Blog

The Authors Guild

Along Publishers Row

by Campbell Geeslin

Jeffery Deaver’s latest mystery is The Starling Project. He has published 35 novels and sold 40 million copies of them, but this new “book” is coming out as an audiobook only. In a Page 1 article, The New York Times said, “If Mr. Deaver’s readers want the story they’ll have to listen to it.”

Deaver said, “My fans are quite loyal. If they hear I’ve done this and that it’s a thriller, I think they’ll come to it.” He told the Times that he hadn’t had a clue about how to write a sex scene for audio. “Do we have a zipper sound? Two shoes hitting the floor?” They went with swelling music.

There are no plans to have a printed version of the book. Deaver said, “There are so many time-wasting alternatives to reading out there, and authors are up against formidable competition. . . This is an easier way for people to get access to good storytelling.”

Read More…

New Books by Members

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by John Enright, Bonnie J. Fladung, Jane Green, Gail Carson Levine, Sarah MacLean, Donna Jo Napoli, David Poyer, Naomi Gladish Smith, and Nancy Tafuri. Titles below the jump.

Read More…

Bulletin Board

This week’s batch of contests includes a summer residency as well as a prize for a debut work of fiction. Deadlines range from Dec 31-Jan 2.

The Glimmer Train Fiction Open Contest is now accepting submissions. The contest is open to all subjects, themes, and writers. Entries can be from 2,000-20,000 words. The winner will receive $2,500 and 20 copies of that issue; second place will receive $1,000 and 10 copies of the issue if accepted for publication; third place will receive $600 or if accepted for publication, $700 and 10 copies. Entry fee: $19. Deadline: January 2, 2015. For more information, please visit the website.

Read More…

Authors Guild Opposes Google’s Fair Use Claim in Federal Appeals Court

Reporters, observers and lawyers lined up early Wednesday afternoon to guarantee themselves a seat in Courtroom 1703 of the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in downtown New York City. The case of the day was the oral argument in the appeal of the Authors Guild’s ongoing copyright infringement case against Google. The Guild is appealing a November 2013 district court ruling that Google’s unauthorized copying of millions of copyrighted books was a fair use of those works.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit spent over an hour and a half hearing lawyers’ arguments while peppering them with questions.

Paul Smith, a recent addition to the Guild’s legal team, argued for the Authors Guild. Smith, who has appeared in the Supreme Court fifteen times and in scores of appellate courts over a span of three decades, will also help the Guild position the case for an appeal to the Supreme Court, if that becomes necessary. He is perhaps best known for successfully arguing the landmark gay rights case Lawrence v. Texas.

The issue before the court today was whether Google’s scanning and snippet display of millions of books from the collections of leading research libraries, without regard to copyright status and without authorization or compensation, was fair use. The lower court had found that it was fair use and that Google therefore owed the authors nothing for the use. Fair use is a defense to an accusation of copyright infringement; it permits a work to be used in ways that otherwise would be considered infringing, in order to enable socially beneficial activities such as commentary, parody, reporting and teaching.

Read More…

Along Publishers Row

by Campbell Geeslin

The name of an author I hadn’t thought of in years turned up in an essay in last Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. Several of her books ran as serials in The Saturday Evening Post. My mother read the installments out loud to the family, No better way to end a day has ever been invented.

The writer was Helen Macinnes and one of her most famous titles is Above Suspicion, a spy thriller. She was the subject of the Review’s article by Sarah Weinman, editor of Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense.

Something Macinnes wrote 70 years ago was quoted: “Nowadays the word Communist or Fascist rouses the same emotions as Protestant and Catholic once caused. If these religious factions can learn to live together by giving up all persecution and forms of torture, it is quite possible that a future world will see many forms of political ideology living and working side by side.”

Weinman concluded that “the novels of Helen Macinnes provide the grim lessons we need under the guise of suspenseful entertainments.”

Read More…

New Books by Members

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Julia E. Antoine, D.K. Christi, Melissa de la Cruz, Melanie Dickerson, Larry Duberstein, Marc Eliot, Donald Hall, Marilyn Johnson, Teresa Jordan, Nancy Tafuri, and Nicholas Wapshott. Titles below the jump.

Read More…

Along Publishers Row

by Campbell Geeslin

Gabrielle Hamilton is a chef, restaurant owner and the author of Prune and Blood, Bones and Butter. In an interview with Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, she said, “The perfectness of reading is when a book hits you and you hit it and during those hours you are completed in a way you have never been before. The you you were when you started the book is no longer; you are changed forever after; you become somehow denser, more solid and yet clearer and cleaner and more organized in your heart and mind at the same time.”

Read More…

New Books by Members

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Robert Bausch, Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Connelly, John Byrne Cooke, Elizabeth Dutton, Bill Henderson, X.J. Kennedy, Stephen King, Jill Morgenthaler, Douglas Preston, Sam Savage, and Aurelie Sheehan. Titles below the jump.

Read More…

Bulletin Board

Highlights from this week’s batch of prizes include translation fellowships as well as a prize for mid-career poets. Deadlines range from Dec 10-Dec 31.

The Friends of American Writers Adult Literature Award is given annually for a book of fiction or creative nonfiction published in 2014 by a writer who is a resident of the Midwest (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin) or whose book features a Midwestern setting. Writers who have published up to three books are eligible. There is no application but authors should submit two copies of book(s) published in 2014 and an author biography. Deadline: December 10, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

Read More…

Get Thee to Your Local Bookstore: Celebrate ‘Indies First’ on 11/29

We all know that books make the best gifts. So do our friends at the American Booksellers Association, who have brought back a winning initiative this holiday season to help spread the word in support of independent bookstores.

That’s right, Indies First returns to your local independent on November 29, otherwise known as Small Business Saturday (think of it as the grassroots Black Friday). The brainchild of Guild Council member and self-confessed “book nerd” Sherman Alexie, Indies First recruits authors to spend Thanksgiving Saturday hand-selling books at their favorite independent bookshops. Last year—its first—over 1,100 authors participated in the program.

This year Indies First will be helmed by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. Take a look at their letter about the project here. Per Gaiman and Palmer, directions are as follows:

Choose your independent bookshop, talk to the owner or manager, and agree on what you are going to do that day. If you have a website, put that store’s buy button in a prominent place on your website, above the Amazon button and the IndieBound button. If you prefer, you can sign up on the author registry so that a store can contact you.

We wish everyone involved the absolute best. There’s still time to sign up on the author registry. While you’re at it, take a look at IndieBound’s map to see participating stores. Hundreds of authors have signed up so far, including David Baldacci, Roz Chast, and Jeanne Birdsall.

Even if you can’t participate, remember that books make great gifts. Support your local independent this holiday season.