Nathan Bransford, Author

Friday, May 4, 2007

This Week in Publishing 5/4/07

This week in the industry that is Publishing:

Are you sitting down? Well, if you're not, I think you probably should. You're in for quite a shock. The NY Times Book Review just discovered that publishers sometimes cherry-pick reviews for blurbs like "genius" and "suspenseful" when the reviews were actually lukewarm. I KNOW. Consider my youthful naivete and innocence irrevocably shattered. The next thing you know the NY Times Book Review is going to tell me there is no such thing as an Easter Bunny. (Someone put that candy in a basket, and it wasn't me.)

Lawrence Wright will soon have a closet full of awards to even rival literary-award-receiving machine Cormac McCarthy. Wright first won an LA Times Book Prize for THE LOOMING TOWER, then he followed that up with the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book Award for excellence in journalism. Did I mention that book is awesome? I think I did.

Do you like Spelling Bees except for all the spelling? Well, here's your chance to hear words like "sesquipedalian" without worrying about whether it has a germanic or latin root! Houghton-Mifflin is sponsoring a "Define-a-Thon," which is just as gleefully nerdtastic as it sounds. The Grand Prize Winner will be placed in a trash can by school bullies. (Sesquipedalian of course is used to describe someone who uses excessively long words. Seemed appropriate. I know you are but what am I?)

And finally, Dr. McSteamy wrote a book! Here I was just going through my Publishers Marketplace email when I saw this: "Pediatric specialist Dr. Mark Sloan's BIRTH: The Wonders and Oddities of Life's First Day, combining memoir, history, biology, anthropology and contemporary culture, showing how millions of years of human history are encapsulated in the universal experience of birth, and the first day of life, to Susanna Porter for Ballantine, in a pre-empt, by Sarah Jane Freyman at Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency (world)." But wait, Dr. Sloan is a plastic surgeon! What in the name of Seattle Grace Hospital is going on here??

And finally finally, I would like to apologize to the real Dr. Mark Sloan, who I'm sure was living a completely normal life before the identically named Dr. McSteamy appeared on Grey's Anatomy. I am guessing the universe will seek retribution when a literary agent named Nathan Bransford appears on a television show, wins a define-a-thon, and is placed in the nearest trash can.

Have a great weekend anyone!


Adrienne said...

You know what I love about you Nathan? Aside from your dashing picture in front of those glorious books? You totally watch tv. I like this because I too watch tv. And sometimes I feel all alone in this business that I enjoy television as much as I do.

I totally feel so close to you right now man, like dude, seriously.

Nathan Bransford said...

Group hug!

I justify my TV habit I mean hobby by the need to keep up with what's going on in the cultural waters.

Plus, well, I love TV. DVR saved my life, otherwise I wouldn't have time to read from home as well.

Don said...

I totally want to do that define-a-thon thing. I'd kill with it.

True story: About 15 years ago, I was at a party with some friends and they decided to play the dictionary game. There's a commercial version which I forget the name of, but the basic idea is that each person, in turn, picks a word out of the dictionary, everyone makes a fake definition, and then you get points for getting people to guess your fake definition. The house rules--I discovered midgame and somewhat to my embarrassment--were that if you knew the word, you were supposed to announce it when the word was announced. It turned from the dictionary game into the "is there any word Don doesn't know" game. They didn't find any.

There are words I don't know, though, as every read of Anthony Burgess's fiction is quick to remind me.

Eric G. said...

Actually, Dr. Mark Sloan has probably had it rough since 1993, as that's the year "Diagnosis Murder" premiered on TV, and the main character played by Dick Van Dyke? Yep: Dr. Mark Sloan.

Which means that Addison spin off is ripe for having a Marcus Welby or Dr. Kildare or something...

alternatefish said...

can we please note that, according to the NYTimes, the American Heritage Editor who is holding these Define-A-Thons has a TATOO of THE PHONETIC VOWEL CHART on his back?

I thought I was a nerd. I thought my brother the "spelling bee"/"national vocabulary bee" boy was a nerd. Man, this takes it to a whole new level of competition.

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