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Posts Tagged ‘Picador’

Rubenfeld Stays with Headline, Moves to Riverhead

One would think that a Richard & Judy pick would have a bit more fanfare when his next book deal is picked up. And in the UK, that is indeed the case for Jed Rubenfeld, as the Bookseller reports that Headline Review associate publisher Mary-Anne Harrington bought British Commonwealth rights from Cathryn Summerhayes at William Morris UK for Rubenfeld’s next novel, THE DEATH INSTINCT. The new novel is set roughly ten years after THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER, opening with the Wall Street terrorist attack on September 1920, in which the heroes of the first book, police detectives Stratham Younger and James Littlemore, are caught up.

“THE DEATH INSTINCT promises to be the most brilliant companion piece to THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER,” Harrington said in the announcement. “I’ve never read such a strong proposal: it has all the verve and drama of the first book, with the same electric sense of excitement about the murder mystery and about a completely different, darker side to Freud. Although the novel works absolutely as a stand-alone thriller, fans of the first book will be in for a huge treat: we encounter many of our favourite characters from Interpretation, but there are plenty of surprises, too.”

All the breathlessness is well and good, but what about the US rights? Turns out that Rubenfeld’s agent, Suzanne Gluck of William Morris, has moved her author from Henry Holt to Riverhead, where Geoff Kloske and Jake Morrissey bought North American rights. It’s not surprising, considering INTERPRETATION didn’t end up performing to the original advance and hype’s expectations , which would make the follow-up less of a sure bet for Holt (even if the paperback, published by Picador, seems to be doing a lot better.) Morrissey, who will have primary editing duties on the manuscript, hadn’t returned queries by email and telephone at the time of this writing, and no word yet – if ever – what sort of advance Riverhead paid out, though the easy conjecture would be on considerably less money than $800K…

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For Katharine Weber, the Book Club Came to Her

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Katharine Weber had been to the corner of Greene and Washington Place many times before. Sometimes it was for direct research for the book that became TRIANGLE, just out in paperback from Picador. Later, after the book was published, she would stop by on her way to events and take a moment to reflect on the tragic events of more than 86 years before. But until Monday morning, she’d never shared the experience with anyone, let alone a group of visiting women from all parts of the United States. So after giving a brief talk on the Triangle Fire and pointing to the cobblestones – still there after so many years – Weber read a short excerpt from the beginning of the novel which describes, in almost visceral detail, the horror from the perspective of a girl who grows up to be the oldest living survivor of the fire.

When she was finished, the turbulent emotions were clearly visible on Weber’s face, and everyone else couldn’t help but be moved by the experience.

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Oprah Picks Eugenides

PW Daily’s Charlotte Abbott reports that the latest selection of Oprah’s Book Club is MIDDLESEX by Jeffrey Eugenides. Word that this novel would be Oprah’s next pick trickled out last weekend, as hundreds of booksellers gathered at Book Expo America. Many received their shipments of the $15 paperback last month, and were warned by Picador not to open their cartons until after today’s official announcement on today’s show, which also features Cormac McCarthy‘s first television appearance.

Ron notes that we’re getting better at figuring Oprah out; remember our mid-May speculation?

“So that takes us back to the $15 Picador paperbacks, among which we’ve got Trance (strong possibilities), I Am Charlotte Simmons (heaven help us), Middlesex (left-field, but these days that’d be par for Oprah’s course), The Red Tent (actually $14.95, but perfect for the original book club), and The Corrections (I’m just saying!).”

No wonder they started getting panicky in Chicago when one of those authors took himself out of the running… That isn’t to say we can’t improve; even with the answer staring him in the face, Ron still believed it was going to be Marilynne Robinson‘s Gilead.

Covering the Indian Publishing Scene

The Gulf Times has a standard piece on the importance of cover art, but the added wrinkle is that this talks almost exclusively about Indian publishing houses – and how they are trying to keep pace with the eye-popping covers used around the world. Deepti Talwar, senior editor at Rupa publishing house, said: “That covers are very important is a truism. The main concern is to have it stand out among so many books out there. Indian covers, especially Rupa covers, can compete with the global best as production just got better.”

Paintings, reproductions, advances and author input are all covered here, as is a more frustrating realization that the designers in charge of creating those covers – beautiful or not – don’t get much in the way of recognition. “Designers never get royalty. Print runs for the book go into thousands, but the designer gets a one-time payment. There is no tradition of a work order mentioning conditions. Work order in the west for illustrators is very clear. They are entitled to the copyright of the original cover, royalty, etc,” said Moonis Ijlal, who designs covers for Rupa, HarperCollins and Picador. “Here the designer is not even handed a copy of the book whose cover they have conceived and created. He still has to nick the book.”

Crossing All Genres, One Book at a Time

One of the best reading surprises of the year for me was Alison McGhee‘s new novel FALLING BOY, a slim tale of a paraplegic teen’s move to a new city where he meets a little girl who fervently, absolutely believes he is a superhero. McGhee’s in New York tonight for a reading at the B&N in Chelsea, and no doubt she’ll discuss the superhero aspects of the book in greater detail at that time, but the publishing history of McGhee’s career and FALLING BOY are particularly fascinating.

Just start with the book itself, which Picador issued as a trade paperback original with french flaps. “They put the decision to me,” McGhee explained in a recent telephone interview in advance of the signing. “I love trade paperbacks – I tend to buy them myself because hardcovers can be so freaking expensive! So once I thought it over I was all for publishing in trade paperback. Picador did a fantastic job with the look and especially the cover. Now it’s one of my favorites.”

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Dateline LBF: Making Global Sense of it

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The New York Times' Alan Riding has been at LBF all week and seems, at least for the purposes of this article, to have a golly-gee approach to the trade show that’s less about celebrating books, he says, and more about “the art of the deal.” And even though the mood is optimistic and lots of agents are getting face time with publishers and their foreign rights crew, the consensus is that, well, there is no consensus book. “You won’t get a ‘book of the fair”as you did 10 or 15 years ago,” said Tom Weldon, managing director at Penguin General, one of Penguin’s divisions. “With the Internet and all the other information that is out there, you no longer get huge deals here. The hard work is about foreign rights and exports.”

Meanwhile, National Book Critics Circle president John Freeman has been filing dispatches from LBF for the NBCC blog (full disclosure: I’m a member) where he reports on Monday’s panel with John Banville and what books are about to be released in the UK this fall, which Freeman finds to be “sort of useful since England’s publishing schedules tend to be a bit ahead of America’s — and they’re packed.”

And over at the Bookseller, Alison Bone reports that UK trade publishers are using the platform of the London Book Fair to make a definitive stance on territorial copyright, with editors pushing hard for world rights deals or if need be, UK/Commonwealth with Canada excluded. “I think it’s a necessary trade-off,” said Picador publisher Andrew Kidd, who has just bought UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada rights for BREATH by Tim Winton. “Ultimately, having European exclusivity is about protecting our own territory–and that’s the most important thing.” But Association of Authors’ Agents president Clare Alexander said some publishers are not good at handling world rights. “It’s a simple ‘solution’ for publishers to control everything but it may not be the right answer,” she said, adding that a policy of exchanging Europe for Canada is “extremely insulting to the Canadians”.