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Posts Tagged ‘Algonquin Books’

Algonquin Books Launches ‘Ask an Editor’ Series

Algonquin Books has launched the ‘Ask an Editor’ video series on their blog. Executive editor Chuck Adams stars in the video embedded above and answers the question: “How did you acquire Water for Elephants?”

Marketing director Michael Taeckens explained how it will work: “For this series, readers who have any questions about the publishing process can submit them on our blog or on our Facebook or Twitter accounts. Every two weeks a different Algonquin editor will select and answer one of the questions submitted.”

The next Algonquin Books Club will feature a conversation between Gruen and The Help author Kathryn Stockett on April 26th. Those interested can check out the website for a reader’s guide, essays by Gruen, and her recipe for oyster brie soup.

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When Publicity Campaigns Go Slightly Awry

Last Friday, I received a letter in the mail, addressed directly to me. I didn’t recognize the sender but figuring it was probably something publicity-related, I opened it. A florally-designed letter slipped out that addresses one Mr. Pulsifer and is signed “Sincerely, Beatrice Hutchins, Lenox, MA.” Publicity stunt, I figured after skimming the letter briefly, even though there was no mention of a novel, a publisher or an author, and forgot about it.

Turns out I was right, but when a staffer at Publishers Weekly received the letter – which contained a mention of Edith Wharton‘s house – contacted Susan Wissler, v-p of The Mount, the formal name for Wharton’s estate, she thought that the request to “burn down [Wharton's] house”, though likely a joke, contained sufficient “menace” to warrant involving the police. And so, PW Daily’s Rachel Deahl reports, Wissler contacted the Massachusetts State Police about the note, but was relieved to find out t was, in fact, a publicity campaign for Brock Clarke‘s AN ARSONIST’S GUIDE TO WRITERS HOMES IN NEW ENGLAND, which Algonquin Books is publishing this September and pushing in a big way, with a first printing of 50,000 copies and a big galley giveaway at and after BEA.

The mailing campaign, which will continue with two more letters this week – also done in character and threatening the homes of two other deceased, iconic New England writers – will culminate with a galley of the book. When asked if the house had any concerns that the letter might alarm its recipients, Algonquin publicity director Michael Taeckens and Algonquin associate publisher Ina Stern said the intention was to provoke, not scare. Wissler, though initially alarmed, is now rather amused at the whole situation, adding to PW Daily that she is now eager to find out more about the book. After talking with an Algonquin spokesperson, she even expressed interest in having Clarke stop at The Mount on his planned author tour. All’s well that ends well, in other words…

CD To Pay Tribute to Larry Brown

larry brown.jpg

When Mississippi author Larry Brown died in 2005, the literary world mourned the surprise passing of the author of THE BOOK OF JOE, BIG BAD LOVE and several other award-winning novels. This year, the tributes keep on coming, the Clarion Ledger reports, as Chicago record label Bloodshot Records has announced it will release a musical tribute to Brown on May 22 to coincide with the Algonquin Booksrelease of his final novel, A MIRACLE OF CATFISH. Titled JUST ONE MORE: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO LARRY BROWN, the CD will feature 19 tracks from a host of roots and blues-oriented musicians from Mississippi and beyond, including Cary Hudson, Caroline Herring, T-Model Ford, Tate Moore, and Tim Lee North.

“The simple concept of this disc was to put together a mix tape of sorts, the type of thing that Larry would have enjoyed listening to as he drove his little truck into the gloam’ with a cooler full of beer and an ass pocket of something that burns a little bit on the way down,” explained producer Tim Lee on Bloodshot Records‘ website. “I knew him and I admired his work, and you didn’t have to know Larry well to have a keen awareness of his love of music.” Mary Annie Brown, Larry’s wife concurred, saying, “Larry absolutely loved music. I think he wished sometimes that he had the talent to do music for a living. He always played his guitar every night. If he had to skip playing, he would always say he felt like the day was wasted.”