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Posts Tagged ‘Leon Neyfakh’

Publishing Deadlines Tighten

the_lost_symbol-1.jpgAs the publishing recession drags on, agents scramble to make sure authors finish their books on time–in 2009, a missed book deadline can be fatal.

At the NY Observer, reporter Leon Neyfakh interviewed agents and discovered a new reverence for author deadlines. While some still hold romantic images of the tortured artist toiling on his or her masterpiece years past deadline, most publishers won’t tolerate costly delays these days. Even bestselling authors Dan Brown and Jon Krakauer both turned in long-delayed manuscripts earlier this year.

Here’s a quote from Writers House agent Simon Lipskar, from the article: “Publishers are going to look at every opportunity to save money in this climate … Most of them aren’t being quite as venal as calling to cancel a day after the due date, but my standard recommendation to my authors at this time is to just deliver their books on schedule.”

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The Interwebs Resolve Our Questions Quickly

9/3/08, 1115 EDT: GalleyCat considers Leon Neyfakh‘s call for selling short stories piecemeal, probably with some sort of online component involved.

9/3/08, 1731 EDT: John Scalzi explains how his latest short story, “Denise Jones, Super Booker,” went from completion to sale to online publication in just 13 minutes. OK, technically, it’s not being sold online, but it could’ve been!

(Also, thanks to the readers who pointed out that publishers like Harlequin and retail outlets like Amazon.com are already selling short stories as individual units.)

Do You Think Simon & Schuster Really Cares If Paul Begala Hates Its #1 Bestseller?

obama-nation-cover.jpgActually, the question Leon Neyakh posed in yesterday’s Observer “Media Mob” blog was “Will Simon & Schuster have to answer for [Jerome] Corsi?” But it amounts to the same thing: Neyfakh picks up on a Ben Smith Politico post about how S&S “doesn’t seem to have suffered any collateral damage, or provoked public complaints from any of its prominent liberal authors,” after the publication of Corsi’s Obama Nation. So Smith chases down some of those “prominent liberal authors” and puts them on the spot—and, lo, Paul Begala, who’s publishing Third Term: Why George W. Bush ♥ John McCain with S&S next month, emails back that “Corsi deserves a thorough de-lousing.”

Of course, criticizing an author is nowhere near the same thing as criticizing his publisher, which you’ll notice Begala didn’t do—and, no, “I can assure you the folks at Threshold have had nothing to do with my upcoming book” doesn’t count. (Nor does having a spokesperson field Smith’s inquiries, which is how Hillary Clinton evaded the issue, especially when all it produces is a variant on Begala’s line.)

Neyfakh promises “more on this later in the week,” but we can spare you the anxiety: No serious liberal who has recently been paid, is currently being paid, or thinks he or she has halfway decent odds of being paid good money from Simon & Schuster is going to say anything genuinely negative about the company or anybody who works there except possibly Corsi’s editor, Mary Matalin. And that goes double for anybody who has Bob Barnett arranging their book deals. “Oh, that’s not my Simon & Schuster” is as harsh as it’s going to get, and Smith and Neyfakh will give this up by Friday at the latest to dedicate themselves to trying to peek inside Bob Woodward‘s book before the laydown date. If they haven’t already.