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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Safran Foer’

Authors Making a Name for Brands

Ron Barrett for the New York Times

Ron Barrett for the New York Times

“Cultivating Thought” is a series of captivating short pieces written by ten noted authors, from Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison to Malcolm Gladwell, printed on Chipolte cups and bags and meant to be read in two minutes. They were the brainchild of Everything is Illuminated writer Jonathan Safran Foer.

In the New York Times, Teddy Wayne looks at “the branding of literature,” companies turning to “literary luminaries to form a collective ‘spokescribe’” as the perfect pitchmen. It can work well for the writers, too. According to Wayne, Moneyball author Michael Lewis told Conan O’Brien on “Conan,” “It pays very well to write a Chipolte cup.”

Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of eyewear company Warby Parker–two names picked from Jack Kerouac’s unpublished journals–told the Times, “We wanted to build a brand that stood for fun, creativity and doing good in the world, and we thought writers best represented that.”

It’s not a match made in corporate heaven for all authors. “Not everyone is willing to be the face (or prose) of a brand,” writes Wayne. Elliott Holt saw her first novel You are One of Them pubbed last year. When a company sought her out to endorse an e-cig (vape, anyone?), she declined.

“‘I felt like being the face of some product would somehow cheapen me as a writer,’ she said, also expressing her reservations about the merchandise’s potential health risks. The offer of $30,000 still gnaws at her, though.”

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Michelle Aielli Moves to Hachette Books

Hachette LogoMichelle Aielli has been named executive director of publicity at Hachette Books. She will report to publisher Mauro DiPreta.

In new new role, Aielli will oversee the publicity for both the division’s brand and the titles on its list. The start date for her new position has been set for November 17th.

For the past 10 years, Aielli has worked in the Little, Brown PR team. She launched and managed campaigns for James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Donna Tartt, Keith Richards, Elin Hilderbrand, Jonathan Safran Foer, and more.

Fast Food Gets Literary: Jonathan Safran Foer Curates Writing For Chipotle Packaging

chipotlebagsYou might think that eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill is a little bit low brow. But they want to change that. The fast food chain is now featuring original essays written by influential writers on its restaurant packaging.

The author series is called “Cultivating Thought.” Jonathan Safran Foer curated the list of contributors. Participating writers will include:  Judd ApatowSheri FinkMalcolm GladwellBill HaderMichael LewisToni MorrisonSteve PinkerGeorge Saunders and Sarah Silverman. The pieces are all meant to be read in two minutes. The idea is to entertain people while they are scarfing down a burrito.

Here is an excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell’s Two-Minute Barn-Raising:

I grew up in Canada, in an area of Ontario where there is a large community of Old-Order Mennonites. “Old Orders,” as they are known, are a religious group who live as if the 20th century never happened. They avoid electricity, drive horses and buggies, leave school at 16, and bail hay by hand. They dress in plain black and white, with straw hats over clean-shaven faces, and when a neighbor’s barn burns down, they gather as a community to put it back up. When I was little, not long after we moved to Ontario, my father heard about a barn-raising down the road. He decided to join in.

Jonathan Safran Foer Makes Kickstarter Pitch

Everything is Illuminated and Eating Animals author Jonathan Safran Foer taped a video supporting the Buying Poultry campaign on Kickstarter.

We’ve embedded the video above–it is part of an online project to show people how to pick “the most humane and sustainable poultry products.” For a $6,000 pledge to the campaign, you and a guest can have lunch with Foer in Brooklyn. Check it out:

For the past four years, we’ve been working with high-welfare poultry farmers and animal welfare experts to create BuyingPoultry.com—a free buying guide that takes the guesswork out of choosing the most humane and sustainable poultry products and plant-based alternatives. BuyingPoultry.com will list every poultry producer and poultry certification in the United Sates and also tell you how they treat their animals, their employees, and the environment.

Google Sells Jonathan Safran Foer Novel for 25-Cents

Google has combined its eBook, music, movies and apps stores into a single digital location called Google Play.

eBookNewser has more about the shift. For the next few days, Google is offering 25-cent “Play of the Day” deals on digital content–including a 25-cent eBook edition of Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.

The new storefront also includes new eBook features: “Sharing the books you love with family and friends is just a click away. With Google Play you can easily post your favorite reads to your circles on Google+, via email, or text message, right from the pages of your book, without skipping a beat.”

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‘Hugo’ Nominated for 11 Academy Awards

Martin Scorsese‘s award winning adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick has lead the Academy Award nominations this year, earning 11 Oscar nominations.

We’ve embedded the trailer above–what did you think of the film? Earlier this year, we wrote about Selznick’s personalized tours of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Best Picture nominees included a host of adapted novels. Below, we’ve linked to free samples of books adapted into Best Picture-nominated films.

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10 Bestselling Books with More Than 80 One-Star Reviews

Do negative reviews stop people from reading your books? Over at her blog, novelist Shiloh Walker disputed that claim in a passionate essay.

Check it out: “That negative review isn’t going to kill your career. Will it stop a few people from buying your book? Possibly–because that book may not be right for them. And FYI, one of the rants lately was that negative reviews discouraged people from reading … readers aren’t discouraged by ‘bad’ reviews. And guess what–that negative review may be the very thing that entices another reader to buy your book.”

We were so inspired by her post that we checked negative reviews of ten authors at Amazon–follow the links below to the many one-star reviews received by bestselling authors. Twilight topped the list with 669 one-star reviews. Read this list before you complain about your next bad review.

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Garth Risk Hallberg Offers 7 Ways to Kindle-Proof Your Manuscript

How many books an you read that could never have an eBook edition? Over at The Millions, author Garth Risk Hallberg offered seven ways to “Kindle-proof” your manuscript.

Some of the simpler ways include using color, adding illustrations, and playing with typeface. Ten titles that Hallberg lists which employ these methods include The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

The fourth step recommends that you “run with scissors.” Here’s more from Hallberg’s piece: “The opening story of John Barth‘s Lost in the Funhouse, famously invites readers to take scissors to it and create a Mobius strip. This cut-up aesthetic is more literal in Jonathan Safran Foer‘s Tree of Codes, which slices and dices the pages of Bruno Schulz‘s Street of Crocodiles to create pages like lace. It’s a piece of found prose-poetry whose sentences change as you turn the page. Except on the Kindle, where it doesn’t – and couldn’t – exist.”

Howard Jacobson: From Ping Pong Player to Booker Winner

Novelist Howard Jacobson (pictured, far left) won the Man Booker Prize earlier this week. But before he won the prestigious award, he played ping pong.

In November, It Books will publish Everything You Know Is Pong: How Mighty Table Tennis  Shapes our World by Roger Bennett and Eli Horowitz. The ping pong history contains a short piece by the new Booker Prize winner,  along with other writers like Jonathan Safran Foer, Nick Hornby, and Will Shortz.

Here’s more from the publisher: “Congratulations to Howard Jacobson. Booker Prize Winner.  And contributor to our humble book (forthcoming November 2) for which he wrote a magnificent rumination on Table Tennis, The Life Pursuit. Here he is with two more of our heroes, Jerome Charyn and Steven Berkoff.  Do yourself a favor and purchase his Ping Pong novel, Mighty Walzer without delay.”

Stephen King Headlines Vampire Panel at New Yorker Festival

This year’s New Yorker Festival took place last weekend.  Twitter fans at the festival used the hashtag, #tnyfestival.

On Saturday, Joan Acocella (author of the vampire essay, “In the Blood”) moderated the Vampires Revival panel. On board to speak were philosophy professor Noel Carroll, horror novelist Stephen King, vampire film director Matt Reeves, and Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. A video preview of the panel discussion is embedded above.

Several dozen King fans waited outside the venue only to be disappointed by King’s unwillingness to sign books. As he walked away with his arms in the air, he told the crowd: “I can’t sign guys, I got to get something to eat.” Alas, just because he’s a “king” doesn’t mean he isn’t human.

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