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Posts Tagged ‘William T. Vollmann’

Kevin Smokler Named VP of Marketing at Byliner

BookTour.com co-founder Kevin Smokler has been named vice president of marketing at Byliner.

Smokler will be responsible for overseeing marketing initiatives, social media projects, and community management at the new nonfiction site. Smokler previously served as CEO of BookTour.com. That site offers tools and services for authors to promote their books and for readers to have access to the authors.

Smokler had this statement in the press release: “Four of my great loves–reading, journalism, publishing and technology–all showed up in one job. How often does that happen?”

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William T. Vollmann Explores Japan’s Nuclear Zone in Kindle Single

William T. Vollmann, the author famous for a 3,300-page, seven-volume exploration of violence, has turned to the shortest form of book available to writers–the Kindle Single. The eBook sells for $2.99, a bargain compared to the Kindle edition of Vollmann’s Imperial, which retails for $24.99.

Into the Forbidden Zone: A Trip Through Hell and High Water in Post-Earthquake Japan marks the award-winning journalist’s first foray into the world of short eBooks. It is published by Byliner (the new nonfiction press that gave away more than 50,000 copies of Jon Krakauer‘s scathing expose about the work of Greg Mortenson).

Here’s more about Vollmann’s new Kindle Single: “Just weeks after multiple disasters struck Japan, National Book Award winner William T. Vollmann ventures into the nuclear hot zone, outfitted only with rubber kitchen gloves, a cloth facemask, and a capricious radiation detector. He emerges with a haunting report on daily life in a now-ravaged Japan — a country he has known and loved for many years. And in the cities and towns hit hardest by the earthquake, tsunami, and radioactive contamination, Vollmann finds troubling omens of a future heading toward us all.” (Via Publishers Lunch)

Details: Gen X Men Do Read Books

details.jpgToday Details magazine unveiled the 25 Greatest Gen X Books of All Time, giving GalleyCat an exclusive peek at the picks. The colorful list includes everything from “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz to “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus” by Rick Perlstein.

GalleyCat caught up with Details‘ Deputy Editor Chis Raymond to find out more about the list. He explained the cutoff age for writers: “After a lot of heated discussion, we ended up settling on 1960 as the cut-off date. That, of course, meant guys like William T. Vollmann didn’t make the cut, which launched a whole new round of arguments. But that’s what makes the project fun. We wanted to point out that there were some literary giants who were born after John Updike and Norman Mailer. But you can’t name every one.”

Finally, he argued against the stereotype that men don’t read books: “I don’t buy that argument. Men may not buy as many books as women, but we read. We read the the Wall Street Journal and Malcolm Gladwell‘s New Yorker stories and Bill Simmons’ column on ESPN.com. If a story’s good enough to merit our attention, we’ll find it and read it. Just look at the features in men’s magazines. They’re often much meatier than the fare you find in women’s magazines. What does that tell you? That guys aren’t afraid to spend an hour reading a great piece of writing … And because Details readers are sophisticated when it comes to modern media, they can appreciate the confessions of Motley Crue every bit as much as Dexter Filkins on the Iraq War.”

Editing William T. Vollmann

9780670020614L.jpgWith a seven-volume, 3,000-page meditation on violence behind him (“Rising Up, Rising Down“) and a 1,300-page book ahead of him (“Imperial“), William T. Vollmann presents a unique, obsessive task for any editor.

In a NY Times profile, Vollmann pulls back the curtain on his writing studio, his reporting style, and talks about his editorial relationships. His new book will study the U.S. and Mexican border, exploring everything from drug ballads to border crossing deaths. For more about the dark side of American borders, check out the New Yorker profile of Arizona’s sheriff and author, Joe Arpaio.

Here’s a glimpse into the editing process of Vollmann latest book: “Mr. Vollmann’s editors urged him to cut, he said, and he resisted: ‘We always go round and round. They want me to cut, and I argue, so they cut my royalties, and I agree never to write a long book again.”