This Week in Publishing 7/25/08

by | Jul 25, 2008 | Uncategorized | 39 comments

RIP Randy Pausch, the professor who touched millions of people with THE LAST LECTURE. He was only 48. Very very sad.

The good people over at Fine Print Literary Management have started a master agency blog, to go along with the already awesome individual blogs that they already blog on. Blog. Adjust those feed-readers accordingly.

And one of the first blog topics on the new blog (blog blog blog!) is news that Sony has made the innnnnteresting move of opening up the Sony Reader to books purchased through non-Sony e-tailers. An electronics manufacturer opening up their device to competition from other retailers so that users can better use the product??? What a concept!! I salute Sony’s non-evilness.

Meanwhile, say goodbye to the LA Times Book Review. Good grief.

So remember Dennis Cass’s hilarious video in which he detailed all the things he wasn’t doing to promote his book, which ended up being a good book promotion tool? Well. Not only was this mindbending metapromotion through nonpromotion, turns out it sold some books too. Bella Stander caught up with Dennis and talked to him about the video. (Thanks to Kristin Nelson for the link).

You know how in the Sex & the City movie Carrie was reading that book called the Love Letters of Great Men? I mean, not that I was dragged to that movie, WHICH WAS LONGER THAN BEN HUR. Ahem. Anyway, sure enough, here’s an item of note from Publishers Marketplace:
FICTION: GENERAL/OTHER: Edited by Ursula Doyle’s LOVE LETTERS OF GREAT MEN, the romantic book from the Sex and the City film that didn’t exist…until now — ranging from the simple devotion of Robert Browning to the exquisite eloquence of Oscar Wilde, all the letters from the film and many more, to Lindsay Sagnette at St. Martin’s, for publication in fall 2008, by Margaret Halton at Macmillan UK (US).

And finally, in reality TV news, are you sitting down? Are you sure? Well, that British Bachelor whose name I’ve already forgotten has broken up with Shayne, that girl he called his monkey. I WILL NEVER BELIEVE IN TRUE LOVE AGAIN. This means that 10 out of 11 Bachelors have broken up with the women they’ve chosen, and that doesn’t even include Brad Womack, who didn’t choose anyone. As the kids say, LOL! Can’t wait for the next season.

And finally finally, it behooves me to point you to the Season 4 preview for The Hills, which is just, I mean, it’s….. all you need is one quote from Lauren: “Brody’s in jail????”

And finally finally finally, if you haven’t watched Mad Men, YOU’RE MAD. Ha! Get it? Get it? Oh. You got it. Um. Well, this show about an ad agency in the 1960s, which was originally recommended to me by Berkley editor Shannon Jamieson-Vazquez way before it was a Emmy darling (I mean, it airs on AMC!!), is just so incredibly awesome. Now that The Wire is gone, dare I say best drama on television? You still have time to catch up on Season 1 before Season 2 premieres on Sunday.



  1. JES

    An electronics manufacturer opening up their device to competition from other retailers so that users can better use the product??? What a concept!! I salute Sony’s non-evilness.

    Heh. After the crappy conclusion of the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray format war, Sony can probably afford to be a little generous about other media. 🙂

    Does this mean you’ll be picking up a Sony reader to complement the Kindle???

  2. clindsay

    Sir, we really need your commentary on The Amazing Race someday…

  3. David

    The agent blog situation (or blogging agents situation) is getting out hand. At one time, there was Miss Snark, of beloved memory. And then there were a few more. And then a few more. And then …

    But ya gotta read all of them, because you don’t want to miss that one blog that will have that crucial bit of insider info that will make all the difference!

    Well, Nathan’s blog will always remain on the list because he’s so funny as well as informative. Is that a subtle message to other agents who blog?

  4. ORION

    So sad about Randy and what a legacy he left his children. My niece’s husband died of pancreatic cancer and so did my best friend. I couldn’t help think of them as I read his book.

  5. clindsay

    Nathan –

    I don’t know but I am feeling a definite TAR withdrawal. Project Runway can only hold me for so long. ;-P


    PS: Thanks for the shout-out!

  6. Elyse

    The blogosphere (and Tweet-osphere) response to Dr. Pausch’s life is truly incredible. He’s a true inspiration and my thoughts are with his family at this unimaginably difficult time.

  7. Adaora A.

    RIP Randy. Sad times indeed.

    Don’t lie Nathan. IAdmit that SATC (short form, feel free to use it…I didn’t make it up) was the best film you’ve seen this year. All the fashion and female issues….best $10 dollars ever spent (or however much you folks pay to watch films in cinema). I love how a book came out of it. Reminds me of how in Harry Potter six, there is mention of a wizarding children’s book called TALES OF BEEDLE AND THE BARD (something like that), and now JK has written the actual book.

    OH NO! Shayne (aha! That’s how you spell her name) broke up with Matt Grant? I may as well put in the towel then. I totally thought that true love could be found by going on a TV show and being one of 50 million women to make out with and scantily clad myself, and become a drama queen, in order to get his attention. For shame! Love the series anyways….

  8. abc

    (spoiler alert). Mad Men is excellent! Peggy and that bastard baby! Heartbreaking. Office Joan is awesome. Hobo Code rules! I love the music in the opening sequence. Love the sets and the clothes. Love Pete and his sad, wicked ways. I can’t wait. I can’t wait.

    LA Times, I spit on you!

  9. Anonymous

    You can’t write. I hope you find something you can do before you get too old.

  10. Nathan Bransford


    I hear the crazy anonymous commenter gig pays well. I suppose I can always fall back on that.

  11. Anonymous

    Just to add, from my view, here in the middle of America,
    the news reported that book sales were up -way up- since the recession.
    Good news for writers, agents, and publishers!

    People want books and movies. Both are up.

  12. pjd

    An electronics manufacturer opening up their device to competition from other retailers so that users can better use the product??? What a concept!!

    I think a computer maker did something like this back in the 1980s. They went through some tough times for a while, but they’re OK now.

  13. Dan

    I was wondering if you watched Mad Men, and when I read your post on characters and the wire I thought Mad Men would be a great fit for it too – because the characters are so ambiguous – I’m not sure how I should feel about Don Draper, which is why I like him.

    And keep paying attention to the fake books in those movies you “get dragged to see” – maybe you can give us some ideas to make it big!

  14. Margaret Yang

    This week, in publishing.

    Nathan Bransford forgets to blog on Thursday. No mention of why.

    His fans spend an anxious 24 hours worrying about him, and not even reality TV can cheer them up.

    Seriously, Nathan. Missed you on Thursday. I’ve come to expect a daily Nathan.

  15. Other Lisa

    I thought I’d plugged MAD MEN in these spaces before…well, in my own mind I did!

    I was very sad to hear of Dr. Pausch’s passing – and now determined to watch the lecture.

    Who else Twitters? I’m an addict.

  16. Kara

    Nooo Shayne and Matt have broken up? The couple who, when Matt was asked about why he loved Shayne, he waxed lyrical for about five minutes about the wind in her hair when she got out of the limo and the way she moved her shoulders as she walked? They didn’t make it? I’m stunned!

    You cannot give up on true love over Shayne and Matt! Now if Jesse and Deanna break up – then you can give up 😉

  17. Michele

    OMG Nathan! You not only watch The Bachelor, but you have the guts to admit it? Wow! I'm so impressed. I watch it but only admit it a few select few…

    But the Sex & City? Oh no, I can't agree with you there. Being a huge fan of S & C, I have to defend the movie, and everything that goes along with it. And I don't have to be objective either.

    What I really wanted to say though, was thanks for this amazing blog. I love it. Even if you didn't like S& C, you've more than made up for it here.

    Thanks, Nathan.


  18. Anonymous

    Nathan, you watch The Bachelor?

    Hmmmm, a man who watches The Bachelor, for fun–not because his wife makes him watch it–and who also happens to live in San Francisco…hmmmm…am I getting the wrong idea here?

  19. Nathan Bransford


    No, I don’t want to be on the next Bachelor, but thanks for asking. Is it set in San Francisco? I hadn’t heard.

  20. Anonymous

    LOL smooth.

  21. Furious D

    1. Not going to make a joke about that story.

    2. Looks like some blog on blog action as they start about their blogs.

    3. Sure, why fight the competition when you can screw them by getting around their DRM.

    4. That’s because the only thing that gets read in LA are summaries of screenplays written by the assistants of producers.

    5. His next book will be called: Shameless Book Pimping By Not Pimping the Book, for Dummies.

    6. It wasn’t longer than Ben Hur, it just felt that way. They were trying to cram a season’s worth of stuff into one movie you know.

    7. Now I am confirmed in my own sense of superiority because I spurn those shows as I would spurn a rabid dog.

    8. And he should be in jail for unlawfully tacky use of television airtime. At least that will be a law when I rule the world with an iron fist.

    9. We just started getting Season 1 in Canada, and I must admit that I enjoy it. In fact, I’ve taken up smoking and heavy drinking, two things I’ve always found disgusting, just because of that show. *cough* *retch*

  22. Tracey S. Rosenberg

    Say it backwards and it’s golb! Twist the letters up and it’s glob! Or bolg!

    Jeez, I need to stop eating sugar first thing in the morning….

  23. sex scenes at starbucks

    Thanks for the link to Dennis’s blog. I mean, sheesh, I only wasted an hour I could’ve been writing. Thanks a LOT, Nathan!!

    QUIT giving us cool links to hit. We should be WRITING!!!!!

  24. Adaora A.

    The next Bachelor is in SanF? Wow I didn’t know. Perhaps folks will stroll around the Warf making out with/snogging/pashing with the bachelor. They might swing around manically on your palm trees Nathan (the tv crazy girls I mean), I hope you’re ready for that

  25. Michele

    Nathan and everyone,

    Hi. I’m new here. I don’t mean to change the subject but I was wondering if you’ve considered a message board, so we could all chit chat. Just a thought.


  26. Wanda B. Ontheshelves

    Michele –

    Do you visit – agents do Q&A now and again on those message boards – Nathan has done that a couple of times I think ? already…check out and do a search of site to find the message thread.

  27. Katie

    I have a theory about the Bachelor…. It only works when it’s the Bachelorette – cuz men like to pursue women. So it doesn’t quite work right when the women do the pursuing.

    That might sound crazy – but think through it. It’s true 🙂

    I’m hoping Jason is the next Bachelor. He might defy my theory.

  28. the Amateur Book Blogger

    The Last Lecture is amazing. It is one of the best hours of film I have watched, and been glued to, and laughed often out loud, in a long time.

    I can say I probably laughed in that almost more often than I did in rather dull and predictable, S&TC. Did no one else mention yet, the dialogue was terrible? It had its moments, but OMG some of it was so stilted. Ben Hur is better by far.

    Kindle, Sony Reader, my theory (and recent blog article) is that book prices are going to take a hike in price relatively short term, as paper prices on the rise (especially in China production due to factory closures and material shortages). So the ebook will become a cheaper option of the future. Goodbye dog eared pages?

  29. Michele

    Thanks, Wanda. I’ll check it out.

  30. nona

    I have a theory about the Bachelor…. It only works when it’s the Bachelorette – cuz men like to pursue women.

    Very interesting theory . . . the girl chose the firefighter dude and they’re the only ones that are still together; in fact, didn’t they have a baby? Maybe it has something to do with men in general. Their heads get turned by waxed legs and makeup. Women can see through that sh**. They’re just better at choosing, I guess . . .

    Ever notice when the men dis the women and send them to the limo? No remorse! They think with their d***s. When it’s the women, they agonize for weeks! They cry, they second-guess, they blame the men. It’s hard to watch! Great tv, though.

    Anyway, I think if the tv matches keep going south, the ratings are going to suffer. Or not. Hope springs eternal.

  31. Kate Lord Brown

    “Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things.” Dr Pausch’s words not mine, but boy are they relevant to writers these days.

  32. Anonymous

    nona, you’re all wrong. Women are every bit as bad as men when it comes to judging by looks. Often worse.

    Last weekend I sat by while several well educated, sophisticated, liberal minded women sat around dissing other women’s husbands. “He’s an ugly little troll. She could do so much better. He must have lots of money.”

    Perhaps men think with their dicks but women think with their credit cards? Which is the more morally reprehensible?

    My theory on bachelor/bachelorette is less about pursuit and more about trumped-up, false romance. Anyone can “fall in love” during an all-expenses-paid romantic extended vacation at an Italian villa. The men on The Bachelorette are less affected by the atmosphere of romance and the fancy location and the trappings, and they just want to get into The Bachelorette’s panties. (You’re right, there.) The women on The Bachelor, however, fall for the image presented of the man. They are less interested specifically in getting into bed with him than they are in living the life they feel they’re being promised during the whole courtship experience. That’s the first part. When they get home, they can’t help but be disappointed that he actually has to go off to work every day and they aren’t taking hot air balloon rides and cruise ships and having gourmet dinners every night. That’s not the man she thought she was getting. Whereas the Bachelorette, well, she still has her looks and her smile and her sense of humor when she gets home.

    The second part goes to the definition of marriage that I like best: it’s when the woman expects a man to change and he doesn’t, and the man expects the woman not to change but she does. The women in The Bachelor spend their whole time thinking that if he selects me, then that means I am his one and only true love, and he’ll stop chasing other skirts. But as you point out, the men are who they are. They signed up so they could be wooed by fifty beautiful chicks. When they get home, they’re going to want that to stop? Especially when the woman they selected suddenly becomes someone else entirely–perhaps a bad-breath slob, or a raving jealous lunatic, or the call-every-six-minutes freak. In any case, the woman will become something The Bachelor did not expect, and because he just had fifty gorgeous bombshells clamoring for his attention, he assumes he’ll get the same treatment from the rest of the world’s females. He can have anyone he wants, and suddenly–without the evening gowns and Italian villa and free gourmet meals–he doesn’t want her.

    So basically, the women are seduced by the fake romance and not the actual man. While the men are seduced by the woman and hope like crazy she sticks with them when they get home and start having to eat Hamburger Helper.

  33. Katie

    Actually what I meant was that perhaps when a man has to fight for a woman (which would be his natural inclination) than it means more – than when 25 are throwing themselves at him.

    Not that women choose any better than men.

  34. Katie

    Ooops – typo.

    “THAT it means more to him”


  35. Katie

    So, he’s more likely to stick with her… She’s more of a treasured “prize” if you will. Otherwise she’s just one of many that he could have.


    I’m done posting.


  36. Nothing But Bonfires

    Mad Men is now on our Netflix queue! I’ve heard from about eighty people that we MUST watch it, so the first DVD should be winging its way to us soon. Have also started DVRing the second season on AMC, so we’ll be all prepared for the next crack hit once we finish the first season.

    But a replacement for The Wire? REALLY?

  37. nona

    So basically, the women are seduced by the fake romance and not the actual man. While the men are seduced by the woman and hope like crazy she sticks with them when they get home and start having to eat Hamburger Helper.


    Thanks for that! It explains alot!

    Here’s how my husband of 28 years proposed to me: “I know this guy in France who raises horses. Would you like to go there someday?” I thought to myself, “OMG! I have to marry this guy! He knows someone who owns HORSES!”

    Did I mention that I was twenty at the time? By the way, what are you doing Saturday night?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams. Let me help you with your book!

My blog has everything you need to know to write, edit, and publish a book. Can’t find what you need or want personalized help? Reach out.


I’m available for consultations, edits, query critiques, brainstorming, and more.



Need help with your query? Want to talk books? Check out the Nathan Bransford Forums!