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November 13, 2010

Inside James Frey's crap-fiction factory

Getting desperate students to crank out formulaic genre work for free has never been so easy. Inside Full Fathom Five, James Frey's Young-Adult-Novel Assembly Line -- New York Magazine
Frey handed him a one-page write-up of the concept, and Hughes developed the rest of the outlined narrative. Frey’s idea was a series called “The Lorien Legacies,” about nine Loric aliens who were chased from their home planet by evil Mogadorians and are living on Earth in the guise of teenagers. Through early 2009, Hughes told me, he delivered three drafts of the first book, I Am Number Four, to Frey, who revised them and polished the final version. Hughes wrote the novel without any compensation and signed a contract, without consulting a lawyer, that specified that he would receive 30 percent of all revenue that came from the project. The book would be published under a pseudonym, and the contract stipulated that Hughes would not be allowed to speak publicly about the project or confirm his attachment to it. There was a $250,000 penalty Frey could invoke if Hughes violated his confidentiality terms. . . . This is the essence of the terms being offered by Frey’s company Full Fathom Five: In exchange for delivering a finished book within a set number of months, the writer would receive $250 (some contracts allowed for another $250 upon completion), along with a percentage of all revenue generated by the project, including television, film, and merchandise rights—30 percent if the idea was originally Frey’s, 40 percent if it was originally the writer’s. The writer would be financially responsible for any legal action brought against the book but would not own its copyright. Full Fathom Five could use the writer’s name or a pseudonym without his or her permission, even if the writer was no longer involved with the series, and the company could substitute the writer’s full name for a pseudonym at any point in the future. The writer was forbidden from signing contracts that would “conflict” with the project; what that might be wasn’t specified. The writer would not have approval over his or her publicity, pictures, or biographical materials. There was a $50,000 penalty if the writer publicly admitted to working with Full Fathom Five without permission. Some writers consulted lawyers; some just signed on the dotted line. “It’s a crappy deal but a great opportunity” is how one writer put it.

November 12, 2010

Shameless Self-Promotion: Dave-o's Book News

1) The printer has shipped Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred:...

Dave-o's book trailer: Build a water rocket in a minute

YouTube - Quick-n-Easy Water Rocket--"Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred" Book Trailer...

November 09, 2010

I don't think there is an author more profoundly human than Ursula K Le Guin?

Did you know that Ursula K Le Guin now has a blog? She totally does. And, like her novels, it is sharp and well written and bursting with empathy. Here she begins discussing a problematic sentence in a Zadie Smith piece and seques into a moving story about her assistant, Delores. BOOK VIEW CAFE BLOG -- Someone Named Delores
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