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Paper Cuts

17-Year Old Becomes Big-Time Writer

Via the NY Sun (sub req’d), breaking news on lit by just-hatched chicks:

Kaavya Viswanathan is set on becoming an investment banker when she graduates from Harvard University in 2008, but a phone call that the 17-year-old freshman received from a literary agent might just cause a change in her plans.

The agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh of the William Morris Agency, told the Franklin Hills, N.J.-born Ms. Viswanathan that Little Brown & Company … agreed to a two-book deal with the teenager. The sum approached $500,000, a staggering amount for an unpublished writer, let alone someone who’d barely left home for college.

…Ms. Viswanathan said she’s already written more than 150 pages, or more than a third of the manuscript. [Ed's Note -- 150 pages for half a mil = about $3,000 per page.]

“It’s a little tough to do this writing and also juggle classes and the homework,” she said. “This is a big-time commitment. It’s not like writing an essay for a class.”

Peterson Jurors May Team Up For Book

Paper Cuts

papercuts.gif-Random House pays Tina Brown $2 million to “[brush] off suggestions that the world [does] not need another book about Diana.” [Reuters]

-Kate and David Marshall sell Celebrating You: A Gift of Appreciation for Someone You Love, “another fill-in-the-blank book from the authors of several successful journals,” to Becky Cole at Doubleday. Am I the only one who can see the Emperor’s got no clothes/nouns/verbs? [PM]

-As for the blatant anti-humanitarianism of this next book, me likey: Former broadcaster and TV producer Caroline Righton sells The Life Audit, “a pragmatic approach to ‘auditing’ how we spend our time in order to shed time wasters (people and activities) and create time for doing the things we really love or aspire to,” to Ann Campbell at Broadway. [PM]

Update: The lackey-associate saddled with the job of sending PM news of Tina’s book deal describes the Diana bio as “the book the book [sic] Tina was destined to create” — voicing what will be come to be known as the worst conspiracy theory ever for Diana’s death.

Help Wanted: This Season’s Most Notable Self-Help Titles

Last week, Publishers Weekly rolled out a laundry-list of new and upcoming titles in the “self-help” genre. And, since GC’s a fan of help of any kind (…hullo, agents! ) and believes PW‘s list didn’t give its books their proper due, she’s decided to cheer along the self-help genre by awarding special (verbal) honors to this season’s most notable titles. We call it the HELP WANTED Honor Roll, and encourage publishers to contact us for publicity or blurbing purposes.

How to Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life (Dutton, Sept., $17.95)

Book Most Likely to Anorexi-Size Teen Girls
The Pleasure Revolution: Free Yourself to Live the Life of Your Dreams — A Mother and Daughter Journey Toward Self-Discovery (Free Press, May, $25)

Worst Decline in Quality of Title, Post-Colon
Fat, Stupid, Ugly: One Woman’s Courage to Survive (HCI, Sept., $12.95 paper)

Worst Gift Book Idea
Dante’s Path: A Practical Approach to Achieving Inner Wisdom (Gotham, Sept., $14 paper)

Book Reference Most Likely to Lower Your Term Paper (>) a Full Grade
Cracking the Coconut Code: 7 Insights to Transform Your Life (Hay House/Princess Books, Jan., $14.95)

Most Life-Irrelevent Dilemna
The Last Self-Help Book You’ll Ever Need: The Bliss and Benefits of Embracing Your Guilt, Repressing Your Anger, and Throttling Your Inner Child (Basic Books, June, $24)

Most Likely to Have a Disappointing Sequel
Shining Through: Switch on Your Life and Ground Yourself in Happiness (RED WHEEL/WEISER CONARI Oct., $12.95 paper)

Most Pointlessly Extended Metaphor
Cleaning and the Meaning of Life: Finding Happiness Through Simplicity, Cleanliness and Comfort (HCI, Apr., $12.95 paper)

Most Threatening Lifestyle Title
Open to Desire: Embracing a Lust for Life — Insights from Buddhism and Psychotherapy (Gotham, Jan., $25)

Best Misreading of an Eastern Religion
Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out (HCI, Jan., $12.95 paper) Worst New Lingo