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March 2009: Top Publishing Stories of the Year

200px-Chesley_Sullenberger_honored_crop.jpgMarch 2009 opened with a bang as disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich landed a six-figure book deal. In even darker news, the NEA reported that 6.6 Percent of writers and authors were unemployed. The son of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes committed suicide.

In better news, Fictionwise announced that they had sold five million eBooks, another milestone for digital readership. A few agents launched #queryfail day on Twitter, publishing bad query excerpts and dishing out pitching advice in 140-character bursts. The SXSW Festival’s “New Think for Old Publishers” panel discussion generated controversy and dialogue online.

Finally, Captain Chesley Sullenberger scored a $3.2 million two-book deal with HarperCollins’ William Morrow imprint following his Hudson River airplane landing.

Welcome to GalleyCat’s annual year-end roundup of publishing headlines. It’s a chance to celebrate our good news and reflect on our bad news after a long, challenging year for the industry. Visit our Year in Review link to read all about what happened to publishing in 2009. Include your favorite headlines in the comments section…

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