Friday, January 05, 2018

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Two intense storms hit the US on Wednesday, one caused by a book: Michael Wolff's January 9 release FIRE AND FURY, which landed in a wave of embargo cracks and accelerated excerpts. As we covered Wednesday morning, the Guardian broke the embargo after obtaining a full copy of Michael Wolff's forthcoming both Fire and Fury, they didn't know how to read what they had: later Wednesday morning New York Magazine posted the moved-up version of their lengthy official excerpt in reaction, and the book quickly rose to the top of bestseller lists based on pre-orders.

NBC also acquired a full copy, and sprinkled various anecdotes into their posted accounts of Wolff's "
wildest claims" and "behind-the-scenes tales." The NYT let it be known by Wednesday night they had a copy, but did not file many distinctive extracts. A second official excerpt from the Hollywood Reporter (where Wolff is a columnist) landed overnight, also on an accelerated timetable. And The Times of London offered one small "exclusive extract" (in which former Prime Minister Tony Blair passed on to Jared Kushner a "juicy rumor: the possibility that the British had had the Trump campaign staff under surveillance, monitoring its telephone calls and other communications and possibly even Trump himself.")

For our extensive full account, including 16 more paragraphs, join Publishers Marketplace now.

Longtime owner of The Strand bookstore Fred Bass, 89, died on Wednesday at home in Manhattan of congestive heart failure. He started working at the store, founded by his father, when he was 13, and just retired last November. During that time, he oversaw the store's significant growth from its original home on Fourth Street with 70,000 volumes to "the largest used-book store in the world" on Broadway -- where he bought the store's building for $8.2 million in 1997 -- with millions of volumes and a storage warehouse in Brooklyn.

The NYT quotes a remark Bass made to New York Magazine in 1977: "It's a disease. I get an attack, something like a panic, of book-buying. I simply must keep fresh used books flowing over my shelves. And every day the clerks weed out the unsalable stuff from the shelves and bins and we throw it out. Tons of dead books go out nightly. And I bought 'em. But I just have to make room for fresh stock to keep the shelves lively." His daughter Nancy Bass Wyden now owns the store.

Award-winning Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld, 85,
died Thursday in Tel Aviv.

National Book Award winner and former Young People's Poet Laureate Jacqueline Woodson has been
named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. She said in a statement, "I think the work ahead of me is challenging. I don't believe there are 'struggling' readers, 'advanced' readers or 'non' readers. I'd love to walk away from my two years as Ambassador with the qualifiers gone and young people able to see themselves beyond stigma or oft-times debilitating praise. Martin Luther King Jr. said people should not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. In that regard, I think young people should not be judged by the level of their reading but by the way a book makes them think and feel. By the way it gives them hope. By the way it opens them up to new perspectives and changes them. I'm excited to have these conversations with some of the best conversationalists in our country--our young people."

At Liveright, Gina Iaquinta has been promoted to assistant editor.

Brennin Cummings has been promoted to assistant marketing manager for Putnam.

Book of the Month Club readers selected John Boyne's
The Heart's Invisible Furies as their favorite book of 2017.

The New York Times and PBS NewsHour will launch a collaborative monthly book club, Now Read This, starting with Jesmyn Ward's National Book Award-winning novel Sing, Unburied, Sing. The book club will debut tonight on PBS NewsHour, and over the course of the month readers can join in on both outlet's platforms and websites as well as a dedicated Facebook group. The month's reading will culminate in the author being interviewed by NewsHour arts correspondent Jeffery Brown.

"With the launch of 'Now Read This', we're excited to expand the NewsHour's decades long commitment to coverage of books and the arts," Brown said in the announcement. "We'll seek out books that offer insight into the world we and The Times report on daily. And we'll provide our viewers and readers a unique engagement with leading authors." New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul added: "We're thrilled to team up with PBS NewsHour to spark thoughtful conversation about some of today's most timely and worthwhile books. Passionate readers now have a home to engage not only with other curious minds but also with the authors themselves. It will be a real treat to connect with readers of The Times and viewers of PBS NewsHour as they share ideas, ask questions and debate issues about what they are reading."

On Friday, Chicago public TV station WTTW launches the pilot episode of Amy's Book Hunt...with Amy Brent, featuring the daughter of renowned local bookseller, the late Stuart Brent. The Chicago Tribune
calls it "a delightfully entertaining television program that will forever change the way you think about books. It is also, in a quiet way, a lovely tribute to her dad."

Brent tells the paper, "It's been a huge cultural phenomenon, the loss of independent bookstores. But with this show we want people to reconnect with books in what remains of the brick-and-mortar environment." The first episode shows Brent on a treasure hunt, going to used bookstore, yard sale, thrift shop and people's homes looking for books of hidden value.

Producer Gary Sherman comments, "The first time I met Amy, I was blown away. I knew she would be great on camera and she is. Her love of books comes through so powerfully. The way she talks about them. The way she looks at them. The way she touches them."

Natalie Grazian has joined Martin Literary & Media Management as associate literary manager. Previously she was a sales representative for Norton.

At Putnam, Carolyn Darr and Madeline Schmitz have each been promoted to associate publicist.

The LA Times
names Kima Jones as a 2018 "literary breakthrough." She is the founder of Jack Jones Literary Arts, an LA-based book publicity firm that focuses on representing women of color. "With her discerning eye for literature, keen awareness of what makes a successful book in the digital age and drive to empower writers who have been marginalized in publishing, Jones is an important new voice on the national stage."

The UK's Costa category awards were presented, with the overall winner to be named January 30. The late Helen Dunmore, who died last June, won the poetry award for
Inside the Wave. The other winners are:

First novel:
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
Reservoir 13, by Jon McGregor
In the Days of Rain, by Rebecca Stott
The Explorer, by Katherine Rundell

Our newest edition of Buzz Books Monthly highlights some of winter's biggest titles. Available now for download on Amazon, iBooks, and NetGalley, the sampler includes exclusive, pre-publication excerpts of four titles due out in February, and also featured in our Buzz Books 2017 Fall/Winter collection. Buzz Books Monthlies are your first and best place to turn for a real insider's taste of what to read next. As always, you can check out our extensive preview of new books of interest coming to market in February.

February's sampler features a mix of genres, beginning with Bryan Mealer's nonfiction offering, The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family’s Search for the American Dream. Turning to fiction, debut autobiographical novel Rosie-Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson is right in time for Valentine's Day as is Adrianne Finlay's post-apocalyptic young adult love story, Your One & Only. Plus, this month's collection includes a bonus excerpt from debut short story collection The Sea Beast Takes a Lover by New Yorker contributor Michael Andreasen.
Next up is Buzz Books 2018: Spring/Summer, available to download January 16th and featuring 40 forthcoming titles, along with the Buzz Books 2018: Young Adult edition. Look for them soon!

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