public feud with Jones, the comedian and Ghostbustersactress, and, according to the lawsuit, he was also displeased with the author appearing “on shows with Bill Maher and the like so close to the book release date.”
Eventually, Ivers coordinated an “all-hands call” with his boss, publicity executives, Yiannopoulos and others. Three days after the call, which Ivers described as “great,” he informed Flannery that Simon & Schuster was terminating the publishing agreement, even though it had already paid Yiannopoulos $80,000 of the $255,000 advance. – Hollywood Reporter
THE INTERNET IS YOUR LIBRARY, WITH THESE 12 WEBSITES FOR FREE AUDIOBOOKS – I don’t know if I posted this before or not, but with the discussion last week about the price of audiobooks, I figured it might be helpful. I also encourage Amazon/Audible users to check out the “add narration” prices, as they are sometimes as low as $3.99. Many of the offerings featured in this article are classics, but if you want to try audiobooks or boost your collection or just try some new books, give some of these sites a look. – Digital Trends
When reading a book was a group activity – While this is technically a review of Abigail Williams’s new book on reading as a community activity (and all of the cultural, political, and economic changes that both reflected and helped catalyze), the discussion is apropos given some of the pieces we posted recently on the rise of book clubs.
We tend to imagine readers, an increasingly uncommon breed, as silent and usually solitary beings, but they have not always been so. As Abigail Williams tells us in “The Social Life of Books,” 18th-century England was a heyday of communal reading. Books were read aloud, a pastime that grew enormously in popularity alongside rising literacy rates, the birth of commercial publishing and the emergence of the professional writer. . . .
Williams’s impressive research is presented with a light touch throughout, bringing the reader into the amusing daily lives of English tradesmen, workers, merchants, clergymen, as well as their wives and daughters. She explains how reading became something of a “spectator sport.” Of course, as with any type of performance, one had to be properly prepared, and this led to a surge of instructional manuals, further fueling what Williams designates “the great age of elocution,” in which Britons of all backgrounds were gripped with “a near obsession with learning to read out loud.” Tradesmen formed what were rather memorably known as “spouting clubs” for aspiring public speakers, relying on such handbooks as “The New Spouter’s Companion” and “The Sentimental Spouter.” Women, who very often found themselves omitted from public performances, quickly took to them in the home, entertaining friends and family with tales and poems while they knitted or otherwise busied themselves around the hearth. – Washington Post
Here are the best Amazon Prime Day 2017 deals – So if you think Amazon is the evil empire, look away, look away, because Prime Day begins on the evening of July 10th and it is usually a frenzied shopping competition for a variety of Amazon products, including the Echo, Kindles, and FireTV, among others.
If you’ve been thinking about buying that Amazon Echo in the hopes that it just might save your life some day, now’s your chance. Prime Day, Amazon’s annual update on the classic Black Friday shopping sprees (minus the mall melees), starts at 9 p.m. EST on Monday, July 10, and will end at 3 a.m. EST on Wednesday, July 12. The behemoth sale will reach 13 different countries this year, letting the world share in deals like $50 off on Amazon Echo, which is a good enough reason to download the Amazon app or load up the website, sit on the edge of your seat, and hit refresh over and over again until the deal is live.
To cash in on those Prime Day deals, you do have to be an Amazon Prime member, but you can get a free 30-day trial membership, which gives you access to all the deals, and then cancel. But why would you want to when there are two seasons of Catastrophe to watch? – Fast Company