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Posts Tagged ‘Simon & Schuster’

Do You Think Simon & Schuster Really Cares If Paul Begala Hates Its #1 Bestseller?

obama-nation-cover.jpgActually, the question Leon Neyakh posed in yesterday’s Observer “Media Mob” blog was “Will Simon & Schuster have to answer for [Jerome] Corsi?” But it amounts to the same thing: Neyfakh picks up on a Ben Smith Politico post about how S&S “doesn’t seem to have suffered any collateral damage, or provoked public complaints from any of its prominent liberal authors,” after the publication of Corsi’s Obama Nation. So Smith chases down some of those “prominent liberal authors” and puts them on the spot—and, lo, Paul Begala, who’s publishing Third Term: Why George W. Bush ♥ John McCain with S&S next month, emails back that “Corsi deserves a thorough de-lousing.”

Of course, criticizing an author is nowhere near the same thing as criticizing his publisher, which you’ll notice Begala didn’t do—and, no, “I can assure you the folks at Threshold have had nothing to do with my upcoming book” doesn’t count. (Nor does having a spokesperson field Smith’s inquiries, which is how Hillary Clinton evaded the issue, especially when all it produces is a variant on Begala’s line.)

Neyfakh promises “more on this later in the week,” but we can spare you the anxiety: No serious liberal who has recently been paid, is currently being paid, or thinks he or she has halfway decent odds of being paid good money from Simon & Schuster is going to say anything genuinely negative about the company or anybody who works there except possibly Corsi’s editor, Mary Matalin. And that goes double for anybody who has Bob Barnett arranging their book deals. “Oh, that’s not my Simon & Schuster” is as harsh as it’s going to get, and Smith and Neyfakh will give this up by Friday at the latest to dedicate themselves to trying to peek inside Bob Woodward‘s book before the laydown date. If they haven’t already.

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From TV Newser: War Reporters Praise Each Others Books

TV Newser reported that

NBC News’ Richard Engel and CBS News’ Kimberly Dozier have each written books about their experience covering the war in Iraq. The “friends” praised one another’s publications recently.

Engel picked Dozier’s book as his summer reading choice in Time Magazine. “Kim’s powerful book is the most detailed account I’ve read of what thousands of wounded U.S. troops, many Iraqis and a few unlucky journalists have had to endure because of the war in Iraq,” he writes. “Her book is a reminder to all of us who cover Iraq how quickly our luck can change.”

Dozier responded in a WashingtonPost.com chat yesterday, writing, “Let me go on the record saying his book, War Journal, is great – a fantastic read.”

Engel’s book War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq came out in June from Simon & Schuster and Dozier’s Breathing the Fire was published back in mid May by Meredith Books.

Romanos Retires as S&S CEO

Simon & Schuster announced this morning that Jack Romanos, President and Chief Executive Officer, will retire at the end of the year. Carolyn Reidy, currently President of Simon & Schuster’s Adult Publishing Division, will assume the role of President and Chief Executive Officer upon Romanos’ retirement. Romanos, who joined the company in 1985 as president of Pocket Books and became President and CEO in 2002, will continue to serve in an advisory capacity to CBS Corporation President and CEO Leslie Moonves through 2009.

“The past 22 years have been especially gratifying to me,” Romanos said in a statement. “Simon & Schuster has enjoyed a period of tremendous growth as it has evolved from its foundation imprints of S&S and Pocket Books into a multi-faceted, truly world class international publishing company with a well-deserved reputation for publishing excellence, and a roster of top bestselling and award winning authors.” Added Reidy: “As I step into this new role at Simon & Schuster, I am grateful to Jack Romanos, who has done such a remarkable job leading us to many years of record breaking sales and profits, and positioning us for the future. He leaves a company that will continue to excel in every aspect of publishing.”

Tony Blair to Meet Publishers This Fall

Even though it’s highly likely that a memoir from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is years in the offing, that doesn’t mean there can’t be stories about every permutation and combination relating to such a possible step. To wit, the Bookseller’s Katherine Rushton reports that Blair will meet publishers in London at the start of October, together with Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer he has instructed to sell his memoirs. Random House and HarperCollins are expected to make bids for the book, and Bloomsbury (in a partnership with Miramax) and Simon & Schuster have confirmed they are also entering the fray. Hachette is understood to have ruled itself out of the competition, although CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson declined to comment to the Bookseller.

As already speculated, Blair’s approach direct to the US is seen as an attempt to bag the biggest deal possible by capitalizing on his popularity there, Rushton explains. Securing Barnett, who won big money for Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan advance-wise (and also represents James Patterson now) is also likely to inflate Blair’s advance. Rushton also has more in the Telegraph today about the pre-Frankfurt plan for Blair.

S&S UK’s Gordon Becomes a Literary Agent

Literary agency David Higham Associates has poached Andrew Gordon, non-fiction editorial director at Simon & Schuster, reports the Bookseller. Gordon, who has been at S&S for six years, takes up his role as literary agent in November. He will represent mass market fiction as well as his current specialties of serious and commercial non-fiction. “It’s slightly scary but very exciting at the same time,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the idea of getting back to first principles, and spending more time with writers and less time in meetings. It’s one of those things that I’d be far more likely to regret not doing than doing.”

S&S is looking to recruit Gordon’s replacement from outside the company. Publishing director Suzanne Baboneau said: “He’s been a terrific colleague who has really built up the non-fiction list.”

OJ Publisher Announcement Delayed till Tomorrow…For Now

Looks like the folks at Gawker, who are running a prediction game just as we are, are going to have to wait a bit longer till the publisher for IF I DID IT is revealed. Goldman family spokesperson Michael Wright told us this morning that the announcement has been held off until tomorrow. No word yet as to why (beyond “just planning”), or whether the result will be the same if we start asking tomorrow morning when the announcement will happen, or even if there is a publisher in place and this has all been a giant smokescreen to get us talking about OJ instead of, oh, Karl Rove book deal speculation (Thomas Nelson or Mary Matalin‘s imprint at Simon & Schuster, natch.)

Ron still just hopes this doesn’t turn out to be Madonna’s nanny’s memoir all over again.

No Word Whether the LongPen Will be Used

Usually when authors do some kind of web-based event, it’s through text or audio. But Simon & Schuster is going the extra mile for Philippa Gregory, author of the soon-to-be-a-movie THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL and other historical fiction bestsellers, on Sunday, Sept. 16th at 2:00pm EDT. The 90-minute webcast will be of Gregory speaking in London, though she’ll engage with fans remotely by Q&A. S&S also plans a live event in New York at Borders in Columbus Circle.

S&S Crows About 2nd Quarter Gains

PW Daily reports that Simon & Schuster, which had a record first quarter thanks in part to The Secret, posted more solid gains in the second period with revenue up 14%, to $200.3 million, and operating income jumping from $8.2 million to $18.1 million. Sales in the adult group were up 9% in the quarter while sales in the children’s group rose 6%. The biggest gains came in some smaller units, with audio up 37%, led by big gains in digital downloads, and in the international group, where revenue jumped 40% boosted by strong gains in Australia, where THE SECRET was a huge hit.

S&S CEO Jack Romanos said gains in the period were due to more than just THE SECRET, which, while still selling at a strong pace, was not as hot as in the first quarter. Titles that led the way in the second quarter included BLAZE, EINSTEIN, and THE LOVED DOG.

Carter to Pen Bio On Mother

AP’s Hillel Italie reports that former President Jimmy Carter, who already has a book coming out this fall about his post-White House years, is working on a memoir about his mother, Lillian, to be published next spring by Simon & Schuster. “Jimmy Carter has inspired millions. Its a great opportunity to meet the woman who inspired him,” David Rosenthal, executive vice president and publisher of Simon & Schuster, said Thursday in a statement. “Jimmy Carter’s mother emerges from this portrait as redoubtable, generous, and forward-looking. He ascribes to her the inspiration for his own lifes work of commitment and faith.”

HP-19: The Cultural Phenomenon

Predictions of Harry’s Fate. Record pre-orders. Upcoming bookstore bonanza release parties. And to think, just 10 years ago, HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE was released in the UK with a tiny print run (based off a tinier advance) little fanfare and a warning to J.K. Rowling not to expect to get rich from writing children’s books. And as AP’s Hillel Italie carefully points out, the exact opposite happened because Harry Potter jumped from being merely a publishing phenomenon – catering to hundreds of thousands of readers – to a cultural phenomenon, reaching millions of fans. Like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” it is the story of how a work of popular art becomes a world of its own – imitated, merchandised and analyzed, immortalized not by the marketers, but by the fans. And like those two works, Harry Potter is a true phenomenon because it wasn’t manufactured, but organic and grassroots that has changed the state of teen fiction, fandom and other related activity.

“I think the reason that authors write books about J.K. Rowling’s works and readers buy them is because being a fan of Harry Potter is about much more than just reading and enjoying Rowling’s book series,” said Jennifer Heddle, an editor at Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. The company, not only responsible for more than 100 “Star Trek” related titles, but will publish a Potter history by Leaky Cauldron proprietor Melissa Anelli. “I think it is similar to ‘Star Trek’ in that it takes place in a richly imagined world that invites fans to immerse themselves in every aspect. I think it’s even closer to ‘Star Wars’ because it’s also a very mythic story that appeals to a broad audience that crosses all age and gender lines.”

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