FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Posts Tagged ‘Motoko Rich’

Stephen King Story Features Motoko Rich Cameo

Novelist Stephen King published “Herman Wouk Is Still Alive” in The Atlantic this month, a dark exploration of aging and tragedy. The new short story also features a cameo appearance by former New York Times publishing reporter Motoko Rich (she now covers the economics beat).

In the middle of the story, King fabricated a publishing story under Rich’s byline entitled “Nonagenarian Wouk to Publish New Book.” In an interview about the short story, King explained why he included novelist Herman Wouk (and the imaginary publishing story).

Check it out: “Every year my son Owen and I have a bet on the NCAA March Madness Tournament, and last year the stakes were that the loser would have to write a story [with a title] the winner gave to him. And I lost. Except I really won, because I got this story that I really like. The title that he gave me for the story was “Herman Wouk Is Still Alive,” because he’d just a read a piece saying that the guy was still alive and he’s still writing even though he’s 95 or 96 years old.”

Mediabistro Course

Memoir Writing

Memoir WritingStarting January 7, work with a published memoir writer to tell and sell the story of your life! In this course, Wendy Dale will teach you how to create your story around a marketable premise, hone your narrative voice, write a memoir with a solid structure, and sell your memoir before you've even finished writing it. Register now!

Motoko Rich Leaves Publishing Beat; Will Cover Economic Beat

1270736575060_41c8d.jpgNY Times publishing reporter Motoko Rich is switching to the economic beat. She will now focus her reporting efforts on the economy and “how it is affecting workers, consumers, companies and institutions big and small.”

The news came from an internal memo earlier this week. Talking Biz News has an excerpt: “Motoko will team up with Catherine Rampell, another economics writer who edits the Economix blog, all reporting to Winnie O’Kelley to provide the broad array of coverage that our readers want and need and long have gotten from The Times.”

Rich has covered the publishing industry for the last four years, and we’ve linked to many of her fine stories. You can follow her work on Twitter as well. (Via Sarah Weinman & Maud Newton)

Google to Sell Digital Books

google_logo.jpgNearly every panel discussion and meeting at BEA mentioned digital books in one form or another. Not to be left out, Google promised to create a digital bookselling platform by the end of the year.

The NY Times reported Google’s BEA promise to enter into the digital book marketplace. While details of the new program are still fuzzy, publishers will be able to determine the price for the e-books and readers will be able to read the titles even if they are not connected to the Internet.

Here’s more from the article: “[U]sers can search up to about 20 percent of the content of those books and can follow links from Google to online retailers like Amazon.com and the Web site of Barnes & Noble to buy either paper or electronic versions of the books…Google’s program would allow consumers to read books on any device with Internet access, including mobile phones.”

Eliot Fremont-Smith Dies at Age 78

Eliot Fremont-Smith, the former New York Times and Village Voice book critic, National Book Critics Circle President and editor-in-chief of Little, Brown when it was still based in Boston, died Wednesday in Mount Pleasant, S.C., where he lived. He was 78. The cause was heart failure, his wife, Leda Fremont-Smith, said to the NYT’s Motoko Rich, who wrote the obituary that ran in the paper this morning.

In his years at The Times, from 1961 to 1968, first at the Book Review and then as a daily book critic, Fremont-Smith helped usher in an era of modern criticism by tackling the types of books that his predecessors had largely shied away from. He was no stranger to controversy – a Village Voice piece purporting that Jerzy Kozinski had ghost-written much of his work set off a literary firestorm – but also cared chiefly about the books he wrote about. In addition to his wife, Fremont-Smith is survived by his son, Andrew Eliot Fremont-Smith, of New York City.

Ann Packer’s Dark World

Yesterday’s NYT featured Motoko Rich‘s profile of Ann Packer, who shot to fame a few years ago with THE DIVE FROM CLAUSEN’S PIER and now returns with SONGS WITHOUT WORDS. Knopf, says Rich, is hoping that the new book, with its moral complexity and dark themes, will repeat the success of Packer’s debut – which was selected as the inaugural title for the (now defunct) reading club of “Good Morning America.” It spent 11 weeks on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list, and according to the publisher sold 225,000 copies in hardcover. Propelled in part by book clubs, it sold about 425,000 in paperback.

Frank Sanchez, the head buyer at Kepler’s Books and Magazines in Menlo Park, Calif., an independent bookseller near where much of the action in SONGS takes place, said he believes the new novel would do well. “‘DIVE’ was obviously a big hit, but I thought basically she had better in her,” Sanchez said. “And I think this book is that.” Packer herself is more sanguine, but then she thought DIVE was a “quiet literary novel” and look how it turned out. And while she’d love to have another commercial success, “not least because that enables me to write another book,” Packer doesn’t expect it.

Another “Unexpected” Publishing Success Story

The New York Times’ Motoko Rich reports on the bestseller status of former Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell‘s LONE SURVIVOR, a dramatic memoir of his time in Afghanistan. Luttrell’s book, with 275,000 copies in print, describes how was the only one of four men on the mission to survive after a violent clash with dozens of Taliban fighters. Eight members of the Seals and eight Army special operations soldiers who came by helicopter to rescue the original four were shot down, and all aboard were killed.

So no wonder the book (which was co-authored with Patrick Robinson and bought by Little, Brown in an auction for a seven-figure advance) been doing well, but the surprise is that so far, LONE SURVIVOR has outsold books about Pat Tillman or Jessica Lynch, and that it’s crawled up to the top of the NYT Bestseller list. Less surprising is how this happened: strong support from military blogs and right-wing pundits like Michelle Malkin as well as appearances with Matt Lauer on the TODAY Show with Glenn Beck on the radio and on CNN Headline News. But the media exposure helped regular readers like to find, and then buy, the book. “It’s obvious that there are some people reading it who aren’t traditional military readers,” said Mary McCarthy, director of merchandising at wholesaler Ingram Book Group.

Luttrell said that his main goal was to tell the story of his comrades who did not make it out alive. “Now I think the American public knows who they are, and now they are forever immortalized,” said Luttrell, who added that he has set up a trust with all the proceeds from the book to help the families of the dead and to donate to military charities. “Their memory will never die out, and that’s what I wanted.”

Simic Named New Poet Laureate

The New York Times’ Motoko Rich reports that Charles Simic is to be named the country’s 15th poet laureate by the Librarian of Congress today. He succeeds Donald Hall, a fellow New Englander, who has been poet laureate for the past year. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Simic, a native of Yugoslavia, emigrated to the US at the age of sixteen and started writing poetry in English only a few years after learning the language. He has published more than 20 volumes of poetry, as well as essay collections, translations and a memoir.

James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, will announce Simic’s appointment. Billington said he chose Simic from a short list of 15 poets because of “the rather stunning and original quality of his poetry,” adding: “He’s very hard to describe, and that’s a great tribute to him. His poems have a sequence that you encounter in dreams, and therefore they have a reality that does not correspond to the reality that we perceive with our eyes and ears.”

The NYT Discovers the Skinny Bitches After Everybody Else

But to the paper’s credit, at least in the online version of Motoko Rich‘s article they link to a whole bunch of UK-based articles on Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, the slender authors of the bestseller that has sold in a steady stream since Running Press released it in December 2005. But it wasn’t until Victoria Beckham, also known as the pop star Posh Spice and wife of the soccer player David Beckham, was photographed carrying a copy of it in a Los Angeles boutique in May that the book started climbing the best-seller charts in Britain. When E! News picked up the story in June, the title took off in the United States. On Sunday it was No. 12 on the New York Times best-seller list of paperback advice, how-to and miscellaneous books. This Sunday it will be No. 3.

“It’s definitely the most entertaining diet book I’ve ever read,” said Linda Marotta, the lead buyer at Shakespeare & Company, which has four stores in New York City. Marotta said SKINNY BITCH, which ends up having a hard-core vegan message, had sold “extremely well” in the stores. “It definitely has that sharp, chick-lit look and feel,” said Dana Brigham, co-owner of Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass., which has sold more than 200 copies. “You look at the photo of the authors on the back, and they are both drop-dead gorgeous. If you look at the photos of authors on the crunchy granola books – maybe not so much.”

And for the book’s detractors, who criticize its’ seeming agenda for PETA and overly irreverent tone, the authors are sanguine. “Yes, the material in the book is not, for so many reasons, the easiest sell,” said Barnouin, who gave up modeling eight years ago to study holistic nutrition. “It’s not your typical diet book, and there’s a lot of animal-rights information. We just thought, let’s be light, funny, have a fun, catchy name and put a cute picture on the cover of the book. We just knew marketing was going to be the key.” Has it ever, thanks to Posh and a slew of word-of-mouth.

HP-1: Getting the Party Started

  • Motoko Rich rounds up parties and is clearly getting tired of having to write about all things Harry for the past week-plus. [NYT]
  • More parties in the Boston area. [Boston Globe]
  • Saying goodbye to Harry is tough on J.K. Rowling. Duh. [AP]
  • Bloomsbury says no to reprints until Wednesday, hoping to stave off the expected high volume of returns. [The Bookseller]
  • Still more on the deep discounting of HP7. [Reuters]
  • Who’s making money from Harry? J.K. Rowling and the reader, pretty much. [FT]
  • And even if it is a loss leader, bookstores are happy to take it. [NorthJersey.com]
  • Potter embargo broken in Norway. [The Earth Times]
  • A Scottish hotel plans a “Mrs. Weasley breakfast” for tomorrow. [Scotsman]
  • And life after Harry? Yes, even for the publishing industry, there will be one. [PN]
  • Dorothy Parker Anthology Lawsuit Trial Begins

    The NYT’s Motoko Rich gives an overview of LA-based lawyer Stuart Silverstein‘s ongoing, long-running lawsuit against Penguin for using Silverstein’s book NOT MUCH FUN: THE LOST POEMS OF DOROTHY PARKER as an uncredited source for their own anthology. The issue in question is whether Silverstein is entitled to what is known as “compilation copyright” protection for his selection of Parker’s work. Four years ago the case went Silverstein’s way, and all copies of the Penguin anthology were supposed to be pulled. But then in 2004, the ruling was reversed – leading to the trial that begins today.

    Interestingly enough, neither Silverstein nor Penguin will receive royalties -they all go to the NAACP, which got them after Parker left her estate to Martin Luther King, whose own estate went to the NAACP thereafter. Which is why David Shanks, chief executive of Penguin, said Silverstein’s suit was depriving the NAACP of royalties. “His suit and the injunction denies the NAACP the compensation Parker sought to provide it,” he told Rich by email. “Silverstein is simply seeking to personally profit from the sales of Parker’s poems.” Silverstein thinks otherwise. “If someone stole your car and offered to let you keep your vanity license plates,” he said, “would you consider that a fair offer?”

    NEXT PAGE >>