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Posts Tagged ‘UPDATE’

NY Post Officially Kills Book Reviews?

The news, if true, is hardly a surprise, but now NY Mag’s Daily Intelligencer says the paper, which has been skimping on literary coverage since former books editor Jared Paul Stern was embroiled in a bribery scandal relating to his more high-profile job with Page Six, won’t run book reviews in the future. We’re waiting for official comment from the Post and should that come through, we’ll have that here.

UPDATE: That part about there being no book reviews since July? Not true, says Sunday editor Stephen Lynch. In fact, Anna Marrian‘s review of a book about the New York Giants ran just two days ago – as did William Georgiades‘ “required reading” piece. “Daily Intelligencer apparently can’t use Internet Explorer … or call for comment.”

RELATED: The Columbia Journalism Review did a cover story on the subject as well. If you’d like to attend CJR’s panel discussion on the “Crisis In the Coverage of Books,” go to the 3rd Floor Lecture Hall of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism on Tuesday, September 18th at 7 p.m. It’s free and there’s no RSVP required.

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Dutton To Publish Meg Gardiner in the US

It worked for Ron McLarty, and now the Stephen King Anointment Test (TM) works once more for Meg Gardiner. After teasing her readers earlier this week with the news of an American deal, she supplied more information yesterday afternoon: Ben Sevier at Dutton pre-empted the rights to all five of her novels, plus two new titles from Britt Carlson at Gelfman Schneider (acting on behalf of Jonny Pegg at Curtis Brown.) The backlist will be published as mass market paperback originals by NAL, while the next titles – the sixth Evan Delaney series installment plus THE DIRTY SECRETS CLUB, a standalone thriller set in San Francisco – will debut here in hardcover, with the standalone going first in summer 2008. No terms are known, but seeing as this is a seven-book deal, the amount of money has to be fairly substantive, though the per-book ratio may break down to more manageable numbers. Comments from Carlson and Sevier are still pending, and will be added once they come in.

On the face of it, this looks like a smart acquisition on all sides. Starting Gardiner in mass market means (as I explained last month) that her audience can build quickly and demand will grow until a suitable splash is made with the first hardcover release. For Dutton, Gardiner will enable them to tap into the audience that reads other New York Times bestselling female thriller writers like Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen, Lisa Gardner and Alison Brennan while adding a necessary counterpart to a predominantly male thriller list (including Harlan Coben, Jonathon King, Juan Gomez-Jurado and Stephen White.) It’s also Sevier’s first thriller acquisition and his second major deal since moving to Dutton earlier this year. So while a lot is riding on Gardiner to live up to the expectations set by King’s blurb and Abebooks’ inability to keep her UK editions in stock, the likelihood is that this risk will pay off in spades.

UPDATE: Dutton has released an announcement about Gardiner’s six-figure deal, which was finalized last Friday evening. Sevier will edit Gardiner’s new novels for hardcover publication, which Dutton will release in the summer of 2008. “For such a talented thriller writer to have gone unpublished in her own country for so long is difficult to imagine, and I look forward to helping Meg find the American audience she so clearly deserves,” says Sevier in the announcement. “THE DIRTY SECRETS CLUB is everything I look for in a suspense novel-fast-moving, inventive, with an engaging heroine in Jo Beckett and a plot that twists and turns toward an explosive finale set against the backdrop of an earthquake-addled San Francisco.” As for the backlist, Dutton spokeswoman Beth Parker said by email this morning that they had not been scheduled for publication by NAL as yet.

Making Money from Government Commission Reports

Fortune’s Eugenia Levenson analyzes why freely available and lengthy government reports, such as the 9/11 Commission and Iraq Study Group Reports, are selling like gangbusters. The latter book, published by Random House imprint Vintage, has spent six weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and has already sold over 125,000 copies, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which captures 70 percent of total book sales. That’s despite the fact that the text is freely available online and was downloaded 1.4 million times from a sponsoring Web site in the first week alone.

But it all started with the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, which certainly caught publishing by surprise with 1.5 million copies sold to date. “Everyone was surprised by the retail performance of the 9/11 report,” says Jonathan Burnham, a senior vice president and publisher at HarperCollins. “It seemed to sell to a much broader audience than ever before for that kind of material.” But the real reason for success? The cost, or lack thereof. There are no acquisition costs, since the documents are in the public domain, and are fairly cheap to produce. And because anyone can publish the materials – though the ones who get their first reap the most lucrative rewards – multiple players can be rewarded. “One company shouldn’t have the monopoly on something that’s in the public domain,” says Josh Linsk, CEO of Filiquarian who has sold over 600 copies of the paperback edition. “I just thought there should be more options.”

UPDATE: C.E. Petit points out that the government commission craze began much earlier, with the 1987 Tower Commission Report (released in the aftermath of the Iran-Contra Affair) issued in a mass market paperback edition by Bantam and earlier, in hardcover by Random House.

Sevier Moves to Dutton

After a very short stint with Touchstone/Fireside – where he acquired undercover FBI agent “Jack Falcone‘s” INSIDE MAN earlier this month – former St. Martin’s editor Ben Sevier is moving to Dutton as a Senior Editor effective January 30. “Ben is generally regarded as one of the best crime fiction and thriller editors in our business,” said Dutton editor-in-chief Trena Keating in an announcement sent out this morning. “I am very pleased to welcome him to Dutton and introduce him to our bestselling thriller writers, including Harlan Coben and Raymond Khoury, who are among the finest thriller writers anywhere.” Sevier added that “quite simply this is my dream job–I am thrilled with the opportunity to work with their elite list of talented thriller writers.”

UPDATE: I asked Sevier this afternoon about the circumstances of his move to Dutton. “I loved my time at Touchstone working with the terrific team here, and leaving is not something I could have imagined even a couple of weeks ago,” he said by email. “But when Dutton called it was with an offer and an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up, and I couldn’t be more excited to start over there next week.”