Monday, March 10, 2008

Book News, In Brief

Massachusetts is supposed to be too liberal for this sort of small-minded crap. Care of A long-running bestseller, "The Lovely Bones," tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who was raped and killed by a neighbor. The book remains popular in local libraries and soon will be made into a movie. But in Waltham, a local parent says the novel by Alice Sebold is too graphic. She wants it removed from the shelves of the library at the John W. McDevitt Middle School. "I read it cover to cover. They say this book is about healing and hope, which it's not," said Diane Thompson, who has two daughters at the school. "The guy committing the crime doesn't get punished. The mom runs away from her family."

An Ian Fleming biography has been ordered pulped by the powers that be for including several court documents from the notorious Thunderball plagiarism case. What's the notorious Thunderball plagerism case, you ask? (It's okay. I'd never heard of it, either.) According to the, Fleming took the story from a Bond-based film script he and a couple of other guys had written and turned it into his bestselling book -- claiming sole authorship. In 1963, Fleming had to pay costs of £50,000 to Kevin McClory, the film producer who had developed the storyline with him. The case took its toll on Fleming's health, causing heart problems, and he died just nine months later aged 56. McClory died two weeks later, the victim of a bullet shot from the end of a Montblanc fountain pen. (Okay, so that last part isn't true.)

The new publishing model: Everyone gets published. Offering this hyperbolic "everyone" $1.50 for every 1,000 page views that their writing garners is Associated Content, a site co-founded by Google advertising honcho Tim Armstrong and his former college roommate, Luke Beatty. Here's how it works: Once a submission is run through Associated's "yield management system," the company then sends the writer a one-time, up-front fee that typically ranges from $4 to $20. Additionally, Associated pays contributors $1.50 for every 1,000 page views their article generates. Associated then distributes the story directly to specific websites that are in its network, but also on its own website. A good - or, rather, well-read - article can generate its creator a few hundred dollars, but most submissions are geared toward a more limited audience with a specific interest that traditional media companies wouldn't produce an article about. Geoff Reiss, the company's CEO, says that so far, the site has "published" 380,000 articles, and is adding 1,000 a day.