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Archives: October 2009

The Real Wizard of Oz by Rebecca Longcraine

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Today’s Book of the Day is The Real Wizard of Oz: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum by Rebecca Longcraine. This book details Frank Baum’s struggle to write and publish the famous series. Although The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was originally written in 1899,it was not published until 1900. Baum was an endlessly creative man that traveled widely throughout the US, gaining inspiration in every new place.

Baum grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, married Maud Gage and moved out west where they encountered numerous natural hardships, such as tornadoes and drought, before moving to Chicago. His books became so famous that he spent the rest of his years writing 13 sequels to his original book. He also wrote adaptations for Broadway and started his own movie company to try and adapt his stories, which failed miserably. He had just finished the final Oz book before dying in 1919.

Rebecca Longcraine attended Oxford University and writes for the British press, such as The Independent and The Guardian.

UnBeige: Extreme Makeover, Emily Dickinson’s Home Edition

UnBeige, mediabistro.com’s design blog, alerts us to a ceiling collapse at Homestead, the house in which Emily Dickinson lived as a small child and famously spent the last three decades of her adult life, writing poems. According to a report in the NY Times, the plaster ceiling in the front parlor appears to have dropped so low from visitors’ regard Sunday afternoon that they heard it hit the ground. (The house is part of the Emily Dickinson Museum and was open for tours; no injuries were reported.)

Chris Anderson – How Novelist Can Sell More Books

In the fourth and last part of our exclusive video interview with bestselling author, Chris Anderson, explains what novelists can do to use the “Freemium” model, (as explained his controversial book FREE) to help promote and sell more books.

GalleyCat Readers Help Soldiers

warriorlib23.jpgEarlier this week, GalleyCat readers responded to “an urgent need” by generously sharing audiobooks with military personnel overseas through Operation Warrior Library.

According to organizer Audrey Herbst, the program received a heartwarming response from our readers: “we have received more than 20 offers of audiobooks in the last day … it looks like we will have several hundred CDs getting to Germany in time for Thanksgiving … GalleyCat helped us collect over 1,500 books this year, more books than we raised since the inception of the program!”

Organized by novelist Paul Malmont and Col. George Reynolds, this literary supply chain ships books to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you are a writer or publisher looking to participate, you can write warriorlibrary [at] gmail [dot] com or visit the website for more information.

Zombie Romance Anthology Shambles Towards Readers

zombielove.jpegExtending a trend that has swept through the publishing industry like an airborne virus, Ravenous Romance has launched what is reportedly the world’s first zombie love anthology–bringing romance to the most gruesome subgenre in horror literature.

Entitled “Hungry For Your Love: An Anthology of Zombie Romance,” the anthology is edited by Lori Perkins. Featured authors include: Brian Keene, Lois Gresh, and Michael Marshall Smith According to the company, St. Martin’s Press has bought reprint rights to the anthology, and it will publish next year. Ravenous Romance will also publish a digital audiobook version.

Here’s more from Perkins’ introduction: “[At] the Ravenous Romance office, I informed my colleagues that we would be doing a zombie romance anthology. They were emphatically skeptical. We posted the thesis on Facebook and hundreds of readers said they couldn’t imagine romance with rotting corpses. Oh, ye of little faith. The zombie mythos is the perfect metaphor for the end of an era, for a society beset with change it doesn’t understand but knows is here.”

Job Detective: HarperCollins Hires

hclogod.gifIt’s been a fairly good week for job hunters: publishers have listed three new positions today and three more yesterday. Like a hardboiled gumshoe, GalleyCat has been investigating publishing work on the mediabistro.com job boards.

For your resume-making pleasure, here are a the new postings. First of all, a New York City-based “major publishing company” is seeking a Senior Editor. Next, HarperCollins Publishers needs a Rights Assistant.

Finally, HarperCollins Publishers is also looking for a Designer. Here’s more about the job: “To be responsible for all stages of design for paperback and hardcover books from manuscript to bound book. To be responsible for the design of selective children’s books projects ranging from illustrated Chapter Books and Middle Grade novels, to Teen novels.”

Triumph Books Cancels Book by Imprisoned NBA Referee

triumphbooks.jpgThe Random House imprint Triumph Books has canceled a memoir by former NBA referee Tim Donaghy.

According to ESPN.com, “Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA” would have launched in a few weeks, exploring the former referee’s NBA work and his 15-month imprisonment for wire fraud. Donaghy was convicted for working with a gambler while refereeing games for the NBA. In the article, Random House expressed “concerns over potential liability,” but Pat Berdan from Executive Prison Consultants defended the referee’s book.

Here’s more from the article: “‘Somehow, the NBA got wind of the project and let Random House know in a threatening-type correspondence that they would object to the publication of such a book and they threatened that they would sue if they did go ahead and do that,’ said Berdan, who didn’t see any letters from the NBA.”

Fictionaut and the Future of the Literary Journal

jurgen.jpgAs literary journals and writers migrate online, it becomes more difficult to create a sense of community between readers in the vastness of cyberspace.

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Jürgen Fauth, co-founder of a social networking site for writers called Fictionaut. Fauth discussed how his site has opened up a new community space for literary magazines, building a socially-networked model for 21st Century writers. He also explained how up-and-coming writers can become part of the site’s growing community.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “What happened is a lot of editors at literary magazines–especially the more web savvy people who saw the potential of [Fictionaut]–jumped on and established groups for their magazines. Electric Literature, Keyhole, Word Riot, Juked, and Pank are all on there. It’s turning Fictionaut into a bit of a hub where you can go and read some stories and you see what groups it came from–it leads you off into to discovering those magazines.”

Margaret Atwood Advises the 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award Recipients

whitingawards.jpg“Congratulations to all ten of you. I’ll put you all in my blog.” author Margaret Atwood told the 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award recipients last night. She delivered some droll advice for the winners: “Write a cookbook or a book about vampires. Or troll through the classics, adding monsters…Or, better yet, write a vampire cookbook.”

Last night, ten authors received a $50,000 check from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, part of the 25th annual Whiting Writers’ Awards. Since 1985, the philanthropic foundation has given emerging creative writers these grants. Previous winners have included: “Denis Johnson, Michael Cunningham, Alice McDermott, and Colson Whitehead. The complete list of winners follows after the jump.

GalleyCat was there, shooting video interviews with the winners and finding out more about Atwood’s recent foray into the world of Twitter. “It’s been quite a lot of fun. I can send out desperate tweets and 15 people will answer my question,” she explained after the ceremony. Twitter hadn’t corrupted her writing style, she concluded: “It’s a descendant of the telegram. Telegrams required succinctness because they charged by the word. It’s a message.”

Read more

Mary Grey James Joins East/West Literary Agency

JamesMaryGrey.jpgThe East/West Literary Agency hired former Ingram Book Company lead book buyer Mary Grey James as a partner literary agent yesterday.

James (pictured, via) has spent more than 30 years in publishing, managing children’s and adult titles at Ingram, working as national accounts manager at Harcourt, and serving as vice president/president elect of the Women’s National Book Association. She will represent adults and children’s books, with a special focus on southern writers.

Here’s more from James, quoted in the release: “Joining East/West Literary Agency is a culmination of my years in the publishing world, bringing together my love of books, my desire to see talented authors and illustrators succeed, and my pleasure in working with gifted people devoted to books.”

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