New Dr Seuss Book Out Soon


Random House Children’s Books has increased its first printing on What Pet Should I Get?, a just discovered new picture book by the late Dr. Seuss, from 500,000 to 1 million. The book, which goes on sale July 28, was first announced in February, after the unpublished manuscript was rediscovered in 2013 by Seuss’s (Ted Geisel), widow, Audrey Geisel, and his longtime secretary and friend, Claudia Prescott.

“We were absolutely overjoyed to see the response to What Pet Should I Get? from every corner of the book world,” said Barbara Marcus, president and publisher of RHCB. “A new book by a publishing legend like Dr. Seuss is an extraordinary event, and we are delighted to announce an increased first printing to 1 million copies, to match the incredible support and pre-orders we are seeing.

The book features the brother and sister characters from Seuss’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish, who attempt to choose a pet.

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Random House Signs Up Brokaw For Memoir

Random House is set to publish a memoir by former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, “A Lucky Life Interrupted,” is based on a journal he kept after being diagnosed with an incurable but treatable blood cancer. The book will go on sale May 12, 2015. Upon publication, NBC News is planning special coverage of Brokaw’s story.

Tom Brokaw is also the author of the bestselling The Greatest Generation, among other titles. Over eight million copies of his books have been sold across formats, according to Random House.

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Paula Deen Gets New Publisher

Celebrity chef Paula Deen–who was dropped, amid scandal, by Random House in 2013–has struck a sales and distribution agreement with Hachette Book Group for distribution of all of the culinary star’s titles, released under her Paula Deen Ventures label, throughout the globe.

Deen fell out with Random House after she suffered an onslaught of negative press a few years ago which led to, among other things, Deen’s products being dropped by major chains like Target and Wal-Mart. The stream of negative publicity came after Deen admitted to using a racial slur in a deposition.

The new titles on the PDV list will, according to Hachette, lean towards “healthier recipes.” In September PDV will release the new book Paula Deen Cuts the Fat; PDV will also be reissuing some of Deen’s backlist titles, such as The Lady & Sons and A Savanna Country Cookbook.

While questions may linger about Deen’s appeal, post-scandal, Hachette feels the star may have weathered the storm, and commented, that Deen’s “trademark warmth and culinary flair are as appealing as ever” and that her “dedicated fan base is eager for more from her.”

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A decade after the Nazis’ 1933 book burnings, the U.S. War Department and the publishing industry did the opposite – printing 120 million miniature, lightweight paperbacks for U.S. troops to carry across Europe, North Africa and the Pacific.

The books were Armed Services Editions, printed by a coalition of publishers with funding from the government and shipped by the Army and Navy. The largest of them were only three-quarters of an inch thick—thin enough to fit in the pocket of a soldier’s pants. Soldiers read them on transport ships, in camps and in foxholes. Wounded and waiting for medics, men turned to them on Omaha Beach, propped against the base of the cliffs. Others were buried with a book tucked in a pocket.

“When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II” by Molly Guptill Manning tells the story of the Armed Services Editions. Published recently, the book reveals how the special editions sparked correspondence between soldiers and authors, lifted “The Great Gatsby” from obscurity, and created a new audience of readers back home. The program was conceived by a group of publishers, including Doubleday, Random House and W. W. Norton. In 1942 they formed the Council on Books in Wartime to explore how books could serve the nation during the war. Ultimately, the program transformed the publishing industry. “It basically provided the foundation for the mass-market paperback,” said Michael Hackenberg, a bookseller and historian. It also turned a generation of young men into lifelong readers.

Manning stumbled across the story of the wartime editions while doing research for her first book, “The Myth of Ephraim Tutt,” which explores the career of courtroom-thriller writer Arthur Train. Poring through the Charles Scribner’s Sons archives at the Princeton library, she kept finding letters from soldiers writing about the Armed Services Editions of Train’s books.

The books weren’t intended to last more than six readings. But many of them have survived. Ms. Manning owns nearly 900 of them, stacked neatly on two bookcases in her Manhattan apartment. She finds them online and occasionally at flea markets. They can cost as little as a dollar. The most popular titles fell into two categories. The soldiers loved nostalgic books like “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” They also loved books with sex scenes.
The books weren’t just a diversion. “When the men were trapped, literally, in these holes, it was incredibly stressful,” Manning said. “As one man described it, he knew he could die at any second and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. But he happened to have a book in his pocket. It helped him keep his mental bearings.”

Remarkably, the books also helped rescue “The Great Gatsby” from oblivion. When it was first printed, “The Great Gatsby” garnered poor reviews and failed to sell. Then it was selected for an Armed Services Edition, as the publishers scoured their backlists for books that might appeal to young men. Some 155,000 copies were printed and shipped overseas. Soldiers mentioned the book in their letters home. Although they weren’t allowed to say where they were stationed or what they were doing they could use the book as a talking point with their families. “Gatsby” started to gain steam at home, eventually becoming the classic it is today.

By the end of the war, the Armed Services Editions had ushered in a new era for the publishing industry, which had previously balked at printing paperbacks. The experiment showed that if books could be printed in an affordable way, publishers could reach a new audience. “So the 25-cent paperback was basically born, and it flourished after the war,” Manning said.

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The Moosewood Cookbook Turns 40

In 1977, when Mollie Katzen received a call from Doubleday expressing interest in acquiring her self-published vegetarian cookbook, the author jumped at the opportunity. It had been three years since Katzen, founder of the hippyish Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, N.Y., first recorded the restaurant’s popular recipes in a spiral notebook. The aim was to standardize them for the kitchen staff, and also to offer eager patrons a chance to try cooking at home some of Moosewood’s then-exotic fare—like hummus, and moussaka.
It wasn’t long before word about the oddball meatless recipe collection, The Moosewood Cookbook, spread. By the time Doubleday contacted Katzen, she had already sold 5,000 copies on her own, and was finding the task of distributing the $4 book increasingly onerous. Then Doubleday offered Katzen a $2,000 advance, which felt like “a ticket out of hippiedom.” But before signing with the New York house, Katzen received another inquiry about the book, this time from Phil Wood, the now-legendary founder of the then-fledgling California-based Ten Speed Press.
Wood wanted to publish Moosewood very badly—so badly in fact that he doubled Doubleday’s advance and granted Katzen complete editorial control. Katzen accepted, and a 37-year-long collaboration with the publisher was born. Katzen produced seven cookbooks for Ten Speed, including Still Life With Menu (1994), The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest (2000), and a reissue of Moosewood with lightened-up versions of its original dairy-rich recipes.
To honor the 40th anniversary of Moosewood’s original, self-published release in 1974, Ten Speed, now part of Random House, has reissued the cookbook, spiffing it up with a hardcover binding, but otherwise leaving Katzen’s original handwritten recipes and illustrations, untouched. “With the resurgence of interest in vegetarian cooking, it felt like the right time to reintroduce Moosewood and call attention to its iconic status,” said Aaron Wehner, senior v-p and publisher at Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Press & Harmony Books. “Moosewood was the book that legitimized a whole toolkit of vegetable cooking, not just as a side dish, but as the main attraction.”
Ten Speed sells about 20,000 copies a year, totaling three million copies in print. Moosewood is one of the top ten bestselling cookbooks of all time, according to the New York Times, and has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame. As for Katzen, she expresses some discomfort with her status as vegetarian visionary. She believes she gets too much credit, and other less well-known meatless cookbook pioneers, like Anna Thomas author of The Vegetarian Epicure (Vintage, 1972), get too little for their contributions to the vegetarian movement.

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Lost Dr Seuss Stories To Be Revealed


A smooth-talking Grinch and a new adventure for the helpful elephant Horton feature in four largely forgotten Dr Seuss stories that will be collected for the first time this autumn.

“Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories,” out from Random House Books in September, brings together four of Seuss’s little-known tales published in Redbook magazine in the 1950s, but never released as picture books. In the title story, which dates to 1951, Horton – previously known for his efforts to rescue the Whos – is tricked into helping a tiny, insecty sort of creature who promises him: “I know of a Beezlenut tree where some Beezlenuts grow”. Horton takes the Kwuggerbug across a river and up a mountain, “while the Kwuggerbug perched on his trunk all the time / And kept yelling ‘Climb! You dumb elephant, Climb'”.

In 1955’s “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” the Grinch is just as much of a con artist as Seuss’s later, Christmas-stealing version. He tells the Hoobub a piece of string is worth far more than the “dangerous” sun. “When the sun gets too hot, it can broil you like fat! But this piece of green string, sir, will NEVER do that! This piece of green string is colossal! Immense! And, to you … well, I’ll sell it for 98 cents!”

The collection, which will come with an introduction from Seuss expert Charles D Cohen, is completed with two stories which date from 1950. “Marco Comes Late” returns to a character Seuss introduced in his 1937 debut “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.” “How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town” recounts how disaster on Mulberry Street is narrowly averted. “For the most part, those magazines were tossed out when the next month’s issue arrived and the stories were largely forgotten,” writes Cohen.


St. Martin’s Press is making a huge bet we’re still hot and heavy for romance novels.

The publisher has just agreed to pay an eye-popping eight-figure advance to Sylvia Day, a romance writer, for her next two books.… a series called “Blacklist.” These titles are a follow-up to her “Crossfire” series, which sold more than 13 million copies since its 2012 release.

Erotica and romance titles, particularly EL James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, have lifted publishers out of the doldrums. Case in point…. Random House, who published the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, posted record profits in 2012 and awarded each of its US employees  — right down to warehouse workers — a $5,000 bonus.

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