Monday, January 30, 2006

Your Killers for Nothing and Your Books for Free

The first installment of my FREE podcast of the entire text of Perfect Killer is available here:

I am reading the book myself and have a PHENOMENAL new respect for those who read audio books. I found that I have gotten better and better as I go along, but the task is far harder than I ever imagined.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Random House: The Rich Little of Publishing?

There are few today who can skewer with humor better than Don Asmussen at the San Francisco Chronicle who has penned a hilarious stab at Literary Hoaxes including Random House.

Scroll down this 'toon and see his conclusions that Jesus actually WAS Mary Magdalene, that Winona Ryder was part Christ's inner circle and...

... that what Socrates REALLY said was, "An unexaggerated life is not worth not having actually lived."

And concluding that, "Sure, whole religions and moral codes may have been based on little more than a 'literary Rich Little.' But do we care?"

Of course, publishers have long skated along some questionable lines in their attempts to boost sales and marketing, but the Random House ploys are truly world class.

How could RH take things to such a whole new level? Perhaps the answer can be found in the release of a new scientific study, "Small brain means bigger sex appeal" which found an inverse relationship between balls and brains. Hmmmm, so this means that when you "sex up" a campaign, you get a smaller ... ?

Guess size DOES count!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Author Pseudonyms

The following is in response to reader Laura LaHaye's inquiry about the use of pseudonyms.

I've just read (and blurbed) a mystery manuscript by a highly talented and accomplished author of many books -- and whose name every DLer would know.

This author has used a pseudonym because his/her publisher feels that, despite good midlist sales, the author will never have a "break-through" book under his/her own name. The choice is to try and become a "new" writer waiting to be "discovered" or no contract and go find another publisher.

Call it short-sighted, stupid or whatever you might, this pervasive "lottery mentality" shows the swamp into which most of the publishing industry has sunk, mainly because it cannot figure out how to market and promote books.

As for the author I blurbed? I hope he/she makes it. He/she deserves it. I hope the blurb helps out.

For a great discussion of other reasons that authors use pseudonyms, check out BookThink

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Drink the Wine; Read the Book; Vote for the Villain

This is a first-ever for both books and wine.

Drink the Wine: (see this site for the unified promotional campaign)

Read the Book:

Vote for the Villain:

Dan Noreen, Proprietor, Sonoma Wine Exchange stands next to the book and wine display.

Click here for a close-up of the display, including the wording on the "Killer Wine" poster

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

NYT: Rejected by the Publishers

This sort of thing happens periodically and illustrates the insanity and foibles of publishing. And makes a far more exquisite comment thany any words I could muster. Read it and weep!

From Today's New York Times

Published: January 4, 2006

Submitted to 20 publishers and agents, the typed manuscripts of the opening chapters of two books were assumed to be the work of aspiring novelists. Of 21 replies, all but one were rejections. Sent by The Sunday Times of London, the manuscripts were the opening chapters of novels that won Booker Prizes in the 1970's. One was "Holiday," by Stanley Middleton; the other was "In a Free State," by Sir V. S. Naipaul, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature. Mr. Middleton said he wasn't surprised. "People don't seem to know what a good novel is nowadays," he said. Mr. Naipaul said: "To see something is well written and appetizingly written takes a lot of talent, and there is not a great deal of that around. With all the other forms of entertainment today, there are very few people around who would understand what a good paragraph is."

Read the rest of the article.