Publishing

Don’t forget the chocolate sprinkles!

whipped cream wriggle

Last night I dreamed that Arthur A. Levine Books (of Harry Potter fame) was publishing a young readers’ edition of The Sensuous Woman, a sex manual published in ’69 (heh) by a “liberated woman” known only as “J” who taught women how to please their man and–and this was revolutionary–themselves. My dream makes sense in […]

I thought this book was labelled NONfiction

LiarLiar

On the dust jacket for Jean Craighead George and Wendell Minor’s Galápagos George, forthcoming from HarperCollins, I see the following statement: “This book meets the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Science and Technical Subjects.” You big fat liars: Galápagos George, whose virtues are indeed many, does NOT meet the CCSS Standards, because the CCSS […]

More, more, more (How do you like it?)

spitz

So I see the Man Booker Prize is opening itself up to Americans. I wonder why; my cynical side believes it has less to do with enhancing “its prestige and reputation through expansion” and more to do with trying to grab a piece of American publishing money (such as it is) through what has euphemistically […]

A very good question

Lee and Low’s blog is asking a good question: “Why hasn’t the number of multicultural books increased in eighteen years?” They have assembled a good variety of responses, and I have two more, one only semi-facetious and one perhaps semi-impolitic: Semi-facetious response: While the blog states the disparity between the non-white population in this country […]

What Hath Harry Wrought?

Sutton bookstack

Just to get a sense of historical perspective, when I last spoke at this festival, there was no euro, no iPods, no Wikipedia, no Facebook; Pluto was still a planet; and I was still drinking. More to the point—today’s point—is that Harry Potter had yet to appear on our side of the pond. That would […]

Whaddya SAY to taking chances?

demejo

Checking a fact about Joan of Arc, I found myself on the Wikipedia garden path, cruising through various manifestations of the saint on stage and screen. That led me to The Miracle of the Bells starring Italian actress Alida Valli, who, it turns out, was once married to Oscar de Mejo, a painter who did […]

Yes, but look at $9.99 upside-down

Amazon.com’s announcement that it is acquiring Marshall Cavendish‘s trade book department is making me think again about last week’s blogosphere discussion re bloggers and publishers and review copies. In that conversation, Pam Coughlan (Mother Reader), rightfully decrying William Morrow’s graceless attempts to make bloggers jump through hoops in order to receive free ARCs, asked, “Can […]

Publishers aren’t the only big babies

The fallout over the New Yorker‘s decision to break an embargo to review The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo early is probably more entertaining than the movie is going to be. (Some commenter somewhere called it The Girl with the Thing on Her Arm, which I am immediately adopting). It is also convincing me that […]

In which I promise not to tell anyone about your terrific new book

secret

I spent most of yesterday being irritated by the conundrum of review books that come (or don’t) with nondisclosure agreements. Here’s what one looks like: CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT Date: xx/xx/xx Publisher XYZ Re: Title: Book ABC Author: Author LMNOP Publication Date: xx/xx/xx ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ Dear ___________: In order to induce [Publisher XYZ] to deliver a […]

Come spend the day with us

The Horn Book at Simmons

God, there’s a lot going on, and I haven’t even written my reviews yet. Katrina and Cathie Mercier and I have been finishing up the planning for this year’s Horn Book at Simmons colloquium. (When I am old and being interviewed by Leonard Marcus, if he asks “What did you learn at the Horn Book?” […]