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Archives: November 2009

Job Detective: Penguin Licensing Manager

bedford23.jpg As we reluctantly return from the Thanksgiving holiday, publishers have listed three new jobs. Like a hardboiled gumshoe, GalleyCat has been investigating publishing work on the job boards.

For your resume-making pleasure, here are the new postings.First, Penguin Group (USA) Licensing Manager. Next, Facts On File needs a Production Manager.

Finally, Bedford St. Martin’s is looking for a Marketing Manager. Here’s more: “This position will be based in either our Boston, MA or NY office. Major Responsibilities: Create and execute internal and external strategic marketing plans, in coordination with Bedford/St. Martins marketing and editorial, to promote English texts and to achieve sales forecasts.”

Visit GalleyCat’s publishing jobs page for more listings. If you have any job leads, email GalleyCat to get them posted.

Barnes & Noble’s Nook Selling High on eBay

nookauction23.jpgAs news broke yesterday that Barnes & Noble’s eagerly anticipated Nook digital reader will only arrive in a few stores on Dec. 7, one blogger spotted the device selling for $465 on eBay–$206 more than the list price.

eBook champion Mike Cane spotted the eBay Nook auction yesterday, Twitter-ing as the price rose higher and higher for the device. This morning, GalleyCat spotted a still-open auction for a Nook–currently selling for $400. There is still more auction action on eBay now.

Here’s more about the limited release: “‘A very limited supply, along with demo units, will be available in our highest-volume stores only, beginning December 7,’ Mary Ellen Keating, Barnes & Noble’s senior vice president of corporate communications and public affairs, told CNET in an e-mail.”

Dutch by Teri Woods


Today’s Featured Book of Color Pick of the Day is Dutch by Teri Woods. Dutch is the first book in Woods’ new series starring bad boy Bernard James, Jr., aka “Dutch.” Dutch has turned a stolen heroin business into one of the most feared and greatest drug empire’s in New Jersey. There is no stopping Dutch and he fears no one, including a pissed off Mafia heir. But, when a beautiful woman walks into his life, she may just be the one to break him down and possibly put him at risk.

Dutch also has the District Attorney after him who is determined to be the one to bring down the famous James Bernard, Jr. He will stop at nothing to bring Dutch and his crew down, even if there are a few bumps along the way. Until that day comes, however, Dutch will continue reign as one of the most dangerous men out on the streets of Jersey.

GalleyCat Readers Confront “Seg-Book-Gation” in Publishing

bm_pic2.jpgNearly forty GalleyCat readers contributed passionate and productive responses to our recent interview feature with novelist Bernice L. McFadden.

McFadden thought that publishers “have placed all African-American authors in one box, forcing them to compete for the attention of ONE audience”–a practice she called “Seg-Book-Gation.” GalleyCat posting is light during the Thanksgiving holiday, but here are a few responses from readers–food for thought over the long weekend.

AALBC commented: “From the perspective of someone who runs a book website; the whole notions of categorizing books seems like an artificial construct; a vestigial requirement for physical book stores and libraries… antiquated, like the Dewey decimal system… ‘Seg-Book-Gation,’ while a problem today, will work itself out in
the foreseeable future.”

Read more

Holiday Weekend Video Break: “Going West”

You may have seen this video making the rounds—we discovered it through Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and quickly discovered The Rumpus had featured it as well—but those of you who haven’t seen it yet are in for a treat. After watching the short film, produced by the New Zealand Book Council, we wanted to learn more about the author who inspired it, Maurice Gee, and we found a very helpful page on the NZBC website, but we also discovered that almost nothing of Gee’s work seems to be in print in the U.S. at the moment—save for two novels for younger readers, The Fire Raiser (first published in 1986, with an American edition in 2007) and Salt, the first volume in a new fantasy trilogy.

It looks like a trip to the library may be in order, to see if Gee’s novels have been published in the United States and allowed to fall out of print; it does seem odd to us that an author hailed as “[one] of New Zealand’s greatest living artists,” let alone one of its “most significant writers,” should have such a small literary footprint here.

Borders UK Enters Administration

bordersUK.jpgYesterday Borders UK entered administration, appointing the insolvency and restructuring company MCR to handle the company’s next actions–creating an uncertain future for 1,150 workers at 45 different stores.

The Times Online had this quote from joint administrator Phil Duffy about the UK-arm of the bookseller: “All stores remain open for business as normal while the administrators undertake a review of the company’s affairs and seek a purchaser for all or some of the company’s stores in which there has already been interest.”

In July, the company underwent a management buyout, trying to secure a stronger future. If you want to read more, the BBC published a helpful article comparing US bankruptcy to UK administration. In another article about the company’s woes, the Guardian bashed Borders’ “sure-fire” model of box store bookselling.

Who’s Got the Best Book Covers of 2009?

best-2009-bookcovers.jpg‘s Omnivoracious blog has launched a poll asking readers to choose the best book covers of 2009, in categories ranging from fiction and nonfiction to “classics reimagined” (seen above) and “famous faces.” The initial reaction from their readers is somewhat tepid; “is this the best you can do?” asks one reader. “I could pull ten more interesting book covers from 2009 off my personal library shelf and I don’t even read that much.”

We confess that we read so many books in artless galleys that we don’t really have much of a sense of what was out there this year, although we were partial to one cover illustration U.S. readers didn’t get to see, for the debut novel from Sara Stockbridge. And then there were the two books that appropriated Cara Barer artwork. Oh, and that awesome Ricky Mujica painting for the reissue of Peter Blauner‘s Casino Moon… So maybe we do have some favorites after all. How about you?

Turn Off Oprah & Get Yourself on the Internets

Earlier this week, we encouraged book publishers to get over losing Oprah Winfrey‘s book club, if that’s even what ends up happening when Oprah goes off the air in two years. (As several people pointed out to us, it’s entirely possible Winfrey’s cable network will have some programming elements focusing on books.) That message is echoed by Rusty Shelton of the independent public relations firm Phenix & Phenix, who writes that “Oprah’s departure opens the door to talk about a monumental shift in the way books are promoted.”

“Beyond traditional media contact, good publicists are also setting their clients up online so that media opportunities come to them,” Shelton observes, and to him that means creating a strong online presence that will enable the author to pop up whenever a media outlet is looking for somebody who can speak to that author’s area of authoritative passion. He also reminds us of a post his colleague, Tolly Moseley, wrote last spring declaring “micro-persuasion is the new black,” on how social media can help build valuable word of mouth.

The Internet may not be the One True Magic Bullet that will #SavePublishing when Winfrey’s gone—in fact, we know it isn’t—but it strikes us that anything that points the way forward is a much more valuable use of time and energy than providing the business media with ready fodder for the “Oh noes! We iz doomed!” stories it loves to disseminate about book publishing. And, sure, you can do both, but will that really do anybody any good?

Iraqi Girl (Diary of a Teeange Girl in Iraq)


Today’s Featured Book of Color, Pick of the day is Iraqi Girl (Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq). Iraqui Girl is a collection of blog entries from a real teenage girl living in Iraq during the war. Her blog began in 2003 and it documents her life experiences as a teenager growing up in a war torn country. The book gives an inside look on the fear, chaos, and hope that comes with living in Iraq.

Hadiya (a pseudonym for the girl to protect her safety) writes from the city of Mosul, a city under U.S. occupation. She discusses everything from her favorite foods, to what her bedroom looks like, and her fears. Even though she lives in a frightening place, she remains optimistic and talks about everyday teenage things. Hadiya may come from a different country, but she proves that she is a normal girl and has the same insecurities, likes, dislikes, and problems like everyone else. Hadiya is an inspiration to girls everywhere.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

As GalleyCat continues to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, here are a few links to our favorite posts over the last week…

A few 2009 National Book Awards finalists shared recession-era advice for writers.

Penguin unveiled a trippy new “Vampire Academy” cover.

We spotted the airport-edition of the best books of the year.

The Romance Writers of America (RWA) cut off Dear Author co-editor Jane Litte for her online opinions that included “numerous posts on your blog and on the ‘romfail’ thread on Twitter that indicate you do not support RWA or romance authors.”

Tweetbookz helped people self-publish their Twitter feeds.

Finally, Harlequin renamed their self-publishing unit.