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Inside James Frey’s Fiction Factory

Writer James Frey has launched  Full Fathom Five, a company focused on producing commercial young adult novels co-written with a team of aspiring writers. A New York magazine feature explored the fiction factory, and one writer declared:  “It’s a crappy deal but a great opportunity.”

Frey introduced Full Fathom Five at a Columbia University MFA seminar. Suzanne Mozes, one of the nine Columbia students present at Frey’s talk, wrote about the experience for the magazine. In an interview, Frey once compared the operation to Andy Warhol’s Factory.

Here’s more about the company’s contract: “In exchange for delivering a finished book within a set number of months, the writer would receive $250 (some contracts allowed for another $250 upon completion), along with a percentage of all revenue generated by the project, including television, film, and merchandise rights—30 percent if the idea was originally Frey’s, 40 percent if it was originally the writer’s.”

Frey has already achieved successes with writer Jobie Hughes, another Columbia MFA student. The pair co-wrote the science fiction book, I Am Number Four, under the Pittacus Lore pseudonym. The book trailer is embedded above.

Five seminar students, including Mozes, submitted proposals to Full Fathom Five. Two were accepted.

I Am Number Four is the first title in the Lorien Legacies series. The book earned a four-book contract with HarperCollins and a movie deal with Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay. Foreign rights were sold in 44 countries and translation deals were made in 22 different languages. (Via Edward Champion)

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