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Posts Tagged ‘Julie Bosman’

Lessons Learned at the Brooklyn Book Festival Writing Panel

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At the 2013 Brooklyn Book Festival, On Such a Full Sea author Chang-Rae LeeStone Arabia author Dana Spiotta, and The Son author Philipp Meyer all joined a panel about writing.

New York Times journalist Julie Bosman moderated the conversation, collecting some advice for aspiring writers in the audience.

Below, we’ve rounded up five pieces of advice from the discussion…

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Osama Bin Laden Raid Book Tops Amazon Bestseller List

On September 11th, Penguin’s Dutton Adult is publishing a first hand account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The title, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, was written by a member of the elite squad who killed the terrorist leader known as SEAL Team Six.

The title has been published under the pseudonym Mark Owen, but Fox News reported that they discovered his real identity.

The title is already shooting up the charts from presales. It is currently the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon, ahead of all of the Fifty Shades of Grey titles and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

NYT Imagines a World Without Barnes & Noble

In a long article about the future of Barnes & Noble, New York Times reporter Julie Bosman wrote a gloomy passage imagining a world without the chain bookstore.

Here’s an excerpt: “Certainly, there would be fewer places to sell books. Independents account for less than 10 percent of business, and Target, Walmart and the like carry far smaller selections than traditional bookstores. Without Barnes & Noble, the publishers’ marketing proposition crumbles. The idea that publishers can spot, mold and publicize new talent, then get someone to buy books at prices that actually makes economic sense, suddenly seems a reach. Marketing books via Twitter, and relying on reviews, advertising and perhaps an appearance on the Today show doesn’t sound like a winning plan.”

What do you think–could the publishing industry survive without Barnes & Noble? The article included a staggering comparison between the stock prices of the leading booksellers: Barnes & Noble was valued at $719 million and Amazon was valued at $88 billion.

Downton Abbey Poetry Reading List

Do you love the mix of Edwardian drama and World War I scenes of the second season of Downton Abbey on PBS? Below, we’ve collected links to four free digital poetry books  from the period that you can download right now.

Over at the New York Times, reporter Julie Bosman covered how publishers are taking advantage of this popular show to promote historical fiction and biography.

One reader added this comment: “The poets who wrote of the horrors of World War I represent some of the greatest poets of all time. I’m not referring to Rupert Brooke, who romanticized the war, but to Siegfried Sassoon, Edward Thomas, and particularly to Wilfred Owen [pictured], who died a week before the armistice and whose poems are truly heartbreaking. Owen’s ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ is one of the best.”

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Who Spiked the Water at 1745 Broadway?

It’s been a very strange week for the world’s largest publishing company. First we had Wednesday’s surprise announcement that Crown svp and publisher Steve Ross would be moving to Collins, with Tina Constable stepping in to take his place. Now comes last night’s announcement that Daniel Menaker was jumping ship from Random House‘s eponymous imprint, though it remains to be seen if the party line that the decision was “absolutely mutual” will hold up under scrutiny.

Maybe it’s because the current edition of Publishing Revolving Door takes me on a time warp all the way back to 2003 – ancient history for some, but important history nonetheless. Menaker, after 26 years at the New Yorker, first joined Random House in 1995 and continued uninterrupted there save for a sixteen-month stint at HarperCollins, which ended in 2003. The company he returned to was not the company he left behind. They had moved to sleek new offices in an office condominium between 55th and 56th streets; Ann Godoff was gone in one of the most publicized oustings in recent memory; Little Random had been absorbed in the same umbrella containing Ballantine and its holdings; and at the center of the new-look imprint was, and still is, president and publisher Gina Centrello. Taken together, these were clear signs of the company’s increasingly commercial shift that would play out in a major way over the next four-plus years. And yet Menaker was hired to give Little Random a distinct literary bent, which he did in the form of novelists Benjamin Kunkel, Arthur Phillips, Gary Shteyngart and Jon Clinch as well as former poet laureate Billy Collins, even if said acquisitions didn’t necessarily pay off in terms of sales.

No matter how much Menaker, Centrello and the Random House brass want to downplay the bottom line, it’s difficult to play by their rules in light of the company’s most recent shakeups – not to mention their gutting of the sales force, Bertelsmann‘s attempts to patch up the mothership after getting scared straight by former minority shareholder GBL’s threats to take their holdings public (Bookspan, anyone?) and a downturn in profits. All of which has to make one wonder about the overall health of Random House – and if more “unexpected” news is just lurking around the corner.

Warner Books Morphs into Grand Central Publishing

The New York Times’ Julie Bosman has the scoop on the long-awaited name change for Warner Books: as of now (with an official launch at Book Expo in early June) the Hachette imprint will be known as Grand Central Publishing – a move happening just in time for the company to switch offices from the Time-Life Building on Sixth Avenue to 237 Park Avenue, closer to the famous train station. “I was very nervous,” Jamie Raab, the publisher of Warner Books, said in a telephone interview with Bosman. “It’s like suddenly being told that not only are you being sold, but you have to give up the name you’ve lived with your whole life.”

After trying on a host of names for size, Grand Central Publishing, Raab said, conveyed the company’s wide range of readers and the many genres it publishes. It pointedly omits the word “books,” a gesture to electronic and other emerging forms of publishing that go beyond ink and paper. The first books to carry the Grand Central Publishing imprint are expected to be on the fall 2007 list, which includes a novel by David Baldacci, a memoir by Rosie O’Donnell and a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman. And the new logo is music to Raab’s ears. “I hated it,” she said of the bulky “W” logo hearkening back to the imprint’s creation in 1970. “It’s a period piece. It probably looked really good in the ’70s.”

Authors Get Filmic for Powell’s

The New York Times’ Julie Bosman picks up on a story Shelf Awareness featured earlier this month about Powell’s new series of short films featuring authors, to be shown at their bookstores, movie-premiere style. Ian McEwan is the star of the first “Out of the Book” film, which is planned to run 23 minutes and will feature snippets from an on-camera interview with McEwan, as well as commentary from peers, fans and critics. In essence, this film virtually replaces the standard book tour as he won’t be making in-bookstore appearances for his upcoming novel ON CHESIL BEACH.

Powell’s has enlisted Doug Biro, a former creative director at RCA Records and music video director, to direct the first film. It will have its debut on June 1 in Manhattan during BookExpo America, a widely attended annual gathering of publishers, booksellers and authors.

Branding Bellevue for Books

Publishing and one of New York City’s oldest medical institutions – long a punchline related to mental illness or criminal derangement – don’t necessarily go together. But as the New York Times’ Julie Bosman found out, Bellevue Hospital is set to launch its own in-house press in early April, Bellevue Literary Press, with four spring titles, both nonfiction and fiction, all medical or scientific in nature yet written for a general audience. It may not the only publisher to be operated from a medical center (there is the Cleveland Clinic Press, for one) but given the role that Bellevue Hospital has played in the imagination of New York and the nation, Bosman writes, it is perhaps the most curious.

“Whatever notions I had about people coming to Bellevue in shackles and wild hair have been long ago dispelled,” said Erika Goldman, a veteran of publishing houses like Simon & Schuster and Scribner’s and the imprint’s editorial director. “But coming into a hospital every day to come to my little office and do publishing is a very different experience.” And she, as well as publisher Jerome Lowenstein (whose original literary journal Bellevue Literary Review was the impetus for the publishing imprint) harbor no illusions about the connotations of the Bellevue name. Younger folks may forget, but older generations have not. “hey just think of Bellevue as a psychiatric ward.”

The Daily Show Sells Books – Who’d Have Thunk?

The New York Times’ Julie Bosman adopts a sense of gee-whizness in this piece about how Comedy Central‘s flagship satirical show brings on serious authors – and how their books sell in massive quantities thereafter. Of course, let’s remember that if 1.5 million people watch the show, and if 1/10th of the audience (or less) buys books, voila! Instant bestseller (see, BOOK, AMERICA THE.) So the numbers for stardom don’t have to be all that high. Still, the number of serious authors talking to Jon Stewart (and Stephen Colbert on THE COLBERT REPORT) has gone up in the last few years as the number of venues for them dry up elsewhere. Publishers say that particularly for the last six months, both shows have become the most reliable venues for promoting weighty books whose authors would otherwise end up on THE EARLY SHOW on CBS looking like they showed up at the wrong party.

“It was almost an ‘oh my God’ moment,” said Lissa Warren, publicity director for Da Capo Press. “There aren’t that many television shows that will have on serious authors. And when they do have one, it’s almost startling.” Part of the surprise, publishers said, is that the Comedy Central audience is more serious than its reputation allows. They aren’t just YouTube obsessives but a much more diverse – and book-buying – audience. “It’s the television equivalent of NPR,” Martha Levin, publisher of Free Press, said. “You have a very savvy, interested audience who are book buyers, people who do go into bookstores, people who are actually interested in books.”

Run For President….And Write a Book

It’s not worth the time to make anything of how Julie Bosman‘s New York Times piece is pretty well covering the same territory that USA TODAY did a while back, but she did get some fun quotes relating to the tendency of would-be presidential candidates all reaching for their (or their ghostwriter’s) pens. “You’re not a real candidate, Pinocchio, if you haven’t written your own book,” said Mark Halperin, the political director of ABC News. “If you know everybody else is doing a book, you’ve got to do a book.”

And with the 1 million copies-plus success of Barack Obama‘s THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, most presidential hopefuls – and publishers – are after similar success. The 2008 campaign season is the time to rerelease forgotten titles, sign unpublished candidates and, if they’re lucky, laugh all the way to the bank as they reap sales from best-selling political books. “What you have, essentially, is a celebrity with built-in press coverage,” said David Rosenthal, the publisher of Simon & Schuster. But sometimes a strong candidate won’t see big sales with his book; 2000′s A CHARGE TO KEEP by a certain George W. Bush was dismissed by critics as an expanded stump speech mostly written by Karen Hughes. The lesson? “Candidates can win,” said Halperin, “even if their books don’t sell well.”

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