Liquor and Drugs Pick of the week
H Toxicology Jessica Hagedorn. Viking, $25.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-67002257-1
Hagedorn’s fiery latest introduces Mimi Smith, whose notorious first film, Blood Wedding, an art-house gore-fest, garnered critical acclaim. But that was a few years ago, and thoroughly modern Mimi is “suffering from a twenty-first century affliction”: she spends her days boozing and blowing through the money that’s supposed to be funding her next film; her 14-year-old daughter, Violet, has decided to live with her father; and Mimi’s distant cousin Agnes has disappeared after being brought to the U.S. from the Philippines to slave away for a New Jersey family who promised to get her a green card. The story’s ignited by the death of Romeo Byron, a Heath Ledger figure, who overdoses in his East Village apartment. His death rattles Mimi enough to make her turn to her crotchety old neighbor, Eleanor Delacroix, the famous queen of “avant-garde lesbian feminist erotic literature,” now a heavy drinker and a functioning cokehead, but nevertheless vibrant, megalomaniacal, hateful, and hilarious. As Mimi spirals downward, Eleanor tries to get it together to give a reading, only she can’t actually write anything. Hagedorn (Dogeaters) offers a razor-sharp, refreshingly unsentimental portrayal of New York artists—selfish, irresponsible, and brilliant—and the evolution of feminism. (Apr.)
C o n t e n t s
D e p a r t m e n t s & C o l u m n s 8 Deals n Harcourt Books’ Jeanette Larson signs debut series by Welsh author Jasper Fforde, in a deal brokered by Claire Paterson at Janklow & Nesbit. n Arthur (the aardvark) to return, as LB’s Erin Stein signs Marc Brown for Arthur Turns Green. n Sandy Dijkstra sells college admission advice guide to Sourcebooks. n Chief historian at ancestry.com to do book with Kensington about genealogies of a host of celebrities. n Paris Reborn, about the 19th-century transformation of Paris, goes to Charles Spicer at SMP, via agent William Clark. n Europa’s Kent Carroll buys Jess Browner novel from Gail Hochman.
60 Soapbox by Toby Ball On gratuitous violence in fiction.
B e s t s e l l e r s l Fiction 12 l Nonfiction 13 l Mass Market 14 l Trade Paperback 15 l Children’s 16 R e v i e w s
Fiction 40 General Fiction 44 Mystery 45 SF/Fantasy/Horror 46 Romance 48 Comics
Nonfiction 49 General Nonfiction
Children’s 54 Picture Books 57 Fiction 59 Nonfiction
43Q&A with Jed Rubenfeld
56Amélange of picture books.
44Danticat’s tribute to Haiti.
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P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y n N O V E M B E R 2 2 , 2 0 1 0 2 News
What Children’s Publishers Are Doing in the Apps Space Houses are testing, experimenting
Last week we looked at how some adult trade houses view the potential market for apps, finding that most publishers are cautiously moving into this area. While adult and children’s divisions face many of the same questions about apps—costs, sales potential, and whether they should drive profits or market books—children’s content is generally more suited to this space. Still, like their adult counterparts, children’s publishers are developing apps slowly. PW contacted a number of children’s divisions and houses and found that many publishers are experimenting with different formats—some are creating heavily educational material (which occasionally doesn’t even link to a specific title), others are investing in games, and still others are looking for more direct ways of adapting existing fiction into an app.
Bloomsbury Children’s Books Bloomsbury is creating its first app this season, based on Carrie Jones’s YA paranormal romance series Need. A spokesperson for the house said the planned release date for the app is December, to coincide with the publication of the third book in the series, Entice. The app, which will be free, will allow kids to send a “kiss” to their friends that could be from one of the three central characters—Zara, Nick, or Astley. (The novels, which feature pixies, focus on a love triangle among the three characters, and a pixie kiss can be either a good thing or a bad thing.) The app will also bring users deeper into the world of the books, with links to a Web page featuring each character and a route to Bloomsbury’s Needpixies Facebook fan page.
Disney Publishing Worldwide Disney has a significant commitment to monetizing some of its big brands with apps. The publisher’s first app, which is free, is based on Toy Story and is what it calls a “premium storybook.” Apps based on installments two and three in the Toy
Story saga are also available, priced at $3.99 and $8.99 respectively. The publisher has also created iPhone/iPod Touch apps called Mickey’s Spooky Night and Winnie the Pooh: What’s a Bear to Do?, each of which is 99 cents. Just launched is Disney Epic Digicomics, the first story is free, with five additional tales that can be purchased together for $2.99. Later this month, the house is also launching Disney Epic Mickey, set to coincide with the release of the video game of the same name.
HarperCollins Children’s Books The children’s division of HarperCollins releases all of its apps through its e-imprint, Curious Puppy. The house currently has two apps on the market, ABC Song and 123 Ants Go Marching. Both apps have a heavy educational emphasis and neither is directly tied to a book. Each app costs 99 cents and is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Curious Puppy is also about to launch a third app, which HC estimates should be on the market in a few weeks, called
Freight Train, based on Donald Crews’s picture book of the same name.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group HMH developed a number of apps with ScrollMotion based on Curious George titles. The majority of them, said senior v-p of digital strategies, Cheryl Cramer-Toto, mimic the exper i ence o f the book i t s e l f . The one exception is the Curious George dictionary app which, although it does r e l a t e to a t i t l e o f the s ame name, offers a number of interactive features. Among other things, kids can tap an object to hear what it is. Cramer-Toto said that the children’s division has six apps in development now—they’re based on book characters—that are scheduled to release in early December.
Penguin Young Readers Group PYRG is set to release its second app (after doing a Mad Libs app earlier this year) in a few weeks—an interactive version of the children’s classic The Little Engine That Could (which is published by the house’s Grosset & Dunlap imprint). The app, which is not priced yet, will be available on both the iPad and iPhone/ iPod Touch. Don Weisberg, president of the group, said the publisher is also working on “select marketing and game apps, based on upcoming picture books and novels.”
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