– Author Daniel Handler, better known by his pen name Lemony Snicket, announced his donation of a huge sum of money to the We Need Diverse Books Indiegogo campaign after apologizing for racially offensive comments he made while hosting the National Book Awards last week. Handler promised a $10,000 donation to the organization in a series of tweets—plus matching funds for donations made in the following 24 hours, up to $100,000. After apologizing for his “monstrously inappropriate” and “racist“ comments on Twitter, Handler wrote: “It would be heartbreaking for the #NBAwards conversation to focus on my behavior instead of great books. So can we do this?… Let’s donate to #WeNeedDiverseBooks to #CelebrateJackie… Brown Girl Dreaming is an amazing novel and we need more voices like Jacqueline Woodson.” Handler’s $100k pledge did not go unnoticed—donors rallied and amassed the funds within 24 hours.
– A new e-content partnership between HarperCollins Publishers and JetBlue is taking flight on Nov. 26—the day before Thanksgiving, and a notoriously busy travel day. Fly-Fi Hub, JetBlue’s new inflight Wi-Fi program, will offer passengers excerpts from HarperCollins’ current bestsellers, with the option to purchase the full ebook. The selection of titles will fluctuate with book sales; the first batch of samples will include Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton’s Endgame: The Calling. [Publishers Weekly]
– CBS Films has hired a new screenwriter for the film adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Alvin Schwartz’s classic series of terrifying tales. John August (Big Fish, Frankenweenie) will write the script based on the three bestsellers, written by Schwartz and memorably illustrated by Stephen Gammell: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1981), More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984), and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991). August, who frequently works with Tim Burton, “is going back to the source material for his take,” Deadline reports. No director is attached yet.
– Coffee House Press’ founding publisher Allan Kornblum died of complications from leukemia on Sunday at the age of 65. Kornblum was “one of the leaders of the small press movement that emerged out of the 1960s-era passions for social change,” Publishers Weekly writes in its obituary. He established Coffee House as a nonprofit independent publisher in 1984. Under his guidance, Coffee House became one of the most highly regarded small American presses—a nurturer of literary talent and a supporter of authors of color, most notably Asian Americans. A number of critically acclaimed and award winning works have emerged from Coffee House, including Somewhere Else by Matthew Shenoda (2006), Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith (2008), and Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner (2011). Kornblum’s successor, Chris Fischbach, released a statement on the publisher’s website, which is excerpted below.
For 42 years he championed new voices and new publishers and fought tirelessly to get them the attention they deserve. It was a lifetime of service not only to literature but also to the field of publishing, of which he was a devoted scholar. Whether it was choosing just the right font, navigating the changing marketplace of bookselling, or understanding the historical pattern of the changes in printing technology, his wisdom and devotion were unmatched. [Publishers Weekly]