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Archives: July 2005

Famous Expression Not So Catchy Without ‘Sins’

“Herewith, in consultation with my fellow scribes, I offer a cheat sheet to some of the worst reviews that a critic can write. Let’s call them ‘The Seven Deadly Reviews.’

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Thanks, But No Thanks

ack.jpgToday at The Black Table, editor Emily G runs down the many ways silly wittle writers (in the examples below, Mr. Almond & Mr. Klosterman) fuck up their acknowledgments pages:

Rule #1: Don’t Thank A Dead Person.

This one is fairly straightforward. Unless you personally knew, say, Spalding Gray (Chuck) or, more improbably, Abraham Lincoln (Steve), it is not appropriate to thank him. I don’t care if he inspired every single word on every single page. Thank him in your prayers, in the pages of your diary, in a post on your little-read blog. He does not care about being thanked in your acknowledgments, because he is dead, and to everyone else, it just looks like you are name-dropping a person who you can safely assume will not deny knowing you, and that’s just tacky.

Rule #2: Don’t Thank A Deity.

Warner Twelve Little Indians

Jon Karp has landed at Warner, PW (sub req’d) reports:

By this morning, Warner sent the official word: the former Random young gun would be handling his own imprint, as many speculated he would, and it would be at Warner.

Warner Twelve will do no more (but not at least) one book per month (which means that the line some years could be Warner Nine or Ten). Karp is tapped as publisher and editor-in-chief, though it’s an editor-in-chief without too many Indians [ed's note - why don't I get this?] : The marketing and sales all comes from Warner, and no full-fledged editorial hires are immediately on the horizon. Instead, Karp will personally acquire and edit each book. Karp reports to Warner Books publisher Jamie Raab; he’ll launch the list in spring ’07.

From the Constant Ticker Tape of Prize News

When the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing first launched in 2002, it aimed to “join the ranks of other notable literary awards/prizes such as the [...] PEN/Faulkner Prize for Fiction, PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Book of Fiction, National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.” Now, after announcing its 2005 prize winners, the Prize’s public presence is about as kept and looked-after as this page on the Prize’s website: that is to say, not very.

Stll, despite the Prize’s surprisingly budget publicity, two winners — now each $12,500 richer — and five finalists have been named. They are:

Winners:
Fiction: The Laments by George Hagen
Non-fiction: The King of California by Mark Arax and Rick Wartzman

Fiction Finalists:
The Calligrapher by Edward Docx
Bloodvine by Aris Janigian
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer

Non-fiction Finalists:
Chasing the Sea by Tom Bissell
The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin

The Goodbye Guys

Lulu.com‘s gambit for publicity pays off: The Book Standard turns its attention to Lulu’s “new study” predicting the upcoming extinction of male-written bestsellers.

From Lulu.com’s press release:

July 20, 2005 (Raleigh, N.C.) — Bestselling novels by male authors like Dan Brown and Stephen King are heading for extinction, according to a new study which reveals that writers like J.K. Rowling and Danielle Steel have helped women double their share of #1 bestsellers over the last 20 years.

The study of the 354 novels to have topped the hardback fiction section of the world-famous New York Times Bestseller List during the 50 years from 1955-2004 was conducted by Lulu (www.lulu.com) [ed's note -- even taking into account the rhetorical customs of press releases, this moment of talking-about-myself-in-the-third-person feels particularly icky], a website that lets anyone publish their own book and sell it on the Net.

The female share of #1 bestsellers over the first decade of the study (1955-1964) was 17.8%, and still just 23.8% as recently as the 1980s — compared to 46% over the last decade (1995-2004); and 50% so far this year.

The press release, unlike The Book Standard‘s summary, also includes this helpful tampax-ad-or-rebirth-of-the-messiah? timeline:

girlpower.jpg

Read more

Mad Maxed Out

As reported in Publishers Lunch, Mad Max Perkins will be moving on from blogging:

I’m off to work the program, the 12 steps of Narcissists Anonymous. And to apply myself, whole-cloth, to the business of being an editor. I’m not quitting a sinking ship; I’m just stepping down from the quarter deck (I was never officer material in the first place), and resuming my duties as deck-swabber first class. I return–refreshed and rejuvenated–to “fighting my corner” in the way that suits me best: one book, one author, at a time.

Potter Numbers, A Retrospective

Via the Guardian:

  • The new Harry Potter’s print run is “10m in the United States,” “the biggest first printing of any book, ever.”

  • “The previous volume, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, was the fastest-selling book in history, shifting more than 5m copies in a single day.”
  • “Rowling already earns more than any other woman in Britain, bringing in something close to £100m a year.”

More numbers and pics — forgive the time lag, but I’ve lost my digital camera — later today.

Keeping Potter from the Muggles

dailyshow.jpgThe Daily Show‘s website has a clip from last night’s Harry Potter segment. Watch as Rob Corddry impersonates, with varying degrees of badness, billionare-times-four-as-of-tomorrow J.K. Rowling.

Related: View the Potter countdown at MuggleNet.com.

What Books Aren’t We Reading This Summer?

Cut and pasted from the Onion:

summer.jpg

Agent Blonde

martha.jpgMartha Stewart, everyone’s favorite Kitchen Nazi, has just scored a $2 million book deal with Rodale, the publisher morally culpable for the South Beach Diet series. Billed as a how-to business book and already scheduled for an October release, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s press release describes the book as an “outline [for how to] identify one’s own entrepreneurial voice and channel one’s skills and passions into a successful business venture.” According to the NY Post, even less clear than the meaning of “entrepreneurial voice” is “how Stewart will deal in the book with the long federal investigation into ImClone stock sales that nearly wrecked [Omnimedia].”

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