Writer's Blog

German Author is Amazon's First Literary Author to Sell More Than a Million Books

The New York Times' Stephen Heyman has an interesting interview with German author Oliver Potzsch. Mr. Potzsch is the first author from Amazon Publishing to sell more than one million books. What makes his achievement even more interesting is that fact that the book is from Amazon's literary imprint, and that it is a translation of his original German work. Read more... July 22, 2016

Melania Trump's RNC Speech Triggers Plagiarism Allegations

Of all the controversies to come out of the first night of the Republican National Convention, a plagiarism controversy is the last thing we expected. Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, gave her first major public speech. She speaks five languages, but English is her third language, so she understandably seemed a bit nervous when she began speaking. But as she went on, she did an excellent job talking about the values her parents instilled in her, how much she loves America and why her husband is ready to be president. There was only one tiny problem: two portions of the speech appear to be lifted directly from Michelle Obama's 2008 speech to the Democratic Convention. Read more... July 19, 2016

Donald Trump's Ghostwriter Says a President Trump Will Lead to the End of Civilization

Donald Trump's ghostwriter is speaking out, and boy does he have a lot to say. In an interview with The New Yorker's Jane Mayer, journalist and author Tony Schwartz says he is solely responsible for writing Donald Trump's bestselling book The Art of the Deal. Schwartz explains how the book came to be, how it was written and why he is now ashamed of what he wrote. Read more... July 18, 2016

Taylor Swift Wrote Calvin Harris and Rihanna's Hit Song This is What You Came For

Taylor Swift wrote the hit song "This is What You Came For" performed by Calvin Harris and Rihanna. She wrote the song and even performed a demo of it for Harris over the phone. She is credited on the song under the pseudonym Nils Sjoberg. Read more... July 13, 2016

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera Pens Poem About Protests, Killings and Hope

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera has written a poem about the tragic deaths of two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and of five Dallas police officers, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarripa, who were killed by a sniper who said he wanted to kill white police officers because of the Black Lives Matter movement. The movement has vehemently denounced the shooter's actions. The protest march was completely peaceful and nonviolent until the shooter opened fire with assault weapons. Read more... July 12, 2016

After Heated Debate, Dr. Maya Angelou Has New Jersey School Named After Her

A new elementary school in New Jersey will be named for author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou. NJ.com reports that the school board spent three months arguing over the name of the new school. Asemblywoman Angela McKnight from Jersey City wanted the school named for President Barack Obama. But she ran into heavy opposition from faculty and administrators of the school in question who had planned for more than a year to rename the school after Dr. Angelou. The existing school is getting a new building, which is what prompted the discussion in the first place. Read more... June 22, 2016

Apple Distributes Settlement Money to Ebook Customers

Today is the day that Apple makes good on its $400 million settlement in the ebook price-fixing case brought by the Department of Justice against the tech giant and major New York book publishers. The refunds are now credited to customers' Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple accounts. The credit will be available for one year and expires after June 24, 2017, pursuant to court order. Read more... June 21, 2016

Judge Denies Led Zeppelin's Motion to End Stairway to Heaven Trial Early

The Stairway to Heaven copyright infringement trial continues in Los Angeles after a judge refused to grant Led Zeppelin's motion for summary judgment in their favor after the plaintiff presented its case. The band is being sued for allegedly stealing the famous intro to the 1971 hit "Stairway to Heaven" from the 1967 instrumental song "Taurus" by the band Spirit. The lawsuit is being prosecuted by the estate of Randy Wolfe who wrote "Taurus." Read more... June 20, 2016

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