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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Viner’

Phoenix Books President Michael Viner Has Died

AQ57570LOGO.jpgMichael Viner, the president of Phoenix Books, Inc., passed away this weekend.

Here’s more from his company: “Viner’s accomplished career spanned over thirty years across the diverse areas of publishing, music and film. Viner was the President of Beverly Hills-based Phoenix Books Inc., a leading independent book and audio publisher. The recipient of numerous Grammy, Audie and Parent’s Choice Awards, Mr. Viner was widely credited with revolutionizing and reinventing the audiobook industry as the co-founder of Dove Audio.”

Over the years, Viner made many publishing headlines: criticizing aan O.J. Simpson book, buying a book by disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, and guiding the company that published a varied list that included rock star Gene Simmons and television host Larry King.

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Phoenix Books Creates Children’s Division

043.jpgThe Beverly Hills-based publisher, Phoenix Books, announced the September 2009 launch of a new children’s division.

Joining the publisher’s Dove imprint, the series begins with Carl Reiner‘s “Tell Me Another Scary Story…But Not Too Scary!”, the sequel to his bestseller, “Tell Me A Scary Story.” Phoenix president Michael Viner and VP of Sales/Marketing Gray Peterson will lead the new imprint.

Here’s more from the release: “Peterson, who has over 15 years’ experience in children’s publishing, expects Phoenix Books to publish a full line of children’s books by fall 2010. He will be exploring different formats to realize the children’s division focus, which mirrors Phoenix Books’ powerful and successful niche: entertainment media-driven books by or about celebrities.”

Audiobook Narrator Takes Name off “7″

There are cursed books, and then there is Peter Golenbock‘s fictionalized Mickey Mantle memoir 7. The latest twists, as reported by PW Daily’s Kevin Howell, is that the unabridged audiobook version does not carry the narrator’s real name but instead credits that old Hollywood stalwart workhorse Alan Smithee. “Smithee” is actually the fourth narrator that Phoenix Audio – owned by Michael Viner, no stranger to controversy and notoriety – approached about reading the book.

“The first two actors that read the manuscript turned it down because of its sexually explicit nature,” Henrietta Tiefenthaler, Phoenix Audio‘s head of production, told PW Daily. “The third, John Larroquette, began recording and, half way through the book, he decided it was not a project he wanted to have his name attached to. A fourth person was hired and completed the book without credit. I think it was his agent’s idea to do it anonymously.”

As for how the book itself is doing, PW reports Bookscan sales of approximately 3,000 since the April release date – a far cry from Lyons Press’ announced* 250,000 print run and marketing budget.

*But since the book was damn near impossible to find in bookstores, one might think the print run stats are somewhat exaggerated.