Tag Archives: Random House

Paula Deen Cooks Up a New Book Deal

Remember that time Paula Deen said something naughty? Apparently time heals wounds.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Paula Deen got a new book deal, two years after Random House dropped her following her racial SNAFU. Now Deen has an agreement with Hachette Book Group. The agreements gives Hachette permission to distribute around the world Deen’s books that were released under the Paula Deen Ventures label.

Deen’s first book with Hachette, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, is expected to be released in September. Several other books are already planned for later releases.

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E-Book Version of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Coming Soon

mockingbirdIt’s been more than 50 years since To Kill a Mockingbird was published, but the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of the classic novel has finally decided to let it be published digitally as an e-book.

According to The New York Times, Harper Lee has approved the e-book version of her novel, which will be available July 8th. Mockingbird and another classic, The Catcher in the Rye, are two of just a few classic novels left that had not yet been converted to a digital format. Mockingbird continues to sell one million copies each year and is read in schools across the country.

A digital audio version of the novel will also be available. It was be voiced by actress Sissy Spacek. HarperCollins has the North American rights; Random House has the rights in Britain.

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Billy Joel to Publish Previously Cancelled Memoir

It took a couple years, but now it’s finally happening. A Billy Joel biography is due to be released next year. A memoir/biography was originally set to be released in 2011.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the drama started when HarperCollins paid Joel $3 million to publish a memoir, entitled The Book of Joel, with co-writer Fred Schruers. But Joel cancelled the book at the last minute, placing the blame on HarperCollins, as Tim Appelo explains.

Joel told The New York Times that HarperCollins editors caused him to kill the previous book.

“They said to Fred, ‘We need more of the sex and the wives and the girlfriends and drinking and divorce and the depression.’ I covered it all. But I didn’t go into detail about my personal life. If they want to poke Fred with red-hot needles to get him to make up salacious details, go ahead, but I’m not going to do it. I’m not a psychoanalyst. I don’t know why I drank so much.”

So why now? Well, back in 2011, he had a spat with Elton John over cancelled tour dates because of hip pain. And now, it seems that Billy Joel is on a roll. He recently performed at the Hurricane Sandy benefit concert, and this year was selected as one of the Kennedy Center honorees.  Not to mention, many classic rockers like himself are having success with recently published books — Keith Richards, Bruce Springstein, Paul McCartney.

Crown, a division of Random House, is now publishing the book, which is due in the spring of 2014.

After waiting for the longest time (see what I did there?), there’s a good chance a Billy Joel bio (especially one with as good a name as The Book of Joel) is bound for greatness.

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‘Fifty Shades’ Author to Release Writing Journal

So you loved Fifty Shades of Grey and its author E L James. If so, you’re in luck. Vintage Books has announced E L James’ latest project, and it’s due to be released next week.

According to Entertainment Weekly, bestselling author E L James is releasing a leather-bound journal called Fifty Shades of Grey: Inner Goddess (A Journal). The journal will offer tips and advice on what E L James does — no, not sex — writing. It also includes blank lined sheets so readers can make notes and keep track of their thoughts while reading.

The journal will be available May 1st.

Though E L James is not particularly known for her great writing, I imagine women will eat this up as yet another way to connect with the author, the Fifty Shades books, and their “inner goddess.”

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Random House in Talks to Merge with Penguin

A publishing monopoly could soon be headed this way. According to New York Daily News, two of the world’s largest publishers, Random House and Penguin, are discussing a possible merger.

Publishing 10,000 book a year, Random House is clearly the larger of the two publishing houses. Penguin only publishes about 4,000 books a year. Experts say this would fill Penguin’s parent company’s need to grow and expand. However, there’s also a possibility that if acquired, Penguin would be sold off by Random House’s parent company.

Nothing is official yet, but the talks have writers concerned about the future of the industry. After all, Amazon and and Apple have become big book monopolies in their own right, pushing the industry in a digital direction. Who knows what adding another large company to the mix could mean for publishers and writers?

Spokespeople from both companies say nothing is official yet, and just because they’re talking doesn’t necessarily mean anything will come of it.

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Lena Dunham Signs $3.5M Book Deal

It’s the book analysts are saying will be the next big comedic memoir/bestseller since Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Last week, Random House announced it had acquired a more than $3.5 million dollar book deal with writer, director, actress Lena Dunham. Dunham created, wrote, and starred in the hit TV comedy Girls, which aired its first season on HBO this summer.

According to The New York Times, Dunham’s book is a collection of essays entitled Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She Learned. Dunham started shopping around a 66-page proposal, including illustrations and anecdotes to a number of different publishing companies. A bidding war is what led to the astronomical $3.5+ million deal. But Random House beat the others out in the end.

Random House is comparing Dunham’s work to writers like Nora Ephron and David Sedaris. The publisher says it will include stories about sex, food, traveling, and work. No word yet on when the book will be released.

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