Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hump Day News at The Publishing Game

Well, Brian came through with my copy of PW, and there's lots of news, but before that, a few other tidbits.

Daily Variety 11/18 issue reports that the "House of Night" series by P.C. Cast and her daughter Kristin has been optioned for the screen by Producers Michael Birnbaum and Jeremiah Chechik. Birnbaum says of the project: "P.C. and Kristin Cast created a thrilling world that juxtaposes teen drama with supernatural suspense, using the transition from human to vampire as a metaphor for the transition from adolescence to adulthood."

Daily Variety 11/19 reports that Nicholas Sparks' run of great good fortune on the silver screen continues - Warner Bros has cut a "seven-figure deal" for the movie rights to "The Lucky One", his latest bestseller. It will be produced by Denise Di Novi in her 4th Sparks film. He's going to be well-represented on the big screen because his other project, "Dear John", directed by Lasse Hallstrom is also in production for Screen Gems. AND he's "writing a new novel and an accompanying screenplay that is being custom-fit as a star vehicle for Miley Cyrus at Disney".

The 11/19 article also reports that "Lucky" is just one of the titles currently making the rounds, but that the pickings are slim - studios "aren't really biting on books".

Now on to the Publishers Weekly November 17 Romance special issue. This year's coverage on the genre is focused solely on the issue of cover art, in particular the ever-controversial "clinch" cover.

The short article reports:

"A clinch is never passe, but it is always evolving," and "A tastefully done clinch is a must-have for debut authors." These the words of Borders romance buyer Sue Grimshaw.

Vice President and Editorial Director of Avon, Carrie Feron says, "We're pro-clinch at Avon. Clinches are important when readers don't recognize the name of the author, but it doesn't have to be the clinch of 20 years ago."

Jennifer Enderlin, VP and associate publisher at St. Martin's Press weighed in saying that cover art should "be done in a modern way. If you feature a hero and heroine together on a cover, it needs to reflect some equality between the two." and warns further, "avoid at all cost poses where the heroine is bent so far backward she'll be in need of a chiropractor."

The article points out that opinions are rife, particularly on romance blogs, but that there hasn't been a poll to give us definitive proof.

Obviously Sarah Wendell of has an opinion: "Many readers hate it. Hate it." addign "But clinch covers will probably never go away."

Another divergent opinion is that of Kate Smith, founder of, who says that while the clinch is "definitely old fashioned, it exists for a reason. A clinch identifies the genre in a way that leaves no question about what you're getting between the covers." She says some of the readers of her blog say "it provides fules tothe naysayers, the critics of romance who dismiss the genre as fluff..."

But one of the respondents on the Romancing the Blog discussion said, "I've been reading romance for 30 years. The clinch cover is like an old friend."

PW had an interseting comparison of various covers of different publishers and genres and the reasoning for the artwork (no clinches) including what the "message" of the art is intended to convey to the reader, subliminally.

Having read PW cover to cover, I discovered lots of great bits to pass on. So many in fact that I'll do a "Hump Day, Part II" tomorrow, despite the fact that then, well, it won't be hump day anymore!

But a few more bits and bites:

Sara Nelson mentions, the site of Carol Fitzgerald. It's got release info, author interviews, industry stuff and polls, and is basically just a jam-packed site. Check it out (see link at right).

If you have not already heard, Amazon and Penguin are teaming up for a 2nd unpublished novel manuscript Breakthrough Novel Award. More info can be fond on and the grand prize includes a publishing contract with Penguin with - hold onto your hats - a $25,000 advance!

Upcoming releases are reported for perennial favorite, Belva Palin. Crossroads (Random) will be released on November 27. Stocking stuffer, anyone?

Several books have recently been in the news for their homage to Breakfast at Tiffany's. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Truman Capote's famous work, Vintage is releasing a new edition, which includes as well, the poignant and sweet short story, "A Christmas Memory".

And on November 29, the Kate Jacob's Knit Two, the sequel to Putnam's The Friday Night Knitting Club is released. Take note, too, that TFNKC is being filmed; produced by and starring Julia Roberts.

OK, Folks. Heading out for the night, but I hope you found this post interesting. Tomorrow's part II will include details from Publisher's Lunch and more from PW, including interesting news on the YA paranormal explosion. Gotta love the title of the article by Donna Freitas- "The Next Dead Thing".

Til then!

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