Archive - July 2010

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Peace Corps Writers To Publish How To Cook A Crocodile
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Finding A Job In Publishing: Publicity Assistant #3
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Afghanistan: You can't get there from here!
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Finding A Job In Publishing: Editorial Assistant # 2
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The View From Belgrade

Peace Corps Writers To Publish How To Cook A Crocodile

Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon 1996-98) who lives and teaching writing in Taos, New Mexico, has written   How To Cook a Crocodile. It is the first book to be published by our new imprint, PeaceCorpsWriters. Bonnie, author of the memoir, Somewhere Child (Viking Press, 1981) decided at the age of  50, after a breast cancer scare, and ten years of physically exhausting catering work, to shut down her New York business and join the Peace Corps. “I was a health and nutrition Volunteer in Lastoursville, in the middle of the rainforest, and like so many PCV before me, I emerged from this experience having learned more than I taught.  Unlike other Peace Corps authors, though, I tell my tale in a new way:  as interconnecting essays with recipes.”  Bonnie goes on to say, “In 1942 – in the midst of war rationing, when many American households had reason to fear the wolf at the door – an opinionated, highbrow beauty from California published a . . .

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Finding A Job In Publishing: Publicity Assistant #3

A publicity assistant sends out galleys (early bound and typeset copies of a book) to select book reviewers at newspapers and magazines, maintains and updates lists of reviewers who should receive free copies of the published book one it’s out, works with his/her boss to arrange radio, print, and television interviews for authors, and may work to organize book release parties and signings at bookstores. Additionally, the assistant needs to know all the social media venues like Facebook and Twitter as this, too, is how books are promoted. Publicity assistants go on to become publicity directors–and because good publicity is so important to book sales, the best publicists sometimes move on to corporate marketing and executive publishing levels. There are also two other ‘assistant’ roles, one in marketing where the department seeks to build ways of promoting the book on its own, via web campaigns and book events. There is a  role . . .

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Afghanistan: You can't get there from here!

In the July 5, 2010 issue of The New Yorker, in The Talk of the Town section, there is a comment made by George Packer (Togo 1982-83) on the firing of General Stanley McChrystal,  Obama, and the nine years of fighting in Afghanistan. First a little history. Packer, as some of you will recall, supported Bush and the Iraq invasion. He was right up there with ‘mister personality,’ Christopher Hitchens himself. I had a falling out with George over his support of Bush and “Mission Accomplished,” not that he seem to notice. No, he just went ahead and wrote his award winning The Assassins’ Gate, and got a full time gig at the New Yorker. But he also came around to his senses when he saw what really was happening in Iraq, and now he is getting as pissed off about what is happening at Afghanistan as I am. Packer knows what he is talking . . .

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Finding A Job In Publishing: Editorial Assistant # 2

The changing, consolidating nature of publishing staff today is that everyone, even assistants in various departments, are taking on more and more responsibility. In the past, where the job of ‘assistant’ use to mean mainly administrative tasks, today the position comes with more and more duties and responsibilities. That said, there are basically three entry level jobs in book publishing. The first one is: Editorial Assistant An editorial assistant, in addition to performing the universal assistant-duties mentioned above, might be called upon to review incoming manuscripts and provide reports to his/her boss; to go through the “slush” pile of unsolicited queries from hopeful authors, and bring anything worth a look to the editor’s attention’ and to work with agents and authors to ensure that contracts are handled and processed correctly. Today, many Editorial Assistants will have their own authors and projects, and participate in editorial meeting where books are presented by . . .

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The View From Belgrade

[Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67) is considered a leading authority on the Kennedy family for his trilogy The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men, and Sons of Camelot.  He also has written best-selling biographies of Johnny Carson, the Reagan family, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. His latest work is Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach. Here is a piece he published  Tuesday on newsmax.com and written from Belgrade.] America Looks Like a Fortress By: Laurence Leamer I am spending time this summer in Belgrade, Serbia with my wife, Vesna, who was born in the Eastern European country. Last week we decided to visit Kosovo, a region that the Orthodox Serbs see as their Jerusalem. There are only a few protected enclaves of Serbs left in Kosovo. The Muslim majority claim that if the land that was once part of the former Yugoslavia becomes fully independent, the Serbian . . .

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