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Behind the Deal

Kidnapping Survivor Jessica Buchanan Shopping a Book Proposal

Kidnapping survivor and humanitarian aid worker Jessica Buchanan is shopping a book proposal with Sharlene Martin of Martin Literary Management.

While working in Africa last October, Buchanan (pictured) was kidnapped by a band of armed Somalis. After more than 90 days of captivity, a team of Navy SEALS rescued Buchanan in January. The memoir will also contain letters that her husband Erik Landemalm wrote to his wife during her captivity. Here’s more from the book proposal:

Jessica and Erik, in this “dual memoir” will contrapuntally relate the events prior to the kidnapping and then the drama of Jessica’s efforts to stay alive and Erik’s efforts to bolster and support the hunt for her while he acted as liaison between the families at home, the FBI, professional hostage negotiators, and the US Government. The progression of the story will reveal the thoughts and feelings of this couple, desperate to return to one another and continue the lives they’d barely begun when the kidnappers struck. The violent and bloody rescue that freed the two captives gave Jessica a second chance at her young married life.

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Mediabistro Course

Nonfiction Book Proposal

Nonfiction Book ProposalStarting September 4,work with a literary agent to complete a full proposal that wins an agent and a contract! Ryan Harbage from The Fischer-Harbage Agency, Inc. will teach you how to convey your idea in a winning book proposal format, write your proposal letter, understand the nuts and bolts of the nonfiction book industry, and more. Register now! 

Lil Wayne Lands Book Deal

Hip hop star Lil Wayne scored a book deal with Grand Central Publishing for his prison memoir, Gone Till November. The book will include Wayne’s “revealing” diaries kept during an eight month trip to Rikers Island.

Publication is set for November 2012. On his official Twitter page, Wayne (pictured, via) already counts 4.9 million followers. Matthew Guma from Guma Agency (who also represented Jay-Z) negotiated the deal with Grand Central Publishing executive editor Ben Greenberg.

Here’s more from the release: “The past few years have brought Wayne incredible highs—topping albums sales charts, selling out tours, selling millions of albums, but also dark lows, resulting in a gun charge that landed him in Rikers Island for a year (of which he served 8 months). The journals he kept while incarcerated form an internal monologue, detailing his thoughts and feelings, the strange people he met, his plans, his family, his children, his past, present, and future.”

 

MTV VJs Land Book Deal for Oral History

Four MTV VJs inked a book deal with Atria Books today, contributing to an as-yet-untitled oral history providing “uncensored accounts” about the cable network in the 1980s.

GalleyCat readers of a certain age will recognize their names: Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn. In the video embedded above, you can watch Quinn lead a charming segment about Motley Crue. Levine Greenberg Literary Agency agent Daniel Greenberg negotiated the deal with Atria editor Amy Tannenbaum.

Here’s more about the book: “Among the highlights will be the vjs’ never-before-told stories about getting, doing, and ultimately leaving the most coveted job of the decade;  the truth behind Roger Daltrey’s demands to visit MTV; days and nights spent partying with Van Halen; the ‘Paint the Mutha Pink’ contest with John Cougar Mellencamp that went toxic; joining the mile high club while flying to see the band Asia play at the Budokan in Japan; and all true tales of hair styles gone horribly wrong as a new kind of broadcast medium was being created hour by hour and day by day — all perfectly set against the era when you would still call into your answering machine from a pay phone.”

Kerry Schafer Lands Book Country’s First Deal

After nine months, Penguin’s online writing community Book Country has produced its first book deal. First time novelist Kerry Schafer landed a two-book deal with Penguin’s Ace Books imprint.

Schafer (pictured, via) is a mental health crisis response specialist who lives in Washington State. You can read her Book Country work at this link. Knight Agency agent Deidre Knight negotiated the deal and Berkley Publishing Group editorial director Susan Allison uncovered the manuscript on the writing site.

Schafer explained in the release: “I had a different novel up on the site and discovered that the feedback helped improve my writing. Criticism takes a little getting used to; my thought was that I should get some pages up and start building a thicker skin.   When I uploaded BETWEEN to Book Country, I wasn’t even thinking about it being picked up by an editor or an agent.   What happened after that felt like pure magic.”

Elton John to Publish Book About AIDS Epidemic

Rock star Elton John has landed a book deal with Little, Brown for his first book, Love Is the Cure: Ending the Global AIDS Epidemic. He explained in the release: “This is a disease that must be cured not by a miraculous vaccine, but by changing hearts and minds, and through a collective effort to break down social barriers and to build bridges of compassion.”

Scheduled to be published in July, the proceeds will raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Williams & Connolly LLP attorney Robert Barnett negotiated the deal and Little, Brown publisher Michael Pietsch will edit.

Here’s more about the book: “LOVE IS THE CURE will be the very personal story of Sir Elton’s life during the AIDS epidemic, including his agony at seeing friend after friend perish needlessly.  Through his stories of close encounters with people like Ryan White, Freddie Mercury, and many others, he will convey the personal toll AIDS has taken on his life—and his infinite determination to stop its spread.”

James Franco Scores Amazon Book Deal

Actor and author James Franco has landed a book deal to publish his first novel with Amazon.

According to the New York Observer, 3 Arts Entertainment agent Richard Abate negotiated the deal for Actors Anonymous with Amazon fiction editor (and departed Believer editor) Ed Park. As you ponder the news, you should listen to the Hoodie Allen song, “James Franco.” The video is embedded above, with a bit of NSFW language.

Here’s more about the deal: “The novel is  said to be a fictionalized version of Mr. Franco’s experiences as an actor (and grad student?). Mr. Franco’s first book, a collection of short stories called Palo Alto, was published by Scribner.”

NaNoWriMo Writer Chosen as Starbuck’s First Digital Book Pick of the Week

Starbucks has chosen Erin Morgenstern‘s The Night Circus as its first digital book Pick of the Week. The debut novel began as a National Novel Writing Month manuscript and endured 30 rejections from literary agents.

Last summer, The Wall Street Journal explored Morgenstern’s “high-six-figure advance” and her potential as a successor to J.K. Rowling in an article, but we uncovered some practical advice for aspiring authors.

Here’s more from the WSJ: “In 2005, [Morgenstern] crashed out a manuscript during National Novel Writing Month … Very little from that early draft survived, but she had an idea that excited her. She worked in bursts over the next several years, writing a sprawling, plotless series of vignettes featuring magicians, acrobats, and a pair of psychic twins. Thirty literary agents rejected her.”

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$1.99 eBook about a $665,000 Book Deal

Vanity Fair will publish a 19,000-word eBook called How a Book Is Born: The Making of The Art of Fielding. The $1.99 eBook will expand the magazine’s story about Chad Harbach‘s $665,000 book deal.

Here’s more from the release: “[The book] tells the riveting story behind the publication of Chad Harbach’s highly anticipated debut novel, which is being released in hardcover and digital form on September 7, 2011. As author and n+1 co-founder Keith Gessen reveals in this 19,000-word e-book (expanded from his article ‘The Book on Publishing,’ appearing in the October issue of Vanity Fair), the passage from first draft to national book tour can be a treacherous, absorbing—and wildly unpredictable—adventure.”

Written by Harbach’s co-editor at N+1, the eBook follows the novel’s entire journey from MFA class to publication. It will include stories about Gernert Company agent Chris Parris-Lamb, Little, Brown editor Michael Pietsch and book designer Keith Hayes.

Michael Hastings Afghanistan Book Reportedly Dropped By Little, Brown

Despite the fact that Michael HastingsThe Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan is still listed on Amazon, one report suggests that Little, Brown has dropped its book deal with the Rolling Stone reporter.

The New York Post reports: “Sources said that super agent Andrew Wylie had quietly begun offering the manuscript to other publishers this week.”

The book is to be based on Hastings’ article “The Runaway General,” an essay exposing  high-level insubordination in the military. The article helped get Gen. Stanley McChrystal — the official running the war in Afghanistan at the time — fired.

Will Casey Anthony Get a Book Deal?

This week a jury ruled that Casey Anthony was not guilty in the death of her child and a judge sentenced the young woman to four years in jail for lying to authorities. As the case winds down, analysts keep asking the same question–will Anthony get a lucrative book deal to write about her experience?

The Boston Herald covered the issue in an article today, including this quote from Emerson College professor Gregory Payne: “She will get top dollar for a book … She’s probably going to be with a very fat ATM card.” What do you think?

As mentioned in the article, this GalleyCat editor doesn’t think Anthony will get a book deal. Despite the not guilty ruling, Anthony will face a lifetime of public scrutiny and speculation. The publishing industry learned its lesson after bad publicity canceled O.J. Simpson‘s pulped book, If I Did It–readers get very upset when an infamous celebrity attempts to make money off a murder case.

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