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Posts Tagged ‘Ricky Gervais’

Weekend Reading: Amazon, Macmillan, McCann & Maddow

amazonad.jpgIt’s been one of the craziest weeks in recent memory for publishing. Here are a few highlights for your weekend reading pleasure.

In retaliation for a eBook pricing debate, Amazon removed the buy direct from Amazon button from many Macmillan books. In response, Macmillan took out a full-page NY Times advertisement (pictured) for “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” with a bold phrase at the bottom: “Available at booksellers everywhere except Amazon.

More than 12,000 copies of a pop-up book written by comedian Ricky Gervais disappeared while in route to an Indiana warehouse–$240,000 worth of books are now missing.

We reported that Colum McCann will star in an upcoming documentary, and managed to shoot a short video about the novelist at a Granta party.

Friends and foes of MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow found out they will have to wait a little longer to read her book, as the anchor’s agent reported the book was delayed.

For GalleyCat Reviews, we began collecting a list of the most popular book reviewing sites on Twitter. Add yours before the directory is unveiled next week.

During the Fifth Annual America Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute Program, booksellers from around the country delivered a standing ovation for Macmillan’s stand against Amazon.

Finally, Tank Books turned a nasty habit into a winning habit–wrapping print editions of classic stories into cigarette packs that fit easily inside your pocket or purse.

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12,000 Copies of Ricky Gervais Pop-Up Book Disappear

0763647810.jpgMore than 12,000 copies of a pop-up book written by comedian Ricky Gervais disappeared while in route to an Indiana warehouse–$240,000 worth of books are now missing. The police are investigating.

Published by Candlewick Press, Flanimals Pop-Up was written by the star of the British television series, The Office and illustrated by Rob Steen. The book launches on March 9, 2010.

The publisher sent along a statement from Gervais about the crime: “This is obviously a misguided Flanimal Rights Group or an organized gang of 8 year olds. Just like the books, the thieves will fold under questioning.”

According to the company, the book hijacking has all the trappings of a heist movie: “The shipment of more than 12,000 copies was printed overseas and delivered by ship to a West Coast port in the United States. The books were then transported by train and were transferred to a trucker at the railhead as scheduled. While the trucker was en route to the warehouse he made a stop; when the trucker returned he discovered the container of Flanimals Pop-Up was missing.”

The Hollywood Disabilities Forum

Saturday, Oct. 24, celebrities, screenwriters, actors, and writers mounted the first-ever Hollywood Disabilities Forum–an event for entertainment industry professionals to “explore opportunities and challenges of people with disabilities in entertainment.” Comedy writers (and actors) Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant contributed that mildly controversial video to support the cause.

The all-day event was held at UCLA’s Melnitz Hall. GalleyCat caught up with Allen Rucker–the Writers with Disabilities chair for the Writers Guild of America, West and a critically-acclaimed author–to find out more about the event.

He explained: “The event was packed. Two morning workshops for aspiring actors and writers with disabilities had to turn people away. The afternoon keynote by ‘Something About Mary’ director Peter Farrelly was an hysterical primer on how things get done in Hollywood. After that, the panel of Farrelly, David Milch (“Deadwood” creator), Vince Gilligan (“Breaking Bad” creator), Daryl Mitchell (star of the new Fox series, “Brothers,”–the first sitcom ever to star in a man using a wheelchair), and others.”

Rucker concluded by laying out the day’s most controversial writing topic: “They discussed the creative inclusion of characters with disabilities into their work and argued, sometimes vehemently, over the issue of whether only actors with disabilities have the right to play characters with disabilities.”

Winners of the British Book Awards

The Galaxy British Book Awards were handed out at a gala ceremony last night, and the Independent‘s Louise Jury reports on the speeches, the winners and the surprises of the evening (which will be televised at the end of the week.) Highlights included Richard & Judy‘s Best Read of the Year going to Jed Rubenfeld for THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER, while Ricky Gervais beat established writers including Geraldine McCaughrean and Terry Pratchett to take the children’s book of the year honour with Flanimals of the Deep, the third in the series he has produced with the illustrator Rob Steen. Gervais accepted his award live on stage in Ipswich. “That’s fantastic … it’s the first one for my literary outputs,” he said, admitting his work had been described as “books about bollocks with eyes drawn on them”. Other winners in various categories included Richard Dawkins, Ian Rankin, Peter Kay, Conn & Hal Iggulden and Victoria Hislop.