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Archives: August 2009

An Imaginative Leap in Book Trailer Production

We’ve talked a lot in the past about what makes for an effective book trailer, and with that in mind I wanted to show you this new one-minute ad for Dan Solin‘s The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read, which has all the slickness of a television commercial. (Although we’re told there are no plans to buy time on any networks, we could easily see it on CNBC or Fox Business… or, for that matter, during weekend programming at the Hallmark Channel.)

This commercial particularly stands out when you compare it to the other videos Solin has released online this summer…

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Head Bangers by Zane

Erotica takes the focus of today’s Book of Color Pick of the Day with Zane’s Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade (Strebor/Atria Book). Zane’s titillating story tells that of twin sisters, Hope and Faith, active “soror” sisters of APF. Blood may be thicker than water, but can it resist the lure of a hot, older, sexy man? Hope and Faith find out when they find themselves vying for the attention of one man.

Zane is a New York Times Bestselling author with more than ten titles under her belt. She is also the publisher of Strebor Books International and the creator and co-executive producer of CINEMAX Original Series’ Zane’s Sex Chronicles.

Jeff Rivera is the author of “Forever My Lady” and the founder of

Book Stock Watch: Sony Support

sonydailyedition.jpgThe same week they unveiled a new Daily Edition Reader (pictured, via) with 3G wireless and a Google Book-compatible ePub format, Sony (SNE) defended the Internet giant in court this week: “Google Book will ‘foster competition, spur innovation and create efficiencies that will substantially benefit consumers,’ a Sony lawyer said in a court filing yesterday,” reported Bloomberg.

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 our readers–including company name, symbol, current stock price, and price increase or decrease at week’s close.

-Name- -Symbol- -Last price- -Change-
The McGraw-Hill Co. MHP 33.61 0.63
Books-A-Million, Inc. BAMM 13.98 -0.32
Borders Group, Inc. BGP 3.2 0.06, Inc. AMZN 82.76 -1.55
Barnes & Noble, Inc. BKS 20.89 0.16
Wiley John & Sons Inc. JW.A 32.51 0.27
Scholastic Corporation SCHL 24.73 -0.73
News Corporation NWS 12.93 -0.06
Google Inc. GOOG 464.75 -1.31
Apple Inc. AAPL 170.05 0.6
Sony Corporation SNE 27.3 0.05

(Link via Publishers Weekly)

Book Trailer for an Imaginary Author

One year after being exposed as an invented character supported by an elaborate Internet hoax, Martin Eisenstadt has resurfaced in a video supporting his forthcoming book–complete with Amazon Kindle cameos and cardboard cutouts.

In the heat of the 2008 Presidential election, two filmmakers created Eisenstadt as an imaginary political adviser, posing as a John McCain staffer and fooling reporters with exaggerated tales of Sarah Palin‘s problems. The NY Times unraveled the hoax here, but as the video reveals, a book attributed to this imaginary character will arrive in October–”I Am Martin Eisenstadt:
One Man’s (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans.”

Here’s more from the publisher’s website: “[W]e heard that he was a fraud, a fake, and that Martin Eisenstadt didn’t exist. Maybe he doesn’t. But in a world where ‘news’ can spread like wildfire on the Internet and a hoax can tell you more about politics than the facts, Martin Eisenstadt–whose blog and think tank fooled the world–has something to tell us. With the savviness of Primary Colors and the playfulness of Forrest Gump, his book is a mix of political intrigue, campaign-trail escapades, and cyberspace detective work.”

“The Shock Doctrine” Adaptation Divided

shock23.jpgAn intellectual match made in heaven has divided as Naomi Klein appears to have distanced herself from Michael Winterbottom‘s adaptation of her nonfiction book, “The Shock Doctrine.”

“[W]e had different ideas about how to tell this story and build the argument,” Klein explained in an interview with the Independent. The documentary will air on September 1 in the U.K., on the More4 channel. Winterbottom has directed many films, including “24 Hour Party People” and “The Road to Guantanamo.” In 2010, he will release an adaptation of Jim Thompson‘s dark novel, “The Killer Inside Me.”

Here’s more from the article: “Winterbottom’s work … has led to such insurmountable creative tensions that Klein, who originally came on board to narrate the film and act as a consultant, does not appear in the credits as a writer or consultant, or act as its narrator. A source at Channel 4 said the writer was so disappointed with Winterbottom’s vision of her book.” (Via NY Times)

Book Banning Is Every American’s Problem

We’d been meaning to say something about the new Google Map on the Banned Books Week website, documenting attempts to censor books across America, for a while now. Seeing all those blue tabs spread out over the lower 48 was a stark reminder that censorship isn’t a “red state/blue state” issue, but one which any of us might face in our communities. Unless our eyes are failing us, only five states have managed to get through the last two-and-a-half years without a single case of a challenged book being reported to the American Library Association: South Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Mexico, and Delaware. (That doesn’t mean there weren’t any such incidents, though; the website notes that 70 to 80 percent of the book challenges in America go unreported beyond the immediate community.)

The map is really cool, by the way, so be sure to take a look: Clicking on each blue tab gives you a summary of the specific challenge raised.

banned-books-readout.jpgSo we wanted to give you an early heads-up about the return of Banned Books Week next month, a “Readout” in Chicago’s Bughouse Square on Saturday, September 26, which will include six of the authors responsible for titles on the ten most challenged books of 2008, from And Tango Makes Three and Uncle Bobby’s Wedding to the Gossip Girls series. As we wrote a few years back, “Banned Books Week isn’t about patting ourselves on the back for refuting the complaints of previous generations over Huckleberry Finn,” but about remaining vigilant to the threats to our intellectual freedom that persist today.

Contemporary Fiction: The Next Big Thing in Video Games?

A few weeks back, we told you about a video game based on a Douglas Clegg novella—and here’s the latest evidence of the inspiration gamemakers are taking from the literary world: Digi Ronin Games are developing a new “casual game” for the Mac and PC platforms based on The Fixer Upper, the new novel from bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews.


The game follows the broad contours of the novel’s plot, following Dempsey Jo Killebrew from Washington, D.C., to small-town Georgia where she’s expected to renovate the family mansion. Finding hidden objects in the rooms of the estate moves the story forward; there will also be several “mini-games” stemming from the storyline, and the book’s characters will make appearances to give out clues and assign additional tasks.

“We are thrilled and honored to be working with an author the caliber of Mary Kay Andrews,” Jay Powell, the co-founder of Digi Ronin, says in a press release. “Her style and stories are a perfect match for the casual game market, and we intend to do her and her legions of fans proud.” And, indeed, while most casual games inspired by books appear to stem from the YA or mystery/suspense fields, this is the first game we’ve come across based on commercial women’s fiction. Maybe it’ll spark a trend… heck, which book would you most like to see turned into a videogame?

Ted Kennedy’s Memoir Embargoed

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Amanda Ernst, editor of FishbowlNY. During the show, she pondered, among other things, the press embargo of Ted Kennedy‘s upcoming memoir.

Hachette Book Group will put out 1.5 million copies of Senator Edward M. Kennedy‘s posthumously-published book, “True Compass.” According to the NY Post, pre-orders have already driven the book high up the Amazon rankings and the publisher has embargoed the book until the September 14 release date.

The book will hit stores one day before another carefully-guarded book–the Sept. 15 release of Dan Brown‘s new novel (author website here), a major publishing event that GalleyCat readers are busily nicknaming.

Batman Video Game Drives Book Sales

4353_180x270.jpgAs Julia Child‘s recent bestseller status proved, a popular movie can always drive blockbuster book sales. But today, the NY Times recorded what may be a first for publishing–a video game pushed sales higher for a classic comic book.

Grant Morrison and Dave McKean‘s dark, psychologically-complex book, “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” was released in 1989, but a special edition just debuted at #10 on the paperback Graphic Books Bestseller List. A brand new video game by the same name debuted in stores this week, sending a new generation of video game fans scrambling to the bookstore.

Here’s more from the article: “[It is] an electronic adventure which pits the Dark Knight against his deranged foes. The game has received many positive reviews and boasts some incredible graphics. A confrontation between Batman and Harley Quinn can be previewed here.”

Publishing Job Board: Quick Quartet

quartet.jpgIn an effort to keep the GalleyCat community up-to-date, we are tracking new jobs fresh off the job boards.

For your weekend resume-making pleasure, here are a couple new postings. First of all, the digital outfit Quartet Press is hiring its first editorial positions: “Duties include but are not limited to reading and responding to submissions, contracting books, editing and finalizing manuscripts, communicating with authors, final line editors, other content editors and Quartet press partners about various things such as cover art, excerpts, blurbs, promotion and more.”

In addition, HarperCollins Publishers is looking for a new Assistant Production Editor and Random House is scouting for a National Account Manager–Mass Merch. Finally, Simon & Schuster is looking for a Developer: “to help us build great consumer and business applications. Were a small shop and use Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum practices. We value sustainable pace, work/life balance, and the sanity and happiness of our team members.”