Friday, September 18, 2009

Things I'd Like to See This Weekend on C-SPAN's "Book TV"

11:00 am Breaking News: Bestselling Author Sells a Lot of Books!
The New York Times, Reuters, Entertainment Weekly, and media organizations around the world are reporting the astonishing news that Dan Brown's new book The Lost Symbol has sold a lot of copies. TV networks interrupted their regular program schedule with updates on this extraordinary development, and newspapers had to tear out their front page advertisements to accommodate it. The fact that the sequel to The Da Vinci Code, perhaps the bestselling novel of all time, turned out to be a success has been described by one breathless commentator as "the stuff of 80-point headlines." In this segment representatives of several major retail outlets crunch numbers to figure out just how many copies have been sold. First day sales estimates for The Lost Symbol run the gamut from tons to scads, with some industry analysts suggesting that gobs is closer to the mark, and others that it could go as high as a whole slew. Borders reports that it is too early to have specific information, but place the number somewhere between a passel and a heap. Barnes & Noble reports that in the first twenty-four hours they sold umpteen oodles, and Amazon says that when they combine sales of Kindle ebooks with those of the traditional hardcover, they arrive at a figure approaching eleventy-bazillion copies. Brown's publisher has already announced plans to go back to press, with the reprint quantity set at beaucoup shitloads.

3:00 pm Literary Escort
Call girl Ashley Dupre, the "escort" whose shenanigans with luv-gov Eliot Spitzer led to his resignation as governor of New York, vents her frustration at not being able to land a book deal. Dupre concedes that part of the problem may be miscommunication. When publishers talk about escorts, they're usually referring to nice middle-aged women in VWs or hatchbacks who drive authors to interviews with people who haven't read their books. For her part, Dupre admits she may have misunderstood when a publisher insisted on a "blow by blow" account of her activities with Spitzer. She still likes the idea of getting an advance, as she always insisted on payment up front, and vows to continue her efforts to find a publisher for her memoir, It's Been a Business Doing Pleasure With You.

10:00 am Oprah's Book Club Selection
A rebroadcast of Oprah Winfrey announcing her latest book pick. As with her previous selections, it isn't I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.

4:00 pm Obscure Dickens
A series profiling lesser-known Dickens characters. This week: Wee Bernie. The spiritual kin to Little Nell and Tiny Tim, Wee Bernie is a saintly child who dies at a tragically young age when he is force-fed a bed warmer in Martin Chuzzlewit.

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