FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames 10,000 Words TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Archives: February 2009

New Yorker Fiction Editor Sees Recession Submission Boom

treisman.jpgGalleyCat caught up with New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman at the Festival of New French Writing, discovering that her section has seen a distinct increase in submissions since the recession began.

“Maybe because writers have been struggling or maybe because writers have more time, I’ve had more stories coming in now than I’ve seen in the last three or four years,” explained Treisman in an exclusive interview. “I’ve had a number of stories come in directly related to the recession. It’s steady. After 9-11, there were very few submissions. After the Bush elections it dried up too.”

Treisman (pictured) moderated a discussion between New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik and French novelist Marie Darrieussecq. Treisman thought American writers could learn from French author’s example. “Marie sat down as a student and wrote something she thought would be small. It turned out to be a bestseller, but she has a lot of dedication … It’s difficult to get through failure, but in some ways, it’s more difficult to cope with success.”

Mediabistro Course

Food Writing

Food WritingStarting October 8, work with the food features editor at Everyday with Rachel Ray to develop your portfolio! Gabriella Gershenson will teach you how how to write a successful food piece, conceive story ideas, land assignments to get attention from foodies, and build authority in the food writing community. Register now!

Book Stock Watch: Borders Closes Chicago Store

308.jpegToday Borders announced that they will close a large store on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue in 2010. According to Publishers Marketplace, the company said they will ‘continue to have a strong commitment to Chicagoland with 19 stores throughout the area.’

GalleyCat has been tracking the stock performance of the major companies that influence the bookselling business. We created this chart with eight publicly-traded publishing stocks hand-picked by GalleyCat readers–including company name, symbol, current stock price, and price increase or decrease at week’s close.

The McGraw-Hill Co. MHP 19.73 -0.26
Books-A-Million, Inc. BAMM 2.55 0
Borders Group, Inc. BGP 0.55 -0.03
Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN 64.79 2.45
Barnes & Noble, Inc. BKS 17.94 0.18
Wiley John & Sons Inc. JW.A 31.39 1.13
Scholastic Corporation SCHL 11.01 0.13
News Corporation NWS 6.26 -0.19

Picador Invests in Roberto Bolano

51mfrqgL6YL._SL500_AA240_.jpgPicador UK publisher Paul Baggaley oversaw his first purchases at the company, buying 11 books by Roberto Bolano.

With Bolano’s “2666″ climbing bestseller lists in England, the publisher picked up Bolano’s unpublished novel, “The Third Reich”–which will hit stores in 2011. The deal was brokered by Sarah Chalfant at the Wylie Agency, reports Bookseller.

Here’s more about the other titles: “Baggaley has also acquired 10 other Bolano titles, previously untranslated into English, from Tim Bates at Pollinger on behalf of the US publisher New Directions. The first of these, “Amulet,” will be published in hardback this autumn, alongside the paperback of “2666.” The remaining Bolano novels will be published over the following two years.”

Fake Maya Angelou Twitter Feed Exposed

M.A. Song Photo.jpgThe same week as a Twitter book sold for “a five figure sum,” a fake Maya Angelou Twitter author built up nearly 2,500 followers before being exposed by the LA Times.

According to the paper, “a 20-year-old male artist named Lee” wrote all the micro-posts pretending to be the famous poet. While the site has been removed, he left strange posts like “I am very sad. My friends are few… but my words runneth over” and “It is as important to love ourselves as much as the world around us.”

The Twitter site has disappeared, but you can still listen to impersonation of the poet. Here’s what Angelou’s agent, David LaCamera, told the LA Times:

“The funny thing is that even someone of her stature,” he said, “although she speaks eight languages, she’s not necessarily very fluent in computerese. When she became aware of it, she basically shook her head.”

(Via BookNinja)

Google To Pay Authors $60-to-$300 Per Scanned Title

popup_logo2.gifIn an email yesterday, the Authors Guild disclosed the individual pay-outs that writers would receive from Google for scanning 7 million books: they will earn between $60 and $300 for each book scanned by the company.

Today Gawker posted a copy of the email. As GalleyCat reported, Google struck a $125 million settlement with the Authors Guild last year, which included $45 million for authors and publishers.

Gawker editorialized about the email: “The Authors Guild didn’t … explain how a purported $125 million settlement only includes $45 million in author and publisher payments; it offered instead a rosy summation of the lengthy settlement agreement. If authors had any doubts about the weak and declining economics of their profession, their guild’s crowing about such a paltry payout should put them to rest.”

Benjamin Anastas: “Literature Is This Non-Governmental Regulatory Agency”

In the first discussion of the Festival of New French Writing, author Benjamin Anastas moderated a conversation between French author Olivier Rolin and E.L. Doctorow. In the exclusive video above, GalleyCat interviewed Anastas about his own work and the future of the political novelist. In addition, Anastas recently contributed a Granta essay about his father.

During their conversation, Rolin and Doctorow agreed that politics can hamper good writing. Rolin criticized “the oppressive horizon” of colorless language used in political speeches and the media. While discussing Proletarian literature, Doctorow remarked “a lot of bad books were written in the 1930s.” Follow the continuing conversation at the #FNFW Twitter stream.

Speakers at the festival today include Bernard-Henri Levy (“American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville”), Marjane Satrapi (“The Complete Persepolis”), Chris Ware (“Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth”), and Adam Gopnik (“Paris to the Moon”).

Comic Book Companies Fear Digital Books

phoneHeader copy.jpg

Comic book publishers are worried about the future of comics when the action-packed pages finally hit Kindle and other digital readers. While the Kindle screen doesn’t currently support color, a number of digital comic book readers have hit the iPhone, including the currently popular PullLists (pictured above).

If the prophesized larger-screen iPod Touch arrives in stores, the industry would have to contend with these new kinds of readers. Are you reading comics on your iPhone? What applications do you use?

Newsarama puts it in blunt terms: “Could Kindle Kill Comics?John Cunningham, DC Comics’ VP of Advertising explained in that article: “[Comic books are] a business that is very low margin and very low print run, so if 10 percent of the readers migrate to an e-device, that is going to throw off the economics for 60 percent of the books that are published in this country, and that’s probably a low guess.” (Via PW)

Michiko Kakutani Drove Norman Mailer Crazy

x4412.jpgIn 2003, Norman Mailer wrote a letter to Arthur Sulzberger accounting for five bad reviews he received from NY Times critic Michiko Kakutani–ending with a request for a private meeting between the Times publisher, himself, and Kakutani to discuss her track record with his work.

The Daily Beast has reprinted the letter for the first time, which meticulously accounts for every review he received over ten years, and quietly requests the letter be kept off the Internet. In addition, the feature includes letters to authors Cynthia Ozick, Don Carpenter, and James Jones.

Here’s a juicy excerpt: “If I were Janet Maslin, Richard Eder, or any of the other professional daily book reviewers, I would be a hair reluctant to give Norman Mailer a positive review given Kakutani’s control of the bandstand … [I] hope that the Times will agree to a quiet meeting with one or two of the people who have received this letter, plus Ms. Kakutani and myself. I must say I hope to receive a reply. I would rather keep all this in camera than disseminate it to the teeming raptors of the Internet. Did I say raptors? I mean raptures, teeming raptures.”

Books Editor Patti Thorn Says Farewell Along with Rocky Mountain News

Thorn112_t150.jpgThe Rocky Mountain News–Colorado’s 150-year-old newspaper–will publish its last issue tomorrow. While reading that sad news, GalleyCat turned to books editor Patti Thorn‘s bittersweet column from February 20th.

Thorn reviewed “Casanova: Actor, Lover, Priest, Spy” by Ian Kelly, a memoir she felt could give literary folks a respite from the bad news coming in from all corners of the industry.

Her touching words will ring true for writers, editors, and readers around the country spooked by the dark recession: “The news in publishing couldn’t be bleaker: massive layoffs at publishing houses, whole imprints disappearing from company mastheads as if David Copperfield had suddenly waved his cape and tripped a trapdoor somewhere … And here’s the biggest irony: As the book world crumbles, how best to escape? Bury your head in a book, of course.” (Via Jeff Gordinier.)

Fugees Producer To Shop Memoir

john.jpgHip-hop artist and producer John Forte is working on a new book with agent Ed Victor.

The hip-hop producer worked with Fugees and released solo work, but was arrested on drug charges in 2000. Forte’s sentence was commuted by former President George W. Bush last fall.

Mediabistro.com’s Diane Clehane spotted his agent at lunch with Random House’s Julie Grau. Here’s more from Clehane’s lunch: “I asked Ed how things were going with the book from Fugee’s producer John Forte, who Ed lunched with a few Wednesdays ago. ‘He’s just sent me the outline,’ Ed told me. ‘He’s really a fascinating guy.’”

NEXT PAGE >>