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Posts Tagged ‘Simon Lipskar’

Al Zuckerman Steps Down as Writers House Chairman

Literary agent Al Zuckerman will no longer serve as chairman of Writers House, the major agency he founded in 1974.

Current Writers House president Amy Berkower will serve as the new chairman and Simon Lipskar will be the agency’s president. Zuckerman will maintain his list of authors, including: Ken Follett, Stephen Hawking, Michael Lewis and the estates of Hermann Hesse.

Here’s more about his career, from the release: “Under his guidance, Writers House has grown from a closet-like space on West 42nd Street in New York City to two Victorian buildings on West 26th Street erected for the Astor family in 1872, with offices also in London and San Diego. Its staff has grown from one to 43, eight of whom have been with the company for more than 25 years.”

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Rebecca Skloot Inks Deal for Book on ‘Human-Animal Bond’

Rebecca Skloot has landed a book deal with Crown for her as-yet-untitled new book about the “human-animal bond.”

Writers House agent Simon Lipskar negotiated the deal with Crown VP Molly Stern. No publication date has been set. Skloot published the bestselling The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks last year, including her personal struggle to finish the nonfiction project inside the epic book.

Here’s more about the book: “She will explore, among many other subjects, the neurology of human-animal relationships, human nature and responsibility, and the unexamined ethics of our relationship with animals. A publication date has not yet been set. Ms. Skloot worked for more than a decade in veterinary medicine, first as a nurse for animals in general practices and emergency rooms, and later as a technician in veterinary morgues and neurology labs. In writing her book, she will weave personal stories — her own and others’ — with science, medicine, ethics, and history.”

Gossip Girl Producer Lands Book Deal for YA Trilogy

randomhousekids.JPGTaking a break from his role as executive producer on television’s Gossip Girl, writer John Stephens has sold his middle-grade fantasy trilogy to Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. The trilogy “charts the tale of three siblings, Kate, Michael, and Emma; the ancient prophecy to which they are the key; and the magical world of danger and adventure through which they must journey.”

Entitled The Books of Beginning, the series begins with the publication of The Emerald Atlas in spring 2011. Agent Simon Lipskar of Writers House sold the book to executive editor Michelle Frey. Stephens served as a writer-producer on Gilmore Girls and The O.C. before working on Gossip Girl.

Lipskar had this statement: “The passion and excitement for this book is pouring forth from every corner of the globe … I haven’t experienced such an immediate and overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to a novel in a very, very long time.”

Publishing Deadlines Tighten

the_lost_symbol-1.jpgAs the publishing recession drags on, agents scramble to make sure authors finish their books on time–in 2009, a missed book deadline can be fatal.

At the NY Observer, reporter Leon Neyfakh interviewed agents and discovered a new reverence for author deadlines. While some still hold romantic images of the tortured artist toiling on his or her masterpiece years past deadline, most publishers won’t tolerate costly delays these days. Even bestselling authors Dan Brown and Jon Krakauer both turned in long-delayed manuscripts earlier this year.

Here’s a quote from Writers House agent Simon Lipskar, from the article: “Publishers are going to look at every opportunity to save money in this climate … Most of them aren’t being quite as venal as calling to cancel a day after the due date, but my standard recommendation to my authors at this time is to just deliver their books on schedule.”

We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful, Part Two

When Mark Sarvas began blogging about literary matters in late 2003 at The Elegant Variation, he never shied away from mentioning there was a novel in the works, but was understandably discreet about giving out details. Now he’s far more forthcoming after announcing on his acclaimed litblog (which started around the time both Ron and I got into the blogging game, me from scratch, Ron relaunching his longstanding website, and we’re both pals of his) that the novel in question, HARRY, REVISED, was bought by Bloomsbury‘s Colin Dickerman, which will plans publication in Winter 2008.

No doubt many are asking whether having a blog helped Sarvas secure a book deal. “It’s undeniable that the blog helped but only in getting me over the threshold and perhaps moving me into a higher place on the list,” Sarvas explains. But he also adds that both agent Simon Lipskar‘s decision to represent the work and Bloomsbury‘s decision to publish the book “really appear to have been based purely on the merits of the work.” And as for whether Sarvas is going to stop being critical now that he’s “part of the establishment?” There’s only one emphatic answer for that: “Fuck, no.”