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Posts Tagged ‘Jodi Picoult’

Do Literary Writers Deserve More Review Coverage Than Bestselling Authors?

authorp.jpgOver at the Huffington Post, novelist Jason Pinter interviewed authors Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult about a recent debate about review coverage–do white men get more review coverage than women?

Read the whole interview to join the debate. Earlier this week, we covered Weiner’s Twitter push for Franzenfreude, trying to find literary alternatives to Franzen’s work. The HuffPo post also generated a passionate response from novelist Jennifer Vanderbes (pictured, via Eamon Hickey).

Vanderbes wrote: “Literary writers need review attention. Picoult and Weiner sell enough books so that their publishers can take out ad space when their novels hit stores; places like like Target will automatically stock their hardcovers; this is simply not the case for most literary writers. In targeting Franzen, they found one of the few literary writers who does sell lots of books and probably didn’t even need one NYTimes review.”

What do you think? Read Weiner’s response below…

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Eat, Pray, Love Book Sales See Big Hollywood Bump

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Today the Nielsen Company analyzed how Hollywood adaptations affect book sales, noting that the upcoming adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert‘s Eat, Pray, Love generated some serious book sales.

Check it out: “Eat, Pray, Love has seen a rise in book sales, with 94,000 units sold in the week ending in August 1 alone, the same number of total units sold for the entire 2006 year, when the book was first published. So far, in 2010, the book has sold more than twice as many copies as all of 2009.”

The post also noted that the February adaptation of Dear John by Nicholas Sparks helped spur sales of more than 1 million copies in 2010. In addition, when the adaptation of My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult debuted in 2009, Nielsen counted the sale of 81,000 copies in a single week.

Nielsen Book president Jonathan Nowell explained: “While the literary world is often the source of creative content for Hollywood, the relationship is reciprocal, as we often see Hollywood releases boosting book sales.” The novel also ended up on the Home Shopping Network.

Sarah Wylie Scores Debut YA Deal with Margaret Ferguson Books at Auction

sarahwylie.pngDebut YA author Sarah Wylie (pictured) landed a book deal this week with a book compared to My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. The YA book is entitled All These Lives.

Here’s the notice: “[It is] about a girl who believes she has nine lives and copes with her fraternal twin sister’s leukemia by setting out to rid herself of all her extra lives, only to discover that she might have only the one life after all, to Margaret Ferguson at Margaret Ferguson Books, in a two-book deal, at auction, by Suzie Townsend at FinePrint Literary Management (NA).”

The book will be part of Ferguson’s new imprint at Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. The editor has 30-years experience at FSG, and will launch the imprint in 2011.

eBook Delays at Simon & Schuster and Hachette

SnS.gifYesterday Simon & Schuster and Hachette made headlines as they revealed they will delay the eBook release of many frontlist titles. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy, told the Wall Street Journal: “The right place for the e-book is after the hardcover but before the paperback.”

Over at eBookNewser, our digitally obsessed sibling, you can read more about the new publishing schedule at Simon & Schuster–where eBook versions of 35 of its early 2010 titles will be held for four months. The site also has a link to the delayed eBook publishing schedule, which includes books by Don DeLillo, Karl Rove, and Jodi Picoult.

The post also includes a statement from a S&S spokesperson about the delays: “We believe this publishing sequence will benefit the performance of all the different formats in which these titles are published, and in the long term will contribute to a healthier retail environment for the greater book buying public.”

Help NPR Pick the Best Beach Books

best_beach_books.jpgStarting this week, NPR Books has called for readers to nominate “uber beach picks” for an upcoming feature about the Best Beach Books of All Time.

On July 15, NPR will let listeners vote on their favorite nominated books–the final list will be unveiled on July 30. The program is part of an ongoing Summer Books series. If you need inspiration, the Philadelphia Examiner interviewed authors about their summer reading.

Here’s more from the NPR release: “Discussion is underway as reader suggestions pour in, nominating everything from Yann Martel‘s ‘The Life of Pi’ to ‘Songs of the Humpback Whale’ by Jodi Picoult to James Ellroy‘s ‘L.A. Confidential.’”

Publishing Deal Gets Compromised by Ritz-Carlton

So about a year ago, Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) struck a deal with the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain to provide a paperback collection of original short stories by its best-selling authors that Ritz-Carlton would give away copies for a month as part of its turndown service. Contributors would include Jodi Picoult, Susan Isaacs and John Connolly. Then the hotel brass read the collection in manuscript and decided to cancel, as the New York Times’ Joanne Kaufman reports. “They submitted the manuscript and we rejected it,” said Julia Gajcak, vice president for marketing and communications of Ritz-Carlton. “There were some language issues, and there was some racy content.”

Judith Curr, the publisher of Atria, acknowledged that bad things do happen in TURNDOWN TALES, which was originally scheduled for publication in early June. Some people die and others, perhaps, do not behave as well as they might. “But I’m not going to go back to Jodi Picoult and tell her, ‘This woman can’t leave her children for the weekend,” Curr said. “I’m keen on doing a collection to reach readers, but I’m not going to compromise my authors’ integrity to do so.” But in the end, compromise was reached between Atria and Ritz-Carlton. The collection will be available in hotels this fall with “some of the swearing toned down,” according to Curr.

But S&S is Doing Just Fine, Thank You

As part of CBS’s first quarter report, Simon & Schuster‘s revenues were up an astounding 27 percent from this time in 2006, zooming from $181 million to $227 million. That’s because of higher sales from best-selling titles, which in 2007 included THE SECRET by Rhonda Byrne, THE BEST LIFE DIET by Bob Greene and NINETEEN MINUTES by Jodi Picoult. OIBDA increased to $23.8 million from $5.8 million, and operating income increased to $21.4 million from $3.7 million, driven by the revenue increase partially offset by higher expenses, primarily reflecting increased production costs and royalty expenses. Publishing results included stock-based compensation expense of $.7 million and $.3 million for the first quarter of 2007 and 2006, respectively.

Jodi, Jodi, Jodi

When you’re a #1 bestselling author after a double-digit number of books, no wonder media outlets – not to mention an entire publishing industry – sit up and takes notice. For Jodi Picoult, who not all that long ago was deemed hard to classify and impossible to market, success in America and overseas is a long time coming, and the Observer’s Louise France seems, if not surprised, a bit taken aback at how book clubs and readers have embraced Picoult so readily, even if the literati and critical press continue to ignore her.

Not that Picoult cares much anymore. “I set out wanting to be a commercial fiction author, which means you don’t get any literary clout. I will never be thought of in the same way as someone like Joyce Carol Oates, though I’m more prolific* and probably read by more people,’ she says. ‘I tell my publicist not to send me the New York Times, which if they do write about me only do so in order to be snide. But the best revenge is when I end up top of their bestseller list. Which happens all the time.”

More to the point is why this happened and how Picoult’s success has now really opened the door for other thoughtfully commercial women’s fiction (think of the recent NYT bestselling success of Laura Lippman‘s WHAT THE DEAD KNOW) to be successful. Ultimately it comes down to stories that provoke discussion and empathy. “Book clubs need books they can talk about,” Picoult says simply. “Not just books that are fluffy, with happy endings.” Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller, agrees. “Women in book clubs relate to her characters. They can ask themselves: what would I do in the same situation?” An irresistible question answered every year by Picoult’s books, by and large.

*Okay, someone wasn’t counting up properly, considering just how prolific Oates is over the last 45-odd years.

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