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Tag: Publishing Biz (81-90 of 128)

Chelsea Handler gets her own imprint and a three-book deal

chelsea-handlerImage Credit: Jason Merritt/WireImage.comGrand Central Publishing has given comedienne and late-night host Chelsea Handler her own imprint, Deadline reports.  It makes sense, considering that Handler has written three books already, all of which have sold like hilarious, readable hotcakes—Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea and her latest Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang both spent weeks numbering in the double-digits on the bestsellers chart. Handler already has a three-book deal for the new imprint, Borderline Amazing / A Chelsea Handler Book, the first of which, titled Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me, is set to release in May 2011.

While Chelsea Lately may not get quite as many eyes as her competitors, being a successful enough writer to garner your own imprint at a major publishing house is no mean feat. I’m sure Chunk is quite proud of his owner.

Grove Atlantic to relaunch the Mysterious Press

Grove Atlantic has announced that they will be bringing back the Mysterious Press, a mystery-specific imprint that was originally launched in 1975. What’s more, Otto Penzler, the well-known editor of mysteries and thrillers, as well as the proprietor of New York City’s The Mysterious Bookshop, is on board to help the imprint publish 10 to 12 books a year in both hardcover and paperback. The plot thickens, or at least the mystery-publishing business does.

Jonathan Franzen says his British publisher screwed up, printing an early draft of 'Freedom'

Jonathan Franzen reportedly told an audience in London last night that his British publisher, HarperCollins, printed the wrong computer file instead of his final draft. The company—which is disputing the error—is nonetheless reprinting the book, with new editions available on Monday.

On the Books: August 5

The Kama Sutra, that ancient sexual almanac, is being published as an audiobook. Hopefully, it won’t be read by Gilbert Gottfried.

Sean Penn is in negotiations to play Max Perkins, the famously oddball editor who worked with Fitzgerald and Hemingway.

NPR listeners love thrills, and apparently not just the thrill of finding a bug in their Kashi. Fans of public radio cast their ballots for the top 100 thrillers of all time.

On the Books: August 3

Come, let’s away to prison. An antiques dealer caught with a 387-year-old stolen Shakespeare folio was sentenced to eight years in jail.

Neil Gaiman blogs about a Russian magazine that superfluously photoshopped his hair.

Twilight is significantly affecting how Americans name their babies, with a marked increase in Cullens and Bellas. All I can say is thank goodness this didn’t happen with Dr. Seuss, or we’d all be named things like Phooswacker and Bortle.

Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, has announced plans to publish a memoir from Charlie’s Angel Kate Jackson.

On the Books: August 2

Ever since investigative reporter Joe McGinniss rented the house next door, the Palins have avoided their front lawn.

Has sex disappeared from the British novel?! Onetime British poet laureate Andrew Motion thinks so. He told the Guardian, “It’s as if [writers] were paranoid about being nominated for the Bad Sex Award,” referring to one of the country’s more colorful literary prizes. The Guardian‘s piece comes with a list of “Literary Lust” milestones.

The man given access to the manuscripts of J.G. Ballard—author of Crash—reports on what he’s found thus far.

Literary agent Andrew Wylie signs controversial exclusive deal with Amazon

Andrew Wylie is one of the book world’s most notorious agents who, in reality show parlance, definitely isn’t here to make friends. Dubbed “the Jackal,” if that gives you an idea of how he’s viewed, Wylie is best known for successfully extracting enormous advances from publishers for his big-name clients, as well as poaching authors from other agents. Now the highly visible agent, whose stable includes the likes of Dave Eggers, Salman Rushdie and Philip Roth (as well as the estates of Nabokov and Updike) is creating a stir in the realm of e-books.

Last week Wylie signed a deal with Amazon for exclusive e-book rights to his clients’ novels, including such classics as Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. For at least two years, these works will only be available via the online retailer and only on Amazon’s Kindle or devices with the downloaded Kindle app. Many are considering this a literary monopoly, vertical integration for a medium barely into its infancy. And where even the famously hermetic and anti-third party iPad permits users to download e-books from a variety of sources, the Kindle only allows readers to access digital copies from Amazon. Random House, which published a number of the titles covered by the deal, has since announced their intentions to dispute its legality. Random House spokesman Stuart Applebaum issued a statement which said, in part, “The Wylie Agency’s decision to sell e-books exclusively to Amazon for titles which are subject to active Random House agreements undermines our longstanding commitments to and investments in our authors, and it establishes this Agency as our direct competitor. Therefore, regrettably, Random House on a worldwide basis will not be entering into any new English-language business agreements with the Wylie Agency until this situation is resolved.”

Square Books, an independent bookstore in Oxford, Mississippi, has a compelling take on the whole situation.

What do you think about the issue, Shelf Lifers?

Sebastian Junger talks about going to 'War'

Sebastian-Junger_240.jpg Image Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton/LandovThere are two kinds of people in the world: those who hear the sound of gunfire and bolt in the opposite direction, and those who run toward it. For the past 15 years, Sebastian Junger has made his reputation as the latter. He’s donned a flak jacket to cover wars in lawless lands like Liberia and Sierra Leone. He’s been held prisoner by armed militants in Nigeria. And for his latest book, the harrowing and hard-to-put-down War, he spent 15 months embedded with the U.S. Army’s Battle Company in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley — a remote and vicious mountain region in the eastern part of the country that he describes as “too remote to conquer, too poor to intimidate, too autonomous to buy off.”

We spoke with Junger for a profile in this week’s issue of EW. Here are some of the outtakes from that interview.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you embedded with Battle Company, you were more than just a reporter with a notebook, you and veteran British war photographer Tim Hetherington also brought video cameras to film the missions (the footage of which was edited into the Sundance-winning documentary Restrepo). How did having a camera help you with the book?
SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
It certainly helped me as a journalist. It’s very immediate and very exact. So I would use the video tape as a reference for myself when I was writing. I mean, we’re visual creatures. Most of our information comes through our eyes. Reading ultimately is a cerebral activity, it takes place in your mind. And it’s a way of making reading visual.

Did being preoccupied with filming, help make you less scared?
The camera gave me a reason for being there. I think if your house is burning down and you had your child in your harms you wouldn’t be thinking of yourself. And if you were by yourself and your house was burning down, you’d be terrified what was going to happen to you. The camera was like my baby. It was the thing I was supposed to take care of. My job was to get video. Once I was caught without my video camera in a fire fight, all I could think about was my safety. I had no role. So it really did make a difference. And I’m pretty sure that it works the same way with weapons.

How did you get your start as a war correspondent?
I was 31. I went to Bosnia and I started filing freelance radio reports for 40 dollars a pop. It was the bottom of the journalistic food chain, but I was part of this world of foreign reporting. I was nothing on the food chain, but I was completely intoxicated by it. It was exciting and world events were happening right around me…It was like a drug. READ FULL STORY

How do you judge a book without a cover?

You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, and with e-books, that’s not a problem. There are no covers!

In today’s New York Times, there’s an interesting article about how, with the rise of Kindles, Nooks and — in a few days –iPads, it will be increasingly difficult to find out what people around you are reading. The days may soon disappear where you can lean over in an airplane, on the subway, or on the sidelines of your kid’s soccer practice, take a look at the book the guy or gal next to you is reading, and then quietly judge them.

For some, that’s a good thing. Many consumers of romance novels don’t appreciate getting disapproving looks because their book happens to have a shirtless man and scantily clad woman embracing on the front. Some don’t want to read the latest best-seller or buzzworthy work just to fit in. For others, though, examining the reading materials of strangers is part of the fabric of their day. They can see if multiple people are reading the same book, what authors have new releases out, and what just looks interesting because of its neon-hued or graphically clever cover.

A lot of magnificent works are hidden behind boring covers (go to Barnes and Noble’s website, type in “classics,” and be prepared to fall asleep while looking at the thumbnails of the results), so perhaps with e-readers, people will focus more on descriptions of books, rather than covers. My favorite covers are the bright, intricately designed ones from books I read as a child (Nancy Drew’s The Mystery of the Fire Dragon comes to mind), but I would still only actually purchase them if I liked the summary. Books are expensive, and just because the cover’s glitzy, I won’t be buying it if it’s going to cost me $20 and I’m not sold on the plot.

So while I am generally a pretty nosy person, I’m OK with the fact that I won’t be able to tell what you’re reading on your Nook. I’m just glad you’re reading something. Besides, when I’m on the subway, the last thing I care about is what someone’s reading. I’m more interested in when I’m going to get a seat and how soon I can use my hand sanitizer after holding onto the fingerprint smeared pole.

What do you think? Will you start asking strangers what’s on their e-reader? Come on, admit it, do you judge people based on the books they read?

'The Lost Symbol' and 'Going Rogue' top 2009 best-seller list

Though it didn’t sell as strongly as The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol moved more than 5.5 million copies to dominate Publishers Weekly‘s just-unveiled list of the best-selling hardcover books of 2009. A few other expected author names populate the Top 15, including John Grisham (No. 2 and No. 6), James Patterson (No. 5), and Patricia Cornwell (No. 12 and No. 14). Stephenie Meyer landed in the ninth spot with her 2008 sci-fi novel The Host, but the lack of a Twilight book was evident, particularly in the ascendancy of two entries from P.C. Cast’s Twi-lite House of Night series, which rose up to fill a vampire-shaped hole. The real surprise, though, is Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, which itself was helped by tremendous word of mouth to become the fourth best-selling fiction book of the year with 1.1 million copies sold. On the nonfiction side, it was politics, mainly conservative, that got the cash register ringing. Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue capped the list, but books by Glenn Beck, conservative radio host Mark Levin, and the late Edward Kennedy all made it into the top five.

Whereas sales of albums and movie tickets are tallied virtually in real-time, the figures for the publishing industry are often as closely guarded as the Colonel’s secret recipe, so PW’s yearly ranking offers one of the best snapshots of the literary marketplace. And while the top contenders on both the fiction and nonfiction lists sold millions of copies, the overall list reveals a far less rosy picture of book sales. The number of titles that sold at least 100,000 copies is down by significant double-digit percentages from 2008 in both fiction and nonfiction.

E-book sales figures weren’t included this year (they will be for 2010), but since digital editions rarely exceed 5 percent of a book’s total sales it’s unlikely that the 2009 sales list would have received a big boost from their inclusion. Here are the top selling books of 2009 (since some publishers did not provide PW exact sales figures, several titles’ rankings are based on estimates or sales figures provided in confidence for the purposes of ranking):

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Lost Symbol: A Novel, Dan Brown (5,543,643 copies)
2. The Associate: A Novel, John Grisham
3. Tempted, P.C. Cast (1,141,818)
4. The Help, Kathryn Stockett (1,104,617)
5. I, Alex Cross, James Patterson (1,040,976)
6. Ford County, John Grisham
7. Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, Janet Evanovich (977,178)
8. Hunted, P.C. Cast (931,219)
9. The Host: A Novel, Stephenie Meyer (912,165)
10. Under the Dome, Stephen King
11. Pirate Latitudes, Michael Crichton (855,638)
12. Scarpetta, Patricia Cornwell (800,00)
13. U Is for Undertow, Sue Grafton (706,154)
14. The Scarpetta Factor, Patricia Cornwell (705,000)
15. Shadowland, Alyson Noel (609,355)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Going Rogue: An American Life, Sarah Palin (2,674,684 copies)
2. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment, Steve Harvey (1,735,219)
3. Arguing With Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government, Glenn Beck
4. Liberty & Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, Mark R. Levin
5. True Compass: A Memoir, Edward M. Kennedy (870,402)
6. Have a Little Faith: A True Story, Mitch Albom (855,843)
7. It’s Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, and Increase in God’s Favor, Joel Osteen
8. The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow (610,033)
9. Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books Not Bombs, Greg Mortenson (515,566)
10. Superfreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (487,977).
11. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child (487,228)
12. Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body! Jillian Michaels (486,154)
13. The Yankee Years, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci (397,954)
14. Open, Andre Agassi (383,722)
15. Time of My Life, Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niem

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