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Archives: March 2010

Borders Group Reportedly Secures Financing Ahead of April Deadline

borderslogo23.pngA report has surfaced that Borders Group has met its deadline for payment of a $42.5 million loan to Pershing Square Capital Management. The news arrived on the eve of an April 1st deadline for the loan.

Reuters reports: “on Wednesday repaid a loan to its largest investor and secured access to more credit to meet its future borrowing needs, a person familiar with the matter said.”

UPDATE: Borders also reported its financial results for the fiscal year. In the fourth quarter, consolidated sales were $937.3 million–dropping 13.3 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Overall, the bookseller reported $2.8 billion in total consolidated sales, falling 13.9 percent compared to 2008.

Here’s more about the credit deal: “[Borders] has entered into an amended and restated revolving credit agreement. The new, $700 million senior secured asset-based credit facility matures in March 2014 and replaces the company’s existing revolving credit agreement, which would have matured in July 2011. Banc of America Securities LLC, Wells Fargo Retail Finance, LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and GE Capital Markets, Inc. acted as joint lead arrangers and book runners.”

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GalleyCat Reviews “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” by Chelsea Handler

Reviewed by P.E. Logan
Read more about GalleyCat Reviews

9780446563536_94X145.jpgThe title of late-night comedian Chelsea Handler‘s new book is Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang (Grand Central Publishing). It is a series of relatively disconnected essays on life–well, her life–that range from masturbation to peeing in your pants. Wait! That’s not a broad enough range for you? There are also interspecies putdowns, sibling jousts and lots of mate-as-dork insults toward her boyfriend.

A book like this is not writing for the ages, it’s brand extension, like celebrity perfume or the old-school lunchboxes. It is book as product. The hallmarks are always the same; paper stock thin as Charmin, margins wide enough for a short grocery list and suspiciously large font (such publishing devices save production costs, but bulk out the book so it looks and feels substantial to consumers).

But, folks, you can’t get all wrapped around the axle if you’re going to read the oeuvre of late-night talk show hosts. You don’t bring Velveeta to a cheese tasting, but it’s perfect for microwaved nachos.

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Guns n’ Roses Bassist Scores Book Deal; Joins Jane’s Addiction

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Duff McKagan confirmed rumors that he has signed on with Touchstone to write a memoir.

McKagan announced the news (which had been percolating for about a month) via his column in Seattle Weekly last Thursday. He also took the opportunity to shoot down a couple assumptions we might be making about how this project will unfold.

Writes McKagan: “I want to also make clear that this book is not a GN’R ‘tell-all’ or some other such ‘rock’ book. Rather, it will be a story of an ordinary guy who met with extraordinary circumstances, and the circumnavigation through these situations.”

And second, McKagan will apparently not be using a ghost-writer: “I WILL be writing this myself, thick or thin,” he says.

McKagan’s right that ghost-written rock star tell-alls are a dime a dozen. In fact, Slash, the GnR guitarist, did his own three years ago. (Title: Slash.) But the flip-side is that, well, sometimes rock star tell-alls are awesome. And it’s hard to sell a story about circumnavigation.

McKagan will be working with Stacy Creamer, the Touchstone VP and Publisher, and Tim Mohr, his old editor at Playboy. The book is due out Fall 2011. In the meantime, Dave Navarro announced via twitter today that McKagan will be joining Jane’s Addiction as a full-time bassist.

How to Win a Free iPad

buzzfeedlogo.pngCan’t afford an Apple iPad? Join this GalleyCat editor and millions of other Internet users in a quest to win a free iPad. This week BuzzFeed launched a viral contest for readers, giving away a free iPad to the reader who can generate the most traffic.

Here’s more: “So you think you’re good at the internet, huh? We challenge you to launch the next huge viral sensation on BuzzFeed … WHAT TO DO: 1. Create a new Feed around a simple, awesome concept that could go viral 2. Email feedbattle@buzzfeed.com to enter your Feed in the contest 3. Launch original content and get as much traffic as possible before April 16, 2010.”

The contest adds to our growing collection of How to Win a Free iPad resources. After the jump we are adding more iPad-winning contests. Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

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Lit Agent, Harvey Klinger Wants Strong Women’s Fiction


Harvey Klinger has been a staple in the book publishing industry since the mid-70s. When we were thinking of who to interview for agency series, he was one of the first I wanted to reach out to. In our interview with Mr. Klinger, he discusses why he believes his agency has an advantage over others, why he’s looking for a great science project, and what he really thinks of the new technologies coming out .

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Reading While Green: Is the NYPL’s Battery Park City Branch the Library of the Future?

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A new public library opened in Battery Park City on March 18 and the Times devoted a thousand words and a slide show to it last Friday.

In case you missed the article, here’s the key paragraph: “Instead of the comforting mustiness of older libraries, the whole space is filled with oxygen and light, streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows and bouncing off the blond wood floors (made from lumber salvaged during the manufacturing of window frames, thank you).” The whole 10,000 square foot place–funded in part by Goldman Sachs, its neighbor–is a showroom of repurposed material, right down to the old-truck-tire carpet.

The Times poses a few questions about state-of-the-art technology and the strange choice of location, but, bookish that we are, we’re more interested in hearing about some other standout library branches in the States. The Rem Koolhaas-designed Seattle Public Library comes to mind (see picture). But surely there are more. So tell us about them: Where can you find the coolest, greenest library?

Borders Group “Close to Arranging Financing” as April Deadline Looms

borderslogo23.pngTomorrow Borders Group will face a deadline on a $42.5-million loan from Pershing Square Capital Management. Despite speculation about bankruptcy earlier this week, an unidentified source has said the company “is close” to reaching a financing solution.

Business Week reports that the bookseller “is close to arranging financing that would allow it to repay a loan due this week, two people with knowledge of the matter said.” Nevertheless, Standard & Poor’s analyst Michael Souers noted in the article: “Their long-term viability is still up in the air.”

To read more about what publishing commentators have written about Borders’ impending deadline, follow this link. To read more about layoffs at the bookseller in January, follow this link.

Arthur C. Clarke Award 2009 Shortlist Announced

arthur-c-clarke_thumb.jpgThe shortlist for the UK’s Arthur C. Clarke Award 2009 was just announced, giving six writers a shot at the £2,010 prize.

The contest is named after the famed science fiction author Clarke (pictured). The judges picked the books from 41 submissions 17 publishers and imprints. The winner will be revealed on April 28th at the Sci-fi London Film Festival. The shortlist:

Spirit by Gwyneth Jones (Gollancz)
The City & The City by China Mieville (Macmillan)
Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
Galileo’s Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson (HarperCollins)
Far North by Marcel Theroux (Faber & Faber)
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding (Gollancz)

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Enhanced Editions Co-Founder and Canongate Digital Editor Ponder the Future of Enhanced eBooks

pc23.jpgHow much is an enhanced eBook worth? That question will haunt authors, publishers, and developers when the iPad arrives.

Today’s guests on the Morning Media Menu were Enhanced Editions co-founder Peter Collingridge (pictured, via) and Canongate digital editor Dan Franklin–talking about what digital reading will be like in a post-iPad world. Earlier this week the pair helped launch an eBook app for novelist Philip Pullman‘s new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. The digital edition contains an audiobook, ebook, and video footage in a single package for the iPhone.

Press play on the player embedded below to listen.

Around the 9:00-minute mark, conversation turned to eBook pricing. Collingridge explained: “There is an attachment to the physical object–people think the physical object is worth more. So a cheap physical object compared to a digital object they couldn’t hold in their hands … [We are asking] what value can we add back into the eBook? All of the feedback we’ve received about pricing–you can go look at it on iTunes now–is that the prices we’ve been charging seem like a really great value. Because you get three products in one.”

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H.P. Lovecraft Film Would Make Great eBook Bundle

When the Apple iPad arrives, it will bring a whole new set of relationships between writers and other creators. What kind of new relationships would you like to see?

Earlier this week, this editor was watching the excellent film, The Call of Cthulhu. Created by the loving fans at H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society (HPLHS), these artists imagined how a silent film director would have adapted Lovecraft’s classic novel in the 1920s. When the iPad and other tablet computers are more integrated into our reading experience, this editor hopes publishers can team up with creators like the HPLHS to create multimedia packages–perhaps bundling the film alongside the eBook.

In the meantime, you can stream the movie at Netflix and check out the book here. The group is working on an adaptation of The Whisperer in Darkness next–check out the project here.

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