Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where I Won't Be Friday Night

Now that the Harry Potter series is officially done ("officially" because The Tales of Beedle the Bard will be published on December 4) the latest New Big Book Craze is for Stephenie Meyer's YA vampire/werewolf series, "Twilight." This one has passed me by because I couldn't couldn't care less about the undead genre, other than the Roman Polanski film, The Fearless Vampire Killers. (Best line: When a victim flashes a crucifix at a vampire rabbi, he says, "That von't voik!" and flashes his fangs for the kill.)

Nevertheless, Meyer's series has me really steamed. Why? For one thing, the high schooler heroine, who's in love with a vampire, HAS MY NAME. For another, per a NY Times column by Gail Collins, Bella's true love Edward
won’t have sex with her because he worries he might kill her with his superstrength in the heat of the moment. So, they are forced to spend all their time kissing and cuddling and talking about their feelings....

This sure sounds like trouble to me: A generation of guys who will settle for nothing less than a porn star meets a generation of women who expect their boyfriend to crawl through their bedroom window at night and just nuzzle gently until they fall asleep.
For the record, during my misspent youth I crawled out of my own bedroom (well, dorm room) window, and I expected a lot more than semi-conscious nuzzling for my pains.

Also for the record, I will NOT be among the hordes at the Tattered Cover tomorrow at midnight, as I was for Harry Potter's last bow. BREAKING DAWN will have to break without me.

Why I'll Never Go for Botox

Above left, a Botox patient photographed by Peter DaSilva for As Doctors Cater to Looks, Skin Patients Wait in Monday's New York Times.

Takeaway quote, from a medical ethics professor: “People who want their wrinkles fixed to go to a wedding should not be treated better than those who have psoriasis.”

Pictures above right, from the 1928 surrealist film, Un Chien Andalou (The Andalusian Dog) by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm So Proud!

Kudos to these Book Promotion 101 clients:
  • Karen Quinn's first novel, THE IVY CHRONICLES, has been picked up by Warner Bros., who's talking to Sarah Jessica Parker about starring after Catherine Zeta Jones bowed out. Jerry Weintraub, of "Ocean's Eleven" fame, is set to produce. Karen's third novel, HOLLY WOULD DREAM, came out in June.
  • Doreen Orion's travel memoir, QUEEN OF THE ROAD, which debuted in early June, just went into its 5th printing.
  • Carleen Brice's first novel, ORANGE MINT AND HONEY, was optioned by Lifetime TV for a movie, to be produced by Damon Lee ("Undercover Brother"--rent it now; it's a total hoot!).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Belated News Flash: I'm a Goddess!

Must be the heat, but I neglected to mention that workshop alum Micah Nathan (GODS OF ABERDEEN) did an email interview with me: Bella Stander, Publicity Goddess.

Micah wrote:

I initially scoffed when my former agent Marly Rusoff suggested I attend a publicity seminar for authors. My reasons for scoffing were fueled by ego and insecurity (sides of the same coin, of course), but Ms. Rusoff is a publishing genius, so I figured what the hell. Something good had to come out of four hours in a room with publicists, agents, and media coaches. [Actually it was eight hours; time goes by fast when you're having fun.] And lunch was included.

The seminar was called “Book Promotion 101,” created and moderated by the lovely Bella Stander, an incredibly bright, refreshingly blunt publicity guru who has the courage to blast apart authorly pretensions and replace those shattered delusions with good sense. Before Bella I thought my job as a writer began and ended with writing books. After Bella, I realized self-publicity isn’t something done by hacks or desperate salesmen—it’s as crucial a part of the publishing process as finding an agent, selling your book to a publisher, and making sure they spell your name right.

It's Hard Out There for a Book Publicist

I hear a lot of stories from authors about the dumb things their inhouse publicists do; or worse, how the publicists aren't doing much of anything at all. I've also experienced dumb author tricks up close and heard stories from publicists about even more. (See my publicity--and other--horror tales.)

So I read GalleyCat's Friday post, The Blame Game, with more than passing interest. GC co-editor Andy wrote:
At just about every publishing house I've worked at I've run into this problem of having too many books to publicize, as do most of my colleagues. Some you just have to send out into the ether blind, some you champion, others you do the bare minimum on because that's all the time you have. I've actually had my boss tell me to NOT do anything for a book because another book needed to take priority.
GalleyCat ran a poll asking "Who's to blame for book sales?" The single reason with the greatest number of votes--23%--was "The publisher has too many books on the list." However, 42% of the votes (including mine) went to "All of the above":
  1. Sales didn't get enough books into stores.
  2. The publicist dropped the ball.
  3. The editor bought an unsellable book.
  4. The publisher has too many books on the list.
  5. The author wrote a dud.
  6. The agent built up the author to be more than they were.
As counterpoint to the above, there are the two latest posts on slunch. On Friday, Deathtron wrote Why I Hate Book Publicity and will Never do it Again. The reasons, explained in the post:
  1. The work never ends.
  2. Too many books.
  3. Unreasonable authors and their expectations.
  4. Meetings.
  5. Quality of life.
Yesterday, Ladytron posted her agreement:
Deathtron is right in the fact that we're all overworked, and that there are just too many damn books for anyone to do a decent job. But when one of the authors who I have focused on, who I have pitched to hundreds of outlets, who I have gone above and beyond for...well, when they question my "commitment" to a project. Yeah, it's enough to want me to throw in the towel....

Yes, your book is important. I get that. You wrote it, it means a lot to you, and I'm publicizing it.... WE ARE TRYING. And calls about how you think maybe we could try harder, or maybe we're not doing it right...well, it's not a motivator. It's a turnoff.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Falling In and Out of Love

News flash: Writing a novel is hard!

I've reviewed hundreds of books, some of them stinkers that made me proclaim, "I could write better than that." Now I have embarked on writing The Great American Potboiler (The Great American Novel is too much pressure) and it's taking a lot of time and effort. And that's just for the research. Oh, and much of what I've written is crap. But at least it's my crap, and as author MJ Rose observed in a Readerville forum several years ago, "It's easier to edit crap than air."

Via Editorial Ass, I found a terrific, funny post by Libba Bray, Writing a novel, a love story. Under deadline to finish the draft of a novel, she has:
become convinced that I could advertise on Craig's List for gangs of homeless gerbils to run across my keyboard in an agitated, looking-for-the-water-tube state, and they would do a better job. This is how it goes. Every. Single. Friggin'. Time.

In fact, writing a novel is very close to falling in love. How so? I'm glad you asked.
Bray then details the stages of love/novel writing, from The Beginning through First Draft, several Revisions ("F*@*#&ing book. I hate you. I wish I'd never met you. YOU MAKE MY LIFE HELL! HELL! I wish there were another word for hell but my thesaurus says there's not."), Third Draft, Final Drafts, Copy Edits and The Finished Book.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dennis Cass: "Everybody’s a marketing genius."

By now, almost everyone in the publishing world has seen Book Launch 2.0, even if creator Dennis Cass isn't a household (or office) name. As I wrote in my post Book Trailers, I couldn't recall his name or book title (HEAD CASE: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain), and had to search my own blog for them. But the video, of a hapless author talking on the phone with someone who's giving him publicity suggestions, sure stuck in my brain.

I emailed Cass via his admittedly somnolent blog, Dennis Cass is... (He's spending most of his online time on his new venture, Dennis Cass Wants You to Be More Awesome.) At his invitation I phoned him last week at his home in Minneapolis. The edited results of our talk are below.

Q: When was HEAD CASE published?
A: The hardcover was published by HarperCollins in spring '07; the paperback in March '08. I didn’t even tell my friends when the paperback came out. I didn’t want to say, “Hey, out again.”

Q: How about Book Launch 2.0?
A: The video went up around May 13. It was the coming-out party for the paperback, which was languishing on Amazon. I told HarperCollins publicity about the video, but I said, “Let’s see what it does on its own.” So on the first day I just sent it to five people I knew in publishing, including an editor who knows John Hodgman. The next day, I think I sent it to another five people. [I received it from a writer on May 13, posted the video that day and sent it to GalleyCat, who posted it on May 14.]

You know you’ve done it right when you don’t even ask people to send it along. By day three, when I tried to send the video to another five people, they said “I already saw this two days ago.” It was insulting to them; it happened that fast. By the end of the week, I wasn’t doing anything and it was getting 1500-2000 hits a day. It’s leveled off at around 40,000. In the heat of it, my Amazon sales ranking went up too. I actually ended up selling books for a while.

Q: Book Launch 2.0 was great, but it didn't tie in with HEAD CASE, or even mention it.
The main reason why I did the video is, I thought this would be funny even it it doesn’t sell a book. It’s funny and it's true, and writers, editors and people who work in publishing are going to get this.

I didn’t put the book cover or title in the monologue because it would feel like an ad. Random House wouldn’t want to promote a video for a HarperCollins book. Some people at Random House showed it at the Columbia summer school for publishing. Everybody liked it. If it had been more of a hard sell, I don’t think that would have happened. It had to stand alone as its own cool thing.

HarperCollins was really excited about the video. They wanted me to put the cover shot of the book on it. But it’s already up and I'm not going to take it down and recut it.

Q: How did you make the video?
A friend who works for an ad agency in town shot it. Every writer should have a guy—or a girl—who understands this stuff, who can make a website, or a video, or a cartoon. Your guy should not just be someone who knows how to build a website, but who gets it—who knows how our culture works.

I had a script for the monologue. It took about 20-30 minutes to do a full take. Once I did it a couple of times from paper we just started playing with it, improvising a bit. I was completely pleased at how it turned out.

Q: Had you written for film or theater before?
A: I haven’t written for performance, but I've done public speaking and improv comedy. I like performing. [Cass has also taught college, which is a public performance in itself. See his NYT Magazine article, My New Look.]

The genesis of the video was that conversation, which I still have with people. Even after they saw the video, they said, “You have to make more videos.” I said, "You’re being that guy." Everybody’s a marketing genius. It’s much easier said than done.

I worked for a literary agency in my twenties, did film rights and sub rights, so I know how the entertainment sausage is made. It’s a miracle that anything gets made, and it’s a double miracle that anything is halfway decent. It’s mind-boggling that things are actually good and find an audience, and are popular and successful. It’s lightning in a bottle when that happens.

I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I’m not a marketing genius, I just did something cool that worked.

Q: What's next?
If you could do one of those things a month... It’s like a bubble economy, something’s got to keep feeding it. It was a big hit for as long as it was a big hit, but now what’s the next thing? I'm hoping that people who bought the book as a result of seeing the video will blog about it. I’m not obsessed with my Amazon numbers; I’m focused on building an audience.

I’ve been a moving target, written for lots of different publications--New York Times Magazine, GQ, Mother Jones, Slate, Harper’s--on lots of different subjects. One thing this book experience has taught me is that I need to do something long-term, I can’t just fly around doing what I want. I think the audience for my writing will be based on my voice and my outlook, because I’m not a subject-matter guy. You can call yourself a writer, but you can make little videos and write comic books. [He says this ironically in the video.] You don’t have to write the Great American Novel to have an impact on the culture.

I’m working on my next book; I'm not ready to talk about it yet. [His agent, Heather Schroder at ICM, loved the video.] But there will still be some goodwill left over this fall when I get the book proposal out. I have a side project where I’m giving writers and artists career and writing advice: Dennis Cass Wants You to be More Awesome. [Latest question: Should I blog about rejection?]

It’s nice to make something happen; it’s so hard. There are people with million-dollar budgets and MBAs who are failing at making things happen in our culture. When you get a little wind, it makes you excited. ABC didn’t call me with my own show, but a lot of bloggers and people in the industry contacted me. It was great for expanding my network; 40,000 people is not bad.

The world gives its thumbs up or thumbs down, and you just have to accept it. It’s just a lottery ticket: scratch and win. Most of the times you scratch it and it’s the canary, the turtle and the rabbit. And you don’t get anything. Then you scratch it, you get three turtles and you win five bucks!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Book Trailers: Authors' Views

In my previous post, Book Trailers, I wrote, "What I wonder most about book videos is whether they have a positive impact on book sales. I would love to see hard data, if there is any."

Though I have yet to see any sales figures, I did hear back from some of the authors whose trailers I cited. On Bastille Day, I had lunch at a French (mais bien sûr!) restaurant with client Doreen Orion. In a comment to the above post, after praising my French accent (for which she gets my undying gratitude), Doreen wrote:
I wish I could tell you if my videos have helped QUEEN OF THE ROAD, but they've been released at the same time as my fabulo website (which you've commented on quite a bit, Merci), as well as some of the wonderful reviews the book has gotten. I can tell you that as I'm doing my radio tour this summer, I always mention my website, saying, "it has wonderful pictures of our trip, reviews, an excerpt as well as videos, including of the nudist RV park. Now, don't crash my site, people." And, I have noticed Amazon sales as well as webstats going up after each interview. How much is specifically due to the video, I have no idea, but even if it's only indirectly, i.e., it drives people to my website who then like what they see (PULEASE! I DON'T mean naked, middle-aged me) and then buy the book, I'm not complainin'.
Sherry Thomas, another client, emailed me that coincidentally today she downloaded a trailer for her second novel, DELICIOUS. A techno-head, Sherry makes the trailers herself, though "frankly I can't tell you what a book trailer does. I think I just like to make them--once I figured out how to use Windows Movie Maker. It's a lot of fun."

On the down side, Sherry notes that when her agent, Kristin Nelson, posted the trailer for PRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS on her blog, PubRants, one commenter wrote that "the trailer made her definitely not want to read the book." In which case it probably wasn't her kind of book anyway, says I.

On the up side, a Dear Author post in March, My First Sale by Sherry Thomas: Love in the Ruins of Home Improvement, received a slew of positive comments. Julie Leto of Plot Monkeys wrote:
Please consider this an example of a book trailer selling a book. I’m going out today. I cannot resist a book if the author has this kind of sense of humor! Besides, I love Victorian books.
Sherry wrote that Leto " also later contacted me and told me she enjoyed the book very much, and if I would like to guest blog at her place when it's time for my upcoming release."

In my previous post I wrote about the viral hit Book Launch 2.0 by Dennis Cass (HEAD CASE: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain). Doreen Orion echoed my observations:
I had the same thought about Cass' video: It was hysterical, but didn't give any info about the book. I also wonder if people outside the industry "got" it. I sent it to a few civilian friends and they didn't see what was so funny, until I explained the joke. So, I wonder, too, if it really helped sales.
In my post I'd added parenthetically, "One of these days, I'll contact Cass & ask what effect the video had." Well, yesterday was one of those days, and this morning I received the below message from him:
Great post and thanks for the mention. My vid definitely increased sales and was very beneficial in other ways. If you'd like for me to elaborate (for your blog or just for your own curiosity) I'd be happy to, but there's a lot to say and saying it would require writing it, which would require work.
Far be it from me to make anyone do extra work, especially if it involves writing. So per his invitation, I phoned Cass to follow up. I'll post our interview soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Book Trailers

Lately I've been thinking a lot about book trailers, as they're the Newest Thing in book promotion. Was mulling over doing a post about them, and then the other day someone asked me my opinion during my monthly "guest expert" stint on the Backspace Writers Forums. Below is a revised version of my response.

A good trailer will garner attention for a book and author. And as debut author Julie Kramer pointed out, having a video is great if you're going to be interviewed on TV. It's a helluva lot more interesting--and memorable--than a static shot of a book jacket. Videos can be particularly useful for "genre" fiction such as mysteries, thrillers and romance because they can create a mood that lures in readers, as the last four do in the list below.

I've seen book trailers that are really good, some that are so-so and some that are total yawns. HarperCollins believes in trailers so much that they're producing them inhouse. GalleyCat has been posting several each week; see Web & Tech.

A book video, just like a TV ad, has to TELL & SELL: Tell what the book is about and sell it to the target audience. It has to answer the Three Big Questions:
  1. So what?
  2. Who cares?
  3. What's in it for me?
After watching a book trailer, the viewer should think, "Wow, I gotta buy this book!" Not just, "Wow, I gotta forward this video!"

Here are some trailers that tell & sell in an enticing way:
TROPHIES by Heather Thomas has a lavishly produced video that doesn't quite do it for me because the narration (by Gore Vidal!) is ponderous, the dialogue murky, and after nearly 5-1/2 minutes (yawn...) I still didn't know what the book was about nor why I should care about its main characters. Also the bit about dissing the waiter is a little too reminiscent of one in the late, lamented (by me, anyway) TV series "Action" (available on DVD; see it now!). But the acting, whether by dolls or real people, is terrific.

After I forwarded it to GalleyCat two months ago, Book Launch 2.0 went viral. I think everyone in publishing saw it and sent it to everyone they know; I got it at least 3 times. But though achingly funny, the video had nothing to do with the book it was ostensibly promoting. In fact, I couldn't remember the author or book title--or even whether the book was a novel or nonfiction--to save my life. I had to search my blog archives: Dennis Cass, HEAD CASE: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain. (One of these days, I'll contact Cass & ask what effect the video had.)

Last year, there was a big hoopla at BookExpo about the big-bucks "mini-feature" for Ian McEwan's ON CHESIL BEACH. I watched the trailer online. OY. Read my assessment in What's Not to Like? Let Me Count the Ways...

What I wonder most about book videos is whether they have a positive impact on book sales. I would love to see hard data, if there is any.

One concern I have is that book trailers will be added to the ever-expanding list of things that authors "must" have to stay competitive. Which means that they'll be spending time, and especially money, on what are basically commercials for their books instead of writing their books. My position is that every author doesn't have to have a blog, a social networking page or book trailers. (Every author absolutely should have a website, though.)

My second concern is, where are all these book trailers going to be shown besides online? There's been talk of having TVs in bookstores constantly running videos. Everywhere one goes nowadays, whether the supermarket, the mall or the swimming pool, there's music blasting over loudspeakers. There are TVs blaring at the dentist, the auto repair waiting room and the airport. To me, bookstores and libraries are the last secular havens of quiet enjoyment. I don't want that peace shattered by endless loops of book trailers.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Bastille Day!

All together now:
"Allons enfants de la patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé!"
(Read all about "La Marseillaise" here.)

July 14 will always be a jour de gloire for me. Twelve years ago today, Darling Husband and I were married in Portland, Maine. Our wedding cake was inscribed Liberté, Fraternité, Félicité. (I didn't think Fraternité was quite the thing.)

Too bad THE BLACK TOWER by Louis Bayard won't be out till August 26, because it would be the perfect book to read today. Set in 1818 Paris, it's a mystery about the not-so-pretty aftermath of the French Revolution. Bayard has a marvelous gift for bringing other times and places to pulsing life. You'd swear he'd lived in Dickens's London (Mr. Timothy, which I reviewed for People), trained at West Point in 1830 (The Pale Blue Eye) and consorted with legendary French detective Vidocq. As in The Pale Blue Eye (featuring a young Edgar Allen Poe), THE BLACK TOWER has a terrific triple-whammy at the end. No way you'll see it coming.

French movies to watch tonight (or anytime):
*Darling Husband: "Is there any recent French movie without Gérard Depardieu?"
Moi: "I like Gérard Depardieu!"

Friday, July 11, 2008

I've Got 99 Problems and the Thermometer Is One

It's 99°F outside right now. That's what it says on my Yahoo home page, anyway. When I clicked for the detailed forecast, it said 95°. Whatever, it's too @#$%! hot.

The only consolation--for sweaty people, not gasping plants--is that the humidity is all of 7%. (News flash: Denver is officially a desert, drier than Los Angeles. And it's on the edge of the Great Plains, not in the Rocky Mountains.) In Virginia when it's this hot, the humidity is often as high as the temperature. There were times in Charlottesville when I'd step outside our air-conditioned house and my glasses would fog up. Feh.

Time for more iced tea...

Quote of the Day

That’s the problem with the truth, isn’t it? People don’t always want to hear it.
--from Recalling a Cheerful Man Made Angry by Hypocrisy by Clyde Haberman in today's NY Times. Writer Eliot Asinof, who died last month at age 88, had been a front in the 1950s for screenwriter Walter Bernstein ("The Front"), who called him "God’s angry man."

At a recent memorial at New York's Harvard Club,
Julian Koenig, who knew Mr. Asinof going back 80 years, told the assembled group that his friend “didn’t like agents, and he didn’t like publishers.”

“And lawyers,” a woman cried out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Hard Out There for a Cat

Above and bottom, Max reacts to the news that he received only 1% of the vote in the Summer Cats popularity contest.

"You're going to be a star tomorrow," I whispered to Max last night. I'd sent a photo of him sacked out on the edge of a bed to GalleyCat, which is having its annual Summer Cats contest. (See Thursday entries and vote here.)

Filled with excitement, first thing this morning I clicked on GalleyCat, only to discover that Max had received zero votes. I was crushed. Now I know how the mother of a beauty pageant loser feels. It was small consolation that when I checked a few minutes ago, Max had received 1% of the vote.

I have to admit that Katinka (the companion of one of my favorite novelists, Katharine Weber), Sebastian and Petunia are pretty damn cute. (I said "Awwww!" at the pic of Petunia sleeping in a manuscript box.) But out of loyalty I cast my vote for Max.

As you can see, all this has deeply affected him.

Update July 11, 11am:
Max has now garnered 3%. I think some people have been playing Mama Rose and haranguing their friends to vote, as one cat (not mentioning any names) who I don't think is terrifically cute is now in the lead with 23% of the vote. Hmpf!

Voyage of Discovery Leads to a Prize

Yesterday's Shelf Awareness had an item telling about the reaction of UK Guardian blogger Nicholas Lezard to
the announcement that Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth had won the Frank O'Connor award outright when the judges chose to dispense with a shortlist (Shelf Awareness, July 7, 2008).
To learn more, I clicked on the link to Lezard's July 7 post:
Give Us Back Our Shortlists
The judges should have given a handful of writers the chance to put 'shortlisted for a Frank O'Connor award' on their next book
Call me provincial, but I'd never heard of the Frank O'Connor award, so I Googled it and was led to the home page of The Munster Literature Centre. (Its title bar just reads "Home Page." How dumb is that?) At the top it congratulates "new O'Connor laureate" Lahiri.

Below the little book jacket image and to the right of Lahiri's enormous headshot (oh, by the way, she's gorgeous; hmm...) is an announcement for The Sean O'Faolain Short Story Prize, which I'd also never heard of. But here's where it gets good:
  • The competition is open to original unpublished short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or less. The story can be on any subject, in any style by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world.
  • Entry deadline is July 31st 2008.
  • First Prize: €1,500 (approx US$2300) and publication in the literary biannual Southword.
  • Second Prize: €500 (approx US$790) and publication in Southword.
  • Four other shortlisted entries will be selected for publication in Southword and receive a fee of €100 euros (approx US$158).
See full competition rules here.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Who's Your Publisher?

I just received an invitation to a book launch party for a debut novelist. Details were on Evite: date, time, place, author's name, book title, plus a handy link to the author's website. mention of the book's publisher. Was it self-published?

I clicked on the link and found a beautifully designed author website, with headshot and jacket image on the first screen of the homepage, just as they should be, plus blurbs by other authors. mention of the book's publisher. Was it self-published?

I scrolled further and found pull-quotes from PW and Kirkus reviews--signs that the book is from a trade house. I clicked on the "Sample Chapter" tab. At the top of the page is the book's title; at the bottom is a line reading "[Book Title] - Now available at, Barnes &, and stores everywhere," with links to the book's page at both retailers. mention of the book's publisher.

I clicked on the "Contact" tab. That page reads:
Contact Me

I am always happy to hear from readers. Please fill in the form below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Members of the media and events organizers, please see the contact information on this page:
[URL for--aha!--a publisher]
This author is not alone. I can't tell you how many author websites I see that don't mention their books' publishers. I've said the following till I'm blue in the face, and typed it till my fingers were sore. Here it is again:

Don't make people hunt for your publisher's name! Feature it prominently, along with your book's ISBN, on your website and in your press materials.

On your Contact page, include:
  • your publisher's name, website link and whom to contact there (usually the publicist; be sure to encrypt his/her email address)
  • your literary agent's name, website link and mailing address
  • if applicable, contact info for your freelance publicist, speakers' bureau and film agent.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Belly Laugh of the Day

Through an author, I just found out about Davis Wager Literary Agency in L.A. I scoped out the website and burst into guffaws when I clicked on the DWBlog.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Quote of the Day

"He might be a criminal but at least he listened to his mother."
--Ross Intelisano, a lawyer for investors who lost millions to hedge-fund scammer Samuel Israel III.

After being convicted of defrauding Bayou Fund investors of some $450 million (!!!) and being sentenced to 20 years in prison, Israel, "the scion of a wealthy New Orleans family," staged a fake suicide off the Bear Mountain Bridge with the aid of his girlfriend. (Ooh, bad move! She's in a universe of trouble now.) Then he went on the lam for a month at an RV park in Massachusetts. But after talking to his mom, Israel turned himself in to police--though he had trouble finding a station that was open full-time.

Read all about it in the NYT: Fund Manager Who Faked His Suicide Surrenders.

In honor of Mrs. Israel, I declare a four-day moratorium on Jewish mother jokes.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Light of Dawn!

You'll excuse my gushing, but I love this blog! I especially love my readers! Most of all, I adore readers who leave brilliant comments that lead me to the TRUTH--or at least a happy solution to my email migration woes.

In Bella v Laptop, Solidus left a comment suggesting that I download Thunderbird and use that to import my Eudora address book, then use Outlook to import from Thunderbird. So I downloaded Thunderbird. Nada, even when I imported the Agents sub-address book into the main Eudora Nicknames folder. WAAAH!

Then I Googled the terms Thunderbird import Eudora address books. That led me to the Mozilla site, where I found information about Dawn, a FREE program that converts address books in Eudora (and many other programs) to Outlook (and many other programs).

After uninstalling Thunderbird, I downloaded and installed Dawn. My first attempt at importing didn't work. Then I transferred the Agents sub-address book into the main Eudora Nicknames folder. VOILA! OH HAPPY DAY!!!

I'm still going to have to do some manual work: transferring each Eudora sub-address book (Clients, Family, Friends, etc.) into the Nicknames folder for importation and transferring it back again, then going through each entry in Outlook to put info in the proper fields (I was sloppy about that in Eudora) and assigning categories (Mailing List, Agent, Client, Author, etc.).

But still, I'll take quick, clean-up tedium over endless, brain-melting tedium.

And Solidus, I owe you a drink. Make that two drinks!