Friday, February 03, 2006

Frey's Editor, Sean McDonald's, Fall From Grace

As the Frey story winds down, there is one more key element that we have not covered yet. Frey's editor.

Surviving James Frey

Now, I still do not understand how an editor would not start to have doubts about a book's authenticity. Heck, I'm a book editor and above my desk is my mantra, "Editors don't know everything; editors doubt everything." So, if that's not Sean's mantra, why is he an editor?

This is pathetic. Yes, there is a place in editor-land to trust the writer, to be strictly behind the scenes supporting the writer, to uphold the integrity of what the writer has accomplished. Duh. I do that every day. I strive for this and I think I have a good handle on it. See the January 15, 2006 post about a client's recent huge success. This was because I did not heavy-hand her manuscript and I believed in her story, and I knew, in my gut, that it worked. Of course, it was fiction, just like A Million Little Pieces.

Editor-land is not a place to just let a writer do whatever because it will make you, the editor, very famous, and probably very rich from bonuses.

Sean McDonald embarrassed our industry, right along with his client. Go away, Sean. Just go away.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Frey's Royalty Money

So the discussion today is about Frey's Oprah-related royalties (about 3 million dollars) and his promise to donate 15% to his favorite charity.
Now, since his big check should be to him around March 31, we think he should be preparing to donate his 400,000 bucks anytime, right?

That ain't the word on the street.

Word is, no one is saying a thing about it, and if Oprah truly cared about "truth," don't you think she would be squawking about this? Several industry insiders think so.

But that's not all. They went and chatted with Frey's literary agent, Kassie Evashevski of Brillstein-Grey, who says that Frey's book "was never submitted as a novel" and that "she no longer represents Frey." So, these industry insiders ask, what happens to the agency's cut of 500,000 dollars? Is Brillstein-Grey going to give their cut to charity?

Can you hear me laughing?

Jon Stewart Making Fun of Frey: Now That's Good TV

I guess Jon Stewart was really funny. Damn, I missed it. Someone send me a tape, pretty please? So much still on Frey, I cannot believe this.

Isn't it time for us to move on from this? you may be asking.

Sure, as soon as I've made sure I find all the best juicy bits for us to chew on, okay?

Chill out, people.

First though, we've got another interesting case in book publishing. Some author copied a children's book word for word.

What? Yes.
Author claims she never read the original

I think the disease is spreading. Someone check our water supply!

Good grief. This is the sort of thing that we don't want to see more of. I mean, we've spent years of our collective lives on James Frey, can we just set a bunch of snakes on this lady and be done with it?

Which led me to think, what should be James Frey's punishment? Give up his royalties? Check himself back into Hazelden? What say you?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ideas For the Future

And Advertising Age chimes in on the changing face of magazine advertising

Ad Age Media Guy column

Instead of Lucky magazine including a page of post-it ready tabs for readers to use to earmark future purchases, why not download the Lucky issue onto an iPod with internet access and let the readers purchase the items directly, sparing the using of those post-it tabs.

Genius, says I, who hates trying to remember what she tabbed to purchase in what issue.

Yes, I'm a fashion junkie. What are you laughing at?

Monday Morning With Frey

I was hoping the Frey controversy was long gone, especially when we have news stories about more important things. Thinking of Bob Woodruff and his videographer today.

But now, Frey's planned movie adaptations are on the chopping block.

LA Times story

Anyone surprised? If they do get made, I bet the movies won't attract A-list actors. It will be one of those straight to dvd projects. I can just see it.

But in a positive spin, I read the definitive wrap-up on this entire Frey issue in Patricia Holt's Holt Uncensored, an email newsletter covering the publishing industry.

Forget what I have talked about. Forget what everyone else has ever said about James Frey and read Holt Uncensored. Subscribe even. Anything Patricia Holt has to say should be engraved in stone. This lady knows her stuff.

Holt Uncensored and read the current issue. But while you are there, check out her other archived issues and Terry Ryan's columns, author of The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids in 25 Words or Less, which was turned into a movie in 2005 starring Julianne Moore.