October 22nd, 2009

Want to make $10,000 for 5 weeks of blogging?

This morning, I asked myself, "Do you like to blog?" Check.

"Are you 'super-fun'?" Check.

"'Enthusiastic'?" Check.

"'Really, really enjoy going to the bathroom?'" Hm....

Procter & Gamble Co. is looking to hire five "Charmin Ambassadors" to staff its Times Square bathrooms this holiday season, entertain "bathroom guests," and blog about the experience.

Read more here. You can't spell "ambassador" without the word "ass."

Do you think it's a dream job?



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More on the Stitches controversy

A blogger over at NPR says, "If Stitches is a kid's book, expect to see Last Exit to Brooklyn on Reading Rainbow any day now."

Leaving aside the fact that Reading Rainbow is no longer in production, what do you think? Even the blogger says he loved Stitches. But it is true that it was published an adult book.

I haven't read it yet. I read Maus years ago, have a copy of Fun Home that I keep meaning to read, and just bought a copy of The Impostor's Daughter after meeting the author at Wordstock.

One thing's for sure: all the controversy is going to get a lot more people talking about Stitches than if the publisher had just nominated it in the adult non-fiction category. [Full disclosure: do you think they knew that when they did it?]

You can read more here, and even look at an 11-page excerpt.



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Will the Justice Department pay attention to the ABA's claim of predatory book pricing?

The American Booksellers' Association just sent a letter to the Justice Department about the price war going on among Wal-Mart, Amazon, and now Target (with Sears kind of coming in sideways.)

It reads in part:

"By selling each of these titles below the cost these retailers pay to the publishers, and at the same price as each other, and at the same price as all other titles in these pricing schemes, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, and Target are devaluing the very concept of the book. Authors and publishers, and ultimately consumers, stand to lose a great deal if this practice continues and/or grows."

"What's so troubling in the current situation is that none of the companies involved are engaged primarily in the sale of books. They're using our most important products -- mega bestsellers, which, ironically, are the most expensive books for publishers to bring to market -- as a loss leader to attract customers to buy other, more profitable merchandise. The entire book industry is in danger of becoming collateral damage in this war."

You can read the entire letter here.

Any lawyers out there? I'm not sure this will work. Companies use loss leaders all the time. It just doesn't usually adversely affect one class of stores.



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First you take a very sharp pencil...


I kind of forgot that I still had copy edits to do on Girl, Stolen. That's what happens when you work on two books a year, one adult and one YA (which is actually like six books - two to write, two to edit, and two to promote.)

Girl, Stolen is coming out sometime in the fall of 2010. It's about a blind girl who's kidnapped. Her mom goes inside a pharmacy to pick up a prescription and leaves the girl in the car with the keys in the ignition. Something similar happened in a nearby town a couple of years back, but the car thief forced the girl out of the car after three blocks.

Me? I started wondering what would have happened if he had kept her.

Despite the expression on my face, copy edits are the easiest kind of edits to do. Especially when the copyeditor notes "very clean."



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