Archive for June, 2011

The Daily Show Effect; LOST IN SHANGRI-LA

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost of Shangri-La, appeared on The Daily Show last night.

As a result, the book rose to #46 on Amazon’s sales rankings (from #184 yesterday). It’s been rising on the IdieBound Hardcover Non-fiction list (currently at #14) and is at #19 on the NYT list.


Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II
Mitchell Zuckoff
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2011-04-26)
ISBN / EAN: 0061988340 / 9780061988349

Larger Print; HarperLuxe; 9780062065049; $26.99
Audio; Books on Tape; UNABR; 9780307917256; $40
Audio and eBook on OverDrive

POTTERMORE Semi-Revealed

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

J.K. Rowling revealed few actual details about in her video announcement, released this morning. It is not a book, but an “online reading experience unlike any other…which will be built in part by you the reader, based on the books.” It launches in October (but “a lucky few can enter early to help shape the experience” — the Wall Street Journal reports that it will launch for the first million users on July 31, followed by a free site open to everyone in October).

She says she will be joining in, too, sharing additional information she’s been “hoarding for years” about Harry Potter.

She also announces that will be the exclusive place to purchase digital audio and, for the first time, eBooks. The Bookseller reports from the press conference in London that OverDrive has built the e-bookstore for Given that Rowling says the digital products will be available “exclusively” from the Web site, we’re left to conclude that they will not be available to OverDrive’s bookstore and library customers. Thus, Rowling is effectively cutting out all the libraries and bookstores that have supported HP for years. Her publishers, Scholastic in the U.S. and Bloomsbury in the U.K. will get an unspecified “share in the profits,” according to the NYT).

EXPECTING Jennifer Lopez

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Expecting a Movie Version

The movie blogs are atwitter over a Deadline report that Jennifer Lopez is in talks for a supporting role in the adaptation of the pregnancy manual, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, (Workman). Already in the cast are Cameron Diaz and Matthew Morrison. Directed by Kirk Jones (Nanny McPhee, Everybody’s Fine), it is planned for release on May 11, 2012.

How do you turn a manual into a movie? The producers have said that it will be like the film of He’s Just Not That In to You (which didn’t share much with the book other than the title and a basic concept). It will follow several couples as they prepare for childbirth and is set to begin shooting in August.

Lopez is also in talks to star in Parker, a film based on the Donald Westlake novels (Jason Stratham will be playing the lead; Lopez is considering the role of his love interest) and  directed by Taylor Hackford. Parker has already been  portrayed  by Mel Gibson in Payback and Lee Marvin in Point Blank.

Pottermore Secret Leaked?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Minutes ago, The Times of London published a story claiming they have the scoop on J.K. Rowling’s mystery Web site, It’s “…a sophisticated online game that contains clues to prizes that are hidden in the real world..[which] appears to be masterminded by Adam & Eve, a PR company that has previously conducted online-only treasure hunts using Google Maps. Last year, it created LittleBig Map.” (The story is here, but the Times requires payment to read it).

The story claims that details were “…sent to this newspaper apparently by mistake by a party involved with the official Pottermore launch event tomorrow, although it could be a canny marketing exercise.”

Rowling will make an official announcement tomorrow at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, at 7:00 a.m., Eastern time.

About Stieg Larsson

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

In a story in today’s New York Times, Chip McGrath tries valiantly to come up with some news from the memoir by Eva Gabrielsson, Stieg Larsson’s longtime companion, “There Are Things I Want You to Know” About Stieg Larsson and Me.” (Seven Stories Press, 6/21; Audio, Tantor Media, 6/21).

Basically, there is a manuscript for another Millennium novel on Larsson’s laptop, which she has but isn’t telling anyone where it is, and it features Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist.

She may be willing to complete it herself (the story notes that Gabrielsson’s “straightforward tone and terse, unadorned style are unlikely to provide much support for the conspiracy theorists,” who believe she is the actual author of Larsson’s books), but then again, maybe not. Discussing that issue with McGrath, she muses, “How long are we going to kid ourselves? Stieg is dead. Maybe we just have to accept that — all the readers and me, too.”

Library holds are light.

Gabriellson also appeared on the Today Show:

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Feathered Architects

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

A story in the Science section of the New York Times has propelled a university press book about bird’s nests to #45 (from #1,453 yesterday) on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Avian Architecture: How Birds Design, Engineer, and Build
Peter Goodfellow
Retail Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Princeton University Press – (2011-06-05)
ISBN / EAN: 069114849X / 9780691148496

The article mentions the detailed drawings of construction techniques, such as this spread :

Amanda Hocking, from Self-Publishing to Major Book Deal

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

The poster girl for self-publishing, Amanda Hocking (her ten YA urban fantasy and paranormal romances have grossed around $2 million since she began publishing them through Amazon’s CreateSpace last year), was profiled in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.

But she recently abandoned her self-pubbed status for a major deal with St. Martin’s. Why? She tells the NYT Magazine that she wants “…to reach as many people as possible among the 85 percent or so of the population who don’t have e-readers yet. For me to be a billion-dollar author…I need to have people buying my books at Wal-Mart.” Also, there is a concern that major retailers will not want to stock books published by their competitor, Amazon.

St. Martin’s will publish Hocking’s Trylle trilogy (already in paperback by CreateSpace and on Kindle) in August, 2012. The original Watersong series begins Fall 2012.

Trylle trilogy

Switched 9781250006318; January 8, 2012 (currently available from CreateSpace, pbk, July 5, 2010; 9781453688939)

Torn 978125000632; February , 2012 (currently available from CreateSpace, pbk, Nov. 15, 2010, 2010; 9781456355791)

Ascend 9781250006332; April 2012 (currently available from CreateSpace, pbk, Jan. 11 2011, 2010; 9781456541286)

Watersong (exact pub dates not set for later titles in the series)

Wake 9781250008121; August 2012

Lullaby 9781250008107; (Fall 2012)

Tidal 9781250005663 (Winter 2013)

Elegy 9781250005670 (Spring/Summer 2013)

Yesterday, Amazon announced that another self-published author, John Locke, has joined their “Kindle Million Club,” for authors who have sold over 1 million paid copies in the Kindle Store. The author of mysteries and westerns, Locke publishes his paperbacks through self-publisher Telemachus Press and uses Kindle Direct Publishing for his ebooks.

If Amazon authors choose to do so, they can make their eBooks available to libraries through OverDrive; but neither Hocking nor Locke are listed on OverDrive’s database.

Reviewers’ Darling; STATE OF WONDER

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Despite an early cold shoulder from the NYT‘s Janet Maslin, Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder (Harper. 6/6) has since been showered with generally stellar reviews (we are partial to Ron Charles’s review in the Washington Post) and debuted on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #3 this week (right behind Laurell K. Hamilton and Clive Cussler). It’s doing even better as an eBook; it is currently at #2 on the E-Book Fiction list (it is available to libraries via OverDrive, with HarperCollins’ restriction of 26 loan periods). Unsurprisingly, libraries are showing heavy holds.

Maureen Corrigan added to the ecstatic reviews on NPR’s Fresh Air last night, saying, “It’s not often that a novel leaves me (temporarily) speechless. But Ann Patchett’s new novel isn’t called State of Wonder for nothing, because that’s exactly the state I’ve been in ever since I first opened it.”


Nagin Promotes Book

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Former New Orleans mayor made  national TV appearances yesterday to promote his self-pubbed book, Katrina’s Secrets: Storms After the Storm (coming tomorrow from Amazon’s self-publishing division, CreateSpace; although it is listed as “Volume 1,” there is no indication of when a Volume 2 will be published).

On the Daily Show, Jon Stewart asked why he went the self-publishing route; he said that he was worried that a traditional publisher would make changes to his “voice.”

What is Nagin doing now? Nagin’s response, “Disaster consulting” brought a big laugh.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Ray Nagin
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Nagin also appeared on the Today Show:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Today Show site also offers an excerpt from the book. As a result of the attention, it received a bump on Amazon’s sales rankings, but still only rose to #1,223.

Shelf Awareness for Consumers

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Our friends and former colleagues at Shelf Awareness have launched a new publication aimed at consumers, Shelf Awareness for Readers. The twice-weekly email newsletter focuses on books, with a dozen reviews of both adult and childrens books as well as features, and some stories from the six-year-old trade publication, now called Shelf Awareness Pro. UPDATE: The reviews will be licensed; Ingram has already signed up.

One feature that readers advisors are sure to love is “Further Reading.” In this issue, it recommends books to extend the experience after reading Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder.

This new version of The Shelf is launching with an extensive marketing campaign, so you are likely to hear about it from your customers.


Monday, June 20th, 2011

Atheneum is beating the drums for the fall release  of the first books in William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood series. It’s a complex publishing program, featuring both picture books and chapter books (there are actually TWO titles listed as “Guardians of Childhood #1“) and a Dreamworks movie, called Rise of the Guardians, releasing in November, 2012.

In total there will be 7 picture books and 6 chapter books, with both series featuring the same characters. The “Guardians” are various childhood icons, the Man in the Moon, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman, who band together to thwart the evil Pitch, the Boogeyman, who plans to throw the world into darkness.

The first picture book, The Man in the Moon, releases on Sept. 6th and the first chapter book, Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King on Oct. 4th. A special Web site features full-page spreads, and a video introducing The Guardians, (via the special publisher-supported issue of Shelf Awareness).

Kirkus gave the picture book a bit of a cold shoulder, “A visual feast cannot compensate for lackluster plotting …” (but, what a visual feast it is).

The animated film will feature the voices of Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law and Alec Baldwin. It will be in in 3-D (of course). Joyce is co-directing.

If you’re going to ALA, Joyce will be featured in the Auditorium Speaker Series.


Monday, June 20th, 2011

Last night marked the finale of Game of Thrones, HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s first book in A Song of Ice and Fire series, which has made best sellers of all the books (Book 5, A Dance with Dragons, Random House, July 1, is currently at #3 on Amazon’s sales rankings. The 4-vol boxed set is at #1).

Season Two begins in the Spring of 2012. Production hasn’t begun yet, which is the reason the teaser trailer is a bit sketchy.

Beach Reads from New York Magazine

Monday, June 20th, 2011

New York magazine’s Summer Guide, offers just five “beach reads,” (in contrast, the Guide recommends The City’s Top 16 Ice Creams). Included in the list is The Hypnotist which comes out tomorrow and is widely expected to be this season’s biggest Swedish thriller. The New York annotation reads, “Maximum intensity, both psychological and physical, is packed into the story of a family ruthlessly slaughtered—possibly by their own teenage son—and the haunted ex-hypnotist who teases out the buried truth.”

Holds are growing in libraries.

In a sidebar, Nicholson Baker’s forthcoming book, House of Holes (S&S, 8/9), is called “his dirtiest work yet: a 200-plus-page tour of a sex-fantasy theme park without a proper plot or central characters. It may be the raunchiest novel ever published by a major American house.” The publisher makes no bones about that; it’s subtitled, “A Book of Raunch.”


Monday, June 20th, 2011

Former mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight. His book about his experiences during Hurricane Katrina, is published through self-publisher CreateSpace, which is owned by Amazon. He will also appear on The Today Show this morning, followed by appearances on MSNBC and CNN.

Katrina’s Secrets: Storms After The Storm (Volume 1)
C. Ray Nagin
Retail Price: $17.99
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace – (2011-06-01)
ISBN / EAN: 146095971X / 9781460959718

Journalist Mitchell Zucokff appears on the show on Wednesday. His book about a little-known event during WWII is showing heavy holds in many libraries.

Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II
Mitchell Zuckoff
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper – (2011-04-26)
ISBN / EAN: 0061988340 / 9780061988349

New Title Radar – Week of 6/20

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Two quite different debuts launch with high expectations this week; a Swedish thriller (The Hypnotist) and a historical novel of manners (The Heiress). In addition, many fan favorites return with books ready for beach bags.

Watch List

The American Heiress by Daisy Godwin (St. Martin’s) is the tale an early 20th-century American heiress who marries the most eligible bachelor in England. She has the money, he’s got the title, but is the price they pay worth it?This was a popular pick on our recent Galley Chat. PW calls it  ” a propulsive story of love, manners, culture clash, and store-bought class from a time long past that proves altogether fresh.” In a starred review, LJ recommends it for book clubs.

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is a debut thriller by a Swedish husband-and-wife team that’s been signed for a movie to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and was covered in USA Today‘s Scandi Noir roundup. Booklist says, “A cracking pace makes up for the rather-flat-seeming characters.”


Usual Suspects

Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand (Reagan Arthur) follows the disgraced wife of a fraudulent money manager during a summer on Nantucket. This week’s People gives it 3 of 4 stars and describes the plot this way, “What if Ruth Madoff headed for Nanctucket and got a second chance at love?.” Booklist says, “Another winner from Hilderbrand (The Castaways, 2009), who in this sensitive and suspenseful tale succeeds in portraying a seemingly unlikable character, besieged Meredith, and making her human.”


Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Bantam) finds Stephanie Plum’s name on a killer’s list.

The Devil Colony by James Rollins (Morrow) is a new Sigma Force novel with Painter Crowe, in which he uncovers a massive conspiracy with roots in Mormonism, Native American legends, Thomas Jefferson, and explorer Meriwether Lewis, to name just a few.PW calls it  “riveting,” and says, “Rollins gets better with each book, and his position at the top of this particular subgenre remains unshaken.”

Disturbance: An Irene Kelly Novel by Jan Burke (Simon & Schuster) finds the sons of serial killer Nick Parrish, now master criminals in their own right, who have formulated a plan to spring their father from prison and murder the person who put him there — investigative journalist Irene Kelly. Booklist says, “The Kelly novels have a devoted following, and its been five years since the last one, so expect considerable interest.”

Buried Secrets: A Nick Heller Novel by Joseph Finder (St. Martin’s Press) is the second novel to feature the “private spy” who finds out things powerful people want to keep hidden. PW says, “Self-effacing, wry, and ridiculously competent, Heller makes a reasonably engaging protagonist, but this thriller’s real star is the suspenseful, expertly paced plot.”

The Dog Who Came in from the Cold: A Corduroy Mansions Novel by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon Books) is the second novel to feature the Pimlico terrier Freddie de la Hay. He belongs to failed oenophile William French, who has been recruited by MI6 to infiltrate a Russian spy ring. Early reviews are mixed: PW finds the characters “somewhat anemic… and a lack of trenchant observations about human nature,” while Booklist and Kirkus say the fans of Smith’s many series won’t be disappointed.

Fort Freak: A Wild Cards Novel, ed. by George R. R. Martin (Tor Books) Martin, whose Game of Thrones is a hit on HBO, is the editor of this long running anthology series set in a shared universe. This volume includes contributions from authors Cherie Priest, Melinda M. Snodgrass, David Anthony Durham, Stephen Leigh, Paul Cornell, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Victor Milan, and John Jos. Miller.

Fallen by Karin Slaughter (Delacorte Press) brings together Slaugher’s Grant County and Atlanta characters for a second time, after Undone. Booklist says, “With its relentlessly grim depiction of the desperate circumstances of those trapped by deep-seated poverty, Slaughter’s latest entry in her series overlays the standard police procedural with a burning sense of social justice.”


Starting Over by La Toya Jackson and Jeffré Phillips (Gallery) chronicles the fifth Jackson sibling’s challenges in life and her feelings about the death of her brother Michael.