Category Archives: deals

6

DGLM Deal Round Up!

It’s been quite some time since we’ve done a deal roundup on the blog, so I’m thinking we’re certainly due for one. It’s been a busy, busy 2012 so far and hopefully will continue as such—so many good books out there!

Rounding out 2011, Jane sold Peggy Kotsopoulos’ SOMETHING I ATE, a holistic nutrition guide that offers recipes as well as insight into how food can affect our minds and bodies in all areas of life to Andrea Magyar of Penguin Group Canada.

Kicking off the new year, Jane sold revered and innovative baker Alice Medrich’s A NEW WAY TO BAKE, which introduces baking tips, tricks and methods for using alternate and varied types of flours to Judy Pray at Artisan.

Livia Blackburne’s MIDNIGHT THIEF, a debut YA fantasy novel about a talented thief who joins an assassin’s guild only to find that what she thought was the perfect job is much more sinister than originally imagined was sold to Abby Ranger at Hyperion by Jim.

Bestselling author and celebrated Food Network and Cooking Channel television host Ellie Krieger’s newest, currently untitled cookbook that offers simple and healthy solutions for weeknight dinners to busy families sold to Justin Schwartz at John Wiley & Sons by Jane.

Stacey then sold Robin Robertson’s ONE-DISH VEGAN, a cookbook that will showcase over 150 one-dish recipes from the master vegan cookbook author to Dan Rosenberg at Harvard Common Press.

Another debut novel, Stephanie Kuehn’s CHARM & STRANGE, about a boy dealing with a traumatic past that haunts his life in violent, disturbing ways, in a portrait of grief, madness, and ultimately resilience, went to Sara Goodman at St. Martin’s Press, sold by Michael.

Gaby Dalkin’s ABSOLUTELY AVOCADO, a cookbook of over 100 recipes that feature the beloved and healthy fruit, the avocado, went to Justin Schwartz at John Wiley & Sons, sold by Stacey.

Stacey then sold START AT THE END, by president and founder of Growthink, Dave Lavinksy, which a smart, savvy business book that teaches entrepreneurs and small business owners how to reverse engineer success and create an action plan to successfully get there to Adrianna Johnson at John Wiley & Sons.

Bestseller David Hewson’s atmospheric CARNIVAL FOR THE DEAD, a puzzle-piece, labyrinthine mystery set during Carnival in Venice and wrapped deep inside the art and culture of Venice itself, which was previously published in the UK, went to Andy Bartlett at Thomas & Mercer, sold by Stacey.

Debra Weyermann’s THE GRAVE ROBBERS, an exposé of the Native American antiquities trade and the 2010 raid that shredded the code of silence protecting it for centuries, was sold by Jane to Jerry Pohlen at Chicago Review Press.

ALA Best Fiction for YA pick & Cybil Award-winning STUPID FAST Geoff Herbach’s EVEN IF IT HURTS, in which a dork-turned-athlete must choose a path between responsibility to others and his own desires to find firm ground from which to leap to a future that is his own went to Leah Hultenschmidt at Sourcebooks, sold by Jim.

Jessica then sold John Adams’ THE MILLIONAIRE AND THE MUMMIES: HOW THEODORE DAVIES USED A STOLEN FORTUNE TO TRANSFORM ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE GILDED AGE, the true story of an American robber baron-turned-Egyptologist who turned tomb-robbing and treasure-hunting into a science, to Daniela Rapp at St. Martin’s Press.

Michael’s next sale was for Suzanne Selfors’s THE IMAGINARY VETERINARY, a chapter book series in which a string of unusual events — from finding a lost dragon hatchling to tracking an escaped sasquatch — leads ten-year-olds to become apprentices to a veterinarian for imaginary creatures, which went to Julie Scheina at Little, Brown Children’s.

Susan Beal’s next gorgeous craft title, SEWING BY THE SEASON, which takes a seasonal approach to beautiful sewn projects perfect for any occasion, in any season was sold to Laura Lee Mattingly at Chronicle by Stacey.

Dr. James H. Fallon’s, THE SUCCESSFUL PSYCHOPATH, a memoir in which the neuroscientist discovers that the brain patterns of deadly psychopathic killers mirror his own, was sold by Jane to Brooke Carey at Current.

MARBURY LENS author Andrew Smith’s GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE, about a sexually confused kid, his girlfriend, his best friend, and how they accidentally bring about the end of the world, went to Julie Strauss-Gabel at Dutton Children’s, sold by Michael.

Michael then sold PLEASE SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER by journalist Sara Solovitch, an exploration of the deepest of human fears, whether you call it stage fright, performance anxiety, or social phobia, through the author’s own attempts to overcome it, as well as her research into its causes and cures, to Benjamin Adams at Bloomsbury.

A Tarzan for the digital-age, Jim sold Alex Mallory’s WILD,  in which a girl skips her senior trip to go into the wild instead, and finds a boy raised to believe that the world outside the forest has been decimated by a modern plague, to Anne Hoppe at Harper Teen.

Jane’s next sale was for Anne Cleeland’s THE TAINTED ANGEL, the Regency version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith about a beautiful young courtesan who is actually a spy whose allegiance is unknown, which went to Shana Drehs at Sourcebooks.

Bringing cakelet decorating to the masses, Amy Eilert’s CUPCAKE ENVY, a collection of 40 projects for beautiful, adorable, and fun “cakelets” (unique crosses between cupcakes and cakes), was sold to Bud Sperry at Tuttle by Stacey.

Michael Krondl, author of SWEET INVENTION, has a new book, DONUTS, a lighthearted cultural history of America’s favorite treat with selected accompanying recipes, which was sold by Jane to Cynthia Sherry at Chicago Review Press.

An hilarious and touching memoir about Nicole Caccavo Kear’s struggle to come to terms with the fickle hand of Fate, in the form of a disease that is slowly erasing her vision, all while raising three kids with the “help” of her loving Italian-American family, to Sara Goodman at St. Martin’s Press, sold by Michael.

In a collaboration with Cooking Light, Stacey sold Allison Fishman’s LIGHTEN UP, AMERICA!, a celebration of regional American cooking made light, including Buffalo wings, Maryland crab cakes, and apple pie, to Heather Averett at Oxmoor House.

Stacey then sold Amy Plum’s JUNEAU as part of a two-book deal, about a girl who escapes the mysterious forces that kidnapped her clan and discovers that everything about her past has been a lie, facing disillusionment while braving an unknown modern-day America to rescue her family, to Tara Weikum at HarperCollins Children’s.

Jane then sold Nancy Herkness’s novel, TAKE ME HOME, in which an emotionally wounded woman falls in love with an equally scarred veterinarian, and both find strength in themselves through caring for a battered racehorse to Kelli Martin at Montlake.

THE BIG LETDOWN by author, journalist, and breastfeeding advocate Kimberly Seals Allers opens up a candid conversation about the cultural, sociological and economic forces that shape the breastfeeding culture was sold by Stacey to Nichole Argyres at St. Martin’s Press.

John sold Stephen L. Duncan’s YA debut THE REVELATION SAGA, about a teen who discovers he is the angel Gabriel and must train to save the world from the evil demon Septis, pitched as FALLEN meets HARRY POTTER with a dose of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, to Emily Steele at Medallion Press.

Two more books in James Beard-honored mixologist, author, and beverage consultant Kim Haasarud’s popular 101 series, SHOTS and TROPICAL DRINKS, sold to Justin Schwartz at John Wiley & Sons by Michael.

Bestselling author and iconic feminist leader Phyllis Chesler’s AN AMERICAN BRIDE IN KABUL, about her time as a young bride in Afghanistan and the charged and complicated relationship between the Islamic East and West was sold by Jane to Karen Wolny at Palgrave.

Jane’s next sale was for William Gurstelle’s DEFENDING YOUR CASTLE, which offers wild yet historically accurate plans for the modern homeowner, from moats and drawbridges to hostile plant walls, including both scientific and anecdotal material, which went to Cynthia Sherry at Chicago Review Press.

Romance writer Anne Stuart’s next series, AFTER THE STORM: THE STORY OF THE RUSSELL SISTERS, a historical trilogy that focuses on three orphaned sisters, Arielle, Madeline, and Sophie, as they embark to investigate the mysterious maritime disaster that killed their parents, encountering rogues, gentlemen, and illicit affairs along the way, was sold to Kelli Martin at Montlake by Jane.

Rounding out March, Jane sold Michael Wolraich’s WHEN THE WAR BEGAN: TEDDY ROOSEVELT, REPUBLICAN PROGRESSIVES AND THE BIRTH OF MODERN POLITICS, the story of the beginning of the progressive political movement, following closely the lives of all the major political, economic and journalistic players as they careen through history and one another’s lives to Karen Wolny at Palgrave.

John also sold real estate magnate Herman J. Russell’s memoir BUILDING ATLANTA, which recounts his childhood growing up during segregation and how he overcame a severe speech disorder to build much of the Atlanta skyline and contribute to the Civil Rights movement, to Cynthia Sherry at Chicago Review Press.

Jim’s next sale was for Gae Polisner’s FRANKIE SKY, still reeling from her little brother’s drowning death, a girl finds her herself holding back – from summer trips to the ocean, friendship, budding romance – till she meets another young boy who may be her brother’s reincarnation, which awakens her to new possibilities, which went to Elise Howard at Algonquin.

Journalist and historian Scott Martelle’s JONES’S BONES, the story that brings together two important eras in history—the American Revolutionary War and the dawn of the 21st Century—through the search for the final resting place for war hero John Paul Jones was sold to Jerome Pohlen at Chicago Review Press by Jane.

Veteran journalist and Professor of Journalism at Indiana University Joseph Coleman’s THE OLD MAN AND THE HAMMER, a narrative-driven investigation of America’s aging workforce, charting a path forward through the coming demographic revolution, was sold to Terry Vaughn at Oxford University Press by Jessica.

Jane then sold nutrition experts Katherine Brooking and Julie Upton’s 101 FAT HABITS AND SLIM SOLUTIONS, a health-smart guide full of real life, practical steps for kicking bad habits and finding new dietary and lifestyle paths to Sara Carder at Tarcher.

Bestselling author of the wildly popular self-published WIFE BY WEDNESDAY, Catherine Bybee’s newest romance trilogy, the NOT QUITE… series brings the genre to a whole new level as she elegantly brings to life sexy, rich bachelors, desperate hotel heiresses, and Caribbean scandals, to name a few, was sold to Kelly Martin at Montlake by Jane.

Anne Cleeland’s MUDER IN THRALL, the sexy, disturbing and utterly engrossing novel in a series of romantic suspense, following Kathleen Doyle, a fiery first-year detective on her first twisted murder case, was sold by Jane to Audrey LaFehr at Kensington.

Jane’s next sale was for chef, restaurateur, and TV personality Gale Gand’s newest cookbook, GALE GAND’S LUNCH!, in which she shares fun and creative ideas, tips, and tricks for all kinds of lunches, which went to Justin Schwartz at John Wiley & Sons.

GREAT BALLS OF CHEESE, a quirky and fun collection of over 50 recipes for all kinds of cheese balls from FoodNetwork.com and CookingChannelTV.com editor Michelle Buffardi, went to Justin Schwartz at John Wiley & Sons, sold by Stacey.

Jessica sold HISTORY LESSONS: A FAMILY MEMOIR OF MADNESS, MEMORY, AND THE WONDERS OF THE BRAIN by Clifton Crais: Part memoir, part narrative science and part detective story, History Lessons is a provocative, beautifully crafted investigation into what it means to be human, to Dan Crissman at Overlook.

Helen Bryan’s THE SISTERHOOD, connecting an unlikely present-day heroine to the events of the Spanish Inquisition, handsome friars and courageous nuns, doomed love affairs, persecuted orphans, and cunning noblemen and women, was sold by Jane to Terry Goodman at Amazon.

And finally, DGLM’s most recent sale was VODKA: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, written and curated by Victorino Matus, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard sold by Stacey to James Jayo at Lyons Press.

Okay! That’s a long list there, but it can only mean good things for DGLM and our authors.

 

 

16

End of the Year Round-up!

It’s hard to believe that another year is already coming to an end. We’ve had a busy one here at DGLM, as dedicated blog readers will surely have noticed, and we’re looking forward to things to come in 2012. Except, of course, the end of the world. I, at least, am certainly not looking forward to dying in a fiery explosion, or lava rush, or whatever we’re meant to be consumed by, but I suppose that will make the few short months of living we have left to do all the more cherished. Right? Before I get lost in a downward spiral, I’m going to stop and instead update you on all the nice things that have happened for the agency and our clients. We’ve been busy, that’s for sure!

Since we last convened at the end of September, Michael sold FOR US BY US by Meg Leder and Rachel Kempster, a book to help couples chronicle their relationship through prompts, exercises and activities. This went to Shana Drehs and Sourcebooks.

Stacey sold a collaboration between A.J. Hartley and David Hewson, MACBETH: A NOVEL, at the beginning of October. A dramatic narrative retelling of Shakespeare’s play of the same name, this was sold to Andy Bartlett at Thomas & Mercer.

Jane’s next sale was David Morrell’s MURDER AS FINE ART, set in London during the early 1800s, in which a killer starts copycatting the Ratcliffe Highway murders (which took place in East London in 1811) with a twist–he  follows the rules laid out by essayist Thomas De Quincey in his “Murder as a Fine Art.” This went to John Schoenfelder at Mulholland Books

A prequel to the popular Maze Runner trilogy, Michael sold James Dashner’s THE KILL ORDER, which is set before WICKED was formed and Thomas entered the Maze, when sun flares scorched the earth and mankind began the ultimate fight for survival, to Krista Marino at Delacorte.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and Dreamland Social Club author Tara Altebrando’s ROOMIES, in which two girls from opposite coasts are assigned to be freshman roommates and strike up a correspondence over the summer before, was also sold by Michael, this time to Julie Scheina at Little, Brown Children’s (with David Dunton of Harvey Klinger representing Tara Altebrando).

Michael’s next sale was for the third book in New York Times bestseller Lisa McMann’s ongoing middle grade fantasy adventure series, UNWANTEDS, and this went to Liesa Abrams at Aladdin.

BRIANNA ON THE BRINK, a first novel from Nicole McInnes, about a 16-year-old girl who finds herself lost, alone, and pregnant after a one-night-stand (let’s just say it’s complicated). Brianna has to choose between clinging to fear and jumping into the unknown. Stacey sold this Sylvie Frank at Holiday House

Finishing out October, John sold Editor-in-chief of ManoftheHouse.com Craig Heimbuch’s AND NOW WE SHALL DO MANLY THINGS, recalling the year the author spent learning how to hunt, both to reconnect with his family’s traditions and to explore how hunting and manliness intersect in today’s society, to Adam Korn at Morrow.

A lavishly illustrated tribute to CZ Guest, written and edited by Susanna Salk, author of Room for Children, went to Ellen Nidy at Rizzoli, sold by Michael.

Jessica next sold Qais Akbar Omar’s memoir about growing up in Afghanistan. From the Russian occupation, through years of brutal civil war, to the rise and fall of the Taliban and the arrival of the American troops, this wry, clear-eyed, and powerful memoir of life during wartime went to Courtney Hodell at FSG in a pre-empt.

Jane had the next sale with Mary Doria Russell’s THE CURE FOR ANGER, the further story of the complex relationship between Doc Holliday and his famous lawman friend, Wyatt Earp, the willful, emotionally brutalized women they loved, and the cast of ruffians and heroes who found themselves summoned by history to Tombstone, Arizona, to participate in or witness the infamous three-minute gunfight. This went to Libby Edelson at Ecco.

DRINKING LIKE A MAD MAN, a how-to manual on bringing mid-century cocktail culture to the home entertainer that takes the fear out of entertaining and demystifying the party throwing experience, is written by Steve McDonagh and was sold by Jane to Eileen Johnson at Agate.

Fitness and wellness advisor Mandy Ingber’s YOGALOSOPHY, an accessible handbook for getting it all together—body, mind, heart and spirit—full of workouts and eating guidelines along with unique daily insights, activities and thought-provoking anecdotes, was sold to Krista Lyons at Seal press by Jane.

Stacey then sold HAND MADE, the debut cookbook from Kamran Siddiqi, the 19-year-old creator of sophisticatedgourmet.com, featuring baking recipes and family stories combined with beautiful photography that illustrate the stories of his recipes through pictures, to Amy Treadwell at Chronicle.

EXTRAVAGANZA LIBERACE: A LIFE IN COSTUME is the first-ever illustrated collection of Liberace’s famous costumes, plus interviews with various designers who worked closely with him, compiled by costumers Connie Furr and Jan Jewett, with a Foreword by Liberace’s principal designer, Michael Travis. Stacey sold this to Julia Abramoff at HarperDesign.

Michael sold the final three books in Dale Basye’s irreverent middle grade series about naughty children in the afterlife, HECK, to Diane Landolf at Random House Children’s.

WHAT WOULD BRIAN BOITANO MAKE?, written by champion figure skater Brian Boitano, is a cookbook featuring recipes that are fun and accessible to the home cook, much like those exhibited on his television show of the same name and sold by Jane to Lara Asher at Globe Pequot Press.

Jessica then sold THE EMPRESS HAS NO CLOTHES by Joyce M. Roche and Alxander Kopelman to Neal Maillet at Berret-Koehler. From the former CEO of Girls, Inc, and the first black woman to serve as a corporate officer of a Fortune 500 company, this book is a personal look at her struggle to overcome “the Imposter Syndrome” and gives frank advice to women and minorities how to silence their implacable inner critics and own their own success.

Jane’s next sale was for a new cookbook from the bestselling authors of the ground-breaking, hugely popular Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day series to Pete Wolverton at Thomas Dunne Books as well as a revised edition of the authors’ bestselling original title.  The second book will feature 100 all-new recipes and photos.

Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel’s CHANGING THE WAY WE DIE, the first book to take a sweeping view of the hospice industry and what it means to the Baby Boom Generation was sold by John to Brenda Knight at Viva Editions.

Next, Jane sold Helen Bryan’s WAR BRIDES, a novel that takes place as Britain prepares for war with Germany, focusing on the lives of five young women that are about to collide in the sleepy Sussex village of Crowmarsh Priors to Terry Goodman at Amazon.

John sold author of STREET PHARM and SNITCH Allison van Diepen’s contemporary YA novel THE GAME, about a teen drug dealer who becomes a police informant to get revenge on a gang leader for sending him to juvie, to Jennifer Klonsky at Simon Pulse, with Annette Pollert editing.

Jessica Alexander’s WELCOME BACK TO CIVILIZATION, the story of how a normal American girl who grew up in the sheltering cradle of an upper middle class Connecticut town ends up managing a 24,000-refugee camp in North Darfur was sold by Jane to Meagan Stacey at Crown.

A.J. Hartley’s latest thriller TEARS OF THE JAGUAR brings back protagonist Deborah Miller as she must connect four remarkable events or die trying: The most famous witch trail in English history; the discovery of an underground Mayan tomb in the Mexican jungle; the disappearance of the original English crown jewels in 1649; and a string of murders perpetrated by an arms dealer in pursuit of a high tech weapon. This was sold by Stacey to Andy Bartlett at Thomas & Mercer.

Jessica’s next sale was BEAT THE HEART ATTACK GENE by Bradley Bale, MD, and Amy Doneen, MSN, ARNP, with Lisa Collier Cool. From the creators of the Bale/Doneen Method, “the only totally comprehensive program in the world for the prevention of cardiovascular disease” a book that lays out a life-changing and life-saving protocol for preventing and reversing CVD. This went to Tom Miller at John Wiley & Sons.

Whew! That is a lot going on, and we’re already excited for the new year’s prospects. So, happy holidays and warm wishes, everyone!

1

DGLM Update!

I have just returned from the river that is the sidewalk, my feet are soaked and my hair, I’m sure, resembles that of a bedraggled cat or something, so what better time than to update you on what’s been going on at DGLM these past couple months! (Somehow, that line of thought makes sense.)

Jessica started this round off with Kate Samela’s. GIVE PEAS A CHANCE: The Foolproof Guide to Feeding Your Picky Toddler. The subtitle says it all. This went to Shana Drehs at Sourcebooks.

Alexandra Lapierre’s IN THE NAME OF HONOR, the true story of the son of a Chechyan Imam, kidnapped from his village at the age of ten, raised as foster son of Czar Nicholas II, and whose desire to wed a Christian princess sets off a chain of events that forces him into an impossible choice between love and honor set against the splendor of the Russian Imperial court, was also sold by Jessica to Gabriella Page-Fort at Amazon Crossing.

Next up, A SCREAM AT MIDNIGHT by Shirley Damsgaard, writing as Jess McConkey, tells the story of a city girl struggling to fit in on her new husband’s farm where she encounters not only a different kind of life, but a ghost from long ago, and a murder that will shake her to the core. Stacey sold this to Emily Krump at Morrow.

Jane then sold Eric Taub’s DOES THIS PLUG INTO THAT?, which demystifies and provides a straightforward approach to the complex and often convoluted world of technology, to Chris Schilling of Andrews McMeel.

CANARY, Rachele Alpine’s debut YA novel, about a girl struggling to fit in with the popular crowd now that her father is the coach of the big-time basketball team, was sold by John to Emily Steele at Medallion Press.

Dr. Paul Linde’s WHEN QUEER WAS CRAZY, a peek behind the scenes of the colorful history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the putting together of the DSM’s most recent edition, and how the federal government, insurance companies, and corporate interests shaped modern psychiatry, went to Naomi Schneider at the University of California Press, sold by Jane.

Stacey sold the first cookbook from the founder and creator of the popular RecipeGirl.com. In THE RECIPE GIRL COOKBOOK, Lori Lange,  will feature over 150 recipes and ideas for entertaining and every day meals for the home cook that are accessible to all skill-levels of cooking, to Justin Schwartz at John Wiley & Sons.

Matthew Algeo’s PEDESTRIANISM: WHEN WATCHING PEOPLE WALK WAS THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR PASTIME, about the rise of pedestrianism, a competitive-walking craze that, by the middle of the nineteenth century, was the most popular spectator sport in the English-speaking world, the reasons for its broad and enduring appeal, its profound impact on American and British culture, and its continuing influence more than one hundred years later, was sold by Jane to Jerry Pohlen at the University of Chicago Press.

Michael sold SMELLS LIKE PIRATES by Suzanne Selfors—a rollicking third adventure in the SMELLS LIKE DOG series, following ordinary farm boy Homer and his treasure-sniffing sidekick, Dog, as they race to outsmart an old enemy and find a long-lost pirate treasure—to Julie Scheina at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Next comes DANDELION HUNTER, by Jane’s client, “Wild Girl” blogger and urban forager, Rebecca Lerner. Pitches as a Walden for the 21st century, DANDELION HUNTER interweaves stories of an urban forager with reportage and philosophical insight, unlocking the many secrets of the wild plants around us. This went to Mary Norris at Globe Pequot at the end of August.

Adam Lazarus’s MONTANA VS. YOUNG: The Greatest Quarterback Controversy of All Time, the first book to chronicle the heated rivalry between Joe Montana and Steve Young for the starting quarterback position of the San Francisco 49ers, a rivalry that drove both players to Hall of Fame careers and Super Bowl wins, was sold by John to Jonathan Crowe at Da Capo Press.

INDELIBLE INK, the first novel in a new YA series by Dawn Metcalf, features a heroine who is accidentally marked by a mysterious boy, which places her in the midst of a dangerous, otherworldly plot to end the Age of Man. Michael sold two books to Natashya Wilson at Harlequin Teen.

Michael also sold the first three books in J. Scott Savage’s The Grimville Case Files series, about three monster-obsessed boys who must solve fiendishly funny mysteries in their hometown, including an amulet that turns its bearer into a zombie and a football team that’s “stitched together” by a body-snatcher, to Andrew Harwell at Harper Children’s.

Lastly, Jessica sold INNOCENCE AND WAR to Chris Kuppig at Signal Books. The author, Lord Ian Strathcarron, a British travel writer who lives aboard his sailboat, the Vasco de Gama, recreated Mark Twain’s colorful voyage to and through the Holy Land, which became the basis for Twain’s first major bestseller, The Innocents Abroad. Strathcarron’s own modern day adventures in the politically volatile, hotly contested lands are a counterpoint to and resonate with Twain’s sly observations about faith, chicanery and politics.

It’s been a busy end-of-summer around here and if the past couple weeks have indicated anything, it’s only going to continue. I may complain about the weather, but with so many new books being sold and published, it’s a blessing in disguise—more time to stay inside and read!

A note to Publishers

Dear Publishers,

We’re friends, right? And when you’re friends with someone, you can be honest. So I’m going to be honest with you today, Publishers. I think you have a problem. You’re addicted to blogs. You can’t help yourself, I know. They’re funny! Everyone is talking about them, and all of your Facebook friends are totally on board. So you snatch them all up and turn all of them into books. But here’s how I know you have a problem, Publishers: you don’t really seem to notice or care about how good they are or how well they might adapt to a book. Yeah, there are some good blogs out there, and some of them might translate well to the page. But what don’t you  need? A book based on every single one of them, especially when most of these books go nowhere.

Yes, I realize that a majority of books fail, and publishing is always a bit of a crapshoot. But one of the issues you have, Publishers, is the failure to learn from mistakes. For every I Can Has Cheezburger, there are 20 This is Why You’re Fat, which, while it was a cute Tumblr account with a big following, was not a popular book. An internet meme does not a book make. And I also realize that if you check out my sales history, you’ll find a few blog-to-book deals. But I’ve tried to choose ideas that I think have immediate appeal and staying power. Books that will not be on the remainder table a month after their release. And Publishers, I think you’d be wise to think about the same things. Don’t get caught up in the excitement about a site that got popular in five minutes and will fade just as quickly. Books are supposed to last longer than fresh milk.

But if you’re so insistent on trying to turn a profit on something that would be otherwise free, maybe there’s an electronic path to take. Recently, one of my favorite sites, Ars Technica, released an e-book version of their Mac OS X Lion review. While the review is free to anyone who wishes to read it on the web, Ars made a downloadable copy available through e-book retailers for $4.99.  According to reports, they sold 3,000 copies of the review in the first 24 hours. Might there be a way to more quickly capitalize on the fleeting popularity of these internet phenomena? As the media landscape changes around you, Publishers, you need new solutions to old problems. Time to get creative.

Yours,

Michael

3

DGLM Update: Summer Edition!

Coming to you from the blazing hot (this is actually a little bit of a lie as we’ve had a respite the past couple of days) middle of July, here’s a little look at what’s been happening at DGLM these past couple of weeks. Like we’ve been telling you, summer doesn’t mean all work comes to a screeching halt! As dedicated, dutiful agents are wont to do, there’s been a lot of selling going on around here.

First since we last convened is The Panini Happy Cookbook, by Stacey’s client, Kathy Strahs, who is a food blogger and creator of the Panini Happy website as well. This cookbook filled with over 200 fun and delicious recipes was sold to Dan Rosenberg at Harvard Common Press.

Next, Jim sold the YA anthology, Defy the Dark, compiled and edited by Saundra Mitchell to Anne Hoppe at Harper Teen. As the title might suggest, this collection centers on those stories that could only happen at night.

As June began, Jane sold New York Times reporter Joe Berger’s The Pious Ones, depicting the fabric of everyday Hasidic life and exploring how it has allowed them to re-establish themselves as a burgeoning community, while also unflinchingly examining the conflicts between Hasidim and the wider society to Claire Wachtel at Harper.

Paul Gude’s debut picture book, Giraffe and Elephant, about a silent giraffe and a lovable elephant was sold by John to Kevin Lewis at Hyperion.

Richard Gropp’s Bad Glass is up next. Jim sold this sci-fi horror novel about a young photographer who travels to the barricaded city of Spokane, Washington, in the hopes of gaining attention of his work by photographing the bizarre incidents occurring there.

Jane sold Tayari Jones’ latest, Dear History, which is a multi-voiced novel chronicling three generations of the Washington family from 1930 to the present day and is a sweeping account of American history chronicling events which act as anchors for the deeply personal narrative of a family that struggles to stay together in an ever-changing world to Andra Miller at Algonquin.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr’s The Lucy Variations, about a former prodigy’s developing friendship with her younger brother’s new piano teacher, one that brings as much confusion as it does happiness, was sold by Michael to Julie Scheina at Little, Brown.

Ericka Blount Danois’ SOUL TRAIN’S MIGHTY RIDE: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show, represented by John, is the first book to chronicle both the glitz and glamour as well as the social and civil rights importance of the longest-running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history. This went to Mike Edison at Backbeat.

A new paranormal series by Alesia Holliday, The League of the Black Swan is a vampire set for young adults sold by Jim to Cindy Hwang at Berkley.

Michael’s client, Suzanne Selfors, rounded out her middle grade adventure trilogy that began with Smells Like Dog. This third and final installment was sold to Julie Scheina at Little, Brown.

New York Times bestselling author of So Easy and The Food You Crave, as well as host of the Food Network/Cooking Channel show Healthy Appetite, Ellie Krieger’s revised and updated edition of Small Changes, Big Results was sold by Jane to Emily Takoudes at Clarkson Potter at the end of June.

Saundra Mitchell’s next two books, Mistwalker, about a local legend in a lobstering town in Maine and the girl who becomes entangled in its mysteries, and Aetherborne, the conclusion to Mitchell’s series of alternate histories were sold by Jim to Julie Tibbot at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Fathomless, a modern Little Mermaid retelling in which a young mermaid wants to leave the sisterhood of dark, soulless creatures and regain her humanity—which she can only do by convincing a mortal to love her and stealing his soul, was written by Jim’s client Jackson Pearce and went to Julie Schiena at Little, Brown.

Jessica’s most recent deal is an as of yet untitled illustrated wedding guide written by Piage Appel and Kelly Harris of the California-based event planner and design team, Bash, Please went to Kathleen Jayes at Rizzoli.

Lastly, Jane sold Blue Chair Fruit Company owner Rachel Saunders’ follow-up cookbook on jam and marmalade, with 150 original recipes–a mix of savory and sweet, to Kirsty Melville of Andrews McMeel.

Now. What are you doing sitting inside at the computer? It’s absolutely GORGEOUS outside!

5

The Publishing Summer

Between vacation and three day weekends and the like, it’s been ages since I’ve dropped in to blog. I’m sure you all missed me terribly and are much relieved that I’m back in the rotation.

And since the Dystel vacation rotation is in full swing, I thought I’d take the chance to chat about one of my favorite publishing myths: nothing happens during the summer.  It’s all lies.

Let me just do a little boasting here for a second (I loooooove to flatter myself): I got back from vacation last Tuesday and since then have submitted three projects and closed two deals. I know, I know. I’m awesome. But this happened in the season when publishing is supposed to shut down so we can all jaunt off to our summer homes and sun by the pool.

Spoiler alert: most of us don’t have summer homes.

The reality of the situation is that things in summer may be quieter than other seasons because most people take their vacations at this time of year and as an industry we embrace the incredibly rewarding concept of summer hours, aka half-day Fridays. Again, this is presumably so we can get to our beach houses. In practice, when I leave early on Fridays, it’s to go home or go to a park and do reading. I told myself I was actually going to head home and nap last Friday, and I ended up getting through two manuscripts in a row.

In any case, the bottom line is that things slow down the slightest of bits in the summer, but people who aren’t on vacation are probably working just as hard as ever. I know there are authors who really panic about the timing of material going out and convince themselves that if they don’t have deals in place by the end of May, it’s going to be a slog to September, but as far as I can tell, nothing changes all that terribly much from season to season. Much as we might sometimes want it to.

4

Timing is everything

by Jane

So much of life has to do with timing: where we go to school; who we end up with as a partner or a spouse; what job we end up with. And, there is no business where this is more true than in publishing.

An author has an idea, finds just the right agent who “gets” that idea and who then finds the right publisher to publish that book at just the right time. There are so many good examples of this–and, of course, there are negative examples as well.

This week, for me at least all of this really rang true:

I sold a novel that one of our best and oldest clients had been working on for five long years to just the right editor and publisher.

I sold another book just a week after I sent it out on submission–it was an idea that just happened to strike a chord right now, from an author who wrote a brilliant proposal and it went to a publisher who really got it.

Trying to beat the rush out of town for the London Book Fair, I also quickly closed two other deals. As it turns out, I didn’t have to hurry. As a result of the unpronounceable volcano, many of my colleagues had to cancel their travel plans.

Still, timing is everything.

10

I’m so excited!

by Rachel

Remember Jessie Spano from Bayside High? Well, I do, and Lauren, being the Saved By The Bell fanatic that she is, pointed out this announcement on EW.com about Elizabeth Berkley writing a self-esteem book for girls. It probably won’t be written from Jessie Spano’s perspective (because, if you care to remember, she was a little neurotic–make sure to click on the link in the EW post), and I’m guessing it also won’t be written from the perspective of, well, other characters she’s played which we’d rather choose to forget, but this looks to be like an interesting project.

Going along with the teenaged TV star theme, I think Shannen Doherty could definitely write an interesting–if not helpful–book on self-esteem for girls. Maybe a celebrity mother would make a good fit too–Gwen Stefani? Jada Pinkett? Reese Witherspoon?

Who else do you think would make a great author of a self-help book for teens?

12

And speaking of dead authors….

by Miriam

Actually, it’s been a while since L. Ron Hubbard or Ernest Hemingway has come out with a new book, so I’m eagerly awaiting the many volumes sure to be forthcoming from the recalcitrant and mysterious J.D. Salinger. In the meantime, George Carlin’s wife has pulled together the great comedian and cultural gadfly’s letters.  Personally, I’m a little sad about this.

For me, part of the experience of an artist’s work is the intention behind it, what that artist chose to say publicly and the vacant lots she or he left purposely empty. Posthumous publications leave me feeling a bit embarrassed for those great artists who, unless they gave specific deathbed instructions to their heirs about how to dispose of their unfinished or personal work, might be horrified to find these writings and ideas collected and organized by others.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but the man who said, “People who say they don’t care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don’t care what people think” may have actually cared what people thought of his work.

What do you all think?

11

Big books

by Jane

I don’t know why I still find it astonishing when publishers tell me they are “only looking for big books,” that mid-list titles aren’t on their radar. How do they know what’s going to be a big book?

This last week, when I called an editor to follow up on a proposal I sent him–by a Pulitzer Prize winning writer no less–he told me how much he had enjoyed reading it. He then said that the new president of his company had told all of the editors there that, for the time being at least, all they should be looking for was “big, front list” titles. But how do they know what “big front list” is?

Think about it, there are literally hundreds of books that were seriously underestimated by publishers but that turned into huge bestsellers. Here is a brief list that I hope that editor and his new boss will note:

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE by Mitch Albom
THE RED TENT by Anita Diamant
SAY YOU’RE ONE OF THEM by Uwem Akpan
COD: A BIOGRAPHY OF THE FISH THAT SAVED THE WORLD by Mark Kurlansky
THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini
SIMPLE ABUNDANCE by Sarah Ban Breathnach
EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert
THE MEMORY KEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Kim Edwards
THE SHACK by William P. Young
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN by Simon Winchester
LONGITUDE by Dava Sobel
THE NANNY DIARIES by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
THE WORLD WITHOUT US by Alan Weisman
SEABISCUIT by Laura Hillenbrand

Can you think of more?