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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bercovici’

James Patterson Leads World’s Top-Earning Authors List

Forbes has just released its annual list of the World’s Top-Earning Authors. We’ve listed the top five writers below, along with their income–follow this link to see the whole list.

In his feature about the list, journalist Jeff Bercovici singled out Suzanne Collins, E.L. James and J.K. Rowling as rising stars on the list.  Here’s an excerpt from the article:

At the height of “Fifty Shades” mania, the erotic novels were estimated to be generating as much as $1.3 million per week for their author, E.L. James. And that’s not counting the $5 million she received from Universal Pictures and Focus Films for the theatrical rights. Add it all up and James is assured of a place near the top of next year’s top authors list. (Perhaps “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer deserves a cut of that? James’s books originated as works of “Twilight” fan fiction.)

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Former HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman Is Looking for Romance

jfriedman23.jpgWhen news broke that former HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman had raised $3 million in start-up funds for her new OpenRoad Integrated Media digital publishing venture, everybody started guessing what she’ll do next with her project. One reporter thinks he found some answers.

Journalist Jeff Bercovici from Daily Finance believes that Friedman is looking for “legacy titles” to bring back into print in a digital format. One unnamed source said the publishing veteran had already talked with Kensington Publishing about the project, giving some crucial intelligence about the romantic side of the new venture.

Here’s more from the article: “One house she has talked to is Kensington Publishing; a source says Friedman is interested in doing a deal with Kensington because of its extensive backlist of romance titles. ‘She seems to think romance is where the future is, and the money,’ says the source.”

Portfolio Magazine Has Closed

in_this_issue_cover-dec2008.jpgPortfolio Magazine, the glossy business publication that featured pieces by literary-minded journalists like Michael Lewis and Tom Wolfe, has closed.

Editor-in-Chief Joanne Lipman broke the news to staffers, media reporter Jeff Bercovici reports on his Portfolio blog: “Lipman said the magazine is ahead of its business plan on various business metrics, and also noted that it won a National Magazine Award last year after publishing only a handful of issues, a rare accomplishment. But a sharp and extended downturn in ad revenue has made success elusive.”

In December 2008, Lewis (the author of “Liar’s Poker”) wrote the cover story: “The End.” In May 2007, Wolfe (the author of “The Bonfire of the Vanities”) wrote “The Pirate Pose” for the magazine.

The OJ Slow News Day Report

It looks as if Judith Regan‘s lawsuit against HarperCollins for firing her last December is still on, according to Radar’s Jeff Bercovici. After nearly producing an agreement, settlement talks between the controversy-courting publisher and the media conglomerate that fired her fell apart about three weeks ago, according to a source close to Regan. Had the deal gone through, Regan would have sidestepped a suit and avoid disparaging her former employers in exchange for around $6 million.

Meanwhile, Fred Goldman explained to Newsweek why the IF I DID IT auction is now a palatable idea for him and his family, despite mixed emotions. “[Goldman's attorneys] described the book as tantamount to a confession. Our concern about the gory specifics are relieved because those don’t exist in the book. Our original concerns have now changed dramatically, though the whole thing is very touchy and concerning for us.”

You Mean There’s Interest in a Book By Jenna Bush?

When word first circulated last week that Co-First Daughter Jenna Bush was shopping a memoir, we ignored it – well, at least I did – because I didn’t expect there to be much publisher interest in a book about her reported working with underprivileged children in Central & South America. Drunken shenanigans? Oh yeah. But this topic would die a slow death on the proposal table.

But, as Radar reports, it’s done anything but. According to Jeff Bercovici, Jenna took a meeting with HarperCollins president Jane Friedman last week to pitch the project, and as the auction price climbs, that publisher is still in the running while Simon & Schuster has backed off. Meanwhile, the embryonic project is already drawing interest from the major TV networks’ news divisions, which have been frantically calling around to the publishing houses trying to find out where the book will land in hopes of locking up the exclusive on it. “It’s something everybody’s going to compete for,” says one network insider.

Perhaps Jenna’s agent might explain the flurry of interest: can anyone really, truly turn down Bob Barnett?

Regan’s Attorney Unveils Supportive “Ear-witness”

As AP publishing industry correspondent Hillel Italie reported yesterday, Judith Regan‘s former temp claims she overheard that phone call, and if Carmen del Toro is to be believed, Regan never uttered the phrase “Jewish cabal” during her conversation with HarperCollins attorney Mark Jackson. Italie gets a somewhat unusual response from Harper to this evidentiary claim, raised by Regan’s lawyer, Bert Fields, late last week; rather than a simple, corporately bland refutation, spokeperson Erin Crum is quoted as telling the press, “We respect Bert’s loyalty to his client, but unfortunately he continues to be terribly misinformed about the facts.” Zing!

In other Regan news, Art Buchwald files a weird column, which makes the non-controversial assertion that firing Regan just before Christmas was wrong, even if she is a “bad Santa,” and even if Rupert Murdoch didn’t much like her, then suggests a solution: “Judith Regan still sits on the bench. She doesn’t get to play, but she has a very good seat for basketball games.” At least it proves Buchwald’s not the sort to hold grudges; Bert Fields is the guy who repped Paramount in its appeal of Buchwald’s famous lawsuit over Coming to America.

And finally, Sarah says: Radar’s Jeff Bercovici has the scoop on Regan’s latest radio show, where she offered clues (be they serious or facetious) to her future plans. “I’m moving to Dublin, where they do have a sense of humor because they drink too much. I’m Irish, so I can say that.” Right, because the last time she talked about a cultural group, disaster loomed… (Ron, also being Irish, is too busy rifling the fridge for beer to comment.)