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Archives: May 2005

Audio Hooks

Penguin Remixed may just be a ploy for publicity, but it’s a ploy we don’t mind playing out/with. Among the audio book samples Penguin is offering to amateur DJs (the prize for the best mix being, predictably, Penguin books) are Alice in Wonderland, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and — hold on, I’m trying to find a title that isn’t the lit equivalent of trance — Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Depeche Mode-meets-House?).

Update: We’ve listened to five mixes now, and so far we haven’t heard one that makes a point of mixing texts, instead of mixing text & music. We want a text duet, a word collage, a mix that doesn’t utilize recorded readings as lazily as drum loops. Readers, we know you can do it.

Inside Edition

As longtime readers know, I’m an avid reader of MobyLives’ guest columns. And so, even though this week’s column doesn’t directly relate to the book industry, I’d like to mention its thesis, an extension of Jacques Barzun’s theory that “over the decades, following and at times foreseeing the advances of science and technology, the novel has gradually slowed down time and increasingly explored the interior realm of the human mind.” To that, guest columnist David Barringer adds this prediction: “The novel of the future will persist in slowing down time so that we may enter the mind and observe its workings.” The novel of the future, he writes, will be “a novel about a single decision.”

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Wolfe’s Next Book: I Am Charlatan

Tom Wolfe’s next book, the AP reports, will be a nonfiction look at “off-the-wall behaviour — wealthy investor types who hide their status, dress like delinquents and act like bad seeds.” As Wolfe told an audience in Brazil during a book tour,

“… What is a rich man who dresses in a style known as post-homeless [ed. - never heard of it] trying to say? That’s what I’d like to find out … That’s why there are so many bad marriages. A girl can no longer tell where a young man stands just by looking at him.

By the time a girl marries a man, one hopes that — even if she’s living in Charlotte Simon‘s ‘post-date’ world — she’s done more than “[look] at him.” But, never mind; we’ve better things to waste time parsing. Mainly this, another quote said for the benefit of Wolfe’s Brazilian audience: verywhite.jpg

“I used to own quite a lot of white suits. At one time I had 34, today I only have 24. But it’s tough going. If I had Dr. Freud’s … number I’d call him to ask him why I do this,” said Wolfe.

We’ve one guess (right), but readers should feel free to submit others.

Jesus Christ, Anne Rice

rice.jpg

NEW YORK – Vampires are usually her passion, but Anne Rice is getting biblical in her next book, due out in November from publisher Random House. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt will tell the story of Jesus’ early years in his own words.

Excerpts of a lengthy letter that will accompany advance review copies of the book this summer are published in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine.

… “I’m not a priest,” Rice … writes in the letter. “I can’t be one. I’ll never be able to go to the altar of the Lord and say the words of consecration at Mass, `This is my body. This is my blood.’ No, I can’t work that magnificent Eucharistic miracle. But in humility, I have attempted something transformative which we writers dare to call a miracle in the imperfect human idiom we possess. It’s to bring Him here in the form a story, and that story is Christ The Lord.”

EW’s comment goes as expected: “Whether Christians appreciate the queen of the damned writing about their Lord is unclear, but Mel Gibson might want to look into the movie rights.” But, if such a film could be called a “prequel” (The Fandom Menace, anyone?), let’s pray it doesn’t spawn a trilogy.

I know we keep on saying that publishers have to get more creative promoting literary fiction,

phonesex1.jpg

but advertising young female authors as phone sex operators isn’t what we had in mind.

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Pam Anderson Brings the “Plus” to Publishing

“Those who thought a TV show positing Pamela Anderson as a bookseller was a laughable idea have turned out to be right,” the Book Standard reports; the FOX sitcom (previously mentioned here and here) is turning out to be “an unexpected hit” for the Rupert Murdoch-owned network.

For HarperCollins, which plugs its books on the sitcom each week— the publisher outfits the show’s bookstore set with a rotating library of its titles—a second season of Stacked could yield an even more fruitful partnership: HarperCollins authors may appear for bookstore signings, with the possibility of having their books worked into the show’s storylines.

Paul Lance, HarperCollins’ director of West Coast operations, who helped orchestrate the arrangement between the publisher and the production company, readily acknowledges that he doesn’t know how big an impact, if any, Stacked is having on book sales. But he knows the agreement isn’t hurting the house’s much-touted branding efforts.

Those (much-touted?) branding efforts, if you don’t already know, come with the unimaginatively grandiose name “Publishing +” — a name whose last half suggests that Pam may turn out to be a natural (so to speak) choice of mascot.

The ULA, Potty-Mouthed

duchamp.jpgLast Thursday, I linked to “Hot From My Pockets,” a ULA parody with a public-restroom-quality (visualize: unfortunate things floating) potty mouth. ULA-ers, judging by the hate mail sent to GC over the weekend, didn’t like the fact that I posted to it; or, at least, that’s what I understood their letters to be saying. Most of the letters, unfortunately, required some nasty street drugs to follow:

To: Galleycat
Subject: Good one with the anti-ULA blog PR!

It reflects well on you. It’s going to get a LOT of traction. I sense a winner here. The future looks bright for you guys, MFAers and The Stodgy. Oh yeah! It’ll all start working. Someone will remember what you and your heroes have done! Yeah, you’ll make a mark. Can’t you feel it? –The shift from being a nonentity to someone: you’re making great strides. You’re on the right path and backing the right horse. Oh yeah!

———————–
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

duchamp.jpgLast Thursday, I linked to “Hot From My Pockets,” a ULA parody with a public-restroom-quality (visualize: unfortunate things floating) potty mouth. ULA-ers, judging by the hate mail sent to GC over the weekend, didn’t like the fact that I posted to it; or, at least, that’s what I understood their letters to be saying. Most of the letters, unfortunately, required some nasty street drugs to follow:

To: Galleycat
Subject: Good one with the anti-ULA blog PR!

It reflects well on you. It’s going to get a LOT of traction. I sense a winner here. The future looks bright for you guys, MFAers and The Stodgy. Oh yeah! It’ll all start working. Someone will remember what you and your heroes have done! Yeah, you’ll make a mark. Can’t you feel it? –The shift from being a nonentity to someone: you’re making great strides. You’re on the right path and backing the right horse. Oh yeah!

———————–

From: Galleycat
Subject: Re: Good one with the anti-ULA blog PR!

Hmm. Don’t follow.

———————–
CONVERT BREAKS: __default__

duchamp.jpgLast Thursday, I linked to “Hot From My Pockets,” a ULA parody with a public-restroom-quality (visualize: unfortunate things floating) potty mouth. ULA-ers, judging by the hate mail sent to GC over the weekend, didn’t like the fact that I posted to it; or, at least, that’s what I understood their letters to be saying. Most of the letters, unfortunately, required some nasty street drugs to follow:

To: Galleycat
Subject: Good one with the anti-ULA blog PR!

It reflects well on you. It’s going to get a LOT of traction. I sense a winner here. The future looks bright for you guys, MFAers and The Stodgy. Oh yeah! It’ll all start working. Someone will remember what you and your heroes have done! Yeah, you’ll make a mark. Can’t you feel it? –The shift from being a nonentity to someone: you’re making great strides. You’re on the right path and backing the right horse. Oh yeah!

———————–

From: Galleycat
Subject: Re: Good one with the anti-ULA blog PR!

Hmm. Don’t follow.

———————–

To: Galleycat
Subject: Re: Re: Good one with the anti-ULA blog PR!

The PR for the anti-ULA blog that says it out-ULAs the ULA is doubly embarrassing for you. First, someone goes there and sees the poopy and thinks, Huh? Then they recall that you said it outdoes us using our own method and again they go, Huh? Lastly they think, Oh, I get it: feeble, pointless, scaredy-cat spite against a stand-up, focused campaign of expose’ and revival! I get it! –But Galley doesn’t come out very well. Clearer?

Clear as crack cocaine. What makes this exchange especially heady, though, is the fact that — according to Pockets’ IP address — ULA spokesman and Orlando Hotpockets (a psuedonym? Never would have guessed!) are one and the same.* Which brings to mind (again) my long-held theory that the ULA is not a literary rebellion, but a very long, intricate piece of Andy Kaufman-inspired/Dadaist/Duchamp-ian performance art, albeit with intententions no more lofty than your kid brother’s on a long family car trip — i.e., to annoy the shit out of you, or anyone else unlucky enough to be in its audience.

*Thanks go to ROR’s Ed for that bit of detective work.

Lost & Found

Spotted at Rake’s Progress:

Kirkus calls John Irving’s latest effort, Until I Find You, his ‘worst novel’ and reports that it’s full of “limp penis jokes.” The good news is it’s only about 850 pages long

RP, however, fails to mention what Kirkus calls the novel’s “seriocomic” and “extraordinarily blase dramatizations of the sexual abuse of children” — always a sure-fire sign that you’re in for a quality read.

[For today only, read Kirkus's full review of Until I Find You here.]

The Bzzness

William Morrow’s publicity campaign for Freakonomics is like a pizza topped with all the fixings. Why not, the campaign asks, get everything you can? The real question, however, may be whether smaller houses are smarter (or just quicker) in implementing new forms of publicity:

Publicists for the book sent galley copies of the title to over a hundred bloggers who, in turn, profiled or reviewed the book on their sites … Dee Dee DeBartlo, a publicist at Morrow, says the house has targeted bloggers in previous campaigns, but never so strategically.

Freakonomics also got a boost from a similar campaign launched by a company that has styled itself as a buzz-specialist. As part of a 12-week marketing blitz engineered by Boston-based BzzAgent, Inc., advance copies of the title were mailed to a thousand possible supporters…

Pocket Watch

To the scene of manufactured drama, please welcome “Hot From My Pockets,” a blog that attacks the ULA by out-ULA-ing it. According to its “About Me” blurb, author Orlando Hotpockets is “a retarded alcoholic with a head injury who was raised by lice-infested timber wolves in upstate Michigan. [He is] also a writer.” Unable to afford proper writing utensils, his most recent work can be found in neither hardcover nor paperback but exclusively in blood on toilet paper.

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