Angelina To Foreword
Ex's New Memoir
Jolie has written the foreword to
ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton's new memoir,
The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts,
a rep for the book's publisher, HarperCollins, confirms to Us Weekly.
Jolie, 36, and Thornton, 56, were married from 2000 to 2003; during their
intense, sometimes odd union, the couple famously wore vials of one
another's blood around their necks. Jolie and
Brad Pitt have been together (but
not married) since 2005. Married five times overall, Thornton and makeup
artist Connie Angland have been in a relationship since 2003.
"We talk every now and then," the Faster
actor said in late 2010 of Jolie. "She seems to be doing very well
directing her own movie [In the Land of
Blood and Honey], which I am so proud of her for."
"She's real smart, and very creative, and I think it's a great job for
Co-written with country music singer and author Kinky Friedman, The Billy Bob Tapes
promises to tell, according to book description info on Amazon, "colorful
tales of his modest (to say the least) Southern upbringing, his bizarre
phobias (komodo dragons?), his life, his loves (including his
heartbreakingly brief marriage to fellow Oscar winner Angelina Jolie),
and, of course, his movie career."
of the second-largest independent book distributor Independent Publishers
Group (IPG) Mark Suchomel said in an e-mail alert yesterday, "I am
disappointed to report that Amazon.com has failed to renew its agreement
with IPG to sell Kindle titles." As of Feb. 21, Suchomel says, Amazon has
taken down all IPG ebooks from its site, though they continue to sell
print books from the distributor's clients. (Our own check confirms that
Kindle editions are missing for IPG titles, complete with the standard box
to "tell the publisher!" you would like to read this book on Kindle.
Individual Kindle hyperlinks now result in error messages.)
Suchomel writes: "Amazon.com is putting pressure on publishers and
distributors to change their terms for electronic and print books to be
more favorable toward Amazon. Our electronic book agreement recently came
up for renewal, and Amazon took the opportunity to propose new terms for
electronic and print purchases that would have substantially changed your
revenue from the sale of both. It's obvious that publishers can't continue
to agree to terms that increasingly reduce already narrow margins. I have
spoken directly with many of our clients and every one of them agrees that
we need to hold firm with the terms we now offer. I'm not sure what has
changed at Amazon over the last few months that they now find it
unacceptable to buy from IPG at terms that are acceptable to our other
customers." Suchomel reiterated to us that the company's terms of sale for
ebooks have not changed.
Suchomel suggests to clients that they help spread the word to consumers
and direct ebook customers to the accounts that still sell the titles.
"There is no better way to show our valued customers how much we
appreciate doing business with them than to send orders their way."
He suggests that other accounts should be reminded of their "favorable
competitive position on our electronic titles." And he reminds accounts to
"practice what you preach. Support accounts that support your business.
Ask the organizations you support to do the same." Also "remind family and
friends of the value to our society of independent voices and ideas, and
that independent publishers and bookstores need to be supported or they
will go away."
At the same time, Suchomel writes: "Remember that Amazon continues to be
an important account that sells a lot of units. This is a business
decision on Amazon's part, and hopefully they will soon decide to reverse
it and buy at our standard terms."
Wolf Gift Marks
Return to Best-Seller list
by Carol Memmott, USA TODAY
Rice's return to the kind of Gothic horror tale that made her
famous--she's best known for her Vampire
Chronicles starring the vampire Lestat--seems to be paying off.
Her new novel, The Wolf Gift, about
a reporter who gets bitten by a beast and becomes a werewolf, enters USA
TODAY's Best-Selling Books list at No. 12, her highest debut since 2003's
Blood Canticle, a vampire novel,
debuted at No. 7.
Read the review of Wolf Gift.
After that she wrote two novels about Jesus, two about angels, and the
nonfiction Called Out of Darkness: A
Spiritual Confession. In a YouTube video, Rice says she's thrilled
to be writing about classic horror figures again. "I've been dying to do
my own werewolf thing for a long time," she says.
Philippa Gregory's First
is an exclusive preview of Philippa Gregory's upcoming historical novel,
her first aimed at the young adult audience. Scheduled for release on May
22 from Simon & Schuster, Changeling
opens in 1453 Rome.
The male protagonist – 17-year-old Luca Vero – has been expelled from his
monastery, his home since age 11. Meanwhile, the heroine, Isolde, has just
lost her adored father. After she refuses her elder brother's demand that
she marry slimy Prince Roberto, she is forced into a convent against her
will. The couple meet when Luca is sent to investigate why young nuns are
Gregory, who is British, is best known for her best sellers about the
Tudors, including The Other Boleyn Girl,
and her new series about The War of The
Rowling Growing Up
Rowling's first adult novel is coming, from Little, Brown. The
British-based publisher has purchased world English rights to the first
novel for adults by JK Rowling, the company announced Feb. 23. Little
Brown UK publisher David Shelley will serve as Rowling's editor, and
Michael Pietsch will oversee publication in the US.
All other details--title, pub date "and further details about the
novel--will be announced later in the year." But one important element has
been settled: While the world waits for Pottermore and the Harry Potter
ebooks, Little, Brown promises they will publish "both in print and ebooks."
Rowling says in the release: "Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit
as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series,
which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other
publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a
gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it
seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to
have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that
will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life." Rowling was
represented by Neil Blair at The Blair Partnership.
Yay or Nay?
by Sarah Weinman
Feldman's memoir UNORTHODOX, detailing her Satmar Hasidic upbringing and
how she eventually broke from it a few years ago, was no stranger to
controversy even before its February 14 publication date. Close-knit
communities are almost never happy about having their customs aired to a
larger public, especially by someone, like Feldman, whose book details
many grievances she had with her onetime way of life. Prominent
appearances on "The View" and a feature article in the New York Post
likely exacerbated matters.
But post-publication a number of
serious charges have emerged as to whether UNORTHODOX stretched the
truth on multiple fronts, including the timing of when Feldman's mother
herself left the community; a sister whose existence is never mentioned;
and a description of what is called a homicide that was, in fact, deemed a
suicide by the coroner and New York State police.
We've read the memoir (and liked it very much, living in reasonable
proximity to the Williamsburg-based community and being familiar with
other ultra-Orthodox enclaves) and feel most of the charges levied within
Orthodox circles -- and now to a wider public in the New York Daily News
-- don't quite meet the standard of fabrication made famous by James Frey,
Margaret Setzer, and others who clearly invented or described things that
did not happen.
Perhaps because of those past instances, UNORTHODOX, published by Simon &
Schuster and debuting at No. 7 on the NYT combined print and ebook
nonfiction list dated March 4, includes a disclaimer as follows: "The
names and identifying characteristics of everyone in this book have been
changed. While all the incidents described in the book are true, certain
events have been compressed, consolidated, or reordered to protect the
identities of the people involved and ensure continuity of the narrative.
All dialogue is as close to an approximation as possible to actual
conversations that took place, to the best of my recollection."
That disclaimer would seem to cover charges that Feldman misrepresents her
mother, Shoshanna Berkovic, leaving Williamsburg when the author "was a
toddler" (online evidence indicates it was 2003) and the excising of her
sister, who left with Berkovic, even if the explanation may not pass as
The most serious of the charges concerns a story Feldman claims she heard
from her then-husband about the murder of a 13-year-old boy by his father
in the upstate New York hasidic enclave of Kiryas Joel, a crime allegedly
covered up by the Jewish ambulance service Hatzalah. But both the Forward
and the Daily News reported "the young man in question was seven years
older than Feldman reported, and evidence from the coroner, the New York
State police, ambulance workers who reported the crime and family members
of the dead man all overwhelmingly suggest that the young man (an
allegedly troubled individual) died from slitting his own throat."
From our reading of UNORTHODOX, it's clear Feldman is describing a story
she heard second- or third-hand and does not claim direct knowledge. It
would have been prudent, and more ethical, for her to check the facts on
that story, but Feldman isn't writing a journalistic account of Satmar
Hasidism, either. (Ironically, she commented on Tumblr, "I cannot be
responsible for what reporters write. Misunderstandings,
misinterpretations, and just plain getting the facts wrong is common in
Feldman wasn't available for comment to the Daily News, with S&S providing
a statement to the paper: "Deborah Feldman's UNORTHODOX is an inspiring
memoir that recounts, from the author’s perspective, her experiences as a
child growing up in the Satmar community, and her eventual departure from
that life. We are confident that UNORTHODOX accurately presents her deeply
personal recollections of that journey."
Monthly Book Review
by Julie Bosman
will introduce a monthly book review on Friday, the latest expansion of
literary criticism online as stand-alone book review sections in
newspapers have dwindled. The section will nearly triple the number of
book-related articles that Slate publishes, covering fiction, nonfiction
and the occasional children’s book and young adult.
Dan Kois, a senior editor in the culture department, will oversee the book
review, which will use a mix of staff writers and freelancers to produce
author interviews, essays and multimedia pieces, as well as reviews.
Mr. Kois said that even as he watched many newspapers drop their book
sections in recent years, “it didn’t seem to me that there was less of an
appetite for good writing about books.”
“Maybe the mode of doing it in print wasn’t appealing to editors or
bean-counters,” said Mr. Kois, a former editor at New York magazine who
helped develop its popular Vulture entertainment section. “So to my mind,
I wanted to bring to Slate this idea of a concentrated, intense focus on
books over the course of one weekend, where books essentially take the
Called the Slate Book Review, it will be published on the first Saturday
of each month. The first section will have 13 articles.
How Vintage Landed
50 Shades of Grey
the NYT reported over the weekend Vintage bought world English print,
digital, and audio rights to republish EL James' erotic romance trilogy 50
SHADES OF GREY, which has sold more than 250,000 units (predominantly in
ebook format) and has become an increasingly prominent topic of
conversation over the past few weeks. The republished ebook edition is
available now, priced at $9.99, with trade paperbacks to follow in early
April, priced at $15.95. Foreign rights auctions have concluded or are
underway in a number of territories as well.
In a telephone interview, Vintage evp and publisher Anne Messitte told us
the deal with James, her agent Valerie Hoskins, and her previous publisher
Writers Coffee Shop "may be the most complex deal I've ever worked on" --
a fitting process for what was a complicated path to publication.
Messitte was first alerted in January to 50 SHADES OF GREY by a publishing
colleague, but she observed that "within a day, I was socializing with
some moms at my kids' schools who were chatting about the book rather
enthusiastically." Messitte also followed web discussions at DivaMoms.com,
a community for mothers living on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and she got
a physical copy of the first volume. "As soon as I finished it I
immediately downloaded the second book. Both of them were completely
immersive, something that was really connecting with a lot of women. The
buzz building around them was notable."
Messitte contacted James and her agent Hoskins through the DivaMoms group,
and arranged for a meeting at Vintage's offices on January 24. "I said I
really wanted to make an offer, as I had a very strong idea of how to
republish the books and make them more widely available, especially in
physical editions. This is about taking books that are seen as strictly
genre and saying yes, it's for those audiences, very much so but also
clearly for many other readers. I really felt there was a way to help EL
James find the audience that the momentum was really building towards."
James and Hoskins met with other publishers as well, and at least four
were involved in the auction process. Messitte stressed, however, that it
was "not a conventional auction." By the time James and her books were
garnering national attention, deal negotiations were already well in hand.
Messitte couldn't comment on specifics but with several parties needing to
be satisfied from a financial standpoint, "We had to come up with a plan
that was collaborative and supportive with everyone's interest and we
happily found a way forward."
Messitte said the trade paperback editions (previously reported to have a
750,000 first printing for all three volumes) will feature more editorial
oversight, as James has spent the past few days reviewing copyedits to the
books "at lightning speed to bring a new standard to both the editorial
presentation and packaging." The cover art will retain the same look as
the original print-on-demand versions issued by Writers Coffee Shop but
with added effects so that it will "look as great as other books on the
front table in bookstores." Once the trade paperback edition is released
the ebook edition will be updated to reflect the new copyedits and other
changes, which is "not too dissimilar from what we generally do with
As numerous reports have outlined, 50 SHADES OF GREY grew out of a
multi-part series of fan fiction called MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, based on
Stephenie Meyer's TWILIGHT novels, that James (a pseudonym for
London-based television executive Erika Leonard) published online between
2009 and 2011 in various venues, including fanfiction.net and her own
website. When she contracted with Writers Coffee Shop in early 2011 to
publish the works, lightly rewritten to take out any references to
Twilight characters and situations, James took the fan fiction versions
Vintage issued a statement to the AP Saturday defending 50 SHADES as an
original work, and said to us that James had warranted the books were,
indeed original. Messitte added she was "aware of the narrative that [50
SHADES] started as differently titled piece of fiction, but that they were
and are two distinctly separate pieces of work." A request for comment
from Meyer's agent, Jodi Reamer at Writers House, was not responded to at
Bits & Bytes
Get Thousands of Additional Listings for AmSAW PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS Today
Following reported self-pubished sales of close to 140,000 ebooks, Legal
Aid attorney specializing in modern enslavement Marlen Bodden's debut THE
WEDDING GIFT, a historical novel about the bonds between women regardless
of social class and race, pitched as Roots meets The Help, to Monique
Patterson at St. Martin's, in a significant deal, for publication in 2013,
by Victoria Sanders at Victoria Sanders & Associates (NA).
Carol Award winner and CBA bestselling novelist Kim Vogel Sawyer's next
nine titles, a mixture of historical and contemporary properties, to
Shannon Marchese at Waterbrook Multnomah, in a major deal, by Tamela
Hancock Murray at the Steve Laube Agency.
David Wellington's CHIMERA, when genetically modified supersoldiers go
rogue and leave a bloody trail across the United States, a wounded Army
veteran must figure out who created them, why, and what they want now, and
manage to avoid getting killed in the process, to Diana Gill at Harper, in
a good deal, for publication in 2013, by Russell Galen at Scovil Galen
Ghosh Literary Agency (NA).
Thomas Zigal's MANY RIVERS TO CROSS, as Katrina moves inland New
Orleans is filling with water and a Viet vet navigates his johnboat though
an apocolyptic nightmare to try to save his daughter and two grandchildren
desperately stranded in their drowned lawless neighborhood awash with
looters and predators of every stripe, to Dan Williams at Texas Christian
University Press, for publication in Fall 2013, by Bill Contardi at Brandt
& Hochman (World).
Rights to EL James's bestselling FIFTY SHADES trilogy, reported as having
sold 250,000 units, to Anne Messitte at Vintage, in a major deal,
reportedly for seven figures, at auction, for ebook re-release on March
12, 2012 (with new paperbacks to follow), by Valerie Hoskins at Valerie
Hoskins Associates, on behalf of The Writer's Coffee Shop (world English).
Children's: Young Adult
Twenty-five-year old librarian Bethany Hagen's sweeping YA debut, LANDRY
PARK, pitched as "Gone with the Nuclear Wind," to Nancy Conescu at Dial,
in a major deal, in a pre-empt, for three books, by Mollie Glick at
Foundry Literary + Media (NA).
Theodor Geisel award-winning author Kate DiCamillo's Mercy Watson series
spin-off, about a cowboy-thief, who first appeared stealing kitchen
appliances in the series and now returns, accompanied by an
oh-so-beautiful horse, to Karen Lotz at Candlewick, with Andrea Tompa
editing, in a six-figure deal, by Holly McGhee at Pippin Properties
New York Times bestselling author of THE MAD ONES, Tom Folsom's HOPPER, a
biography of the actor, artist, filmmaker, iconoclast Dennis Hopper,
viewing his life as a twisted quest for the American dream, moving with
Carrie Thornton to It Books (previously acquired by Thornton for Dutton),
by James Fitzgerald at the James Fitzgerald Agency and Zoe Pagnamenta, who
is Folsom's agent on his other works (world).
Chef and owner of the restaurant Prune and author of the memoir Blood,
Bones, and Butter, Gabrielle Hamilton's THE PRUNE COOKBOOK, with 250
recipes and 200 photographs, written "from cook to cook," to Pamela Cannon
at Random House, for publication in 2014, by Kimberly Witherspoon at
Inkwell Management (NA).
University of California, Berkeley law professor Ian Haney-Lopez's THE DOG
WHISTLE: The Untold Story of How Fifty Years of Race-Baiting Reinvented
Racism and Destroyed the Middle Class, bringing together legal history
with scholarship in politics, history, sociology and psychology to explain
the multifaceted ways in which, since the civil rights movement, a
particular brand of coded racism -- the dog whistle metaphor of the title
-- has been the lingua franca of efforts to roll back the New Deal state
that largely created the American middle class, to David McBride at Oxford
University Press, at auction, in a good deal, by Andrew Stuart at The
Stuart Agency (World).
Cade Courtley's SEAL SURVIVAL: Ultimate Guide on How to Survive
Everything, an authoritative, practical, and entertaining guide on how to
truly survive disasters of all kinds, from apocalyptic catastrophes,
caused by man or nature, to the countless life-threatening situations we
could encounter at any moment, the definitive A-Z sourcebook on how to
prepare with confidence and ensure survival when that unpredictable
calamity strikes, to Adam Wilson at Gallery, in a good deal, by Frank
Weimann at The Literary Group (World).
Journalist Niki Kapsembelis's THE GOOD FIGHT, the story of a family with a
genetic mutation for early onset Alzheimer's disease, who rather than give
up or bemoan their fate, turn themselves over to a doctor and researcher
who have invented a groundbreaking compound which makes the disease
visible on brain scans, allowing the race for a cure for Alzheimer's to
begin, bringing together cutting-edge medical science and one family's
remarkable resolve to create meaning out of devastation, to Millicent
Bennett at Free Press, in a good deal, for publication in November 2014,
by Larry Weissman at Larry Weissman Literary (NA).
Correlated.org founder Shaun Gallagher's CORRELATED, a collection of
humorous and surprising statistics, to Maria Gagliano at Perigee, on an
exclusive submission, by Laurie Abkemeier at DeFiore and Company (NA).
Go PRO for PENNIES a Day!