Thursday, April 24, 2008

White People Like Instant Gratification

Hey, doesn’t it feel like just LAST month when everyone was all shocked/bitter/troubled at the book deal for the website Stuff White People Like? Oh, wait it was. And now, I read in Shelf Awareness that the book is pubbing in JULY. July. As in a little over two months from now. Is it even possible to write a book, copy edit, type set, and put it through production in three months? I guess they skipped that whole pesky ARC process. There’s not even a cover yet (at least, not on the Random House website or on Amazon). Perhaps since the book had already gotten so much press, RH figured that they should just get that sucker on the shelves before it jumped the shark. Oops, too late.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sloanch Recap

I know that you have all eagerly been awaiting the Slunch recap of Sloane's party last night. HOWEVER, Publitron seems to have submitted his synposis to galleycat instead - I think maybe they offered him money or something. Bastards. But, whatevs, here are some notes kindly submitted by Publitron's date, who I suspect has a secret crush on me. Kidding. But, no, really. I mean, you don't know who I am, but believe you me, I'm quite dashing.

Anyways, the list follows.

Do tell,

The Editor

Publitron's Date's List of Observations

1. Julia Allison let me pet her dog! Lily is adorable in person (in puppy?). She might have been my favorite part.

2. Mary Rambin is scary skinny. And I diskline being surrounded by people who are the size of my thigh bone. I also dislike being in a room of people dressed in outfits that cost what I made last year.

3. I was greatly angered when one of the hot waiters LIED to me. As he took my empty mojito glass, I said/slurred, "You're gonna bring more, right?" He assured me that another tray was coming out pronto. I waited for forever (five minutes) before deciding to investigate. Apparently, they had stopped serving, but were allowing you to get refills if you held onto your glass - which I totally would have had the hot waiter not LIED. Anyway, I was forced to swipe a dirty wine glass, wipe it out with my dress, and have them fill that. And before you judge me, there were a lot of people doing the same thing. Suddenly, everyone seemed to be drinking mojitos out of smudgy wine glasses.

4. Another problem with the staff? I questioned their judgement. A couple people were asked not to smoke pot in the stairwell - because the staff wasn't sure if people were allowed to stand there. Because, obviously, that's the real issue in that scenario.

5. I felt bad for the lady selling books - If she'd been selling glasses, she would have made a killing at the end.

6. There was a real lack of food. When you serve wine, there should be a cheese platter. That's party throwing 101.

7. Everyone is correct - Sloane's hair is very shiny.

In summation, cons were the staff, the lack of food, people better dressed and skinnier than I. The pros, shiny hair, JA's dog, and free booze. And as any good Slunch reader knows, in the case of a tie, the win goes to the side with free booze.

Introducing...Literary Event of the Week!

In an effort to stop the Slunchies from slacking constantly, I, the Editor, have decided to up the ante. That's right, Slunchfans. Instead of a literary event on the month, we'll have one each week! Then, at the end of the month, we'll pick our fave, which will earn...the title of literary event of the month. This will start in May because, frankly, I don't have the energy to pick one for next week and force someone to attend.

Do tell,

The Editor

Heroin Chic

Oh, christ. Amy Winehouse is in talks with Penguin UK to WRITE A BOOK about her marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil. For those of you don’t know the story (is that possible?), Blake’s in prison awaiting trial for alleged assault and perverting justice. Apparently, he still manages to get heroin in there at times, and Winehouse continues to waste away and make a spectacle of herself in the free world. The advance is one million pounds. That’s a lot of smack.

—Paige Sexie

Number Crunching...

Remember last week when I was bitching about the number of books we (by which I mean publishers) continue to produce each year? Well, in next Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, Rachel Donadio tackles the issue (she obvi reads Slunch for her story ideas). Apparently, I was wrong about 300,000 books being published each year. That was in 2006. Last year? 400,000. Yeah, that’s right. 400,000. And while I was talking in relation to book coverage, Rachel tackles an even more disturbing trend – 53% of Americans surveyed last year hadn’t read a single book.

Now, think about this. If the population of the United States in July 2007 was 301,139,947 (according to Google), than only about 140 million something of those people were reading. Which means, we’re publishing 1 book for every 350 people or so – I think. I haven’t taken math since high school, but I’m pretty sure that’s right.

So, that doesn’t sound too bad, until you really start thinking about it. I mean, if you were working on a book, and it only sold 350 copies, I think you’d pretty much consider that a flop. And, yes, I know that many people who read will obviously pick up more than one book a year, but you also have to counter that many of these people are reading the SAME book, i.e. The Da Vinci Code, A New Earth, Eat, Pray, Love, or anything by Michael Connelly/James Patterson/David Baldacci, which all have millions of copies in print. Not to mention the fact that people aren’t confined to reading books published that year – we still have the classics and consistent backlist sellers to contend with. Which explains why, in 2006, 70% of books published ended up in remainder bins and only 1% hit the list.

I could go on, but I’m still on my first (iced – yay summer!) coffee and my head might explode. So, to summarize, the number of books we publish – UP. The number of readers – DOWN. Oh, also, there’s a recession, and despite the theory that books are recession proof, it’s still going to hurt, especially with the shitty dollar. Maybe we should all take a closer look at Jonathan Karp’s business plan before we destroy ourselves and the business.


Monday, April 21, 2008


Girly Gawker site has a reaction to New York Magazine’s very long analysis of why Gossip Girl might be the best show ever. And why is this publishing related? Because Gossip Girl is based on books, silly! And, I love the show to an unnatural degree, so I of course will happily post all day along about Serena, Dan, and the gang. Even more, though, Jezebel’s whole point is that while Gossip Girl is obvi totes awesome, it could be even better. Now you ask, how is that even possible???? Apparently, the books (which I never read) are (gasp) better than the TV show. Apparently Dan isn’t so cute, and little J has way bigger tits, and Vanessa, well she has a shaved head!! Crazy.

Also, I’m going to bet that author Cecily von Ziegesar would never have allowed this to appear one of her covers. But, nevermind. The lesson here – the book is always better than the movie, the TV show, the mini-series, etc. But, if you’re looking for pretty people, weirdly addictive story lines, and all around teen drama awesomeness…well then. OMFG. Tune in tonight.


Gossip Girl (aka Paige Sexie)

We live in a third world country...

So I was reading PW this morning, and there was mention of the debate over in London about what currency to deal in – the pound, the euro, or the dollar. Since the dollar is worth shit nowadays, agents were thinking pound and euro equals bigger royalties. Sweet. On the other hand, deals in dollars mean everything is super cheap for foreign publishers! Oh, kids. I’m depressed. I mean, a few months ago, it was all, ha, Canadians are throwing books at each other, and now…well, I’ve heard rumors that high end stores throughout NYC are starting to accept euros. How long until we’re bartering our free books for a loaf of bread? Happy Monday.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Slunch is famous (kind of)

Just a quick Sunday evening announcement that we are famous. That's right, y'all. Check out the mention of Slunch in this SAN FRANCISCO FREAKING CHRONICLE article about, what else, Sloane Crosley. Sloane, thank you for getting so much publicity that our coverage of you getting publcity got us a mention. Hmmm, if only we weren't anonymous so we could all gloat in public. Congrats, Ladytron.

--The Editor

ps. Yes, I know this isn't really a big deal, but whatever. Were you in the SF Chronicle on Friday? Yeah, exactly.