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Paper Cuts

Borders Cuts Heavily from Paperchase Division in Third Round of Layoffs This Year

logo_print.gifDailyFinance is reporting that Borders is entering its third round of layoffs this year, just a few days after appointing Bennett LeBow as its new chairman.

Here’s a key paragraph: “DailyFinance has learned this newest wave of job losses affects the Paperchase division, Borders’ London-based stationery, cards and gifts subsidiary that operates 337 shops located within the United States. The entire Paperchase field team has been eliminated, effective immediately, as have a substantial number of managerial positions. It is not known at this time how many employees have been laid off, but those affected are to receive severance pay from the company.”

This comes after Borders cut 164 positions in January and an unspecified number more in March. Not a good year so far. Borders’ spokesperson told DailyFinance that the company “is always looking for opportunities to improve performance and profitability. Any recent changes are a continuation of our efforts.”

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Scene @ Liza Monroy’s Mexican High Party


Liza Monroy celebrated the publication of her first novel, Mexican High, with a party at Ulrich Oehmen’s photography gallery in Chelsea last week. Catering was provided by her high school classmate, chef Danny Mena of Hecho en Dumbo, while another alum, artist Richard Gonzalez, sent a mariachi band over. (The school is the real-life model for the one in the novel.) Spiegel & Grau co-publisher Cindy Spiegel was one of many guests who packed the room and helped sell out all the inventory local indie 192 Books brought to the party.

Monroy will be reading from her novel at Brooklyn’s Book Court Thursday night (with short story writer Nam Le) and the Roots & Vines Café Friday (with novelist Bryan Charles), with other readings to follow. And, she reports, she’ll be teaching an online course in personal essay writing for beginning July 16.

(photos by Kim Buchheit)

Another Perk of Celebritydom

All you aspiring non-fiction writers out there may want to forget everything you’ve ever read about coming up with the perfect book proposal and concentrate on becoming famous, because Arianna Huffington’s just revealed an insider’s secret: “I’ve written 10 books and I have found there is a simple rule: the bigger the advance, the less there is on paper before a deal is struck.”*

That’s part of her justification for sticking by her earlier claim that Judith Miller has a $1.2 million deal with Simon & Schuster, despite a fairly strong denial by Miller’s agent and, as reported by Publishers Lunch, S&S prez Carolyn Reidy, who tells Michael Cader she told Huffington there was “no proposal, no discussions about a book, no discussion about money, no p&l created, no offer made, no signed deal.” But, Huffington insists (turning to Lloyd Grove for backup), if your profile is high enough, you don’t need any of that–and she’s convinced not only that Miller qualifies, but that she’s been talking this hypothetical book up amongst her friends.

Let’s say you’re a publishing insider, or maybe an agent with a high-profile client. Can you tell me about a deal you made for an author with no pages but plenty of snappy patter? You can go off the record if necessary…

*This must not apply for fiction, since Vikram Chandra had to turn in all 1,225 pages of his novel to collect his million dollars…On the other hand, they say Charles Frazier got $8 million for the follow-up to Cold Mountain on the strength of a one-page proposal.

He’s got the publishers on their knees

Ah, auctions. It’s probably the closest thing to a carnival funhouse atmosphere in the publishing world, where different houses/imprints/factions try to outwit, outlast and outplay in the hopes of landing a gigantic deal that will only lead to the winning publisher seeing red for the foreseeable future. But it’s hard not to get caught up because you must have that particular proposal offering right this moment and beat everyone else!

Which seems to be the case in Britain as the industry awaits the victor for the right to publish Eric Clapton’s memoirs. He’s already rejected a 2.5 m pound offer, and the final result looks to be far higher. Stay tuned, for the winner is expected to rise above the fracas by Wednesday, with many battle scars showing, no doubt.

Why all the fuss? Well, it’s Clapton, rock guitar god, and he’s planning on dishing, baring his soul, all that jazz (or is it blues?) And since it’s world rights being offered up, no doubt the next auction round will happen Stateside…

And continuing the vapid blond celebrity theme

As Publishers Marketplace reports:

Paris Hilton’s YOUR HEIRESS DIARY: Confess It All To Me, an opportunity for fans to channel their own inner heiress as Paris shows them how to get the most fun and excitement out of every single day, to Trish Todd at Touchstone/Fireside, by Dan Strone at Trident Media Group (world English).

Does “channelling my own inner heiress” include getting my Sidekick hacked and snaring Greek billionaire shipping magnet heirs for no good reason? Awesome!

The Gutter really is my new best friend

Or Publishers Marketplace is trying to mess with my head, as they’ve managed to top yesterday’s howler of a deal:

Kit Whitfield’s BAREBACK, presenting a society as civilized as our own — with the difference that 98% of the population “furs up” at the full moon each month, to Betsy Mitchell at Del Rey, in a two-book deal, by Sophie Hicks of Ed Victor Ltd. (NA).

I think a title change might be in order

Or else I really have to get my mind out of the gutter:

Jo-Ann Power’s MISSING MEMBER, first in the mystery series, Me and Mr. Jones, featuring a forty-something Congresswoman who discovers her party’s Whip dead in her inner office chair, to Marcia Markland at St. Martin’s, for publication in Fall 2006, in a three-book deal, by Jay Poynor at Poynor Group/Orloff Literary Agency (world).

(deal report from Publishers Marketplace)

Schiavo Nearing Book Deal

Word about town is that David Vigliano’s repping Michael Schiavo. Previously, the boldface-friendly agent’s repped Moby’s vegan cookbook, but we’re told jokes about vegetative states are very crudité.

Strike a Match

Match the first and last halves of book titles found at the BEA’s New Title Showcase:

1. Rabbi, …
2. Going in Style: …
3. Vegetarian …
4. Three Strikes …
5. Mastering Abundance: …
6. My Life – And Death: …
7. The Bramble Thicket: A story for those who love adventure & …
8. I Want My …

a. … Christian Saints
b. … Have I Got a Girl for You!
c. … small bears!
d. … A Funeral Planning Program for Families
e. … Foreskin for Giftmas
f. … Your Dead
g. … A Past-Life Interview with the Titanic’s Designer
h. … A Spiritual Approach to Getting Anything You Want by having God Serve You


Read more

Upcoming Gift Sets, via PM’s Lunch Weekly Deluxe

The Neologist Gift Set:

Maureen O’Brien’s THE B MOTHER, exploring the choices families make, and the heroic act of being a Birth Mother, to Jennifer Charat at Harcourt, by Victoria Sanders, at Victoria Sanders & Associates (NA).

James Rapson and Craig English’s ANXIOUS TO PLEASE: 7 Revolutionary Practices to Overcome Chronic Niceness, uncovering the source of chronic niceness, and providing readers with an indispensable guide for lifelong change, to Bethany Brown at Sourcebooks, in a nice deal, by Andrea Hurst at Andrea Hurst & Associates (US).

The eventual-topic-of-your-children’s-therapy-sessions gift set:

Author of Pregnancy Sucks and Pregnancy Sucks for Men, Joanne Kimes’ GETTING YOUR BABY TO SLEEP SUCKS, BREASTFEEDING SUCKS, COLIC SUCKS, and POTTY-TRAINING SUCKS, extending her gritty honesty about motherhood to problem solving for early parenthood, to Kate Epstein at Adams Media, by Jeff Herman, in a nice deal (world).

The cognitive dissonance gift set:

Psychologist, motivational speaker, and Oprah favorite Dr. Robin Smith’s LYING AT THE ALTAR, asserting that couples routinely lie to each other, because that is what they are raised to do and because that often feels easier than telling the truth, offering the necessary tools for how to rebuild a relationship and break the habit of lying, to Bob Miller at Hyperion, by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (world).

Couples therapist and author of The Truth About Love, Pat Love, Ed.D. and psychologist Stephen Stosny, Ph.D.’s HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR MARRIAGE WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT IT, which explains why the four words a man fears most are “Honey, can we talk?,” showing women (and men) a non-verbal approach to coping with fear and shame – the two unconscious emotions that are ultimately responsible for poor communication, fear of intimacy, addictions, affairs, abuse, and most divorce, to Kris Puopolo at Doubleday, at auction, by James Levine of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (world).