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News Corp’s HarperCollins Agrees To Buy Religious Publisher Thomas Nelson

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 12:26pm PDT

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– HarperCollins Publishers today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Thomas Nelson, Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of the calendar year, is subject to regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions.

Thomas Nelson is one of the leading trade publishers in the United States. The Company provides multiple forms of inspirational content including: books, Bibles, e-books, journals, audio, video, curriculum and digital applications available for download on “smart” electronic devices. It has published some of the bestselling books in the industry, including the current #1 bestseller Heaven Is For Real, and the books of many popular authors, such as Billy Graham, Max Lucado, and Dave Ramsey.

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Penguin Press Appoints New Publisher

By | Tuesday May 10, 2011 @ 2:24pm PDT

The Penguin Press has tapped Scott Moyers as publisher, the imprint announced today, part of a push to expand its frontlist by 50% during the next year. Moyers was senior editor when Penguin launched in 2003. Since then, Penguin has had three of its titles win Pulitzer Prizes.

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‘Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi Gets Book Deal

By | Thursday April 7, 2011 @ 12:11pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Aasif Mandvi, the actor/comic best known for being Middle East correspondent on Comedy Central’s Daily Show With Jon Stewart, has closed a deal with Chronicle to write an untitled book of semi-autobiographical essays. Topics include a young Indian boy’s dream of becoming The Fonz, and what it’s like for a Muslim child to move from Mumbai with his family to US in search of the American dream. Mandvi won an Obie for his one-man show Sakina’s Restaurant. ICM and Lillian LaSalle made the book deal.

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Movie Crowd Crying Foul Over CBS Films/Simon & Schuster ‘Level 2′ Deal

By | Wednesday March 23, 2011 @ 2:54pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films just closed a movie option deal for the young adult novel Level 2, right around the same time its sister company Simon & Schuster Children’s Books closed a publishing deal. Value of both is around $500,000, and there is a second book in the publishing component for the author, Lenore Appelhans. Some scouts and execs in the film buying community are pissed. Why? They said the lit agent, Foundry Literary + Media’s Stephen Barbara, asked publishers to sign a non-disclosure agreement before getting the manuscript late last week. Editors who do that usually don’t share the info with the movie crowd. Word in the lit community is that Hammer got the goods over the weekend, made a take-it-or-leave-it offer that Foundry and CAA took.  All before other buyers got a peek. “Next time Foundry tells us there’s an NDA, we’ll take it as a sign that the NDA is not valid and there are no repercussions for an editor flipping the book,” said one.

Lit agent Barbara denied that there was any NDA or that any protocol was breached: “I did not require editors to sign an NDA.” Insiders from the buyers’ side also denied there was anything unscrupulous, denying that S&S even signed an NDA. They said the CBS Films buy was based on a reader report from its sister company–which they share all the time–and then being aggressive. They believe they weren’t the only movie buyers … Read More »

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Charlie Sheen Now Writing ‘Men’ Expose

By | Saturday February 26, 2011 @ 10:58am PST
Nellie Andreeva

First, it was the Charlie Sheen HBO show that never was. Now comes the Charlie Sheen memoir about his eight years on CBS’ Two and a Half Men. In his daily update to TMZ, the troubled star says he is working on a tell-all book about what happened behind the scenes of the hit show. That is, of course, if there is anything left unsaid after Sheen is done with his current radio show speaking tour/gossip site confessions. Sheen says he plans to start the bidding for the book at $10 million, which is about how much he is poised to lose from the show scrapping production on 8 episodes of its eighth-season order because of his personal problems.

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‘Saw’ Scribes Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan Set Novel ‘Blacklight’ At Little Brown

Mike Fleming

Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan, whose credits include the fourth through seven Saw installments as well as the upcoming Hellraiser remake and the sequel Piranha 3 Double D, are moving into publishing with a Little Brown deal for their first novel, Blacklight. The book is the story of a ghost hunter private eye with psychic abilities who is hired to take the inaugural ride on the new bullet train that goes directly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. His job is to figure out if the train’s haunted, but each case he takes on fuels his own lifelong obsession: to locate the spirits of his parents who were the victims of an unsolved murder when he was a child. The scribes intend for this to be the start of a series surrounding the private eye, Buck Carlsbad. Melton & Dunstan’s reps at Underground and APA will shop the feature rights.

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Will Hollywood Film Secret Obama Novel?

Mike Fleming

Simon & Schuster today is about to market the heck out of O, its anonymously written and self-proclaimed provocative novel about Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. That’s right — the campaign that hasn’t happened yet. Supposedly, it’s penned by someone “who’s been in the room with Obama”. This is kinda different from Primary Colors, the thinly disguised roman a clef about Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and also written anonymously until journalist Joe Klein came forward to claim responsibility. That novel sold a ton of copies for rival publishing house Random House, and S&S is obviously trying to capitalize on that success. Will Hollywood bite? “We haven’t discussed it with anyone yet, but it’s early, and no one’s read a thing about it until today,” S&S publisher Jonathan Karp just told Deadline.

Primary Colors was deemed a stiff at the box office when Universal made it into a comedy in 1998 with Mike Nichols directing and Elaine May writing the adapted screenplay. Still, that script was nominated for an Oscar along with Kathy Bates for Supporting Actress. S&S is owned by CBS Inc, so maybe Showtime or even CBS Films might get a crack at it first. Meantime, here’s a (satirical) memo Karp just sent his authors:

On January 25, we’ll be publishing a secret novel simply titled O, about President Obama’s campaign for re-election in 2012. The author of the novel wishes to remain anonymous. You may be asked to comment on whether or not you are the author. If

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Gersh Hires Joseph Veltre To Run Book Biz

By | Thursday January 13, 2011 @ 2:11pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Gersh has hired Joseph Veltre to become head of its book department, where he will broker publishing deals and sell books for film and TV. Veltre had spent the past six years running The Veltre Company, and he’ll bring all his clients with him when he joins the Gotham Gersh office on February 1. Veltre’s author clients include Steve Amick (The Lake), Taylor Antrim (The Headmaster Ritual), Jessica Blank (Almost Home), Bob Friel (The Barefoot Bandit), Robyn Harding (Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis), Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty), Alison Pace (Through Thick and Thin), Jason Pinter (The Mark), Matthew Polly (American Shaolin), David Treuer (The Translation of Dr. Apelles), and Lauren Willig (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation).

Phyllis Wender continues at Gersh, where she had been brokering publishing deals. Veltre fills a void left by Sara Self, who made all the book to movie deals for the agency before she left. Before starting his own company, Veltre had been director of development for Miramax Films and editor-at-large for Miramax Books, and before that was an editor at HarperCollins and St. Martin’s Press. “I’ve been admirer of the agency for years, and this is a great opportunity,” Veltre told me.

Gersh recently bolstered its lit ranks by acquired boutique agency Hohman Maybank Lieb, and it solidified its independent film distribution/finance department by making Jay Cohen a partner and pairing him with producer Jennifer Dana.

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‘SVU’ Showrunner Neal Baer Sells 3 Books, Eyes Movie Deal

By | Tuesday January 11, 2011 @ 3:27pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Law & Order executive producer/showrunner Neal Baer is making his novel writing debut with a series of 3 books. The novels, which Baer is writing with SVU co-executive producer Jonathan Greene, have been sold to Kensington. The medical thriller books, the first of which is titled Kill Switch, are set in the world of forensic psychiatry, an area previously explored by Silence of the Lambs, among others. They are slated to be published in January of 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The series centers on Claire Waters, a young forensic psychiatrist. Baer, a pediatrician by trade, had had some training in psychiatry and, during his tenure on SVU, he has talked to many forensic psychiatrists. “I became interested in the science behind what makes a criminal mind. Claire is driven to understand the scientific explanation of why people would commit a crime,” he said. The books stem from a feature outline Baer and Greene wrote 8 years ago. Now, they’re planning to go full circle, eying a feature adaptation for the novels. The duo’s agency Paradigm is taking out to film producers a synopsis for the first book and the part of it that has been completed.

Baer is wrapping his final season at the helm of SVU before transitioning to an overall deal at CBS TV Studios in June.

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Wikileaker Julian Assange Claims Memoirs Deal Worth $1.5 Million

By | Tuesday December 28, 2010 @ 4:56am PST
Mike Fleming

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, out on bail after an arrest for an alleged sex crime, has made a deal to write his memoirs for Random House’s Alfred A. Knopf label, and UK’s Canongate Books. More territorial sales will bring in additional revenue for a guy who has become a world famous figure reviled on Capitol Hill. Assange told Britain’s Sunday Times he’ll get $800,000 from Knopf, and slightly more than $500,000 from Canongate. He’ll use the money to pay legal bills and keep afloat his WikiLeaks website which this fall leaked 250,000 State Department documents that bared frank opinions on world leaders and foreign policy that were considered highly sensitive and embarrassing to the White House. Assange has denied the sex crime allegation and has implied he’s the victim of a smear campaign because of his truth-telling campaign. Most authors don’t disclose their advances, but Assange has made full disclosure of his, even though his publishers would not confirm the amount, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Sony Pictures Exec/Preacher DeVon Franklin Writes Book On His Double Life

By | Thursday December 16, 2010 @ 5:01pm PST
Mike Fleming

The last thing higher-ups from major studios want from their creative executives is for them to go public with their experiences in the trenches. The notable exception is DeVon Franklin, a Sony Pictures Entertainment exec who is writing a book about his journey that will be published next year by Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books. The title, Produced By Faith: Navigating the Road to Success Without Compromising Your True Self, reveals that Franklin isn’t your average Hollywood executive. He’s leading a double life. Aside from his work as Sony overseeing such movies as The Pursuit of Happyness, the remake of The Karate Kid and Hancock, the 32-year old Franklin is also a Christian minister and motivational speaker who has been preaching the word of God since he was 16 years old. His book is designed to show readers how to honor their faith and still succeed in their careers.

Franklin is doing just that in Hollywood. It’s not a coincidence that he gravitates to spiritually uplifting movie projects. Had he been given the script to an R-rated movie like The Hangover, he would likely have passed it to a colleague even though he thought the movie was quite funny. He also has managed to succeed in Hollywood while  preaching at least one weekend a month at Wings of Love Maranatha Ministries in Oakland, where he’s an ordained Elder. He also observes the Sabbath — it’s in the 10 Commandments and Jesus … Read More »

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Fox’s ‘Glee’ Gets Comic Book Treatment

By | Tuesday December 14, 2010 @ 11:10am PST
Nellie Andreeva

It was pretty much inevitable – after Glee music albums, tours and merchandise, now comes a Glee comic book. Fame: The Cast Of Glee, from Bluewater Prods., “takes a close look at the lives of the actors and creative talent” behind the hit Fox dramedy, including the cast and co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy. It follows the release by the same publisher of Fame: Justin Bieber.

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Chelsea Handler Launches Publishing Imprint At Grand Central

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After cranking out three bestsellers, E! Entertainment Chelsea Lately host Chelsea Handler has taken the next step forward. She has been given her own imprint by her publisher, the Hachette Book Group USA division Grand Central Publishing. The imprint, called Borderline Amazing/A Chelsea Handler Book, will kick off with Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me, a book that will be published May 2011. The imprint starts with a three-book deal. The second will ostensibly written under the byline of her long-suffering dog, Chunk (the pooch has a co-writer, who has been helping with a Twitter feed that apparently has a rabid following). Borderline Amazing Productions, the shingle she runs with Tom Brunelle, will oversee the publishing venture.

Handler, who has become increasingly entrepreneurial since her E! show premiered in 2007, said the imprint gives her the opportunity to hatch books from some of the talent that appears on her show. Handler is also embracing the inevitable: once up and comers get established, the public wants to see them taken down a few pegs. Why shouldn’t the latter process be handled by loved ones who can profit from it?

Said Handler: “I’ve written three books now, and while they throw money at you after awhile, I completed the Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang book tour, went out every weekend and signed all those books, and I don’t know if I can do it … Read More »

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HBO To Release ‘True Blood’ Graphic Novel

By | Friday November 12, 2010 @ 8:03am PST
Nellie Andreeva

More lucrative extensions for HBO’s flagship series True Blood. HBO will release a True Blood graphic novel, True Blood, Vol.1: All Together Now. on February 8, 2011. It is a compilation of the six issues from the first True Blood comic book series plus bonus content. Since debuting in July, the True Blood comic series has become the best selling title for IDW Publishing in their history.

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David Rosenthal Starts New Penguin Imprint

By | Wednesday November 10, 2010 @ 6:57am PST
Mike Fleming

David Rosenthal is starting a new imprint at Penguin Group USA. Rosenthal was displaced from a long run atop Simon & Schuster by Twelve editor Jonathan Karp early this year. Rosenthal will publish between 24 and 36 books per year, he told the New York Times.

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‘Shoe Addicts’ Producers Land Book By Writer’s Daughter

By | Wednesday October 27, 2010 @ 9:50am PDT
Mike Fleming

Galgos Entertainment partners Russell Nuce and Mark Bozek have acquired screen rights to Here Lies Bridget, the debut novel by 21-year old author Paige Harbison. The book’s being published on January 25 by Harlequin Teen. The heroine, Bridget Duke, rules her high school but when she crashes her car and ends up in limbo, she must confront the people she has wronged, all of whom want her to go to hell. The outcome of these meetings will decide her final destination. The producers are going into production on the Halle Berry-starrer Shoe Addicts Anonymous, which is based on the novel by Beth Harbison — Paige’s mother. Deal was made by the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

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Scott Rudin Buys ‘Dash And Lily’s Book Of Dares’ for Lena Dunham To Write/Direct

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Scott Rudin Productions has acquired screen rights to David Levithan and Rachel Cohn’s new novel Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, and has attached Tiny Furniture writer/director/star Lena Dunham to write the script and direct. Rudin, who’ll  produce, hasn’t yet set it yet at a studio. Levithan and Cohn previously wrote the novel Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, which was turned into the Peter Sollett-directed film. Knopf publishes Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares today. Two teens, left alone in Manhattan for Christmas, develop a connection when she leaves a notebook full of literary clues at the Strand bookstore and he follows the clues and leaves some of his own. There are dares in the book that lead the characters to crowded places like Macys and FAO Schwartz. Along the way, they reveal information about themselves, leading to an inevitable meeting. Read More »

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George W. Bush Breaks Silence On His Upcoming Book ‘Decision Points’

By | Thursday October 21, 2010 @ 10:38am PDT
Mike Fleming

Just in time for the upcoming elections, former President George W. Bush breaks his silence on his upcoming book Decision Points. The official pub date is November 9 through Crown Publishers, with a first printing of 1.5 million copies. Here’s the video that has just gone up on the Random House website:

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Ex-e-Book Foes Random House And Andrew Wylie Make Salman Rushdie Memoir Deal

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: The e-book rift between Random House Worldwide chairman Markus Dohle and lit agent Andrew Wylie really is in the past history books. The duo has formalized a far-reaching deal to publish a memoir by Salman Rushdie. The book will be published in 2012 and will cover the Booker Prize-winning author’s entire life, including the time when he was forced into hiding after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa on his life following the publication of The Satanic Verses in 1988. It revives a long relationship between the author and publisher.

The seven-figure deal will involve multiple imprints under the Random House roof, and covers hardcover, paperback, audio and e-book rights for English, German and Spanish-speaking territories. Random House will publish in most of the territories, while Knopf Canada will handle the book up north. The RH imprint Jonathan Cape will publish in the UK; Germany will be handled by RH’s Verlagsgruppe Random House imprint and Spain and Latin America editions will be published by Random House Mondadori’s Literatura Modadori. The Wylie Agency will sell other territories.

This is a giant turnaround from earlier this year, when Random House issued its own fatwa on Wylie after he revealed plans to form an imprint and sell the e-book rights to his author backlists exclusively to Amazon for use on its Kindle device. Dohle rescinded his order to view Wylie as a competitor when they met and found common ground for RH to continue … Read More »

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