Monday, February 28, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

Hot news on Publishers Lunch this week for Gary Baddeley and his crew at Disinformation Company.  Maybe you’ve heard of Paul Carr, TechCrunch’s “lifestyle” blogger.  He’s written two books, The Kings of the Road Club: The Ludicrous Reality of a Life without Reservations and Bringing Nothing to the Party: True Confessions of a New Media Whore.  He’s at it again, this time putting his trademark humor to work on a story of excess and dangerous living from London to New York.

Recovering from his life as a failed entrepreneur, Paul Carr flees England.  He manages to finesse his way into residence at a string of trendy luxury hotels with a little inside knowledge and more than a few lies.  Soon he’s driving fancy cars, dating beautiful women, and rubbing elbows with actresses, rock stars, and drug dealers.  

Paul can’t resist sharing his adventures in a blog, which soon becomes a column in a newspaper, and eventually a book deal.  But keeping his readers happy means taking bigger risks, living so large that he beings to wonder when he will collapse under his own weight.  The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of Life without Reservations is sure to thrill and upset readers in equal measure and represents a prize catch for our client, publisher Disinformation Company, who will be releasing Carr’s book in March of next year. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Independents in the Wake of Borders

It seems like the downfall of Borders is on everyone’s mind lately.  As you may know, Borders is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, following the collapse of its UK chain last year.  It seems that competing with Amazon and other online booksellers while simultaneously fighting off independent bookstores all over was simply too much for the giant in the end.  Now that Borders is out of the picture, the world has its eyes on former cohort, Barnes & Noble.

But while Barnes & Noble may now seem to be in a place of unprecedented power, with no competitors, it’s actually the independent bookstores we should be watching.  Without Borders competing, and with Barnes & Noble unlikely to take up the vacant turf for fear of overreaching in an obviously treacherous market, independent bookstores will be free to start new locations, expand, and offer a more personal experience.  According to an article this week by, these cozier locations give people an opportunity to get books instantly, receive recommendations, create a relationship with their retailer, and meet other people at the store who may be interested in the same books.  It’s an experience that Amazon can never replace.

Check out the rest of the article here.  If you’re sharp, you’ll pick up the reference our client Gary Baddeley of The Disinformation Company.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day Q&A

Just in time for a holiday of love and longing, Anouchka Grose, author of Tin House Books’ Why Do Fools Fall in Love, will be answering readers’ questions about romance on the Powell’s Books blog.  From the humorous to the heart-breaking, Grose will be on hand to help navigate your concerns.  

According to her bio, “Anouchka Grose was born in Sydney, Australia, but has lived in London most of her life. She is currently a writer and psychoanalyst, but has also worked as a musician, receptionist, editor, jewelry designer, and lampshade maker.”  

Why Do Fools Fall in Love has been a great success.  In it, Grose talks about the bitter experiences and brutal statistics that tell us that most relationships end it tears.  But we keep losing sleep, friends, and sanity pursuing them, she says.  Grose contemplates what it is about relationships that fascinate us so much.  With a healthy dose of sympathy and straight-talk, she reviews the thoughts of poets, scientists, philosophers, and shrinks, and offers a few solutions to the problems of love.  Check out Powell’s blog for your chance to learn from the master.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dawn at Tools of Change

Today is a big day for publishing and technology.  O’Reilly’s Tools for Change conference is happening now at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, with our president, Dawn Reshen-Doty in attendance.  She’ll be making contact with publishers, editors and other professionals.  The latest developments and technology will be showcased.  This year’s TOC conference will include:

  • Keynote presentations that frame the visions of publishing's future into a meaningful picture
  • Focused, expert-led breakout sessions covering both analysis and practical advice
  • Half-day tutorials that dive deep into necessary skills and tools
  • A relevant Exhibit Hall connecting attendees with the projects, products, and services shaping industry change
  • Networking events and hallway conversations designed to help all participants connect with like minds
There will be several keynote speakers including Patricia Arancibia of Barnes & Noble, Kevin Kelly of Wired, Margaret Atwood, author of several books including A Handmaid’s Tale, and Richard Nash, CEO and Founder of Cursor.  Workshops will be held on topics ranging from how to perfect final copies of eBooks, to how to design aps for the iPad.  This year’s conference will show us what to expect in 2011, what worked from the previous year and what didn’t, and which new applications, websites, and startups to watch.  Check back for the scoop tomorrow!

Soho in the Library Journal

What’s not to love about the title of Soho author R.T. Raichev’s latest book, Murder at the Villa Byzantine?  Talk has already started about the novel, well ahead of its mid-April release.  Next month’s issue of the Library Journal will review the top-notch mystery, but read on for a taste of the intrigue.

Antonia Darcy and her husband, Major Hugh Payne, arrive at Melisande Chevret’s home ready to celebrate the birthday of a friend.  Instead, they find more of the murder and mystery that seem to follow wherever they go.  None of the clues lead them to a suspect for certain, though their host seems the most likely suspect.  A second murder at the villa from which the novel takes its delicious name complicates things further.  Three more suspects appear, including Tancred Vane, the royal biographer and owner of the house who protests his innocence (don’t they all?), the elderly Cathrine Hope who happens to be there helping Tancred with his research, and Tancred’s daughter, most damned of all by the appearance of her monogrammed silk handkerchief found with the body.

If the last bit sounds too convenient to you, kudos.  Antonia and Hugh agree and they delve deeper into the goings-on surrounding the beautiful home and the strange people within it.  Raichev pairs unusual, yet interesting characters with beautiful settings and the solid writing that has supported his series to this, his sixth book.  For those of you looking for a good mystery, Murder at the Villa Byzantine should not be passed up.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fiction in the Pacific

Earlier this week we mentioned the success of Neptune’s Inferno, The Literary Group International’s best-seller about the naval battles surrounding the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II.  Coincidently, another book coming out this month, Soho’s Devil-Devil by Graeme Kent, is set in the same area, just after the war.  

Murder and mystery find their way to the Solomon Islands, and the duty calls Ben Kella to dig up answers and set affairs right.  But it isn’t only Ben’s job because he’s a sergeant in the Solomon Islands Police Force.  He’s also an aofia, a spiritual peacekeeper who inherits the responsibility when he is born.  Because of his dual role, neither the police nor his people fully trust Ben.  

While searching for a missing anthropologist, Ben uncovers evidence of an uprising, gets cursed by one of the island’s magic men, and teams up with young American nun, Sister Conchita, to solve a series of murders that seems to be involved in all their other misfortunes.  We think the story is packed with enough flavor and suspense to support a whole series of books, and apparently Soho agrees.  This month they’ve announced that this book will only be the first.