Tags: pitching

Blood Will Tell

It's all Black Swan, all the time

There were only seven deals listed for YA in this week's Publishers Lunch, but two of them are for books that reference Black Swan:

"Jennifer L. Armentrout's DON'T LOOK BACK, pitched as Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars, featuring a teen girl who had it all until the night she and her friend go missing, and she loses all recollection of who she is, but must piece together a life she no longer wants and the events that led to her friend's disappearance, to Emily Meehan at Disney-Hyperion, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.


"Anna Collomore's THE UNRAVELING, about a girl who becomes a nanny for a seemingly perfect family and slowly loses her grip on reality; pitched as The Nanny Diaries meets Black Swan, to Caroline Donofrio at Razorbill, for publication in Spring 2013, by Josh Adams at Adams Literary."

I haven't seen Black Swan, but the second book seems a better fit for what I've heard about the movie. However, the first book intrigues me more.

It seems like a lot of the one-line descriptions of books I see in Publishers Lunch are described as some combination of books and movies. More often movies. I don't know if it's sad or not that movies are considered a better touchstone even when you are talking about books. I guess that even if you haven't seen a given movie, you probably have seen the trailer.

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Blood Will Tell

Pitch Perfect?

I recently got this letter from Goldberg McDuffie Communications, which has the reputation as being one of the best book PR firms in the business. (Full disclosure: I think their services are pricey, too, and normally paid for the publishing house, not the author. ) This letter tells the story of the book in 3.5 sentences. That's good. It also manages to work in four references to books and movies - and distinguish this book from them - in the two sentences. (Full disclosure: do the references work? They might have been better chosen. "Comic thriller" already tells me the book doesn't star Harry Bosch or Jack Reacher - or John Cusack's character in The Grifters, for that matter. Nicholas Cage in Matchstick Men was a scoundrel, but the movie was a drama.) And the guy's got a great back story, so that's emphasized, too. I wonder how similar this is to the query letter the writer sent to agent, or the cover letter the agent sent to the editor.

Dear April,

Have you had a chance to look at the galley of CON ED, Matthew Klein’s comic thriller, coming out from Warner Books in March? I thought you might consider doing a review, because this book is not your typical mystery, and Klein has a fascinating background. He was a young tech whiz who dropped out of Stanford Business School, started three companies out of his bedroom, raised millions, and employed over 400 people – and then lost it all. When unable to find gainful employment, he started programming stock-market prediction software. That’s where the idea of CON ED came from. Banished from the Silicon Valley, Klein now lives just outside New York City.

Klein's protagonist in CON ED is no Harry Bosch or Jack Reacher – he's a scoundrel. Think John Cusack in The Grifters or Nicolas Cage in Matchstick Men. After eight years in jail, Kip Largo is trying to lead an honest life. But when his loser son needs saving from the Russian Mob, Kip decides to pull off one last "big con" to raise enough money to bail out his son. He devises the ultimate business scam: he'll pretend to be a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who starts a high-tech software company that predicts the stock market. Could this massive $20 million-dollar stock-market manipulation scheme really work? Matthew Klein says yes.

Interested in coverage? I know March is a few months away, but I was hoping to get this one on your radar. And FYI, film rights to the book have been acquired by Industry Entertainment.

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