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I Can Has L. Ron Hubbard?

While it’s not surprising that I Can Has Cheezburger?: A LOLcat Colleckshun by Professor Happycat is already #1 in the Cat Humor category on what is strange though is it’s currently #1 on their Scientology bestseller list as well. What’s the conneckshun? The only one I can find is this Youtube video:

Guest Essay: Samantha Ettus on Turning a “No” into a “Yes”

Ettus cr. Donna Newman.JPG
Expert Ease?
By Samantha Ettus

After publishing four books I have now persuaded 400 of the world’s leading experts to write chapters in my series, on every topic from weight loss to vexilology (the study of flags). Each is asked to write a succinct chapter, comply with a strict deadline, and agree to my edits. People assume managing so many diverse and powerful personalities is the hardest part of my job. But the biggest hurdle is the task of identifying, finding and then securing the ideal expert for each category.

You see, I am obsessive about selecting the perfect expert for each topic, so every time I’m turned down I feel like I have been rejected by my biggest high school crush. Don’t they realize I spent weeks finding them – their rare blends of charisma, experience and gift with the written word beckoning me? Of course not. They have blogs to write, speeches to give, TV shows to tape and their own books to pen. So while it pains me to hear a pass after I have painstakingly selected and cold called an expert, very rarely do I take the word “No” at face value. Instead, I put on my emotional body armor, throw my ego to the wind, and try to turn that “No” into a “Yes.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Photo Credit: Donna Newman

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Workman Shakes Up Its Publicity Department

Good news for publicists looking for a change of pace. Workman COO Walter Weintz is looking to find a successor for Publicity Director Amy Corley as she is moving over to Artisan. Meanwhile their head of cookbook publicity, Ron Longe, is moving over to Media Masters and Senior Publicist Brianna Yamashita’s last day is October 1st, just over a year since she signed on with them.

Update: Brianna Yamashita was hired as senior publicist but was promoted to Publicity Manager at Workman. She is leaving to join Penguin/Tarcher as their Associate Director of Publicity.

Ron Longe is the new Account Director at Media Masters which specializes in children’s books and also graphic novels. Media Masters Publicity is expanding its literary public relations services to now encompass lifestyle titles including cooking, travel, gardening, home decor and visual arts.

Bob Mould Autobiography Goes To Little Brown

bob mould.jpgMichael Pietsch, Publisher of Little, Brown and Company, announced today that rock legend Bob Mould, founder of the pioneering American punk band Husker Du, will write his memoir for publication in autumn 2010. Michael Azerrad, author of the bestselling Our Band Could Be Your Life and Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana will collaborate with Mould to tell the full story of his blazing, era-defining life and career.

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Bob Mould founded the trio Husker Du in Minneapolis in 1979 and his memoir will delve deeply into his life as a musician, as a solo artist, and in his most commercially viable and successful work as leader of ’90s indie rock kingpins Sugar. He will also tell the story of his other lives, including his internal struggle with his sexuality, the coming-out process, and his subsequent embrace of, and service to, the LGBT community; his work as a creative consultant / director in the world of pro wrestling; his work as a record producer, including seminal projects by Soul Asylum and Magnapop; and his foray into electronic / dance music, including the popular BLOWOFF club events held nationwide.

Bob Mould said:

For many years, people have asked if and when I would write my autobiography. I have always looked forward to this point in time, where I could tell my stories, to answer the many questions about the music and the lifestyle, and how they inform the creative process. I have not been alone on this ride: friends and foes, mentors and associates, peers, lovers, all traveling by my side. The ride so far has been incredible, and I hope to do my memory right in documenting the journey.

“The gorgeous rage of Bob Mould’s music seemed like the best possible response to the Reagan ’80s for many music-loving young Americans,” says Michael Pietsch. “To hear firsthand what it was like to make that music, and to build the indie rock world that eventually brought us REM, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Green Day, and much of modern rock, is something that music lovers have awaited for years.”

Bob Mould was represented in the negotiation by his lawyer, Josh Grier of Dreier LLP, and by literary agent Dave Dunton of the Harvey Klinger Agency. Michael Azerrad was represented by agent Lydia Wills of the Paradigm Agency.

According to Billboard Magazine:

In addition, Mould has finished his next solo album, which will be released in March 2009 by Anti-. The follow-up to this year’s “District Line” is “a guitar album,” he writes on his blog, adding that he will tour with a full band in support of it next spring.

Yar, Publishers Protected from Piracy

international piracy.jpgThe Association of American Publishers (AAP) today welcomed the introduction of the International Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Improvement Act of 2008 and joined in support of the bill’s co-sponsors, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R -Utah). The bill will provide the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) with additional trade tools to protect copyrighted works produced in the United States from widespread piracy and will increase resources and personnel available to Executive Branch agencies to ensure better enforcement of intellectual property laws.

Intellectual property theft continues to be a global concern for the publishing industry, as AAP estimates that U.S. book and journal publishers lost over $500 million in 2007 due to commercial scale photocopying, illegal print runs, unauthorized translations and CD-R burning of text. Industry concerns about internet piracy have also skyrocketed in the past year. AAP, as a member of the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), joins in applauding this new bill, which would help hold those countries that have appeared on the USTR Special 301 Priority Watch List accountable for their actions and provide the U.S. government with specific means to assist in, and encourage, compliance.

continued after the jump.

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Orbit Promotes, Hachette Hires

Orbit announced that Devi Pillai has been promoted to Senior Editor. Pillai has been with Orbit since the US office opened in 2006, and has acquired and edited a number of authors including Lilith Saintcrow, Jennifer Rardin, Marie Brennan and, most recently, Joe Abercrombie.

Meanwhile, Pamela Clements has joined the Hachette Book Group USA as Associate Publisher of Marketing for the Center Street and FaithWords imprints of the Nashville division. She will focus primarily on publicity and promotions.

Clements spent 16 years at Thomas Nelson Inc. where she served in several executive roles. Clements’ positions included Vice President of Marketing for Nelson Books, Vice President of Publicity for Nelson Book Group and most recently she was Publisher of the General Interest & Lifestyle division (formerly Rutledge Hill Press). As publisher Clements had six national bestsellers and she spearheaded promotional campaigns for NY Times best-selling authors like John Eldredge, Dave Ramsey, and Stephen Covey.

RDR Books on the Rowling Ruling

RDR Books issued the following statement today regarding New York
Federal District Court Judge Robert Patterson Jr.’s ruling on the
Harry Potter Lexicon case:

“We are encouraged by the fact the Court recognized that as a general matter authors do not have the right to stop the publication of reference guides and companion books about literary works.
As for the Lexicon, we are obviously disappointed with the result, and RDR is considering all of its options.”

J. K. Rowling and the Favourable Resolution

Dafna_008.jpgFollowing a decision issued today by Judge Patterson in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, regarding her case against RDR Books, J.K. Rowling today issued the following statement:

I took no pleasure at all in bringing legal action and am delighted that this issue has been resolved favourably.
I went to court to uphold the right of authors everywhere to protect their own original work. The court has upheld that right.

The proposed book took an enormous amount of my work and added virtually no original commentary of its own. Now the court has ordered that it must not be published.

Many books have been published which offer original insights into the world of Harry Potter. The Lexicon just is not one of them.

Want to read what all the hubbub was about? Check out my original post on this case here.

Warner Brothers Regarding Judge Patterson’s Decision:

We are obviously pleased with today’s ruling by Judge Patterson supporting the position that the proposed lexicon book infringes on Ms. Rowling’s rights. As a content company, it is imperative that we work vigorously on all fronts to protect the intellectual property rights of those who create the stories and characters, words, pictures and music that entertain and benefit the worldwide audience.

What’s An Aspiring Writer To Do?

I found a great question in our anonymous tips slush pile (sadly, we get tons of spam so it takes a while to weed through and find those gems you send in).

As an aspiring author, I read my GalleyCat emails religiously. Thank you so much for all of your great information! As I read about so many authors taking up their time and creative energy to promote their books (because publishers simply won’t do it) more and more I’m wondering, “What’s the point of a publisher?” What, exactly, do they do for those who don’t make it to the top of their lists? Add to this the apparent widespread problem with royalties, communication, etc etc, and I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t publish myself. But then there’s a black mark associated with that too. There’s NO hope for getting in the big stores when you’re self-published. And I see the point of that. Too many writers think their horrible crap is brilliant, so we need that filter of an agent/editor/publisher. But those people are making big mistakes, I think. When I read about that Flammable author worrying that publishers will smell an Iranian trend, flood the market with books that are too similar and then pull out when readers (shockingly!) get bored, I think to myself “How many times have we seen THAT in action?” More and more I’m thinking the wrong people are in charge of getting books to the reading public. And we writers are caught in the middle of it. What’s an aspiring writer to do?

This writer brings up some good points especially in the age of print on demand. Sure there are black marks associated with self-published works. All the major trades and reviewers refuse to look at the self-published work despite any merits it might have. However, POD can work to your advantage if you have a niche market. Take Daemon for example by Daniel Suarez. His book had a definite appeal to the tech sector who glommed onto his subject matter and chatted it up on Wired magazine and got kudos from Craig Newmark from Craigslist. He bypassed the normal review structure and focused on his core audience with a payoff… Dutton picked up the rights to republish it and the sequel. This process might now work for every book, but it can when there’s a ravenous core audience to tap into.

Free Advice for Authors on Sundays

beast cat.jpgA man can not live on blogging alone, so I also tend bar at The Beast in Prospect Heights on Sunday nights. If you’re an author looking for some advice, or have a story idea to pitch me, drop on by, buy yourself a drink, introduce yourself to me (you can call me Anders) and ask me a question. I’ll be there from 5-midnight though your best chance to catch my ear is between 5-7 and 9:30 to 12 (the dinner rush can get a bit hectic).

Why my advice you ask? Well, I am not only a contributing editor for Galleycat but I’m a former assistant publicity director with over ten years experience in publishing having worked for more than ten different houses in both full time and freelance capacity.

Hope to see you Sunday.