lit crier header.2
This week in the world of books:

Terry Pratchett has died at age 66 of complications from Alzheimer’s. Thousands have petitioned Death to bring him back.

Insights into writing by Toni Morrison. “I used to get up before sunrise . . . as the day wore on, I got dumber and dumber.”

The trouble with indie math. Yes, self publishing pays better than traditional publishing, if you can attract the same number of readers. And that’s a big If.

Dangerous consequences of the book life. In college I read novels the nights before finals. Only problem was, I was a math major, not an English major.

The state of Alabama is now investigating whether Harper Lee is really behind the publication of Go Set a Watchman, the prequel to Mockingbird. “The investigation is being led by the state’s Human Resources Department with the help of the Alabama Securities Commission, which among other things, works to prevent financial fraud against the elderly.”

The National Book Critics Circle awards have been announced. Marilynne Robinson took home the fiction prize.

Now let me get this straight. Revenue at B&N continues to fall, sales continue to slide, the stock price is plummeting, and 13 more stores are scheduled to close. But they had planned on closing 20 stores, so prospects look bright! “Sales trends are turning,” the CEO says. Of course they are; he’s retiring 2 May.

British authors love their agents more than their publishers.

How to make $225 an hour writing poetry. Recall we reported in January that a subway poet was making $700 a week. If this trend continues, students are going to start dropping out of med school to become bards.

Crown’s Catholic-interest imprint, Image Books, will no longer publish new titles.

James Patterson will donate a total of $1.25 million to school libraries. You have until 31 May to nominate a school to receive as much as $10,000 from this pot.

The 2015 PEN/Faulkner finalists have been selected.

Did a human or computer write this? I got more than half wrong.

Neil Gaiman on his friendship with Douglas Adams. “Books are sharks.”

Two agents weigh in on the business of self publishing children’s books. Meanwhile, children’s books by and about people of color appear to be on the rise. Sort of.

An update on the class action lawsuit against Author Solutions.

Finally, an app that will remove the profanity from your digital books. I think they’re going the wrong way. I want an app that will insert profanity: “Call me fucking Ishmael.”

Interested in being a correspondent for Town Crier? Write to editors at easystreetmag dot com.

Stephen Parrish is a contributing editor at Easy Street.