This is our first special Saturday edition, sent to you a day early.
To the Editor: Help!
In an open letter to the publishing industry, former Federal Reserve
Bank chairman Alan Greenspan, who recently signed an $8.5 million deal
for his memoir, writes:
As matters reach a confluence in the creation of contractual prose
materials, leading editorial authorities tend to concur--without
complete unanimity but in a convincing and persuasive trajectory--in
the necessity of additional aid in the stylization and concordance of
my narration: the medium-term goal is a significant uptick in the
understandability index of said narration. Person or persons on the
supply side of possible aid support should convey interest and
statistical as well as anecdotal evidence of long-term abilities to
me--directly. Remuneration will comport with statistical norms for labor in this category.
Memories: Bush and Frey to Team Up on Memoirs
In a serendipitous pairing that will mark new stages of life for both
men, President George W. Bush and author James Frey are teaming up to
work on Bush's memoir, tentatively titled Mission Inaction.
Although Bush is still officially president for almost three years, he
will begin the memoirs now, explaining, "I don't think the rest of this
term will be memorable." Bush also noted that he has more room in his
schedule these days, and that Frey, too, is available.
For ethics reasons, the book will not be shopped to publishers for a little while at least.
Frey said he was excited to work on another person's memoir and aims to
capture the emotional truth of Bush's presidency. Among probable
chapter headings: "The 2000 Landslide Victory over Gore," "Uniting,
Not Dividing," "Iraq: The Six-Day War," "Reducing the Federal Debt to
Zero," "Karl Rove, Nice Guy" and "Respecting the Constitution."
The president, who has affectionately taken to calling Frey "Truthy Mon," expressed his admiration for the author of A Million Little Pieces,
saying that they shared the experience of having conquered an
addiction and learning that the truth shall set them frey. "I haven't read the book," Bush said. "But I've heard he was
a heck of a mess at the beginning. Maybe we can use a few big pieces of that book
in my book."
Bush and Frey hope to make a deal in the low eight digits. As Bush commented, "My life oughtta be worth as much as My Life."
New Column to Make Debut at Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly is introducing a new column called "The
Trade," which will run "as needed," an announcement said. Initial
columns will cover and explain such topics as bookstores and how they
function; the supply chain; the role of distributors; printing stuff;
sales forces; as well as shipping and ordering things.
A PW editorial emphasized that "The Trade" will have a
particularly expansive, inclusive approach and have profiles of some people and
companies "from outside
the New York metropolitan area."
The inaugural column will feature a story about the Random
House warehouse in Westminster, Md., where, PW said, "apparently books arrive from printers around the world and are stored
before eventual distribution to wholesalers and retail establishments
of all kinds."
2007: ABA Returns to Los Angeles
Following the colossal success of the first ABA Winter Institute, held
past January in Long Beach, Calif., the association has noted that
interest in the next Winter Institute, scheduled for Los Angeles
early next year, has grown dramatically even though the ABA is not yet
accepting registrations. The Institute offers educational
programming like that at BookExpo America but is held at a different
time of the year and in a different part of the country from BEA.
In an unusual development, Oren Teicher, the ABA's COO, told Shelf Awareness
that a huge number of publishers, distributors, wholesalers and others
want to meet booksellers at the Institute and have been insisting that
the ABA give them space for
tables so they might display upcoming titles. Demand is so high that
the association is renting out several halls of the Los Angeles
Convention Center. Since the center has a minimum stay requirement, the
tables--or "booths," as some publishers are calling them--have to be
open for three days. Some "exhibitors" will also be holding parties and
other events. The association is considering adding breakfasts at which
authors would speak, and several benefits might be held "since there
will be a lot of people here anyway," Teicher said. In lieu of "ABA
Winter Institute," many people, he noted, are using "ABA" as shorthand
for the event.
Asked for comment, a BEA spokesperson said that there will be little
competition between the two events since next year BEA will be in New York City, moving back
to the East Coast after being held in Washington, D.C., this coming May.
Baigent's House Plans Stolen Again
Michael Baigent, one of two co-authors of sudden bestseller Holy Blood, Holy Grail, who filed suit against Random House in London alleging that Dan Brown had stolen the architecture of their book for The Da Vinci Code, has been busy in court again.
Baigent has filed suit against Bloomsbury, the publisher of the Harry
Potter books, alleging that J.K. Rowling stole the architecture of the
series from his book Holy Moley, Holy Cow. He hopes to settle
the matter before the publication of the seventh and final Harry Potter
book, rumored to be planned for July 7, 2007.
Baigent was also busy this week doing publicity for his new book, The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History, which appeared the same day as the paperback release of The Da Vinci Code and has hit the bestseller lists.
Biagent's next book is The Wizardry School Papers: The Magical Education of Larry Botter, which will appear July 7, 2007. Future projects include The Templar of Opus Dei, The Prophecy of Bestsellerdom and The Code Codex.
Speaking of Harry Potter VII, Amazon.com announced yesterday in a
38-page press release that it has begun taking advance orders for the
last book in the popular series and will discount the title 110%.
Payments to readers will be made when the books are shipped (for free).
Borders Out-of-this-World Expansion
In an unusual partnership with NASA, Borders Books & Music, which
has expanded onto most every continent in the world, will be setting up
Borders Express outlets on future space shuttle flights and space
stations. The kiosks will be called Borders StarlighExpress. The company
has taken an option on being the exclusive bookseller at future
Despite the distance from earthly disputes, the first Borders
StarlightExpress shops, like its down-to-earth brethren, will not carry
the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine, which contains some of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons offensive to many Muslims.
Oprah's New Pick: An 'Author,' Not a Book
In a twist from previous practice, Oprah has picked an author instead
of a book for her next book club selection. The very lucky writer is JT
Leroy, whose works include Sarah, Harold's End and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.
"I have been moved completely by the autobiographical or fictional
tales of this young or middle-aged man or woman," Oprah said on
yesterday's show. "The degradation is astounding--and maybe even a bit
exciting. But most important, the sense of redemption transcends. I
look forward to having him/her/it on the show and sharing the journey
of exploration, exploitation and exposure with you all. Once Leroy is
unmasked again, I will really enjoy having him/her/it back on the show so I
can showcase my high moral sensitivities."