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Archives: November 2009

Natural Causes And Other Stories by Gary McLouth


Today’s Featured Book of the Day is Natural Causes and Other Stories by Gary McLouth. McLouth has written a book of short stories about people living in upstate New York. They are linked to one another by their common intentions to do good. The characters act based on their faith in God, as well as their love for their families and neighbors.

Each character in Natural Causes are everyday people, from doctors to mothers and fathers. McLouth turns the vulnerable moments in each story into a priceless insight on everything from love, life, to a sense of community with mankind. Take a journey with each character and learn from their discoveries as you follow their stories.

Meet the Dogs of Brooklyn

From John Grogan‘s “Marley and Me” to Mark Doty‘s “Dog Years,” man’s best friend has served as a literary muse for years. One poet has added a New York City twist to this canine canon.

A few weeks ago, GalleyCat attended an opening reception for “The Dogs of Brooklyn”–a collection of poems by Susie DeFord matched with photographs by Dennis Riley.

This video feature looks at the show and interviews the project’s creators. As DeFord noted in her blog, the reading raised $200 for charity and the collection is still on display at Ozzie’s in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Washington Post Mounts Books Experiment with Amazon

washington-post-book-world1.jpgThe Washington Post‘s business development unit just unveiled a new experiment–allowing readers to purchase books mentioned in the paper’s book coverage via’s (AMZN) Amazon Associates program. Book links on the site will go to a new Post store, where the paper will receive a percentage of any sales from Amazon.

GalleyCat asked Washington Post Book World‘s deputy editor Ron Charles for more information, but he stressed in an email that “I really don’t know anything about this program except what I read this morning in the press release. Advertising and editorial are kept entirely separate.”

We contacted the communications department with our questions, and they passed along a release with quotes from Goli Sheikholeslami, the Post‘s digital general manager and product development vice-president. The complete release follows after the jump…

Here’s more from the Post‘s release: “The Post‘s news and editorial departments are not involved in placing the links. Post store links are automatically embedded by a non-editorial team after a review is posted and regardless of the nature of the book review. Links to the store are clearly labeled as commerce links. ‘If this test is successful, we will consider expanding the range of product offerings and participating online retailers,’ said Sheikholeslami.”

Read more

Author Braves Thanksgiving Madness for Airport Book Signing

BTSB.jpgToday Democracy Now! host and author Amy Goodman took her book tour straight to the holiday traveler crowd–signing books at Borders Bookstore in the Main Terminal of the Seattle-Tacoma Airport.

Goodman is touring to promote “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” a collection of articles she wrote about “ordinary people standing up and speaking out.” As Haymarket Books publicity director Sarah Macaraeg noted: “we decided to hit the Borders at SeaTac airport to try our luck there–on the busiest travel day of the year.”

GalleyCat caught up with the author via cell phone about a half-hour into the holiday signing. “So far I’m winning,” she cheered. “It’s 3 to 0 versus Sarah Palin. I’ve sold three books, and she hasn’t sold any.” As of this writing (2pm EST, 11 am PST), the Seattle airport signing lasts for another two hours. If you are traveling through the airport, tell them GalleyCat sent you…

The author admitted it was a surreal location for a book signing. “Usually you don’t have to take off your shoes and belt to get to a book reading,” she explained. “I’m usually racing through airports trying to put my shoes back on before the plane door closes. This is a rare thing for me. It’s a new perspective!”

You Oughta Know How to Make Kale Salad


Yes, that’s Alanis Morisette digging into a mixing bowl full of kale, as vegetarian cookbook author Anna Thomas looks on. Morissette recently hosted a party for Thomas’s Love Soup (which features 160 vegetarian recipes) at her Brentwood home, where celebrity friends like Alicia Silverstone (who has a meatless cookbook of her own, The Kind Diet) and Amy Smart were served five delicious winter soups, two winter salads, fresh hummus, and various desserts.

And on that note, whatever’s on your table tomorrow, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Search Optimization Tools for Book Publicity

isobellajadeface.jpgMany writers never think about the simple ways they can improve their Google search-ability. Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Isobella Jade, the petite model who wrote her memoir in an Apple Store–building an impressive author platform from scratch.

“I know what my audience is searching for on Google,” she explained. “A lot of times I get first-time listeners from Google when they are searching topics related to my radio show–’modeling,’ ‘modeling tips,’ ‘petite modeling,’ or ‘print modeling.’ I make sure my topic for the week is buzz-worthy or something that my audience is searching for,” she added (around the 14-minute mark), providing some simple search optimization tools that can help all writers struggling with publicity.

Here’s another excerpt: “No matter what your book is about, there’s going to be a reporter or publication out there that might want to quote you. I think it comes down to analyzing you–analyzing who you are and what you can offer… I thought, ‘What is it about my book to make this marketable, to make it interesting so a newspaper would care to quote me or feature my story?’”

You can listen to all the past podcasts archived at or download episodes for free on iTunes.

David Lynch Foundation Helps Filmmaker Adapt a New Yorker Short Story

PathLightsHome.jpgA young filmmaker has adapted Tom Drury‘s New Yorker short story, “Path Lights“–an excellent combination of Raymond Carver prose, hardboiled private detectives, and metafictional tricks.

The film will first screen through the David Lynch Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the Twin Peaks and Eraserhead director to support arts and meditation. The film will debut on the foundation’s website on Dec. 2. The short film was directed by Zachary Sluser, and the cast includes John Hawkes and Xander Berkeley.

Here’s an excerpt from the original story: “One day, a bottle almost hits us. It’s a brown quart bottle that falls out of the sky. We are in the arroyo, the dogs and me, walking … I think of the pilot tossing a Coke bottle from a plane in the movie ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy.’ But, as a detective once told me, ‘Most of the time, we find that the thing that probably happened? Is the thing that did happen.’” UPDATE: This post was corrected to fix an erroneous statement about the film’s financing.

Harlequin’s Lost Horizons: Self-Publishing Imprint Renamed

After the controversy surrounding the launch of Harlequin‘s self-publishing partnership with AuthorSolutions—or, as most people dubbed it, Harlequin’s vanity press—the romance publishing behemoth has gone over the Harlequin Horizons website with a fine tooth comb, eliminated all references to the parent company, and renamed the entire enterprise DellArte Press.

It’s uncanny, really: While the similarly organized Westbow Press displays its affiliation with Thomas Nelson front and center, even sharing a distinctive visual element with the parent company’s logo, if you didn’t know going into the DellArte website that it was linked to Harlequin you’d be hard pressed to discover it. Which sort of takes away one of the key advantages that the venture had in its efforts to convince aspiring romance writers to subsidize their own publication—an association with a recognized and trusted brand that instantly conveyed the impression that Harlequin Horizons was on top of its game. So what happens to DellArte now that it’s just another rookie self-publishing imprint to much of its client base—but still distrusted by the professional writers who criticized its launch and aren’t distracted by the name change?

Michael Wolff: “Literate people should boycott books”

mwolff_pic.jpgRupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff (pictured, via) chastised the publishing industry in a provocative column this week, suggesting that “literate people should boycott books” until publishers stop pushing celebrity memoirs and ghostwritten political books.

Here’s an excerpt: “Publishers publish fake books because, if you have an ‘author’ who has some larger cause to promote, the publisher gets free promotion. What the publisher has traded for such an abundance of promotion is its own brand. HarperCollins does not really believe Sarah Palin has written a valuable book … these are desperate times and real books are an increasingly equivocal proposition anyway, so almost all publishers are willing to engage in the strategic mix-up between real books and fake books.”

Wolff most recently wrote the biography, “The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch.” He also founded the website Newser, where his publishing column was published.

Jonah Goldberg’s Million Dollar Book Deal

catalog_cover23.jpgFollowing blockbuster books by Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, publishers are chasing conservative scribes. Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg has scored a reported one million dollar deal for his next book.

Goldberg riled the blogosphere with his first book, “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.” The new book has a temporary title: “The Tyranny of Clichés.”

Here’s more about the deal, from Crain’s New York: “Penguin’s conservative imprint Sentinel won the bidding in an auction conducted by William Morris Endeavor agent Jay Mandel that involved at least four publishers … ‘Conservative books are doing incredibly well,’ says an executive who dropped out of the bidding.”