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Posts Tagged ‘Esther Newberg’

Sally Ride Biography Coming from Simon & Schuster

Journalist Lynn Sherr has landed a book deal for a biography of the late Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

The book will explore “the unusually private woman beyond the spacesuit,” including recollections from her partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy–Ride’s obituary revealed that the astronaut was a gay woman. ICM Partners agent Esther Newberg negotiated the deal with editorial director Alice Mayhew. Publication is set for 2013.

Here’s more from the release: “Sherr covered the space shuttle program for ABC news for more than 5 years, from the first flight in 1981 through the Challenger explosion and the investigation into what happened.  Sherr got to know Sally Ride very well, both as a subject and later as a friend, and she has exclusive access to Ride’s family for this book. This is a story that will be told by the people who knew her best:  her family, her friends, her crewmates and commanders at NASA, her colleagues on a series of investigative commissions, and the other pioneering women in her astronaut class.”

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Mike Lupica Inks Book Deal for Middle-Grade Series

Prolific sportswriter Mike Lupica has landed a book deal with Scholastic to write a middle-grade series that covers football, basketball and baseball through the adventures of reoccurring characters.

Esther Newberg from International Creative Management negotiated the deal with Scholastic Paperbacks, Non-fiction and Licensing publisher Debra Dorfman. The series will launch in May 2012 with Game Changers, a novel focused on football. Lupica (pictured, via) has written many books, including the young adult novels, Travel Team, Heat, Miracle on 49th Street, and Summer Ball.

Lupica explained the series in the release: “My love of reading really started with the great Chip Hilton series, written by Clair Bee … The books were about Chip and his buddies, and also about the things that are the most important themes of my books for young readers: Friendship and loyalty and teamwork. I’ve always had it in the back of my mind to write a series that would go from season to season, and now I’m lucky enough to do that for Scholastic, writing about a special kid named Ben McBain and his pals. Mostly I’m trying to do the same thing I’ve been doing since Travel Team, which means write the kind of books that I wanted to read as a boy.”

Two Journalists Shop Books about Chilean Miners’ Ordeal

Guardian journalist Jonathan Franklin and New York Times journalist Alexei Barrionuevo are both hoping to write about the 33 miners rescued in Chile yesterday. The BBC report embedded above covers the rescue efforts.

Crain’s New York reports that Franklin has already sold his proposal to several European houses, including the British publisher, Transworld. 33 Men, Buried Alive: The Inside Story of the Trapped Chilean Miners is scheduled for release early next year. George Lucas of Inkwell Management represents Franklin in New York.

Barrionuevo has not yet submitted a proposal, but is represented by Esther Newberg of ICM. According to the article, his book will “cover the aftermath of the rescue and the complications that arise as the miners deal with being international heroes.”

Here’s more from the article: “The concern among publishers is that the public will get enough of the heart-stirring story from all of the news accounts and won’t have any need of a book. ‘We’re wondering how much the immediate coverage will chew up the story,’ said one editor who was considering 33 Men. Despite those concerns, some publishing executives feel that the miners’ story is dramatic and compelling enough to warrant a book.”

Ingram CEO at BEA 2010: ‘Digital Versions Didn’t Cause Piracy’

bealogo23.jpgFarrar, Straus, and Giroux president Jonathan Galassi opened BEA 2010 with a contentious conversation between industry leaders–generating plenty of fireworks, but few conclusions. His publishing CEO panel focused on the themes of Galassi’s controversial NY Times op-ed.

Panelists included: Authors Guild president Scott Turow, Ingram CEO David ‘Skip’ Prichard, ICM executive VP Esther Newberg, Penguin CEO David Shanks, and ABA CEO Oren Teicher.

The panel skimmed over a number of sticky publishing issues, everything from Amazon price scales to enhanced eBooks to piracy. Agent Newberg came out swinging, addressing the fact that she was the only woman on the seven-person panel. “This group is worse than the Supreme Court,” she quipped.

“Digital versions didn’t cause piracy,” Prichard said, reminding the panel that the majority of pirated books are scanned, not eReader editons. “If you don’t have a digital book, you can scan the print version in five minutes.”

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Abate v. ICM, Day Two: Laying Out the Timeline

If there’s one thing yesterday’s proceedings in Judge Peter Leisure‘s courtroom demonstrated, it’s the extreme disconnect between legal relevance and true-blue drama. From a legal standpoint, all the preliminary injunction hearing (which wrapped up by 4 PM yesterday) accomplished was to show whether there was enough standing to hold Richard Abate to the terms of his ICM contract until the last day of 2007, or whether ICM’s contract, forbidding Abate to even discuss options with Endeavor, was anticompetitive according to New York law. That will be decided fairly quickly – likely within the week – as Leisure, testier and more impatient than he’d been on Thursday, remarked once more that he’d “never seen such a delay on proceedings for a preliminary injunction” as well as the scuttled TRO. From a contractual standpoint, either Abate left – thus violating his existing contract – or he was fired in passive-aggressive fashion because turning down a new offer imperiled his future and so he needed backup in case that happened.

But you’re not reading this lengthy account for legal wranglings (even though there were plenty, especially when Abate’s father-in-law, Harold Moore, could only testify in limited fashion thanks to attorney-client privilege, a point vigorously debated between ICM counsel A. Michael Weber and Abate’s lawyer Brian Kaplan.) You want the drama. And boy, was there drama, never more evident than when a steely-eyed Esther Newberg, pursing her lips and visibly unhappy to have spent most of the day cooling her heels in the jury room under sequestering until she was called to the stand around 2:30 PM, testified that she felt “betrayed” by Abate’s surprise exit on February 9, someone whom she characterized as being a close friend – though not anymore. Add Sloan Harris‘s testimony as well as Abate’s completion of his to the mix and the real story of this hearing is not so much about money, but about how seemingly close relationships deteriorated so suddenly, so badly – which might explain why the arbitration demand slapped upon Abate late last week is to the tune of $10 million dollars.

But first, let’s backtrack to the very beginning of the day’s events, when Judge Leisure reminded the court that the hearing ought to have wrapped up in a single day and he felt much of it was a waste of time. “I hope we can make some headway here,” he said, and while the court may not quite have got its wishes, the reporters in attendance – yours truly, the LA TimesJosh Getlin and a late-arriving Michael Fleming from Variety – certainly did.

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Abate v. ICM, Day Two: ICM Strikes Back

Richard Abate was understandably relieved to finally leave the stand around 2 PM or so, having been grilled at great extent by both his own counsel as well as ICM‘s. Not only do we know know a hell of a lot about what happened leading up to his departure, but also about some of his pending deals, such as YA superstar Lisi Harrison‘s new deal, “the biggest in ICM history”, Chuck Hogan‘s probable collaboration with PAN’S LABYRINTH director Guillermo Del Toro, and of course, a whole lot of financial information. But the fun really began when Esther Newberg took the stand and related her side of events.

“I did view him as my friend,” Newberg said pointedly, making it extremely clear she now thought otherwise. “He never mentioned any interest in Endeavor,” even while he talked off and on about not being ready to make a decision with regards to the contract renewal, that he needed to talk to his wife or maybe go off on his own. Newberg claimed Abate’s reticence stemmed from being unhappy, jealous even, about Sloan Harris‘s elevation to co-president of ICM when he was only four years older than Abate. And that is where the betrayal – which Newberg stated she “felt then and now” – stemmed from: “[Abate] told me it didn’t bother him that Harris, only four years older with a stunning client list, was elevated.” Even though Newberg thought highly of Abate – “we wanted him to renew, and made it clear he could do whatever he wanted, even fly back and forth between New York and Los Angeles because he had an interest in doing more Hollywood work” – she never viewed him as a possible co-president as ICM didn’t think “he had enough judgment” for the position.

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Sloan Harris Promoted at ICM

Publishers Marketplace reports that Sloan Harris has been promoted to co-head of publications at ICM, which in Variety’s words “essentially establishes him as heir apparent to run the agency’s Gotham-based powerhouse book operation in the years to come.” The 44-year-old agent will share his new title with Esther Newberg, who has run the book department with fellow EVP Amanda Urban since 1988. Urban is dropping the co-head role; instead, she will turn her attention to running the agency’s international book biz, especially the London office, which she set up several years ago.

Some of Harris’s most notable clients include Hampton Sides, Anthony Lane, Vince Flynn, Anthony Swofford, Michael Paterniti, Susan Casey and George Pelecanos. ICM co-president Chris Silbermann said in a statement that “Sloan has the best of both worlds here. He is a 17-year veteran who is at a time and place in his career where he’s stepping up and taking on managerial responsibility, a growth that has happened organically. At the same time, he is supported by Esther and Binky, who are two of the best publishing agents of their generation and who have built the preeminent publishing agency in New York. We are set up for future growth and a fluid evolution. This is about embracing change while keeping the stability that the department has always had.”