The birthday boy!

July 31 is a big day in the Harry Potter world…

It’s Harry’s birthday, and J.K. Rowling’s!

There are so many great memories about Harry’s birthdays over the years…from the Hut-on-the-Rock when he finally gets to read his Hogwarts letter, to receiving Harry Hedwig as a present from Hagrid and his first Sneakoscope as a gift from Ron…and of course, his first birthday party in the Burrow and his first kiss from Ginny. Each year on July 31, I find myself thinking about my own Harry experience. It’s a good day to reflect!

If you’re like me, you can catch up on all things Harry on our Harry Potter site, and find out what J.K. herself is up to on her own page. And of course, who can forget Pottermore?! Click here to find out the exciting things happening!

How are you celebrating Harry’s birthday?


5 ways social media has changed publishing

Our relationship with social media? “It’s complicated.” We love that Facebook can keep us connected with friends (from kindergarten no less), but we hate the privacy issues. We love that Twitter gives us immediate access to news, but we hate that there’s so much noise & nonsense in our feeds. However you feel about these tools and this evolving space, we have to accept that social networking has changed the way we think, the way we interact with people, and even the way we do business, including publishing.

Publishers use social media to promote books, blogger book tours, and teasers. Readers use these tools to get the latest information and news on books. But, much of this straight forward use of social networking has changed.  Take a look at a few ways social is shifting the ways of publishing: Continue reading 5 ways social media has changed publishing

In Our Feeds: Books @nd more books!

Every Friday, we share a handful of links we found interesting, provocative, funny — or just plain cool. We call it In Our Feeds. Have a good weekend!

Brain Pickings recently posted about seven obscure children’s books by authors who usually write books for grown-ups.  Check out some cool children’s titles from James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Wolf and more!

Fellow OOMer Jessica Watson sent me this story about the Bodleian Library securing the unpublished first Jane Austen manuscript titled “The Watsons.” This is a very interesting story as Jane Austen is one of her favorite authors!  And I don’t think the manuscript title has anything to do with it…right, Jessica? Continue reading In Our Feeds: Books @nd more books!

The reading equivalent of Mozart: A My Bookprint guest post

Miles' Bookprint. What's yours?

I knew when we asked Miles White, our intranet producer, to guest blog with his Bookprint from You Are What You Read that we would be in for a fascinating post. And I was right! Check out his five books and why he chose them — and then, you know the drill: go to You Are What You Read yourself and create your own Bookprint!

I am very hard on the books I read. No, I don’t mean I am overly critical of the themes, plot, literary devices, writing style, etc.. I mean I am hard on THE BOOKS — the paper, the ink, the binding and glue. I read books like they will last forever. Now, the power of written words is that the ideas and universal truths they convey definitely do last forever. The literal book itself, however… not so much. When I love a book, I read it so many times that the pages begin to fall out. A glance at my bookshelf tells me which have been my favorites by the number of pages missing, stained with spills, or folded up in a triangle shape for use as a “built in bookmark.” I read my first copy of The Stand by Stephen King (a doorstopper book if there ever was one) so many times that it was down to 54 pages, the back cover and a few scattered remnants of chapter 12, before I had to finally retire it to that great library in the sky.

Given all of that, you might think I would have been an early adopter of digital and ebooks. In fact, the opposite is true. The seemingly paradoxical destruction of the books I love the most is not an unwelcome side effect of my reading experience, but an organic expression of that affection. Until ebooks are programmed to slowly deteriorate the more times you read them, they will always feel “artificial” to me. Now imagine, on the other hand, that when you “tapped” on your favorite digital book the first 20 pages were missing, page 47 flipped directly to page 53 because the other pages were “stuck together,” and chapter 8 was smeared from water damage because you left it on the porch when it rained..only then would digital books capture the true and authentic book experience.

Well, at least my authentic book experience. But that’s the beauty of a person’s textual lineage and Bookprint — we each have our own unique narrative. Here’s mine:

Continue reading The reading equivalent of Mozart: A My Bookprint guest post

My iGeneration: great reads for the cyber-obsessed

I was in sixth grade when my parents installed America Online on our family computer. Given a screenname too embarrassing to mention on this blog (or anywhere else. Ever) a world of new opportunities suddenly opened up. I could easily search articles I was interested in, read synopses of new books, and preview short clips of new music. How times have changed. In days since AOL and dial-up (I can still here the modem connection sound in my head), people today are sharing, streaming and remixing music while staying updated on the news as it gets delivered to RSS feeds or twitter in real time. They’re seeing book reviews and downloading novels to their e-readers simultaneously And while all this is going on, they’ve probably cleared more than a handful of levels of Angry Birds. It’s an iPad, iPad world and authors are constantly coming up with innovative ways to stay plugged into the cultural trends. From multiplatform books to novels that focus on the fun and pitfalls of cyberspace, there’s something for every young reader in the iGeneration. Continue reading My iGeneration: great reads for the cyber-obsessed

Statement from Richard Robinson

The following statement was released today by Chairman, President and CEO Richard Robinson:

At Scholastic, we recognize that teachers, parents and students have extremely high expectations for all materials we distribute in schools. We take that responsibility seriously, not only for the hundreds of millions of pages we produce through our Education division and Classroom Magazines, but also for the far smaller number of sponsored supplemental materials produced with partners through our InSchool business. Several months ago, we announced that we were reviewing our policies and procedures for sponsored materials to ensure that we only produce the very best quality supplemental educational materials that teachers can choose to use to enrich their teaching. To date, Scholastic has taken the following steps regarding the InSchool business:

Reading, the environment, and reconciling the two

Image via Anne Varak

It seems that people today are more and more aware of how our actions affect the environment, so what does that mean for book lovers? Even with the increased popularity of e-readers, there is just always something special about curling up with a real live book in your hands, isn’t there?

When Scholastic printed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007, we did so on FSC-certified paper (that stands for Forest Stewardship Council, and it means that the wood used to create the paper was sourced from certified, well-managed forests. You can read more about the standards here).

After that, we got to thinking about how we could make an even bigger commitment to being environmentally conscious. We set a goal in 2008 to use 30% FSC-certified paper and 25% recycled paper (of which 75% would be post-consumer waste) by 2012, which is quite ambitious by industry standards. And now? We’re making such great progress on that goal that we’ve actually increased it.

Continue reading Reading, the environment, and reconciling the two