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Posts Tagged ‘Maud Newton’

Memoirist Sarah Palin Shopping Nature Show

palinbook23.jpgBestselling memoirist and former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin reportedly has been shopping a reality television nature show–a prospect that has touched off speculation around the media blogosphere. We wonder–could a glossy nature book be far behind?

Here’s more from our sibling blog, TVNewser: “Palin is close to signing a deal with Discovery communications for a nature/travelogue series called Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”

And here’s literary analysis from writer Maud Newton: “Planet Earth, like many of Palin’s favorite phrases, has one innocuous set of associations for the population at large, and also an inflammatory shadow resonance for her base. While most of us naturally think of the popular documentary series, the touchstone for holy-rollers is Hal Lindsey‘s The Late, Great Planet Earth, an incendiary fundamentalist text published in 1970 that forecast the imminent dawn of the End Times.”

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GalleyCatnip: Edwidge Danticat Will Miss the Oprah Winfrey Show

20091120-tows-why-oprah-end-talk-show-290x218.jpgFor your weekend reading pleasure, here some publishing news briefs…

Oprah Winfrey announced today that she will end her popular show in 2011, closing the televised side of the most influential book club in America. Author Edwidge Danticat told the Wall Street Journal why she will miss the club: “When she calls to tell you that your book has been selected for the book club, she sounds so excited that you feel as though she’s both your ideal reader and your biggest cheerleader.”

To write its embargo-breaking scoop about Sarah Palin‘s memoir (which has reportedly sold 300,000 copies already), the AP ripped, scanned, and mined the text for juicy tidbits.

Kat Meyer interviewed Angela James, the executive editor for Carina Press on Twitter for her weekly Follow Reader Twitter chat. Read the whole exchange at #followreader.

Why author and literary blogger Maud Newton is writing a novel instead of a memoir.

Lit Bloggers Debate Kindle Blog Program

galleycat.jpgTwo long-time literary bloggers recently joined Amazon Kindle’s new blog program, sharing reservations and hopes for the new device. Last week Amazon.com, Inc. opened a new program allowing bloggers to syndicate material on the Kindle–with Amazon setting the price and giving bloggers 30 percent of the revenues.

In the GalleyCat comments section, literary blogger Maud Newton explained how her blog ended up in the Amazon program, and expressed her doubts: “I don’t like the 70-30 revenue split. But I also can’t understand why people would pay for subscriptions when they can get the content for free online, either by visiting the site or through RSS. My sense, and this is purely an impression, is that not many do.”

Levi Asher from Literary Kicks wrote: “I still dislike the high price, the DRM policy and the secrecy about sales numbers, but on the other hand Amazon appears to be showing conviction, focus and flexibility in the way they are evolving the product. Also, a few months ago I wrote that I’ve never seen anyone reading a Kindle on a train, but I have recently seen two people doing so. This says a lot. I remain mixed in my feelings about the product, but it’s clear that the Kindle is here to stay, and this is probably a good thing.”

Novelist Colson Whitehead Pens TV Poetry

whitehead2.jpgAt last week’s Happy Ending reading series, novelist Colson Whitehead suggested a new series of pop culture poetry: “Tony Danza Miracles: Haiku Inspired By Popular Television Programs.”

At the urging of author Maud Newton, the novelist revealed one haiku on Twitter. Here’s a poem for the hero of 24: “Release Jack Bauer! / Quickly they reconsider / Arrest Jack Bauer!”

GalleyCat asked Whitehead if readers could look for more pithy TV poems, and the novelist responded in less than 140-characters: “Glad you enjoyed the tv haiku. The muse is elusive since the recession, tho. Subway ‘really adds up,’ she says.”

Could Microblogs Destroy the Auction Paradigm?

Monday’s item about the Twitter-ing around the Lynne Spear memoir elicited a thoughtful reaction from Maud Newton, who reminded readers that “online small talk, especially pre-deal, is a double-edged sword.” Newton focused on a string of Twitter posts by HarperCollins marketing manager Felicia Sullivan around the time that Emily Gould was shopping her essay collection, from the initial coy hint that Sullivan was “trying hard to be objective” while reading Gould’s proposal to the declaration that “if it’s a million, I’m breaking out the shovel and a 12-gauge.” Newton suggests that post might have been the source of the early rumor, floated by Gawker, about a seven-figure book deal—but, looking past this particular incident and taking in the big picture, she wonders “how agents will try prevent leaks in an increasingly-Twittering publishing world.”

I don’t know the answer to that, but maybe the subject leads us to a bit of advice Soft Skull publisher Richard Nash offered last week: “Ignore those agents who play publisher egos off one another and convince them when they’ve overpaid for yet another debut novel that they’ve ‘won,’ that they ‘beat’ the other house.” He reiterated the point yesterday in a panel discussion at NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute, quipping that only in publishing is the editor who’s willing to spend the most money on a (frequently untested, unproven) author and subject his or her company to the steepest financial risk the “winner.”

Now, I don’t want to lay too much of a burden on Twitter, but I do think it’s possible that one of the ways to shatter the mystique of the “potentially huge book” is the development of a publishing culture where industry professionals start mulling over possible projects more publicly, whether it’s actively soliciting feedback from readers with whom they’ve formed customer-based relationships or simply pulling the curtain back for those readers who are interested in such things.

And as long as I’m daydreaming, maybe Twitter could kill the concept of the media embargo, too.