Monday, May 2, 2011

Around the Word

Go the — to the bank: Our favorite story from over the weekend was the New York Times' account of author Adam Mansbach's Facebook joke turned bestseller, Go the — to Sleep. Mansbach was just trying to blow off a little steam about his daughter's refusal to hit the hay when he posted a note on his FB wall to look out for his next book with that immortal/immoral exhortation. But Daddy Dirtiest was so overwhelmed by the response, he decided to tun his rant into a collection of rhymes. Now, thanks to digital word of (potty) mouth, Hansbach's book is climbing the Amazon bestseller list on the strength of pre-orders alone. 

I'll tweet when I'm dead: Not to be outdone by Fake Steve Jobs or the Bronx Zoo Cobra, more than a few famous deceased authors are turning up on Twitter to offer their bite-sized words of posthumous wisdom. The Atlantic has done us the favor of compiling a best of the dead list. We were particularly taken with this tart tweet from Edith Wharton: "Thoughts on this return: travel has improved. New York has not. #talkingdead."

The oldest sales trick in the book: While self-promotion may sometimes seem like a unique burden for authors in the digital age to deal with, writer Tony Perrottet assures us that it's nothing new. Writing in this past weekend's Times Book Review, Perrottet recounts that Hemmingway posed for beer ads, Virginia Woolfe went shopping with British Vogue and Walt Whitman wrote his own anonymous reviews -- all to promote their own work. When put in historical perspective, Tweeting doesn't look so bad after all.

Books love LA: In case you missed it, the L.A. Times Book Festival was held this weekend at USC. To get a re-cap of all the major (and merely curious) happenings from the two days of panels and presentations by authors, check out the coverage today on the Times' Jacket Copy blog.

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