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

Archives: March 2011

Kurt Vonnegut Story Grids for Writing & Editing

In a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut, blogger Derek Sivers reproduced a series of story grids that the great novelist made during a New York City lecture. These story grids are invaluable tools during the editing process.

Follow this link to see all the charts.  Writers can chart their manuscript against popular and successful story arcs–deciding how much they want to deviate from a classic structure.

Here’s more about the “Common Disaster Story” grid embedded above: “It’s an ordinary day in an ordinary town.  But something horrible happens!  A child falls down a well!  The whole town gathers to save her … ‘People LOVE that story! This story arc has been written a thousand times in a thousand tales. And because of it, people think their lives are supposed to be like this.’”

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Nonfiction Book Proposal

Nonfiction Book ProposalStarting September 4,work with a literary agent to complete a full proposal that wins an agent and a contract! Ryan Harbage from The Fischer-Harbage Agency, Inc. will teach you how to convey your idea in a winning book proposal format, write your proposal letter, understand the nuts and bolts of the nonfiction book industry, and more. Register now! 

Lukas Prize Project Award Winners Revealed

The Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard have announced the three winners for the 2011 Lukas Prize Project Awards for Exceptional Works of Nonfiction.

Eliza Griswold won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize along with $10,000 for her book, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam. Isabel Wilkerson won the Mark Lynton History Prize along with $10,000 for her publication, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. Alex Tizon won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award along with $30,000 for his forthcoming release, Big Little Man: The Asian Male at the Dawn of the Asian Century.

Here’s more about the awards: “ Established in 1998, the prizes recognize excellence in nonfiction that exemplify the literary grace and commitment to serious research and social concern that characterized the work of the awards’ Pulitzer Prize-winning namesake, J. Anthony Lukas, who died in 1997.”

Billy Joel Memoir Scrapped

Bill Joel has scrapped his memoir, just months shy of his June 14, 2011 release date.

HarperCollins confirmed the cancellation with the AP. The Amazon page for The Book of Joel is still up, as of this writing.

Here’s more about the canceled memoir: “This soul-searching chronicle offers fans an unprecedented glimpse into the heart and soul of one of the world’s best entertainers—the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel …  Fans of rock biographies like Keith Richards’ Life, Jimmy Buffett’s A Pirate Looks at Fifty, Bob Dylan’s Chronicle, and others will be captivated as one of the music world’s greatest storytellers reveals all, in Billy Joel’s powerful memoir of tears, excitement, and a river of dreams come true.”

Read more

WTF Is Up With My Love Life?! Lands a Book Deal

WTF Is Up With My Love Life?! co-founders Jessica Massa and Rebecca Wiegand have landed a book deal with Simon & Schuster. The Gaggle: How to Find Love in the Post-Dating World will be released in hardcover format Spring 2012.

Publicist Loren Posen revealed in an email: “The book, authored by Jessica, will be based on her nationwide interviews with young millennial women and men. It will guide the way towards romance, love and fun in this confusing – but ultimately empowering – post-dating world via the gaggle.” The video embedded above features footage from Massa’s tour.

Trident Media literary agent Alex Glass represented the writing team. Massa told Shelf-Life that they had scored a “significant six-figure deal.” Six publishers expressed interest in acquisition, but in the end senior editor Kerri Kolen secured world rights for the title.

Read more

Mur Lafferty Collects $11,000 Beyond Her Kickstarter Goal

As of this writing, podcasting author Mur Lafferty has earned $11,000 more than she originally sought for her self-publishing project on Kickstarter. With 11 days to go, she already has more than 164 backers for her book.

Lafferty explained her how she calculated her goal in an interview with Nathan Bransford: “I took in my costs: $1,600 for the ebook conversion, but I had to remember there would be costs for Kickstarter (They get 5% if you’re successful) and the cost of the rewards (more about that later.) I also needed some software to transcribe Book 3, because I’ve lost that manuscript and have only the audio file. Lastly, I had to remember postage for reward fulfillment. OK, so I figured I’d shoot for $2,000, counting on the fact that I could probably make more than that because of my established audience who wanted the books, in case my math was wrong.”

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.

Editor’s note: this post has been updated as the story evolved.

Literary Movie Adaptations Are Insanely Expensive

Seven of the ten most expensive movies ever made were adaptations of books or comic books.

The Numbers tracks measures movie budgets against box office earnings. We’ve collected the ten most expensive movies below–with some eye-popping budgets. If anyone wants to option a movie adaptation of GalleyCat, we promise to keep the budget under $100 million!

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $300,000,000
2. The Hobbit Part 1 &2 $270,000,000
3. Tangled (Rapunzel adaptation) $260,000,000
4. Spider-Man 3 $258,000,000
5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $250,000,000

Read more

Minor Snobs & Sweet Song: Coming Attractions

Here are some handpicked titles from our New Books section. Want to include your book? Just read our Facebook Your New or Upcoming Book post. Don’t forget to include your title’s exact release date and a link.

Minor Snobs by Daniel Amory: ”Set in Chicago, this book introduces Tom Sanders, a handsome, conscientious, and astute young law graduate. Amid a vivid, fevered summer following graduation, the story follows Tom as he becomes a witness to obsession and tragedy, hate and love, violence and passion, and hope and despair.” (February 2011)

Belvoir by S.A. Huggins: ”This paranormal suspense novel set near the end of the Civil War Set uses superstition, betrayal, and vengeance to conjure a world where the evils of man survive death, and the consequences of war collide with everyday living.” (March 2011)

Read more

Adam Rothberg Promoted To Senior VP of Corporate Communications at S&S

s&slogo23.jpgAdam Rothberg has been promoted to senior vice president of corporate communications at Simon & Schuster.

Rothberg has served as VP of corporate communications at the publisher since 1999. He first joined the company in 1985, working as a publicity assistant and then director of publicity at Pocket Books.  In the mid-1990s, he joined Villard Books/Random House, serving as director of publicity and then as associate publisher before returning to Simon & Schuster.

CEO Carolyn K. Reidy praised Rothberg: “He is cool under the pressure of deadlines, and brings to the job a diplomat’s ability to reconcile disparate agendas when working on projects with multiple partners. His well-deserved reputation as a straight shooter has made him a trusted counselor on communication and general business questions in every corner of Simon & Schuster, from our publishing and operations units to our corporate staff and international companies, and at CBS, where he works closely with his communications counterparts at both corporate and divisional levels.”

Jessie Sholl Writes ‘Book Hoarder’ Rebuttal

In a Psychology Today essay, Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother’s Compulsive Hoarding author Jessie Sholl criticized Mark Medley‘s “Confessions of a Book Hoarder” essay as “flippant and smirky.”

Sholl (pictured, via) wrote about how we misuse the term “hoarder” in popular culture–disrespecting people who suffer from  the mental disorder. What do you think?

Sholl explained: “Just because you have a lot of books, that doesn’t mean you’re a bibliomaniac. Can you walk through the room in which your books are stored? Have you depleted any of your life savings on these books? … Since my memoir came out, numerous people have confessed to me that they think they’re hoarders, too … you might have packed bookcases and, yes, too many books, but that doesn’t mean you’re a book hoarder.”

Ashley Andersen Zantop Joins Capstone

Ashley Andersen Zantop will serve as group publisher and general manager at Capstone.

Zantop gave this quote in the press release: “I’m thrilled to join Capstone, a proven leader in children’s publishing for the last 20 years, and I look forward to driving product development and expanding our presence in trade, international, classroom and other markets, while maintaining our leadership position in the library market.”

Zantop has been in the industry for more than 20 years with experience in both editorial and graphic design. Her publishing career includes jobs held at Trudy Corporation and Plymouth Press.

NEXT PAGE >>