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Posts Tagged ‘Sara Gruen’

90+ Published Novels Began as NaNoWriMo Projects

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) relaunched its website as writers around the globe prepare to write a 50,000-word novel draft in November. The writing marathon organizers counted more than 90 published novels that began as NaNoWriMo projects.

The updated NaNoWriMo site added new new badges and upcoming pep talks from writers like Marissa Meyer and Nick Hornby. The site also added a wide range of NaNoWriMo merchandise, everything from clothing to thermoses to pencils to pre-sale winner shirts.

UPDATE: We discussed the writing marathon on the Morning Media Menu today as well. Press play below to listen.

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10 Bestselling Books with More Than 80 One-Star Reviews

Do negative reviews stop people from reading your books? Over at her blog, novelist Shiloh Walker disputed that claim in a passionate essay.

Check it out: “That negative review isn’t going to kill your career. Will it stop a few people from buying your book? Possibly–because that book may not be right for them. And FYI, one of the rants lately was that negative reviews discouraged people from reading … readers aren’t discouraged by ‘bad’ reviews. And guess what–that negative review may be the very thing that entices another reader to buy your book.”

We were so inspired by her post that we checked negative reviews of ten authors at Amazon–follow the links below to the many one-star reviews received by bestselling authors. Twilight topped the list with 669 one-star reviews. Read this list before you complain about your next bad review.

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Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Unveiled

Today Amazon opened the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, allowing Amazon Prime members to rent up to one digital book per month with no due date. The library includes 5,000 titles, ranging from three books by Michael Lewis to Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games trilogy to Sara Gruen‘s Water for Elephants.

The library books can only be read on Amazon Kindle devices: the Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Fire–excluding readers on mobile devices and rival tablets. Customers can sign up for the $79-a-year Amazon Prime membership to access the library.

Amazon was frank about the terms of the deal with publishers: “Titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library come from a range of publishers under a variety of terms.  For the vast majority of titles, Amazon has reached agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee.  In some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms as a no-risk trial to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service presents.”

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Algonquin Books Launches ‘Ask an Editor’ Series

Algonquin Books has launched the ‘Ask an Editor’ video series on their blog. Executive editor Chuck Adams stars in the video embedded above and answers the question: “How did you acquire Water for Elephants?”

Marketing director Michael Taeckens explained how it will work: “For this series, readers who have any questions about the publishing process can submit them on our blog or on our Facebook or Twitter accounts. Every two weeks a different Algonquin editor will select and answer one of the questions submitted.”

The next Algonquin Books Club will feature a conversation between Gruen and The Help author Kathryn Stockett on April 26th. Those interested can check out the website for a reader’s guide, essays by Gruen, and her recipe for oyster brie soup.

Algonquin Books Launches Book Club

Algonquin Books has launched the Algonquin Books Club. The publisher has chosen twenty-five paperback titles from its list, building a readers guide for each book.

Here’s more from the site: “We’ll be featuring four Algonquin Book Club selections a year for dynamic literary events held around the country and simultaneously webcast on our site. For each event, an Algonquin author will be interviewed by a notable writer.”

The first event (March 21st) will be held in Miami at Books & Books. Edwidge Danticat, author of Brother, I’m Dying, will interview Julia Alvarez on her masterpiece, In the Time of the Butterflies. Below we’ve listed the rest of Algonquin Book Club’s 2011 event offerings.

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Water for Elephants Trailer Released on Amazon

Last week Amazon exclusively released a long Water for Elephants film trailer. We’ve embedded the trailer above.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon has only aired full-length trailers for one other movie: The Dark Knight. The film will hit theaters on April 22nd.

Sara Gruen wrote Flying Changes and Water for Elephants as National Novel Writing Month projects. Here’s an excerpt from an inspirational letter she wrote to NaNoWriMo writers: “I can do this. WE can do this. However far behind you are, take comfort in knowing that there is somebody else out there in the same boat, and look for that next fun scene. And then the next. And if that doesn’t work, set someone on fire. In your book, of course. See you in the winner’s circle.” (via Shelf Awareness)

Water for Elephants Official Trailer Released

A film adaptation of Sara Gruen‘s Water for Elephants will hit theaters in April 2011. The official trailer is embedded above–what do you think?

Twilight Saga star Robert Pattinson plays the lead role, Jacob Jankowski, along side Oscar winners, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz. Richard LaGravenese adapted the novel.

Gruen’s novel became an unexpected hit in 2006. The author originally conceived the idea as a project for National Novel Writing Month. Following her success, Gruen secured a $5 million 2-book deal with Random House imprint, Spiegel & Grau.

Jon Stewart to Introduce Condoleezza Rice at BookExpo America

9780446691864_154X233.jpgBookExpo America (BEA) has today announced that Jon Stewart will make an encore BookExpo America performance–serving as master of ceremonies at the Author Breakfast on Thursday, May 27. In a crazy political pairing, the host of The Daily Show will introduce memoirist and politician Condoleezza Rice.

According to the Grand Central webpage, the host’s book The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book) will be published in September. Stewart first hosted the BEA breakfast in 2004. Among other big guests at the two-day fair are: Cory Doctorow, William Gibson, John Grisham, Sara Gruen, Christopher Hitchens, Patton Oswalt, and Mary Roach.

Event Director Steven Rosato had this statement: “We are incredibly fortunate to have these authors assembled at our show and I know that will be a great draw for BEA and will ensure that these events will sell out. Above all, I am thankful to the publishers who support us, and who bring their authors to BEA so that we might all enjoy meeting them, and hearing what they have to say. It’s a very unique and special opportunity for anyone who is part of the book industry and who attends BEA.”

The complete release is embedded below.

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Talk to the Animals for Publishing Succcess

Cats and dogs and elephants and lions and tigers…okay, the last two haven’t figured into bestselling novels or non-fiction yet, but maybe that’s just a matter of time, if one continues the trend line pinpointed in Dwight Garner‘s piece in the New York Times’ Week in Review section, which he claims he wouldn’t have written if he’d not found out about Sara Gruen‘s $5 million deal for THE APE HOUSE in last week’s article by Motoko Rich (even though it’s been common knowledge for, I dunno, months?)

Anyway, Garner wants to know why the American reading public is so animal-crazy. “Americans have become existentially lonely,” said Jon Katz, author of DOG DAYS. “We’re disconnected from nature and from the animal parts of ourselves. We’re living in cities and we’re generally frustrated by our work and dissatisfied with politics, technology and religion, all of which have mostly failed to uplift us as promised. So we’ve been turning to animals for companionship and love and emotional support.” Of course, some of those offerings – coughcoughJONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULLcoughcough – might not be the best examples of what Katz is talking about, but as Garth Stein‘s book deal illustrates, animals are still very, very hot in publishing.

NYT Discovers Water For Elephants After Everybody Else

Like Publishers Marketplace, I have to wonder: what took so long for Motoko Rich‘s profile of Sara Gruen to run when WATER FOR ELEPHANTS stormed the bestseller lists last summer? I’m guessing it’s the news that Andrew R. Tennenbaum, a co-producer of the Bourne spy movies, optioned the rights to the novel in a deal worth more than $1 million to Gruen if the movie is made. Or that by hitting #1 on the NYT paperback bestseller list, the book has a new life in paperback.

But really, the focus of the piece is on Gruen’s next book, THE APE HOUSE – and especially the eye-popping $5 million-plus advance from Spiegel & Grau for the book and its followup. Cindy Spiegel said she was sure that Gruen could write another hit. “I feel very confident that she can continue writing books that have that same appeal because she has a connection with animals that is rare.” Emma Sweeney, Gruen’s agent, said that given how well WATER FOR ELEPHANTS is selling, “I really felt that the books deserved these numbers.”

More interesting is the reaction from Algonquin, where they are happy for Gruen’s success but perhaps a bit miffed she left. “All publishers think that they can make a best seller happen, but we don’t hear about the ones that don’t work,” said Elisabeth Scharlatt, Gruen’s publisher at Algonquin. “WATER FOR ELEPHANTS could end up being Sara Gruen’s best book.”