Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, March 23, 2007

This Week in Publishing 3/23/07

In This Week Publishing:

The International Thriller Writers have announced their candidates for the Thriller Awards, and those lucky nominees can be found here. The winners will be presented with an award that will turn into a bomb in thirty minutes unless they can successfully unravel a governmental conspiracy that involves a shoe, the Justice Department, and one very smart orangutan.

The newest mogul in book publishing has been shot multiple times and likes to wear a bulletproof vest. No, I'm not talking about Goil from Top Design -- none other than 50 Cent has become a book magnate, capitalizing on the somewhat controversial and pulpy genre "urban fiction" or "street lit" with his own imprint, G-Unit Books, part of Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, which is a division of Viacom, which, you guessed it, owns MTV. The LA Times, needless to say, is all over this story, and you can read more about it here. My favorite part of the article is that Vibe's editor in chief Danyel Smith calls 50 Cent "the gangster style Oprah." You really have to hand it to Mr. Cent.

HarperSF, a division of HarperCollins that specializes in religion and spirituality, had apparently been receiving cookbook proposals because they had San Francisco in their title, so they're dropping the whole SF thing and are now going to be called HarperOne. Which probably means that they will now receive math proposals.

In a recent press release and as reported by Shelf Awareness, Publishers Lunch and others, Borders announced that they are going to be slimming down, getting in shape and dropping the extra pounds for summer. On their to-do list: downsize number of Walden stores, establish own e-commerce website, end international expansion, establish digital centers in existing superstores, make celebrity books, construct new superstore prototype, world domination. (I made up the part about world domination, but I'm sure the thought crossed their minds.)

And finally, a big thanks to Publisher's Lunch for pointing me to this BBC article. You see, poor, very deceased Jane Austen was deemed too ugly for the cover of a new edition of her nephew's memoir, and the publisher, no doubt inspired by the recent episode of America's Next Top Model, decided to give her a makeover, including a weave and new makeup. Jane Austen's ghost reportedly broke down in tears, at which point Jay Manuel said she wasn't fierce enough and told her to leave his set.

Have a great weekend everyone!






7 comments:

Christopher M. Park said...

It's kind of funny to read the Borders press release. Do many execs in publishing speak that way? My degree is in business administration, and my day job is writing business software, so I'm quite familiar with all the jargon--I just have never encountered someone from the publishing industry who said something like "leveraging innovation" with a straight face.

Chris

Anonymous said...

ALL execs speak that way in press releases. My day job used to be at a PR firm. Leverage this, synergy that, yada yada yada

Jennifer McK said...

Um, why do they allow Hemingway's picture on books but Jane Austen is too ugly?
I am suitably appalled. Of course, no one is allowed to mess with Jane. (grrrrrr)
Somehow I'm not surprised that Borders is "downsizing" or "slimming down" or whatever they're calling it this season to make it palatable for the empty stores and unemployed people.
And the stuff on "Mr Cent"? Fabulous.

Julie K. Rose said...

...no doubt inspired by the recent episode of America's Next Top Model, decided to give her a makeover, including a weave and new makeup. Jane Austen's ghost reportedly broke down in tears, at which point Jay Manuel said she wasn't fierce enough and told her to leave his set.

You? Rule. Thanks for starting my weekend off right.

Anonymous said...

What next? Jane Austen with lip and boob implants because she's not suitably endowed for the times?

Jenny M

Meiran said...

I'd say the Borders execs speak that way because George Jones is really well versed in other business sectors rather than publishing, which is both good and bad in many ways.

I just wish I could actually read the darn thing, I have no idea what most of it says, and I work for these people.

Demon Hunter said...

I think its great that 50 cent is getting kids to read who might not normally do so. A very good endeavor. I wouldn't compare him to Oprah on any level (I love her), but he is doing something positive.

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