Nathan Bransford, Author

Thursday, April 5, 2007

This Week in Publishing 4/25/07

The Nathan Bransford blog is going on hiatus tomorrow, which means I have to sum up the week today. We will return to our regular schedule on Monday.

First off, multiple choice question for you: What was the most shocking part of the season finale of The Hills? Was it:
a) Heidi moving in with Spencer
b) Spencer getting a homeboy phone (A homeboy phone!!!! I will recover from this approximately seventeen years from now)
c) Audrina moving in with Lauren
d) Lauren shown on camera reading AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH by Al Gore.

I'm going with d. By a landslide. I nearly fell off my couch. First of all, a book?? Second of all, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH? Lauren is concerned about global warming?? Just, wow.

Also, if you Google the words "sweet, my answer is get out of my car" I'm the second link that appears. This may be the crowning achievement of my life thus far.

Sorry. Anyway, now onto actual publishing news.

Cormac McCarhty's THE ROAD, fresh off of getting a gold star from Oprah, also deservedly won the Tournament of Books, hosted by The Morning News and Powell's. Can someone please give this man the Nobel Prize already??

Another week another imprint name change. Since Time Warner sold the Time Warner Book Group to French conglomerate Hachette a few months back, Warner Books decided the Warner part was a little outdated, so they will now be known as Grand Central Publishing. Also, Signet and NAL started a new imprint dedicated to mysteries called Obsidian. Approximately 75% of my brain is dedicated solely to keeping imprints straight.

Literary agent Jonathan Lyons (who recently started his own eponymous agency) has some good advice if you're attending a pitch session. My favorite is the part about buying the agent beer. Ok, he doesn't say buy per se, but he does mention getting a beer to talk publishing, and I connected the dots myself. Hey, people started fermenting things thousands of years ago for a reason.

Pope Benedict has a new book out soon, and this just in: the Pope is not a capitalist and has some kind words for Karl Marx. I would quibble with him, but hey, he's the Pope. The Guardian has the story here.

As linked to by Jessica Faust at Bookends, bestselling author Barry Eisler talks about how you can network and market through Myspace. He doesn't mention the part about writing a really amazing book, which Barry has done, repeatedly. You're on your own there.

Shelf Awareness reports on the way independent booksellers have to strategize to make money off of the Harry Potter book due to competition from deep discounting and big bookstores offering HPATDH as a loss leader. I have no joke here, just horror that booksellers may not make any profit off of a 12 million copy bestseller. Pure, unadulterated horror, like Lauren from The Hills probably felt after reading AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (and like Heidi felt when she saw Lauren reading a book).

And finally, every local news broadcast worth its salt ends with a heartwarming pet story, and who am I to doubt the quality and production values of local news. So here's your pet story, and you have to imagine me saying this in my best newscaster voice: And finally folks, we saw this deal note in Publisher's Marketplace and thought we'd share it with you: "Iowa librarian Vicki Myron and former HCI editorial director Bret Witter's DEWEY, a Small Town, a Library and the World's Most Beloved Cat, about a kitten found in the library's book drop who grew into a beloved town mascot, to Karen Kosztolnyik at Grand Central, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, reportedly for about $1.25 million, by Peter McGuigan at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates." Wow. People sure do love kittens, don't the? What a heartwarming story and what a great deal. Mmm. Folks, stay tuned for Book News, and that wraps up this week's edition of This Week in Publishing. It's 9:45 am. Do you know where your children are?

Have a good weekend everyone!


Maya Reynolds said...

"Folks, stay tuned for Book News, and that wraps up this week's edition of This Week in Publishing. It's 9:45 am. Do you know where your children are?"

More importantly, do you know where your cats are? They may one day earn you a fortune when you write a book about them.

Don said...

Aside from the whole "religion is the opiate of the people" thing, Catholicism and Marxism have long had a lot of common ground (it's worth noting that Marx's "to each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities" is actually a paraphrase of a NT passage).

It is kind of amusing to hear your comments on his new book since the only thing I have written by Pope Benny was actually written while he was still Cardinal Ratzinger entitled "On Atheistic Communism". He was against it.

Anonymous said...

Barry Eisler talks about how you can network and market through Myspace. He doesn't mention the part about writing a really amazing book, which Barry has done, repeatedly. You're on your own there.

And he's a really nice guy who wished me luck in landing an agent and I did, right after that, so his luck is apparently also contagious.

And he emailed me out of the blue. No, really. I got a surprise email from Barry Eisler. Talk about surreal. It's because I emailed Miss Snark thanking her for recommending Eisler on her blog, because I love the books to death, and she forwarded the email to Mr. Eisler, who emailed me.

Also, he's really, really gorgeous.

Miri said...

Now you're the first link that comes up when you google "Sweet, my answer is get out of my car." Crowned!

Does Barry Eisler give any details about how to network and market when you have a strong emotional aversion to Myspace?

Len said...

I've got cats. I could write about a kitten. Maybe the Pope getting a kitten. Yeah. And maybe he names it Trotsky, which everyone thinks is cute but is actually code. And only one guy in the history of man can figure out it, Robert Crumtrey, word maven.

Yeah. I think this has legs.

Brian said...

I've heard ugly rumors of some independents who are so flustered with HP as loss leader that they don't even want to do a party or anything in celebration of the final book. (I've heard tales of one store that doesn't even want to carry it.)

It really is very sad. Then, I also think it's very sad that the book is priced what it's priced.

Anonymous said...

You're only horrified about HP as loss leader now? This practice has been negatively effecting even smaller chain outlets for a at least the last three HP books. Loss leader for big bookstores can't even compete with loss leader for department stores in the same mall/shopping district. Hell, some of the bigger department stores basically give the bloody thing away. This has been the main reason some of my local CHAIN stores have closed in recent years. They lost money on HP and head office thought they weren't worth running anymore. It's also put some bad blood between Scholastic (who publish HP in Oz) and a lot of specialty bookstores - You gave us a big discount. But you seem to have sold Kmart a few trillion copies and your first born for the small change their management had in their pockets... And now you want us to buy non-HP stuff from you while Kmart use that market leverage to run us out of business... Yeah. Thanks.

Nathan Bransford said...


Look, I just work here.

Rosa said...

It's 9:45 am. Do you know where your children are?

Watching Billy and Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure... Just like their mother (who should be writing so she can use your awesome Query Letter tips).

Anonymous said...

Hmm... a lot of sour grapes for poor Harry. Don't you people know he was an orphan?

IMHO I also find it shocking if the publishing companies can't manage to make a huge profit off HP. There is something wrong in the works there.

All I can think is that the books hold no popular value new. This takes us back to the used/new question but are these books being used as a kind of door prize, simply a way to get people to come in and sign up for Costco?

I'm thinking the publishing companies should warehouse these books and trickle them out in waves. Controlling supply would work to control both price and demand.

Cheers. K

Marti said...

Sending you best wishes for a joyous Easter Sunday! Thank you for all of the great information here.

Sandy Marina said...

"...but hey, he's the Pope."

Actually, a lot of people doubt that, and for very good reason.

(For starters, he's not even a Bishop. So how could he possibly be Bishop of Rome?)

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