James Frey has had quite a week. His novel, Bright Shiny Day, published last Tuesday by HarperCollins, has sold 14,343 copies, according Nielson BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of a book's total sales.
Nineteenth-century poet William McGonagall, once dismissed as the world's worst, received posthumous compensation as a collection of thirty-five poems went for £6,600 (approximately thirteen thousand dollars) at auction last Friday in the poet's native Edinburgh, Scotland, BBC News reported.
The Man Booker Prize, the prestigious annual award given for a novel by a writer from the British Commonwealth or Ireland, will celebrate its fortieth anniversary by honoring one of its previous winners with the Best of the Booker Prize, judged ultimately by the reading public. Anyone may cast a vote for one of the six Best of the Booker finalists, selected from forty-one winning novels dating back to 1969 by judges Victoria Glendinning, Mariella Frostrup, and John Mullan.
Tommy Lee Jones is planning to adapt, produce, direct, and star in a film version of Ernest Hemingway's posthumous novel Island in the Stream (Scribner, 1970), Reuters reports. Morgan Freeman and John Goodman are reportedly in discussions to be involved in the project.
HarperCollins announced yesterday that it is phasing out paper catalogues and replacing them with interactive, online lists of upcoming releases. The publisher plans to launch a beta version of the electronic catalogue in six to twelve months. By summer 2009, HarperCollins spokesperson Erin Crum told Publishers Weekly, the publisher's practice of sending out a hundred thousand paper catalogues to booksellers and librarians for each of the three publishing seasons—summer, winter, and fall—will be a thing of the past (though a limited number of print copies will still be produced).
Everyone knows there's no sure-fire way of selling a debut novel, but a couple recent deals prove that it helps if the author is a famous actor's brother or a former supermodel.