I don’t necessarily agree with his politics, but so what? I respect and enjoy John Sayle’s films, especially since he makes them as a writer, first and foremost.
By this, I mean his films are tight, compelling, evenly paced and short on special effects and other visual shenanigans.
John recently signed a book deal, and I wish him well. An epic novel based on colonial Philippines should be a fascinating read. From the AP:
NEW YORK — More than a year after his agent first shopped the manuscript, filmmaker John Sayles has a deal for a long historical novel.
Sayles’ fictionalized account of the U.S. occupation of the Philippines around the turn of the 20th century is tentatively titled “Some Time in the Sun.” It’s more than 1,000 pages in manuscript form.
It will be released in 2011 by McSweeney’s, the San Francisco-based press founded by author Dave Eggers.
Sayles is best known for such films as “Eight Men Out” and “Matewan.” He’s also the author of several books. He has lamented that he couldn’t find a publisher for his new work.
McSweeney’s editor Jordan Bass said Tuesday that the novel “felt like equal parts (E.L.) Doctorow and `Deadwood’” and praised its “captivating pacing.”
From Publishers Weekly:
After a lengthy holdout, John Grisham is allowing his books to become available electronically. One of the most notable bestseller authors to withhold his titles from being converted into e-books, Grisham’s entire backlist–23 titles in all–is now available in the format. Grisham’s publisher, Random House, made the announcement this morning, noting that the prolific author has written one book per year since 1988, each of which has gone on to become a national bestseller. Grisham’s latest title is Ford County, which came out in November, and he has a forthcoming thriller due out in October.
John has been holding out for some time on principle; he believes digital downloads will hurt small bookstores.
I found this article over from the NYTimes Blog, by way of Gizmodo.
For those of you who track such things, Publishers Weekly has a new set of deals listed here.
I find book deals fascinating, especially in the literary fiction and young adult categories. These genres are driven by cultural trends, to wit: zombies. If you write tight zombie fiction for teens these days, get yourself an agent, pronto. Vampires were recently hot thing, and still continue to generate sweet deals for new twists on a very old (and overplayed) theme.
What’s the next hot genre? If I knew I wouldn’t tell you. Heh.
Examining the year-end figures from Nielsen BookScan, Crain’s NY cautiously concluded that the bookselling business might not be as bad as the gloomy critics say.
The article began by noting the year’s declines. Compared to last year, “overall unit sales” fell by three percent and adult non-fiction plunged 7 percent–despite Sarah Palin’s blockbuster memoir. Nevertheless, adult fiction sales did not decline, and adult hardcover sales actually climbed by three percent.
Here’s more from the article: “‘Bottom line, it’s really pretty impressive,’ said Lorraine Shanley, a principal of consulting firm Market Partners International. ‘When you look at every other medium, and you look at books, and you see they held their own in one of the most difficult years we’ve had in a generation, that’s good news.’
Here’s a terrific article on the subject courtesy of Mashable.
I’ve followed several of the blogs for years, and can fully grasp the wisdom of a traditional publishing deal. Blogs and books are reciprocal marketing platforms, and it makes sense to monetize every possible audience.