This week! The publishing!
We’ll start waaay back in the Great Depression. With our current economic downturn affecting….. everything, including culture, are you curious about what people were reading back then? Me too. Would you believe werewolves, dog books, and business books?
Knopf Doubleday (I’m still not used to saying that) has quite the Fall season coming up, what with books by Dan Brown, Jon Krakauer, Margaret Atwood, Pat Conroy, and Jonathan Lethem, among others. Bookseller Arsen Kashkashian takes a look at the catalog with the reverence it deserves, but calls it “Random House’s Hail Mary” and discusses the decisions a buyer has to make with such a momentous list.
Speaking of bookselling, agent Andrew Zack posted a takedown of the Bookscan service, which purports to report (say that five times fast) 70% of book sales and which publishers rely on heavily, but as any agent knows, actually reports FAR, FAR LESS I SWEAR I HAVE THE ROYALTY STATEMENTS IN FRONT OF ME DON’T BELIEVE BOOKSCAN THE SALES TRACK IS FINE I PROMISE. Ahem. Little, Brown editor in chief Geoff Shandler also weighed in in the comments section.
The New Yorker’s indispensable book blog The Book Bench tackled a crucial and weighty question this week: is Lauren Conrad’s novel L.A. CANDY any good?
Oh, and speaking of celebrity news, my bunker buddy Dick Cheney sold his memoir for a reported $2 million.
In news-via-John Ochwat news, speaking of Dick Cheney, there’s a hilarious contest over at the Globe and Mail to name his memoir. Ooooh the possibilities.
Also via John Ochwat, John Scalzi tackles the question of why debut novelists always seem to be in their thirties (except of course for those precocious teenagers). Why is it? Well, it takes a while to write a novel, and anyway, most writer’s first novels suck.
Over at Bookends, Jessica laments the poor state of communication in the publishing industry and how frustrating it is to have to chase editors who are so uncommunicative you start to wonder if they’re still alive. Hear hear.
And JA Konrath tackles a tough question in a really awesome, comprehensive manner: when should you self-publish?
And finally, I’m really going to miss the King of Pop. I don’t know if we’ll ever again have someone who is as talented a singer, songwriter and dancer. RIP.