Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, February 23, 2007

This Week in Publishing 2/23/07

This week....... in publishing.

San Francisco literary agent Nathan Bransford and a few of his friends destroyed the competition at Trivia Night at a local pub Thursday night, winning $50, which apparently is legal in California.

As promised in the previews for this week's episode of This Week in Publishing, the Great Scrotum Debate of '07, stemming from author Susan Patron's supposedly controversial use of the word scrotum in her Newbery Award winning novel THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY, has gone from a listservosphere war to a small tidbit in a Publisher's Weekly article, to this blog, to being on the front page of the New York Times, not to mention being discussed on CNN, NPR, MSNBC and, of course, The View. The New York Times article on the kerfuffle was the third most e-mailed article of the week. And, in a shocking revelation, it's not a human scrotum in question, it's a dog's scrotum. You see, I wish books like THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY were around when I was younger -- I would have known that dogs have scrotums. Publisher's Weekly gives a fun update of the hoopla here.

Well, it's all over -- a judge ruled in favor of Perseus in the PGW bankruptcy case, which means...... uh, I'm not even going to pretend I know what it means. Apparently publishers can still apply to have their contracts with PGW terminated and those who haven't signed with Perseus can go with the distributor of their choice and NBN is still offering 85 cents on the dollar. But uh, it's over, right?

On a more serious note, PGW President Rich Freese suffered a fall on Sunday, breaking some ribs and an elbow. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! More eloquent than I, PGW blog Radio Free PGW writes, "Radio Free PGW wishes him a fast, full and speedy recovery. We also hope they are giving him some really good drugs."

Christian publisher Thomas Nelson, who made waves earlier in the year by instituting a policy that all its authors must sign a pledge that they believe in the Nicene Creed, decided to forego attending the winter Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) trade show -- which is too bad, because I hear those CBA trade shows are pretty wild.

And finally, just in case you feel like you haven't accomplished enough in life and wish you had better utilized your youth, here's something to make us all feel like complete failures: 15 year old Zach Hunter had his first book published on February 8th -- it's called BE THE CHANGE, and it is about ending slavery and human trafficking around the world. Young Zach has already raised thousands of dollars for the cause and is the youth spokesperson of Walden Media's Amazing Change program. Zach has officially accomplished approximately 5,000 times more in life at 15 than I have at 26. But Zach didn't win Trivia Night last night, did he?

Have a great weekend!


sex scenes at starbucks said...

trivia night. impressive.

Christopher M. Park said...

I have a friend who is big into trivia night at a local pub in Raleigh. As I understand it, part of the challenge is being good at trivia after a certain number of beers. :)

Seriously, though, this was another very informative post. It's very interesting to get an industry insider's take on these sorts of things.


Ms. Graham said...

Thank you so much for the info! This is my favorite section of the blog. It always amazes me what is going on in the publishing world.

sylvia said...

For some reason, ever time you submit a new post, a dozen other ones pop up as new as well on the RSS feed. Are you frantically fixing invisible typos on old posts everytime you post a new one or is something wonky?

Nathan Bransford said...


Hmm, that's strange. I subscribe to my own blog on Google Reader to (hopefully) catch these types of bugs, but I haven't had any problems. If anyone else is experiencing this please e-mail me at and I'll try and get it sorted out.

Miri said...

Zach Hunter, huh...? Well, he's much more altruistic than me, that's for certain. I'm in this for the fame, the glory (ha!), and the writing. (Selfish soul that I am.) More power to him and I wish him continued success (while keeping the green-eyed monster firmly locked in the cage behind the bar).

Hmm. Trivia night at a bar is nice. But tell me, have you ever won trivia night on a cruise ship? :)

(In all seriousness, thanks for these posts. They're wildly informative and pretty funny.)

Harry Connolly said...

All this controvery is going to make Susan Patron very rich. I hope the coverage puts her on the bestsellers list.

When I finally publish a novel, I'm going to hire an actor to play Outraged Citizen to all the local news stations.

Luc2 said...

Thumbs up for little Zach Hunter. I only hope he had a nice childlike youth, because he sounds way too mature for his age. And I hope he will learn about a dog's scrotum too, so he can win on trivia-night and collect the money for a good cause.
Thanks for the news Nathan. This beats all this stuff about A.N. Smith and her hundred lovers...

B.E. Sanderson said...

Congrats on the trivia win, Nathan. Next stop? Jeopardy!

Thanks for your weekly publishing news. Interesting and informative as usual. =oD

Miri said...

With Jeopardy, trivia's all well and good, but what you really need is to play lots of video games and build up those reflexes. (Trust me on this one.) Still, if an agent ever turns up the show I'll probably turn into a screaming fangirl.

I don't think it would look to good to the clients, though. Nathan, do you have an opinion here? Something deep, profound, and involving monekys on the status of today's literary-agent friendly gameshows?

Jen said...

Um, I had some really witty comments involving a dog scrotum and really good drugs, but now I realize it's not good enough because I wasn't published until I was 38. *Le Sigh*.
I don't play Trivia games for the same reason. I hate it when I can't think of "The Beatles" as an answer for every question.
After a few shots of whiskey, the answers get a little confusing anyway.

Related Posts with Thumbnails