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On the Books: Prominent children's author turns to Kickstarter

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Raising A Hero

Remember that ubiquitous 1985 children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Author Laura Numeroff turned the picture book into a 15-volume series—and now she’s turning to Kickstarter to help fund her next project. She’s seeking $100,000 by Nov. 21 to cover the printing costs of a new series called Work for Biscuits, about a service dog in training. Numeroff turned to Kickstarter after her publishers rejected her manuscript on the grounds that “it was more suitable for the ASPCA to publish.” The funds generated will also finance an interactive tablet edition for readers with special hearing and mobility needs. Lynn Munsinger has agreed to illustrate the series. [Kickstarter]

Last month, EW took you inside the romance novel industry. Now digitally inclined fans of the genre have another way to get their fix. Diversion Books have launched EverAfter Romance, an online hub for downloading romance novel, with associated iOS and Android apps. Customers will have access to over 100,000 titles, from publishers including Harlequin and Avon and authors including Nora Roberts and E.L. James. To attract new users, EverAfter will provide readers who download the app and create an account with a free digital copy of Alessandra Torre’s novel, Sex Love Repeat. [Mediabistro]

And you thought hardcover prices were getting out of hand. A new list compiled by Forbes summarizes the 10 most expensive books ever sold, with prices adjusted for inflations. The record-holder isn’t a book in the traditional sense; in 1994, Bill Gates purchased Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester, a handwritten notebook of the man’s scientific observations, for $49.4 million. That’s nearly double the Gospels of Henry the Lion Order of St. Benedict, the 12th-century pinnacle of Romanesque art that the German government purchased for $28 million in 1983. The two notable American works on the list are a collection of 1820s drawings by John James Audubon (purchased for $12.6 million by London art dealer Michael Tollemache) and a series of documents including the Constitution and Bill of Rights (purchased for $10.2 million by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association). [Forbes]

Apparently evil doesn’t sell quite as well. Englishman Craig Gottlieb put a copy of Mein Kampf—which he claimed to Hitler’s own—on auction for an asking price of $99,000. The book sold for only $30,000. That’s not even half of the $64,850 that an autographed copy of the historical figure’s memoir sold for in a February auction. [L.A. Times]