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Behind the Deal

Justin Bieber Bombs in Print: Should Publishers Stop Betting on Celebrity Book Deals?

In a post analyzing recent magazine circulation figures, WWD Media revealed that Vanity Fair‘s Justin Bieber cover story tanked at the newsstand. Despite Bieber’s 10 million Twitter followers, his issue could be the worst selling edition of the magazine in 12 years.

The teen heartthrob couldn’t sell copies of other magazines as well: “His October 2010 Teen Vogue cover — presumably tailored for a more ideal demographic for the 17-year-old superstar — sold 121,054 issues, roughly 12 percent below Teen Vogue’s 2010 average, according to ABC data. And it’s not just the monthlies, either. In April 2010, People featured a Bieber cover — “ALL ABOUT JUSTIN BIEBER” shouted the headline — that sold 961,762 copies, which represents a 25 percent dip below average sales and was the third worst seller for the weekly all of last year, according to ABC data.”

These figures might illustrate a larger problem facing both magazine and book publishers– a massively popular teen star online doesn’t necessarily translate to blockbuster sales in bookstores and newsstands. Maybe it’s time for publishers to stop placing expensive bets on The Next Big Internet Celebrity? What do you think?

Johnny Diaz Lands Film Deal

Open Road Integrated Media, a New York-based digital publisher and multimedia content company, has optioned the TV, film and digital rights to Johnny Diaz’s first three novels, Boston Boys Club, Miami Manhunt, and Beantown Cubans.

Diaz, a Boston Globe Business staff writer, published his fourth novel this week. We caught up with the novelist to find out more about his books.

Diaz explained: “I wanted to present gay Latinos in a positive light and to buck the negative stereotypes that we often see in books, TV and film.  I wanted to do for gay Hispanic men and their friends what author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez has done for Latinas in literature – amplify their voice.”

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Gaby Rodriguez Lands Book Deal

17-year-old Gaby Rodriguez caused a stir when she faked her pregnancy last year.  Her campaign sparked a movie deal with Lifetime, a Today Show appearance and a book deal with Simon & Schuster Young Readers.

Sharlene Martin, Rodriguez’s literary manager, explained how the deal came about: “When executive editor Zareen Jaffery saw the story in GalleyCat, she asked for the proposal which led to a very quick pre-emptive offer.”

The book will be published early 2012 to coincide with the Lifetime Movie which is being produced by Barbara Lieberman, Anne Bremner and Sharlene Martin.  The Taryn Fagerness Agency will handle foreign rights.

Preg-NOT Teen Shopping a Book Deal

To say Gaby Rodriguez‘s life has changed in the last few weeks is a gross understatement. After Rodriguez created a live social experiment for her senior class project, posing as a pregnant teen at her high school, she had no idea it would create a national stir.

Friends, students and even relatives were led to believe that she was pregnant for 6 1/2 months in order gauge their reactions and prejudice toward teen moms.
The experiment was successful and the reaction, after Rodriguez’s big reveal, was overwhelming.

First, over 100 news outlets around the world begged her for interviews and then she took her first airplane flight ever to appear with Matt Lauer in a heart-to-heart for the Today Show followed by an appearance on Telemundo.

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$100 Discount on Mediabistro’s Nonfiction Book Proposal Class

Today our Mediabistro Learn department is offering a special one-day $100 discount on the Nonfiction Book Proposal for GalleyCat readers.

Simply follow this link and use the code use the code GCAT100 to get the discount. The course is taught by Ryan Fischer-Harbage (pictured), an agent at the Fischer-Harbage Agency.

Here’s more about the course: “Got a great idea for a nonfiction book but don’t know what to do with it? With a professional and powerfully-written book proposal, you’ll be able to get the attention of busy agents and editors and sell them on your book. In this workshop, we’ll take your idea, develop it, and turn it into something you can write and sell. By the end of the course, you’ll be armed with a fully realized proposal and the knowledge you’ll need to get it to publishers.”

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How Nicholas Sparks Wrote His First Novel

Even the most famous authors once struggled as aspiring writers.

GalleyCat contributor Jeff Rivera interviewed novelist Nicholas Sparks for mediabistro.com’s So What Do You Do? feature. The author shared some candid memories about his early days as a struggling writer.

Here’s an excerpt: “at 28-years-old, I had realized I didn’t want to move my family every couple of years. I also knew at the same time that I didn’t want to be a pharmaceutical rep for the rest of my life. So, I had an epiphany. I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to give writing another shot’ and you know, I came up with the story for The Notebook, and I had two small children at that time. I had from 9 a.m. to midnight to work and so I did, three or four days a week. Six months later, I had finished the novel. Three years prior to that, I hadn’t written a thing.”

How to Pitch a Chronicle Books Editor for Charity

On Wednesday, December 8th, San Francisco authors can pitch a Chronicle Books editor, receive in-person feedback, and raise money for charity at the same time.

The Pitch for Charity event lasts from 3:00–5:00 p.m., and participants should contribute a suggested donation of $10 for Habitat for Humanity. If you need to polish your book proposal, check our Best Literary Agents on Twitter directory for inspiration and advice.

Here’s more about the event: “You arrive at 3:00 p.m. with your materials. A Chronicle employee will check you in and sign you up for a ten-minute time slot. When it’s your turn, be ready to give your pitch in five minutes or less. The editor will use the remaining five minutes to ask you questions about your project and give you constructive feedback.”

MB Learn Offers One-Day Discount on Nonfiction Book Proposal Course

Today our Mediabistro Learn department is offering a special one-day 25 percent discount off any online or in-person course, workshop, or seminar. That discount applies to the Advanced Nonfiction Book Proposal, a six-week course in New York City.

Here’s more about the course: “In this advanced class, you’ll work closely with an established literary agent and former editor on your completed draft of a proposal. Through lectures and heavy workshopping, you’ll fine-tune your title, subtitle, pitch letter, comparable titles, author bio, table of contents, and sample material to get your proposal ready to submit to agents … Not all proposals are created equal. Come see exactly how twenty of this instructor’s proposal students have published books with major publishers.”

Below, see a list of published books by former students of this class. The class will be taught by Ryan Fischer-Harbage (pictured), an agent at the Fischer-Harbage Agency. He has also worked as an editor at Little, Brown & Company, the Penguin Group, and Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

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Jon Gosselin’s Ex-Girlfriend Fishing for Book Deal

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Hailey Glassman, the ex-girlfriend of reality television star Jon Gosselin, fired off an informal book proposal during a guest post at Radar.com. In her piece, Glassman suggested that she had enough dirt on the former star of Jon & Kate Plus 8 to float an entire book.

Here’s an excerpt: “I figured I’d save this torture I went through and life lessons and all the real juicy crazy stuff the media did not get a hold of for a BOOK. It will make everything make more sense — time lines, evidence of time lines. Just the whole nightmare of this annoying, traumatic, hurtful Soap Opera, which encumbers so many lives around us with the media and public hating and talking so much smack that it made ‘nobodies’ into ‘notorious.’ SUE ME if there’s not one true thing in the book it will be all 110% TRUE. I have kept all evidence and people, you would be SHOCKED!”

This seemed like the ideal topic to discuss a couple days before a long holiday weekend. What do you think? Can the ex-girlfriend of a minor reality television celebrity land a book deal in this economy?

Tumblr Counts A Billion Posts, 7.2 Million Users & Tons of Book Deals

tumblrlogo.jpgToday TechCrunch reported that Tumblr has recorded more than one billion posts. Even more dramatically, the article counted 7.2 million users and 1.7 billion pageviews a month.

To celebrate, we’ve collected some of the book deals coming out of this creative blog network. In January 2010, the Stuff Hipsters Hate Tumblr blog sealed a deal. In that post, agent Jason Ashlock from Movable Type Literary Group explained the appeal of Tumblr book deals.

In April, the Hipster Puppies Tumblr blog inked a deal, we interviewed founder Christopher Weingarten about the “Natural Tumblr-to-Book Ecosystem.”

In May, What I Wore Tumblr blogger Jessica Schroeder scored a book deal.

In July, S*** My Kids Ruined Tumblr blog signed a book deal.

And don’t forget, GQ magazine called for an end to Tumblr book deals earlier this year.

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