Friday, July 30, 2010

POCKET AFTER DARK: Officially up and running!

I don't have much time as I'm swamped organizing and monitoring the exact thing I'm about to share with you...

Pocket After Dark!

A new romance and urban fantasy online community that has everything from built-in blogs to discussion boards, to surveys, to author live chats, toto exclusive bonus content, etc. etc. etc.

It's AWESOME.

Read the press release from Pocket Books below, and then come on over and join us!

POCKET BOOKS LAUNCHES POCKET AFTER DARK, A NEW ONLINE COMMUNITY CREATED ESPECIALLY FOR ROMANCE AND URBAN FANTASY READERS

New York, New York (July 30th) – Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, has announced the launch of POCKET AFTER DARK(PocketAfterDark.com), a free online community for romance and urban fantasy readers. Developed by Simon & Schuster Digital, Pocket After Dark will offer access to exclusive content and provide a forum for members to share interests and connect with other readers, authors, and editors on a personal level.

POCKET AFTER DARK will allow members to read, rate, and discuss new romance and urban fantasy books, participate in polls and live chats with bestselling authors, discover new authors and sample material, and connect with fellow readers and fans.

Special features will include access to free books, A Little Tease which offers two free chapters of up to six current titles per month, and a sneak peek from a soon-to-be published book by new and popular authors. Members will also be able to earn points based on their site activity.

The site also includes the entire catalog of Simon & Schuster’s romance and fantasy books organized around the various sub-genres: contemporary, historical, paranormal, urban fantasy, and romantic suspense so readers can easily engage with the content and discussions they find most relevant to their interests.

While the site is geared towards reading and discussion, users can buy the books directly from the site or an online retailer of their choice.

“Pocket Books is home to many of today’s premiere romance and urban fantasy authors, and Simon & Schuster Digital remains at the forefront of developing exciting and compelling online content,” said Louise Burke, Pocket Books’ Executive Vice President and Publisher. “I am thrilled to be a part of this new venture that will unite our authors with their devoted fans.”

“Romance and urban fantasy readers are incredibly active online, and love to talk about their favorite books,” said Lauren McKenna, Pocket Books’ Executive Editor. “POCKET AFTER DARK wants to be the publishing equivalent of their favorite hangout, where they can spot a publishing ‘VIP,’ bestselling author, or just talk with like-minded fans.”

“We combined free access to great content with all the latest social media functionality to create a virtual book club that serves passionate romance and urban fantasy readers,” said Ellie Hirschhorn, Simon & Schuster’s Chief Digital Officer. “Readers and fans can now connect around their favorite authors, characters, and books with others from around the country, rather than limiting discussions to those held in their living rooms.”


Log on to http://pocketafterdark.com/ and become a member today!

"Man Men" Reading List: The Book Biz and the Ad World Collide

It seems the "Mad Men" craze is stretching even further than tv-land.

Clothing retailers have taken notice, gearing their styles toward 1960s New York. Cities are capatilizing on its popularity with open outdoor season premiere viewings (like the one in Times Square this past Sunday). Even the book biz is been tagging along for the ride.

In fact, just last week Boldtype (a online publishing segment by Flavorpill) posted an article called "The Definitive Man Men Reading List."
Included in the list are ten books that appeared in the first few seasons of the award-winning AMC drama, with a recap and screenshot of its time on-screen and a link to an excerpt of each book. The post was sent out via Flavorpill to subscibers all over the world, including to a friend of mine, J, who thoughtfully passed it my way. (Please not that the below quoted material has been abridged.):

One of the things we love most about Mad Men (and we’re big fans, so it’s hard to pick) is that the show is chock full of significant period details. And few things say more about a character or era than books. From its first season, the impeccably literate series has showcased everything from popular novels of the early ’60s to classic literature. After the jump, we’ve compiled an extensive list of books featured in, based on, or that inspired Mad Men, broken down by season. Happy — or, more realistically, dramatic and depressing but still valuable and gripping — reading!

SEASON ONE

The Best of Everything — Rona Jaffe (1958) Don snuggles up to this book in bed with Betty. So, what’s a manly man like our hero doing with what basically amounted to ’50s chick lit? We’re guessing market research… which may also be exactly what his marriage amounts to, in the end.
Read: An excerpt of The Best of Everything

Atlas Shrugged — Ayn Rand Basically all you need to know about mysterious Sterling Cooper partner Bert Cooper is that he’s obsessed with Ayn Rand. In season one, he tells Don, “I believe we are alike. You are a productive and reasonable man, and in the end, completely self interested” and tells him to buy a copy of Atlas Shrugged. And that’s pretty much the inspiration behind Cooper’s entire cultured, eccentric, capitalist persona.
Read: An excerpt of Atlas Shrugged
Watch: Bert preaches the gospel of Rand

SEASON TWO

The Sound and the Fury — William Faulkner (1929) You want to know how good sex with Don Draper is? Well, when he’s in bed with Joy in Los Angeles, she’s reading The Sound and the Fury. When he asks her how she likes Faulkner’s masterpiece, she replies that it’s just OK compared to their roll in the hay.
Read: A free hypertext version of the novel

Meditations in an Emergency — Frank O’Hara (1957) Perhaps the most visible book to appear on the show, Meditations in an Emergency is also the title of Mad Men’s second season finale. Way back in the first episode of that series, Don Draper meets a bohemian reading it in a bar where O’Hara happens to have composed much of the book who suggests that he’s too square to appreciate it. That, of course, is good enough to sell Don on the book. The New York School poet’s pieces, like the chaotic episode, are fraught with personal crisis.
Read: “Meditations in an Emergency”
Watch: Don reading from O’Hara’s “Mayakovsky”

SEASON THREE

The Group — Mary McCarthy (1963) Undoubtedly part of the wising up process for Bryn Mawr grad Betty, The Group is a quick, gossipy, but also smart and satirical novel about a gaggle of Vassar grads and their largely unhappy adult lives. It’s just the kind of downer we can imagine her savoring in season three.
Read: Natasha Vargas-Cooper of The Awl on Betty, The Group, and Sex and the Single Girl

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — Edward Gibbon (1776-1789) Is there any greater portent of total familial meltdown than Gibbon’s 18th-century masterpiece in the hands of little Sally Draper? Yes, that is the bedtime story she reads aloud to her beloved Grandpa Gene early in season three.
Read: All six volumes at Project Gutenberg

See the unabridged list HERE

The article also goes on to plug some of the recent "Mad Men" tie-in publications, such as:
Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America — Natasha Vargas-Cooper (2010)
Mad Men and Philosophy: Nothing Is as It Seems — ed. Rod Carveth and James B. South (2010)
The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men — Janie Bryant with Monica Corcoran Harel (coming October 2010)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Little "Hump Day" Humor...Jane Austen style

Yesterday, our very own guest blogger LG posted a fabulous little video on her site, Big Girl, Bigger City--"Jane Austen's Fight Club."

According to the UK's Telegraph, this spoof trailer has gone viral very quickly, with 200,000 YouTube hits in just two days.

Just what is it, you ask? The Telegraph explains:

The video shows Lizzie Bennett and other Austen characters - including Emma and the Dashwoods - setting up an underground boxing club, in manner of the cult David Fincher film Fight Club.

Lizzie plays the role of Brad Pitt's character Tyler Durden: "The first rule of Fight Club is, one never mentions Fight Club".

The society ladies engage in fights on a croquet lawn and sit bleeding during high tea.

It is not the first 'mashup' of either Jane Austen's work or Fight Club. Recently, a book called "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" imagined what would happen if events in the Regency-era novel had been interrupted by an attack of the undead.

And a Funny or Die video called Ferris Club re-set the 1980s teen movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off with Ferris as Tyler and the hapless Cameron as Ed Norton's unnamed narrator, claiming to see the real psychological truth behind the John Hughes classic. "Cameron is not a beautiful and unique snowflake", it warns.

See the article HERE

And now, without further ado..."Jane Austen's Fight Club"




Thanks for the find, LG!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cheap Trick Rocks Comic-Con International

It always astonishes me when people don't know who really created the song "I Want You to Want Me." They all know the song, but few actually know its original songwriters--Cheap Trick.

1977, "In Color" album. Look it up.

But now, all you poor, deprived music fans and book lovers will be a little more aware of one of my favorite 70s bands (who are shockingly still together)...

Why, you ask?

Because Cheap Trick frontman, Robin Zander, has written a comic book.

Yes, that's right. A comic book--entitled High Priest Of Rhythmic Noise after a song of the same name from "All Shook Up," C.T.'s 1980 album. Information courtesy of NewsaRama blogger Albert Ching:
The integration of comic books and music is always a mixed bag — Kid ‘n’ Play meeting Strong Guy aside. So it’s understandable if you’re slightly skeptical over High Priest Of Rhythmic Noise (named after a song off of 1980 album All Shook Up), the new comic book created and written by Cheap Trick lead singer and rhythm guitarist Robin Zander.

Zander signed some early copies of his graphic novel at this year's Comic-Con International this past week in San Deigo, and HPoRN (that looks wrong haha) is scheduled for release this fall by Ape Entertainment, according to the band's website. C.T. also performed at a private show post-Comic-Con.

Though, this isn't the first comic for the band, Ching points out. "Marvel Comics put out a promotional book to tie-in with the band’s 1980 album, Busted; with a script by Jim Salicrup and art from June Brigman," he writes.

I'm not sure, if HPoRN will also follow Marvel's tie-in strategy or if the comic will be a bit more of a standalone, but who knows. Maybe this one will finally get my generation to finally have a correct answer to the question: "What band wrote 'I Want You to Want Me'?"

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bug-a-book

Right now, I have about a billion bug bites.

Yes, I'm exaggerating. But that's what it feels like. After being eaten alive by some bugs (I'm guessing misquotos) at a restaurant on Saturday night (eek!), I'm itchy, itchy, itchy.

That said, I found it extremely fitting that I stumbled across this Village Voice headline this morning: "Bedbugs Take Over Hachette Book Group's Offices."

The article itself is dated last Thursday, but in all my hecticness, I'm a little behind on these things. I did, however, already know about the two Abercrombie and Fitch stores here in the Big Apple that were closed for bed beg infestation recently, so while this news was surprising to me, it wasn't unbelievable. The Village Voice reports:

Coming to you with the latest in bedbug news: Hachette Book Group's three floors at 237 Park Avenue and East 46th Street are infested and undergoing "aggressive treatment" for the bugs on Thursday and Friday while, we presume, the lucky/unlucky Hachette employees "work from home" or "go to the beach."

So now we know, bedbugs aren't just into cheesy clothes or lingerie; they like books, too! Maybe bedbugs are just like us, with different tastes and personalities -- some head straight to Abercrombie for cargo shorts and tees; others cozy up with a good (or so-so) book on Park Avenue. We hear CBS and ad agency Euro RSCG Worldwide dealt with the bugs as well, so perhaps they're into all sorts of media. [via ABC, WSJ]


*shudder*

In NYC, bed bugs are more common than us respidents would like to admit. They also cause much more inconvenience and drama than we have time or money to afford the little buggers. So, naturally, when it hits the offices of a major book publisher, it hits a little too close to home.

Where's Roscoe when you need him?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Oh, Bookplates, How I Miss You

I miss bookplates. *sad face*

It's something I never think about on my own, but as soon as someone else mentions bookplates, I get nostalgic and bummed out that the practice has pretty much died.

When I was a little girl, I had dolphin bookplates. I'd stick them in the front cover and shakily scrawl my name after the "This book belongs to..." I also made little library cards in the back for when friends wanted to borrow books, but that's neither here nor there.

Why then, you might be wondering, did I just now start thinking about bookplates if I never think about bookplates?

Well, because The Observer's Very Short List just sent me an email with a link to a website called Dark Roasted Blend, which posted a blog today on the study/history of bookplates that provides images of some quite gorgeous ones (and some owned by celebs/authors!):

Ex libris, meaning ‘from the library of’, or ‘from the books of’ is a Latin expression concerning the artform of bookplates - stamps or labels inside books that identify the owner. Ex libris bookplates range from the simple to the decorative and elaborate, the obscure or even bizarre and surreal.

Noble families often used a personal coat of arms or crest, frequently featuring a family motto in their native language or Latin. Naturally, the styling of bookplates changed over time, but most reflected the decorative styles of the day.



A vast array of illustrations feature on bookplates - dragons, angels, trophies, animals, birds, children, musical instruments, weapons, floral displays, trees, plants, landscapes and much more.


Read more of the article (and see more pics!) HERE

I think I need to get some bookplates stat--at least for the ones that I plan on keeping in my possession for years and years to come.

I had seen some beautiful ones last year from one of my favorite Etsy artist shops, The Black Apple, but she's all sold out. She does, however, have another set of cute hedgehog ones currently available!

Hmmm...I must ponder...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Droolworthy Desserts Courtesy of Quirk Books

I'm in heaven. And I'm drooling.

My cube-mate, Jessica, introduced me to a new website a while back--Cupcakes Take the Cake--and today, she informed me of a fabulous post about a fabulous new cookbook: Booze Cakes by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone.

At one editorial board a few months ago, my colleagues actually brainstormed this concept, though upon further research found that someone--Chronicle Books' Quirk imprint, it seems--had just recently snapped up the idea.

Rachel Kramer Bussel, founder of CTtC, tells us more:
We've posted lots of alcohol-based cupcakes here, and now we're going to be sharing even more, from the new Quirk Books cookbook Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked with Sprits, Wine, and Beer by Krystina Castella (who many of you know as the author of Crazy About Cupcakes) and Terry Lee Stone. Stay tuned to Cupcakes Take the Cake for a recipe from the book, and interview with Terry Lee Stone and a copy of Booze Cakes to give away! The photography in Booze Cakes is gorgeous, as you can see below, and the authors also offer drink recipes, tips on how to bake with alcohol and, in addition to cupcake, recipes for cakes, brownies, cake shots, whoopie pies, and even homemade alcohol. In addition to the cupcakes pictured below, there's also a recipe for screwdriver cupcakes and Blue Hawaii pineapple upside-down cupcakes.

Rachel also reposted a brief history of the cupcake-alcohol marriage, if you will, found on the Quirk Books website, Irreference:

Booze has been used throughout time in cakes as a flavoring, preservative, or just for fun. Cakes, pastries, strudel, and biscuits all are essentially sponges that soak up alcohol, wine, beer, whisky, hooch, bracer, and cocktails. Our book Booze Cakes is the first to explore and maximize the many possibilities of flavors in cake. Here are what I consider to be the 5 most memorable booze cakes in history. You will find modern interpretations of in our book.

The infamous fruitcake is the most loved-to-hate or hate-to-admit-you-love cake in the world. An ancient cake invented by the Egyptians, the Romans laced their cake with wine to keep the soldiers happy. It is the traditional wedding cake and Christmas cake in England and all of the territories it colonized throughout history.

The English trifle used booze to soften the day old biscuits that were the precursor to the modern sponge cake. The trifle then became the American sherry-infused, tipsy parson named after the desired effect. The Italian Tiramisu is a late 20th century invention made with coffee liquor. I love these cake parfaits for their fresh fruitiness and the creamy goodness.

The rum cake, soaked in this new-world booze, was the cake of choice of pirates of the Caribbean. They ate them by the boatload to prepare for battle. I have to love this one for the kitschiness of this Jolly Roger bundt cake.

The German Black Forest cake, the most recognized cake in the world, uses cherry and kirsch to flavor the fun in most places worldwide except in America and many Muslim countries where it is traditionally left out. We have added it back in and prepared them as cupcakes.

The Lane cake is the bourbon-laced dessert of choice in the American South; so much so that in
To Kill a Mockingbird, it’s the topic of conversation and eaten over and over to welcome guest and celebrate festive occasions. We made ours 3 layers tall with plenty of layers to soak in the booze and the filling.


Yum.

Though I would've loved to work on this book myself, I must say, it's still a damn fine idea. I'm hoping to track down a copy soon and whip up some Mint Julep Cupcakes (left) of my very own!

*drooooooooool*

The Capones: Not Such a Happy Family

Once and a while, I read book release news that makes me heave a sigh of relief. And not because it's exciting news and I'm just dying to read a book on whatever topic.

Instead, it's usually because something has exploded--or crashed and burned--with a recently contracted title that I saw by submission, a title that I thankfully put it in the ole "NO" column.

For example, this upcoming memoir by Deirdre Marie Capone, the great-niece of the notorious mobster Al Capone.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it seems the memoir is causing quite the stir:

Deirdre Marie Capone, a great niece of Al Capone, spent years concealing her connection to the legendary mobster. Like a lot of his relatives, she used a different last name. She even kept the family tie hidden from her children.

Now the 70-year-old Florida grandmother plans to reveal what it was like to grow up a Capone. Her book, "Uncle Al Capone," will be published in the fall, she says.

"I sat on his lap, I felt his scar," Ms. Capone says. "How many historians who wrote about him ever heard his voice?"

One potential audience isn't eager to read her opus: the other Capones.

"I wouldn't read it if somebody bought it for me," says Theresa Hall, a granddaughter of Al Capone. Katherine Seal, 43, a great-granddaughter, says, "What is the benefit to all this, you have to ask oneself? He's been dead for 60 or 70 years. Why keep rehashing it?"

The book isn't the only thing dividing the Capone clan these days. Some relatives are up in arms about another author, Chris Knight Capone, who claims to be a grandson of Al.

The 38-year-old New Yorker filed a lawsuit in Chicago last year to have the mobster's remains exhumed so he can obtain genetic proof of his ancestry. Mr. Capone hired a ghostwriter and self-published a book, "Son of Scarface," in 2008.

Members of the Capone family long tried to keep a low profile, forgoing the opportunity to cash in on their infamous relative's name. Most live modest, middle-class lives. No living relative has been linked to organized crime. Al Capone, who died in 1947, left no will and no inheritance, family members say.

Now that some Capones—authentic or not—are going public with their stories, relatives are bickering. And money may be at stake. Deirdre Marie Capone says she intends to work with other relatives to set up a company to license rights to the Capone name and likeness in California, where state laws are favorable for asserting publicity rights for dead celebrities. Chris Knight Capone says he, too, would like to assert publicity rights. "I want to get what my family deserves," he says.

"He has absolutely no proof of anything he says," says Deirdre Marie Capone.

Says Chris Knight Capone: "My proof is my blood."

[...]

[Dierdre Marie Capone] says the work will show a different side of Al Capone. "When you have Capone blood in you and you see him portrayed as an absolute monster on films, it really makes you angry," she says.

Ms. Hall, a Californian whose late father, Albert "Sonny" Capone, was Al Capone's son, says she won't read it because she is furious about revelations in another book. In Get Capone, published this year by Simon & Schuster, author and former Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Eig cites Deirdre Marie Capone as claiming that Sonny Capone was the son not of Al Capone's wife, Mae, but of a young woman who died during childbirth.

"You probably could have stuck a knife in my heart," says Ms. Hall, who is in her fifties and knew Mae Capone as her grandmother. "It is totally, completely false."

Deirdre Marie Capone says she feels bad that Ms. Hall is upset. "I thought this was something that everybody in the family knew about," she says. Mr. Eig says he attributed the information to Deirdre Marie Capone, and Ms. Hall didn't talk to him, so "I have nothing to add."

While Deirdre Marie Capone was polishing her manuscript in the last few years, Chris Knight Capone was working on his. [...]

Read the entire article HERE

I'm not sure what this kind of publicity will do for book sales exactly, but it will probably help up the numbers--even if the book isn't as interesting and well-written as some may think. I'm just happy not to be involved in some book-hate from the Capone family, or any potential lawsuits.

Dodged that bullet.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Serial Book Thief Jailed...Again.

Move over, Markus Zusak, there's a new Book Thief in the house.

The big house, that is.

According to The Telegraph UK, Cambridge University alum William Jacques has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail for stealing over £1 million in antique books from a London Library:

Cambridge University graduate William Jacques, who stole £1 million of rare books in the late 1990s, drew up a "thief's shopping list" as he continued his life of crime.

He used a false name to sign in to the Royal Horticultural Society's Lindley Library in London before stuffing valuable books under his tweed jacket and fleeing, Southwark Crown Court in London was told.

Recorder Michael Holland QC told Jacques: "You have absolutely no intention of turning away from what seems to you to be an extremely lucrative and easy crime."

Such crimes "undermine and destroy parts of the cultural heritage that's contained within these libraries", the judge said.

The judge, who said Jacques had no mitigation, told him: "You are a Cambridge graduate and should know better, I suppose."

He went on: "This was a systematic and carefully-planned theft and you had prepared what, in my view, was a target list, from your research at that library, of books that were worth stealing.

"This was a theft in progress and the list referred to books worth tens of thousands of pounds more.

"Your entire motivation was commercial and you intended to make whatever money you could from the theft of these books despite their cultural value.

"The effect of your criminality was to undermine and destroy parts of the cultural heritage that's contained within these libraries and make it more difficult for those who have a legitimate interest in these books to gain access to them because libraries have to take inconvenient and expensive steps to stop thefts of this kind."

Jacques was "relying on the reluctance of library staff to challenge people" when they were used to dealing with members of the public whom they could trust, the judge said.

Jacques, 41, previously plundered more than £1 million of historic books from the UK's leading libraries in the biggest haul of its kind in British legal history.

The serial book thief, who escaped with some 500 extremely rare antiquarian books, hid behind a "shabby cloak of respectability" as he went on to sell them at auction houses in the late 1990s, judge Derek Inman said in May 2002.

Motivated by arrogance, greed and an obsession with money, the loner raided the nation's libraries, devastating their collections and damaging valuable works in an attempt to disguise their origins.

Even a four-year jail sentence, imposed by Judge Inman at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court for 21 counts of theft, could not stop him.

In the latest case, the jury heard that Jacques would regularly visit the Lindley Library in Vincent Square, central London, which holds books, journals, pictures and art on practical gardening, garden history, plants and design dating back to 1514.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Huh. Talk about strange addictions. I gotta say that judge was pretty kick-ass.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Cranky Critic, Gloria Loman: S&S Needs R&R After Karp Sets Up Firing Squad

Hey Booklanders -- There's a shit-storm brewing over at Simon & Schuster.

Approximately 50 measly days after John Karp replaced David Rosenthal as publisher of Simon & Schuster, the original imprint of the CBS-owned publishing house of the same name, Karp is already earning himself a bad rep, both in house and out.

Rumor has it that Karp, the previous head of Warner's Twelve imprint, was brought in to revitalize S&S after some stagnant profit margins. President and CEO of S&S, Carolyn Reidy told the New York Times of Karp back in June:

Jonathan Karp is one of the most versatile, talented and creative publishers working today [...] At every stage of his career he has shown a true gift for finding and making bestsellers of quality. Having competed against him to acquire books in which we were keenly interested, and then watching as he published them with great flair, I’m delighted that he will now bring his abundant editorial and publishing skills to the Simon & Schuster imprint.

While Karp certainly has a solid resume, his expertise doesn't quite fit S&S's hardcover trade titles and an extensive paperback list. As a result, this "changing of the guard," as the New York Observer calls it, took many by surprise and left them feeling wary and somewhat off-kilter.

And apparently for good reason!

According to Publishers Marketplace's announcement of the switch on June 3, Karp told the Associated Press, "I'm going to take a cue from one of Simon & Schuster's most successful authors, Hillary Clinton, and I'm going to go on a listening tour for a very long time and listen to what people at S & S think and we'll figure out the next step together."

He is also quoted as saying, "I'm definitely not coming the[re] to clean house. I'm coming there to build upon a foundation." On the fiction publishing program in particular, as raised above, "I hope that we will broaden the sweep and impact of the S&S fiction program."

But word on the street is that cleaning house is exactly what Karp is doing, breaking his word only one month in.

Early last week, Publishers Weekly announced the hiring of two new editors, Ben Loehnen and Jofie Ferrari-Adler, both of whom are well-versed in nonfiction, but not as fluent in trade fiction, S&S's most lucrative genre.

Then, just last Thursday, The Observer reported the firing of long-time S&S editor Amanda Murray, who worked with a number of bestselling authors including Mary Higgins Clark and Sandra Brown.

And people are pissed about Murray's dismissal. I hear she was a beloved presence at S&S, not to mention significant. While new acquisitions were not Murray's main focus, her plate was chock-full, making her an integral member of the editorial team. So, while Murray's absence won't change the acquisitions at S&S, she’ll be missed, and Karp will now need to hire a fiction expert to fill her very big figurative shoes. Word has it that someone has already been lassoed for the job.

But that's not all. More pink slips are expected to be handed out at S&S in the coming weeks, indicating that "cleaning house" was on Karp’s agenda from the get-go, despite his bullshit (pardonnez mon fran├žais) claim that he’d be "build[ing] upon the foundation."

Karp had also told the AP, "I think that a big publisher can be focused and passionate, especially if the editors have the latitude to do their best work and champion the authors they believe in. S&S has a culture of great editors."

"Great editors" who Karp is now firing.

It looks like bringing Karp in may not be working out exactly as planned—or as claimed. With employees who now struggle with trusting their publisher and a huge disconnect between what the imprint stood for and what it's now morphing into, perhaps the decision to set Rosenthal free may not have been a good one.

Maybe it would have been more productive to deal with the rumored issues of a disappearing marketing department, a somewhat strained publicity department, and overpaying for projects, rather than replacing a well-respected publisher who Reidy herself calls, "A truly original thinker [who] brought a wealth of creative and inspired ideas to the entire publishing process, and [who] has been a trusted and valued colleague who made many contributions to the overall success of our company."

No one knows how it will all shake out, but one thing's for certain: Karp hasn't started off at S&S on the right foot. And people are not happy about it.

I wonder what the Ethics Police would think about this one...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Book Review: Freakonomics

Freakonomics is a book I, quite frankly, never thought I would read. It's not really my thing. Data, statistics, history, economics? *shudder* I've never been able to follow it all. In fact, it usually just confuses me more and makes me feel kind of dumb as a result.

But for the first time, I understood the previously unfathomable.
Co-authors Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt explain their findings with ease, putting their theories and results into layman's terms without talking down to the reader (one of my big issues with a good deal of non-fiction). They also use smart, dry humor to keep you entertained while simultaneously making you really think, at times even offering up the data and letting you see if you can find the correlation on your own before they explain it to you. I'll admit I couldn't figure them out myself, though it was nice that they let me try!
Furthermore, the topics Dubner and Levitt tackle are unique and relatable (well, except for the whole sumo wrestling thing...). I did, however, feel at times like they were beating a dead horse. The chapters were lengthy and the duo would still be arguing their stance and presenting data long after their point was made. As a result, my interest waned a bit about two-thirds through every chapter.
I also would've liked a little more variety in terms of the subjectmatter, but the bonus material in the backmatter whetted that appetite quite well. After an article summarizing everything that I had just read, that is. It was a little overkill in that respect. However, if I really want a wider array of topics, I can always check out the "Freakonomics" blog on the New York Times website or snag a copy of Superfreakonomics, the follow-up to their first revolutionary bestseller.

The Last Word: If you haven't read Freakonomics yet, I'd highly recommend it, even if you avoid non-fiction like the plague. It's interesting brain food.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

SMP Shoots Down Evanovich's $50 Million "Idea"

This just in...

St. Martin's Press has just let their biggest fiction author become a free agent--Janet Evanovich.

According to deadline.com, Evanovich's requested $50 million advance was just too steep for the last privately owned major trade publisher to accept:

In a shocking development, bestselling author Janet Evanovich is leaving St. Martin's Press after 15 years. The publisher refused to pay her request for $50 million for her next four books -- so now her son/agent Peter Evanovich is
expected to shop the deal to other publishers shortly. I'm told Evanovich is St. Martin's biggest fiction author, best known for her novel series about bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Katherine Heigl will play her in One for the Money, a Julie Anne Robinson-directed film for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Lakeshore that Lionsgate will distribute.

The St. Martin's Press decision is the way that publishing business is going these days, with houses crunching the bottom line and not giving the kind of advances to franchise authors that were commonplace five years ago. Still, publishing industry insiders said Evanovich's ask was on the high side, despite her bestselling track record. Her latest novel, Sizzling Sixteen, has been near the top of the bestseller lists since its publication earlier this summer. Evanovich's longtime St. Martin's editor, Jennifer Enderlin, said, "I'm not
commenting on anything."

See the article HERE

I don't blame SMP for a second for not acquiescing to Evanovich's request. Word on the street is her last contract, with previous representation at Trident Media Group, ended up at $13 mil. Quite the jump she wants there! Sure, she's a bestselling author time and time again, but if the numbers don't work and they don't meet their margins with that hefty of an advance, they should let her go. I sure would've loved to get a look at those P&Ls though...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guest Blogger, LG: Children's Author Arrested for Child Pornography

Children's author K.P. Bath--author of The Secret of Castle Cant (2006) and Escape from Castle Cant (2007) (I've read neither)--has been arrested and convicted on child pornography charges.

Yes, you read that right.

Children's author K.P. Bath has been arrested and convicted for child pornography!

According to The Oregonian, Bath collected photos of children being raped, sodomized, and tortured. That seems almost to go beyond child pornography. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Sussman noted that Bath "had collected thousands of photographs and more than 125 videos of child pornography." Bath also, according to The Daily Beast, worked in a children's library.

Once your stomach stops churning, read on.

Bath's first two Cant books seem to have garnered decent reviews--at least according to his Amazon.com author page. His publisher, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, dropped Bath and his next book, Flip Side, upon his arrest in April 2009. Disturbing as it is that he wrote children's books (popular or not), I find it even more disturbing that he was a "Homework Helper" in the library. Though no one has thus far come forward saying that Bath molested or touched them, and library officials were quick to say that he was never alone with children, it's easy to imagine that something, somewhere might have happened. Although, it seems that Bath never made face-to-face contact with children in any kind of sexual manner.

Big sigh of relief.

But this post is not to debate the sickness of pedophiles or the horrifying concept of one writing books for children. The question that immediately sprung to my mind? What is a publisher's role when it comes to authors' pasts? Private lives? Legal convictions?

With this thought in mind, I immediately shot an email off to several colleagues in publishing who could find out whether or not their houses legally vet authors. According to my sources at Simon & Schuster and Macmillan, manuscripts are vetted as necessary, not authors (unless, as I was told in one instance, an editor suspects an author of lying about his or her credentials). Publishing houses are concerned with copyrights and content, not personal legal woes unrelated to the material.

LBFYR obviously did the right thing by dropping Bath from their list when the first arrest was made. In this instance, even a legal vetting wouldn't necessarily have uncovered details about child porn. But what a children's author with a violent past? Someone convicted of assault? What about other books? Reality TV producers do background checks on everyone who could be a potential cast member or show character, especially after the horrific "Megan Wants a Millionaire" / Ryan Jenkins murder scandal of 2009.

To quote an anonymous source at S&S: "Gotta watch the company’s back, at the end of the day."

Indeed.

When it comes to adult books, there are many authors with a history of violence, drug abuse, and legal woes--look at the majority of memoirs and 'hood lit. Not to mention the fact that refusing to publish a book based on an author's past would be discriminatory. And denying publication of a great book because of its author would just be ludicrous. Sometimes a shady past can even be a selling point for a publisher.

But when it comes to children's literature, should publishers be more careful?

Winston Ross at The Daily Beast phrased it perfectly:

What’s unexplained is how a guy who writes books designed to educate and illuminate the lives of grade schoolers spent a healthy portion of his free time consuming sexually exploitive images of them.
It's truly baffling.

It looks like Bath will spend the next 6 years in prison, followed by a great many years as a registered sex offender. Thank God.

What do YOU think?

Should Little, Brown Books for Young Readers pull all copies of Bath's books from libraries, shops, and online seller?
Don't forget to check out LG's blog, "Big Girl, Bigger City"!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mark Twain's Death Acknowledged by Autobiography Publication

This weekend a posthumous publication arose that was actually sactioned by the author *gasp* prior to his death: Mark Twain.

The famed American author--born Samuel L. Clemens--died a century ago, and his autobiography--aptly titled The Autobiography of Mark Twain--will be published in November to celebrate the author and his literary contributions. The first of its three volumes will be published by The University of California Press.
Apparently, this is not the first time parts of Twain's autobiography was published, however, though it has never been offered in its entirity to the public. Instead, Twain had instructed editors of the first few editions to cut out "all sound and sane expressions of opinion."
The New York Times reports further:

Wry and cranky, droll and cantankerous — that’s the Mark Twain we think we know, thanks to reading “Huck Finn” and “Tom Sawyer” in high school. But in his unexpurgated autobiography, whose first volume is about to be published a century after his death, a very different Twain emerges, more pointedly political and willing to play the role of the angry prophet.

Whether anguishing over American military interventions abroad or delivering jabs at Wall Street tycoons, this Twain is strikingly contemporary. Though the autobiography also contains its share of homespun tales, some of its observations about American life are so acerbic — at one point Twain refers to American soldiers as “uniformed assassins” — that his heirs and editors, as well as the writer himself, feared they would damage his reputation if not withheld.

“From the first, second, third and fourth editions all sound and sane expressions of opinion must be left out,” Twain instructed them in 1906. “There may be a market for that kind of wares a century from now. There is no hurry. Wait and see.”

Twain’s decree will be put to the test when the University of California Press publishes the first of three volumes of the 500,000-word“Autobiography of Mark Twain” in November. Twain dictated most of it to a stenographer in the four years before his death at 74 on April 21, 1910. He argued that speaking his recollections and opinions, rather than writing them down, allowed him to adopt a more natural, colloquial and frank tone, and Twain scholars who have seen the manuscript agree.

In popular culture today, Twain is “Colonel Sanders without the chicken, the avuncular man who told stories,” Ron Powers, the author of “Mark Twain: A Life,” said in a phone interview. “He’s been scrubbed and sanitized, and his passion has been kind of forgotten in all these long decades. But here he is talking to us, without any filtering at all, and what comes through that we have lost is precisely this fierce, unceasing passion.”

Next week the British literary magazine Granta will publish an excerpt from the autobiography, called “The Farm.” In it Twain recalls childhood visits to his uncle’s Missouri farm, reflects on slavery and the slave who served as the model for Jim in “Huckleberry Finn,” and offers an almost Proustian meditation on memory and remembrance, with watermelon and maple sap in place of Proust’s madeleine.

“I can see the farm yet, with perfect clearness,” he writes. “I can see all its belongings, all its details.” Of slavery, he notes that “color and condition interposed a subtle line” between him and his black playmates, but confesses: “In my schoolboy days, I had no aversion to slavery. I was not aware there was anything wrong about it.”

Read the rest of the fascinating and thorough article HERE

As a Twain-lover myself--I was OBSESSED with the film "Mark Twain and Me" as a kid too--I'm quite excited for this release. I'm not sure if I'd be able to read an entire three-volume autobiography, especially when the first volume is 500,000 words in itself, but I will most definitely be taking a peek of some sort.
And you can be sure I'll be on the lookout to track down the Granata piece online!

UPDATE: Steig Larsson's Unfinished Fourth Millenium Novel

You may remember some book news I shared back in June about the discovery of two Steig Larsson short stories, as well as part of the fourth book in his Millenium series, years after his death in 2004.

Now, almost exactly a month later, more news about the incomplete fourth book has surfaced, according to the Associated Press:

STOCKHOLM – It is September in Sachs Harbour, northern Canada. In the cold and desolate landscape, Mikael Blomqvist and Lisbeth Salander are about to begin a new adventure.

But their journey in the fourth book of Stieg Larsson's best-selling "Millennium"crime series is a mystery. The book was left unfinished on the author's laptop when he died suddenly in 2004 at age 50.

Only two people know about the content of the manuscript: Larsson's longtime partner Eva Gabrielsson, who has refused to talk about it and won't reveal the whereabouts of the last installment in the series, which started with "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"; and Larsson's friend John-Henri Holmberg, who received an e-mail about the book from Larsson less than a month before his death on Nov. 9, 2004.

Gabrielsson is in a legal deadlock with Larsson's family over the author's estate.
Holmberg said that Larsson was 320 pages into the fourth book and had planned to complete it by December.

"The plot is set 120 kilometers north of Sachs Harbour, at Banks Island in the month of September," Larsson wrote in the e-mail, which Holmberg made available to The Associated Press. "According to the synopsis it should be 440 pages."

Holmberg, who first met Larsson at a science-fiction convention in the 1970s, said his friend had finished the beginning and the end of the story but had to find another plot for the middle.

"Did you know that 134 people live in Sachs Harbour, whose only contact with the world is a postal plane twice a week when the weather permits?" Larsson wrote. "But there are 48,000 musk-ox and 80 different types of wild flowers that bloom during two weeks in early July, as well as an estimated 1,500 polar bears."

Holmberg says he doesn't know more than that about the plot, but that Larsson had wanted all his books to follow a theme about women.

He says the author probably had a detailed outline of the story among his notes, making it possible for someone such as Gabrielsson — who worked closely with Larsson on the first three books — to complete the manuscript.

However, Holmberg points out that completing the story would have to be done soon so it doesn't become just a "historic curiosity."

"The risk ... is that it turns into one of those idiotic things like 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood,'" he said, referring to Charles Dickens' half-finished final work that many other writers tried to complete after his death.

"Give it 10 years" after the last Hollywood film is released, he said. "After that, there will be no meaning to it. And I believe Stieg was focused on having some kind of meaning in what he wrote."

[...]

For now, Norstedts doesn't want to comment on the possibility of a fourth book.

"The question about the fourth manuscript is entirely hypothetical," head of publishing at Norstedts, Eva Gedin, said. "We have never studied this manuscript and therefore don't know if it exists, how much has been written and if so what shape the manuscript is in."

Since Larsson's death the whereabouts of the fourth manuscript has been clouded in mystery. Gabrielsson — who is involved in a thorny conflict with the author's father and brother, Erland and Joakim Larsson — initially acknowledged she had the laptop containing the fourth manuscript. However, in an interview with Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet in June, Gabrielsson said she doesn't want to see any other book in the Millennium series published and said she does not have the manuscript. Joakim Larsson said in an e-mail that he doesn't know where it is now.

Read the complete article HERE

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ethics Police: Depicting the Holocaust in a Graphic Novel?

It seems more than just fiction titles and biographies are being adapted into graphic novels these days. Now, the industry is moving toward memoirs, and some with much more serious subjectmatter...starting with Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl.

The Associated Press reported this morning that The Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam released a graphic novel of the well known Holocaust biography:

The Anne Frank House Museum launched a graphic novel version of the teenage Jewish diarist's biography Friday, hoping to bring her story and death in a Nazi concentration camp to a wider audience.

Spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker said the publication is aimed at teenagers who might not otherwise read Anne Frank's diary, already the most widely read document to emerge from the Holocaust.

"Not everyone will read the diary," she said. "The one doesn't exclude the other."

Using the style of comic books to illustrate serious historical topics, even genocide, is not new. "Maus," Art Spiegelman's graphic biography of his father, a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp, won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

The Anne Frank biography, authorized by the museum, is a collaboration between American author Sid Jacobson and artist Ernest Colon. They also co-produced a best-selling graphic novel, The 9/11 Commission Report.

Publisher Hill & Wang will launch the graphic narrative in the U.S. later this month and MacMillan in Britain in the fall. Translations in German, French and Italian also are planned.

Bekker said the biography would be included with classroom teaching materials about World War II. The museum decided to commission the work after the success of a similar educational project, "The Search," about a fictional family in hiding.

Anne Frank wrote the diary from her 13th birthday shortly before her family went into hiding from the Nazis, and during the two years she and her family remained in a concealed apartment in Amsterdam. It was published after the war by her father Otto Frank, the only survivor. Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

See the AP release HERE

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I find this kind of offensive. And I haven't even read Anne Frank's famous work (I somehow got out of reading it in school...I think I was afraid to read it...though now want to and might get it from the NYPL today in fact). The Holocaust is not a time that should be taken so lightly as to illustrate its happenings.

I understand that the Museum wants to get Anne's story out there to even more people, to appeal to teens and what not. I also get that it's been done before and to great success (something I didn't know until this release, however). But I still don't support this choice. To me, it trivializes something that should not be trivial.

Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that comics aren't to be taken seriously. I respect and appreciate graphic novels. And I know that some graphic novels do address difficult and complex issues about humanity and what not, but somehow this just feels wrong to me because it's history, not speculation or straight fiction.

Is it okay to graphically depict historical genocide in a comic?

Tell us what YOU think!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

E-books, E-books, Everywhere

E-books are everywhere this week.

Borders opened their first eBook Store yesterday with a flourish. They not only offer more than one million titles but also discounted their stock of Sony E-Readers, provided $20 gift cards with the purchase of a Kobo E-Reader, and accepted (and continue to accept) pre-orders for the upcoming low-priced Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro (on sale 7/20). In honor of the new online store and e-book application, store locations also handed out free coffee with the presentation of your downloaded Borders app.

It's incentive-tastic.

The Borders eBook Store hook--in addition to all the free goodies and discounts--is the "any device" angle. According to the online store:

With Borders eBooks, you're not tied to reading on a particular device. Our eBook store offers more than one million titles (including lots of free ones!) that you can read on your computer, iPad, and many popular smartphones, as well as on eReaders — devices dedicated to eBook reading.

[...]

Borders offers several free eReader apps so you can browse, buy, and read Borders eBooks on multiple devices.

Our desktop app works with both Macs and PCs. We also have free apps for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch as well as the BlackBerry and Android devices. Each mobile app is specifically designed to work with the unique features of the device on which it is used.
It's surprising to me that it took Borders quite so long to hop on the e-book bandwagon. Barnes and Noble came out with the Nook, and thus launching an e-book store, in late October 2009. Amazon's Kindle and the Sony E-Reader were, of course, already established at that point, but one would think that B&N's swan dive into the e-book biz would've made Borders kick it into high gear, especially with the hits their stores have been taking lately (they closed 200 locations in January, if you recall).

But now that Borders finally has caught up, it'll be interesting to see what happens in the e-book rat race. With two of the major chain stores on board, it's only a matter of time before smaller, indies and specialty stores start creeping into the lead.
The Idea Logical company projects that these specialty stores are truly the future of e-books, not the superstores B&N and Borders have launched. Mike Shatzkin, a blogger for The Idea Logical, wrote an interesting piece on the subject earlier this week:

[...]

It has been a long-established “fact” (although I question if it is still true, as we’ll explain later) that the larger is the selection of books available in a single location, the more powerful is the magnet to attract customers. My father found this out when he was in charge of the Brentano’s chain in the 1960s. Their Short Hills, New Jersey store was the worse-performing store in the chain until they doubled its title selection. And then, like magic, it became the best-performing store in the chain.

[...]

So to that point — one could say to this point — the largest possible selection in one place has been as important to the success of an ebook retailer (obviously: online) as it was historically to a print book retailer with a physical store.

[...]

But there’s another thread of bookselling history on- and offline that I believe will soon become the dominant paradigm for ebook retailing. And, of course (just so you are reminded what blog you’re reading), it fits into the concept of “verticality”.

Publishers have known for a long time that good deals can be made and large sales can be registered through what we call “specialty retailers”. (The label for these sales in a publishing house, and others such as sales to catalogers or premium sales, is “Special Sales.”) The store that sells the tools and materials to refinish your floors can sell you a book to explain how to do it. The store that sells computers and paper and ink can also effectively sell resume or how-to computer books. The garden supply store can sell books on how to make your roses bloom.

[...] [T]he guess from here is that this is about to change and that the change we’ll see in the next few years will obliterate the notion that “all subjects in one place” is a significant marketing advantage, online or in a store. Many book sales, and particularly ebook sales, will move to “contextual” resellers. Your accountant’s web site will sell you the book(s) that help you understand a new tax law or how to ready your business for sale. Your favorite sports web site will sell you the new biography of Alex Rodriguez. And your favorite “Literary Review” newsletter and website will take care of your needs to acquire fiction directly and without your having to shop the vaster stacks of an online superstore.

That is: curated ebook offerings (a click away from the ability to buy lots more content beyond the curated selection) will be featured on every web site with any significant traffic. Delivering purchaseable content — books right now, but ulimately magazines, shorter articles, and relevant audio- and video-content as well — will become a standard expectation of any site (or web community) that aspires to a true mutual embrace with its site visitors. “What I’ve read lately and liked, and why” is a legitimate offering to anticipate from every blogger or commentator with a following.

Read the full article HERE

Shatzkin makes some very compelling arguments here, and his knowledge of publishing history is pretty impressive, I must say. It's certainly a possibility that his prediction turn into a reality.

As always, only time will tell.

In other e-book news...

Amazon was just granted a dual-screen e-reader patent. This new e-book development could cause trouble for B&N's nook, as well as other e-readers on the market. Engadget.com reports:

Looks like the battle for e-reader dominance between Amazon and Barnes & Noble could soon expand beyond the recent spate of price drops and into the courtroom as well: the USPTO just granted a 2006 Amazon patent on e-readers with secondary LCD displays (like the original Kindle's scroller-navigation panel), and several of the claims are potentially broad enough to cover the Nook and many other devices with both electronic paper and LCD displays. What's more, Amazon agreed not to file for any corresponding foreign patents during the four-year approval process and thus wasn't required to publish the patent application -- meaning this is likely a complete surprise to the entire industry. Yeah, it's juicy. Here's one of the claims that could cause problems for Barnes & Noble -- in plain English, it potentially covers any device with both an electronic paper display and a second smaller LCD display next to it.

Learn more HERE

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

UPDATE: Frost Gives on Some of Law's Requests

I'm quite pleased to report that Jude Law and Sadie Frost have come to an agreement regarding Frost's upcoming memoir after Law pursued legal action, according to The Guardian:

Jude Law has agreed terms with ex-wife Sadie Frost after issuing legal proceedings to prevent images of their children appearing in her upcoming memoir in order to protect their privacy.

Justice Tugendhat granted a permanent injunction by consent at the high court in London today after Law and Frost reached an agreement that will see certain passages relating to their turbulent marriage cut and all photographs of the children removed.

It emerged last week that Law was seeking an injunction against Frost and Blake Publishing, which intends to publish the memoir Crazy Days later this year, because of concerns for the privacy and welfare of their three children.

"My client Jude Law issued proceedings against Blake Publishing and Sadie Frost, as he was concerned about certain passages in Ms Frost's forthcoming autobiography as well as the proposed publication of photographs of his children," said Mark Thomson, partner at law firm Atkins Thomson, which represents Law. "Mr Law is pleased that the parties have been able to resolve this speedily; he has been able to protect his and his children's privacy and Ms Frost is able to proceed with her latest project."

Read the entire article HERE


May I just say, this kind of rocks my socks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Quick Shout Out

Thanks go to LG for updating our fab RBtL banner!

The Cranky Critic: A New Column from Guest Blogger Gloria Loman

Alright, Booklanders: What dumbass editor bought Jon Gosselin's memoir?

I was stunned to pieces when our RBtL matriarch blogged that people were surprised Rob Lowe was actually writing his own memoir. What is it with the publishing industry sucking off the fame teet of every F-lister out there?

Granted, Lowe has had an actual career, and his past is rife with all kinds of juicy stories, but we're all shocked that he's writing his own book. I mean, the man knows how to read. Surely the man knows how to write...at least the basics. And I'm pretty sure a decent editor and a decent copyeditor could make the book readable. ... Oh God, I'm exhausted already.

Back to my point: Gosselin is no Lowe.

Not only has he not had the career--or any career for that matter--but he doesn't have the looks or the business savvy, and certainly doesn't have the mega super-star power team behind him that Lowe does.

According to RadarOnline.com, Jon Gosselin and his "life coach" Sylvia Lafair will be writing the book together. (Translation: Lafair will do all the work while Gosselin's off getting more stupid tattoos.) The book will be called A Slice of Life: Jon Gosselin's Story:

[The book] will tell Jon’s journey from being a relative unknown to reality TV patriarch and regular tabloid fodder.

Co-author Lafair, who takes Jon on soul searching missions into the mountains of Pennsylvania for $10,000, tells RadarOnline.com: “The book is about having eight kids all at once when he was under the age of 30.”
Now, allow me to translate...or maybe elaborate:

GOSSELIN: I got married too young. My wife wanted babies. We did the unnatural thing. We wound up with too many. We got on TV. It helped pay the bills. I have a bad attitude. I resented my wife. I can't handle my kids. I realized that I was suddenly famous. Young girls wanted to date me. My douchery came out. And I was proud of it. Now people hate me. And I'm trying to pretend that I've gotten my douchery under wraps in the hopes of regaining some level of notoriety again, other than being leveled with Michael Lohan. Now my reputation is in the proverbial shitter so I'm attempting to do what any other F-lister would do: write a book.

Barf, Booklanders. Barf!

I can't wait to see the intial Bookscan numbers on this bad boy...if it ever comes out!

I say it's damn time the book publishing industry stops buying and attempting to sell these pseudo-celebrity tabloid-fodder "memoirs." It's no wonder the industry is dying.

Ten bucks that says this book will hardly make back its production costs let alone its advance. Then again, people's sick fascinations might kick in. But will they buy it? Could Jon Gosselin have the Palin Going Rogue effect? Time will tell.


Now give us the Juice:

Do you know if or who bought this pitch? Or how much it went for? Tell us!

Are you the agent for this pitch? Defend it!

Got an opinion of your own? Preach it!



The Cranky Critic is Gloria Loman, a freelance writer who once worked in publishing. With her finger still firmly on the industry's pulse, she plans to bring you the juice as often as possible as well as all the opinions unfit to print. You can send tips to Gloria's attention at readingbtwthelines@gmail.com.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Jude Law Asks Court to Disallow Ex-Wife's Memoir

I know I've touched upon this more than once, but celebs love writing their memoirs. But, for the first time since this blog's inception, there's a celeb trying to stop a memoir from publishing.

Richard Kay of the UK's Daily Mail reported today that actor Jude Law (who was AWESOME in Hamlet on Broadway, btw) is trying to get an injunction to stop the publication of his ex-wife Sadie Frost's memoir:

Their life has often resembled a kitchen-sink drama, but the relationship between Jude Law and Sadie Frost has reached a new low.

For I can reveal the actor finally lost patience with his ex-wife over her plans to write her memoirs — and has begun court proceedings to halt her divulging the secrets of their turbulent marriage.

‘Jude is trying to injunct her to stop the book,’ I am told.

The memoir, which she is writing herself, is called Crazy Days. It is due to be published in October, and is said to be well advanced.

‘She’s poured her heart into this and is upset and hurt by what Jude has done,’ a friend of the actress-turned-designer tells me. ‘She thought they were getting on very well — and suddenly he’s serving a 100-page writ.

‘It’s ironic, because he had been at her house earlier in the day and they discussed the book, which is going to be very honest. She knows he has reservations, but she’s let him read bits of it. She’s astonished he’s taken this step.’

It is understood Law, who is expected to marry actress Sienna Miller this summer, is concerned revelations about their ­turbulent marriage could upset the couple’s three children, Rafferty, 14, Iris, ten, and Rudy, eight.

He also does not want pictures of the children, whose privacy he fiercely protects, appearing.

The book is expected to lift the lid on Sadie’s colourful life in North London, where she became queen bee of the louche, so-called ‘Primrose Hill posse’.

It spans her childhood, acting career and entry into the fashion world — as well as her marriage and break-up with Law.

Friends of Sadie insist the book is about her story, not about her ex-husband's, or that of close friends like Kate Moss.

Law, 37, and Frost, 44, wed in 1997 and divorced in 2003. The Alfie star then took up with Sienna, but they split up in 2005 after his affair with their nanny, Daisy Wright.

Read more HERE

I must say that I commend Jude for being so protective of his children. And while I firmly believe that truth always comes out, whether it happen now or later, I agree that the public forum is not the place to let that truth unfold. It's not a place you should air your dirty laundry, no matter how famous you are. If it's avoidable, avoid it. Sit your kids down and tell them what they need to know and deal with the rest yourselves. If when the kids are grown, you decide you must write a tell-all about it, then no one's stopping you, but while your kids are kids, don't cause them more trauma than you already have.

Of course, even with that said, I am curious as to whether there is also a selfish motive in Jude's request for injunction as well. It's already well-known that he had an affair with now-fiance Sienna Miller, but what else is Jude hiding? Frankly, despite its curious nature, it's still none of our business. That's between Jude, Sadie, their kids, and the courts.