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Posts Tagged ‘Rod Blagojevich’

Rod Blagojevich Quotes Rudyard Kipling at Sentencing

blogo.jpegFormer Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich once again quoted Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” after being sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption.

In 2008, he read a Rudyard Kipling poem at a press conference. Follow this link to read the complete poem he quoted. The disgraced politician published The Governor with Phoenix Books in 2009.

Following his impeachment by the Illinois House of Representatives in 2009,¬†Blagojevich concluded his political career with ‘Ulysses’ by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Here’s a link to the full poem.

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March 2009: Top Publishing Stories of the Year

200px-Chesley_Sullenberger_honored_crop.jpgMarch 2009 opened with a bang as disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich landed a six-figure book deal. In even darker news, the NEA reported that 6.6 Percent of writers and authors were unemployed. The son of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes committed suicide.

In better news, Fictionwise announced that they had sold five million eBooks, another milestone for digital readership. A few agents launched #queryfail day on Twitter, publishing bad query excerpts and dishing out pitching advice in 140-character bursts. The SXSW Festival’s “New Think for Old Publishers” panel discussion generated controversy and dialogue online.

Finally, Captain Chesley Sullenberger scored a $3.2 million two-book deal with HarperCollins’ William Morrow imprint following his Hudson River airplane landing.

Welcome to GalleyCat’s annual year-end roundup of publishing headlines. It’s a chance to celebrate our good news and reflect on our bad news after a long, challenging year for the industry. Visit our Year in Review link to read all about what happened to publishing in 2009. Include your favorite headlines in the comments section…

Publishing’s Darkest Moments in 2009

beyondthebook.jpgIt was a rough year for the publishing industry, from the conglomerate publishers down to the indie bookstores. While preparing for a podcast interview with Beyond the Book, this GalleyCat editor compiled a temporary list of the worst moments in publishing in 2009.

A best moments in publishing list will follow, but we are looking for more suggestions for the final year-end round-up of publishing news. What do you think were the darkest moments for publishing this year?

1. Walmart led price war.

2.Amazonfail: Amazon’s cataloging error rattled readers.

3. HarperCollins shuttered Collins.

4. Rod Blagojevich scored a six-figure book deal after a corruption scandal.

5. After a whole year of negotiation, the parties involved in the Google Books settlement can’t reach agreement.

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.

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.”

Agent Jarred Weisfeld on Rod Blagojevich’s Book Deal

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Agent Jarred Weisfeld visited Macmillan Publishers earlier this year, shopping former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich‘s memoir–despite the fact that he would soon file an unrelated $10 million defamation suit against publisher.

The NY Observer went behind the scenes on the Blagojevich book deal, which did not end up at Macmillan. The article interviews Weisfeld–founder of Objective Entertainment–about his lawsuit against the publisher for “malicious, false, defamatory and anti-Semitic statements” made in a forthcoming biography of Ol’ Dirty Bastard. An unidentified “senior-level employee” at the publisher said the book was not rejected because of the lawsuit.

Here’s more from the article: “[Weisfeld said] ‘I was like, ‘This is the most selfless thing an agent can do, come to a building where they say all this nasty anti-Semitic stuff about you in a book.” Mr. Weisfeld said he took the meeting at Macmillan because he’d been given reason to believe that St. Martin’s would pay ‘big money’ for the book.”