The "scandal" that erupted over striking similarities between Jessica "Jerry's wife" Seinfeld's new Oprah-endorsed bestselling cookbook and Missy Chase Lapine's more modestly published take on the same topic—sneaking pureed veggies into kid-friendly foods—is grinding to an anticlimactic close, but Galleycat's Ron Hogan won't let it go. Today, he tries to find out whether the fact that Missy's book was submitted twice to Jessica's publisher might have resulted in plagiarism and learns that: guess what? Editors don't hang onto proposals they've rejected! They send them back to agents or throw them away, they don't keep them all in some giant walk-in storage facility. DUH. Here's the real shocker: that Spiegel & Grau's Julie Grau didn't have anything better to do than respond to Ron's email within "minutes." [Mediabistro]
"Remember how [Robert Olen Butler] told off Gawker, insisting his detailed explanation of why his wife left him for Ted Turner was 'intended strictly for those who personally know Elizabeth and me' and 'had its intended effect around Tallahassee and in some other places where she and I are actual human beings'? Well, it turns out those 'other places' stretch way past Florida, as we hear through the grapevine that some version of that email worked its way north to the complete opposite end of the country, to people who spend significantly less quality personal time with Butler than his creative writing students. Little enough time, in fact, that the recipients thought the bulletin was creepy." [Galleycat]
Sorry, Michael Chabon! The Picador paperback that's Oprah's next book club selection turns not to be The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, as many had predicted. Instead, Oprah's curveballed American ladies again by assigning them Jeffrey Eugenides' big fat Greek multigenerational family saga about a man-lady, Middlesex. Also, Galleycat was totally wrong, though we did enjoy their totally batshit 'Jonathan Franzen redemption via Corrections re-pick' theory.
Declawed book-business blog Galleycat is once again hosting a poll about which authors are hot. So far, 441 people have voted, mostly for Kunkel-feuding debut novelist Katherine Taylor. But that's unshocking given that the other options included Marisha Pessl, Jodi Picoult, and "this question is demeaning." Way to inoculate yourself against charges of sexism and objectification there! Except ... sorry, Ron Hogan. You're still totally creepy about the book hotties, and getting creepier with every post.
An article about how Marisa Meltzer and Kara Jesella came to write their almost certainly awesome book How Sassy Changed My Life is over at Mediabistro, and though it's not available to the common folk due to their AvantGuild paywall, Ron Hogan of Galleycat gives a sense of its contents: "As Meltzer describes the process, 'It's one of those things where you can't believe your job is to sit and drink tea in Green Point and discuss Kim Gordon and the 90s, and her incredible importance.' Hell, I'm practically an expert at all that, except the Green Point part; clearly my problem is that I've been giving it away... " Disturbing as the thought of Ron Hogan "giving it away" is, it's not the most disturbing thing about that sentence. Green Point? Is this some nefarious Greenpoint rebranding that's underfoot? It's enough to make someone want to move to Gowanus. Er, Red Hook. Redhook?
We're relieved to hear that former Crown editor Jason Pinter, who was dismissed from that position for writing about his employer on his blog, has found a new job as at editor at St. Martin's. According to Galleycat, which brings us this happy news, our initial account of Pinter's firing was "extremely flawed," which we will totally apologize for as soon as we figure out what the hell they meant by that. Was it the part where we were "correct that Pinter's termination resulted from the now-deleted blog post comparing and contrasting Chris Bohjalian's B&N-related success to Ishmael Beah's Starbucks-induced sales"? Or was it the part where we implied that, had Galleycat not linked to that post, bringing it to our attention, Pinter wouldn't have lost his job in the first place? Hmm! Galleycat's Sarah Weinman says of this latest news that she is "understandably ... very pleased with this turn of events." We're happy that we don't have to feel guilty anymore too!
Jason Pinter Moves To St. Martin's Press [Galleycat]
Crown/Three Rivers Press editor Jason Pinter's bloggy musings—since removed—about the relative success of Crown author Chris Bohjalian's latest effort, compared to Ishmael Beah's Starbucks-anointed memoir, seem to have gotten him canned. His last day was yesterday. (Citing Bookscan numbers on one's personal website is apparently against house policy.) But don't feel too bad for Pinter: he's got his career as a thriller writer to fall back on! And besides, his last few stinky acquisitions for Three Rivers—which include a gimmicky blog book by that dude who bartered a paperclip for a house, and the latest by Modern Drunkard Frank Kelly Rich—are all someone else's problem now. So really, Pinter owes us and Galleycat a beer or something for linking to his blog and getting him fired. We'll hold our breaths waiting for the thank you note.
Now, anybody who's ever tried to get a novel published is sure to look scornfully upon yesterday's strip. A debut novel, submitted without an agent, gets a $25,000 offer just like that? Go on, pull the other one, it's got a bell at the end. But what makes this scenario truly unbelievable is that he only finished the first draft last month, then managed to rescue it from a fire that broke out in his home at that very moment . . .
Doing their utmost, as usual, to defy the stereotype that book publishing types are cape-wearing drama nerds, Galleycat solicited Ben Greenman-style show-tune parodies of works of literature. Today, the results are in, and while some of them are as sad and clunky as the filler numbers in Dreamgirls, there are some high points. We especially liked this Cole Porter by way of One Minute Book Reviewer Janice Harayda take on our favorite Gay American:
Galleycat sniffed out a fun diatribe by Dallas Morning News books editor Jerome Weeks that starts on the hot topic of publishing-themed revenge -lit (sparked by the recent LA Times article about Blind Submission, which "isn't" about literary agent Sandy Dijkstra, and Because She Can, which "isn't" about Judith Regan) and quickly digresses into a discussion of assistant culture and the "female boot camp" of book publicity.
Publishing hottie Hogan was interviewed on the episode of Judy R's Sirius radio show that's being broadcast today; unfortunately, he's been cut from the program. During her conversation with Hogan, she went into what Radar calls (and Hogan denies) was a "rant" about "how the 'backstabbers at HarperCollins' had made her the scapegoat for the outcry over the O.J. Simpson book, If I Did It," which supposedly contributed to her firing. Alas, we'll never get to hear the rest, but you can still tune into Sirius Channel 102 and hear Judy interviewing another guest, psychiatrist Mitch Golant, with whom she shares her womanly wisdom:
News today comes of a publishing scandal that's just as icky, in its own way, as the whole OJ kerfluffle. (Just trust us on this one, okay?) The people who run the Sobol Award — a highly shady contest for unpublished, unagented writers with a hefty $85 entrance fee — have made a deal with Simon & Schuster imprint Touchstone to publish the three Sobol winners' books, for $100K for World rights or $50K for North American only. The Sobol people will also "represent" the "winning" authors in these deals, meaning that they'll cadge 15% of these advances. Seems kind of okay, and kind of boring, right? Well, it's actually not normal and totally wrong. We're all out of righteous indignation for the day, so we'll let Galleycat explain why this sucks — it's their thing, anyway: