Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Three Coins in the Fountain

Today's post is inspired by three seemly unrelated articles I've read today. The first has to do with a technical whoopsie at MSNBC during the first minutes of Monday's Hardball where a picture of Osama bin Laden flashed on screen when the subject was Barak Obama. Yikes! According to AP's television writer David Bauder,

The mistake was made by someone in the network's graphics department whom MSNBC would not identify. The network did not explain exactly how the mistake was made nor detail the punishment for the employee.

I have no way of knowing for sure, but I have a feeling that CG person is now working the overnight shift on Weather Plus.

The second article is about American Girl closing its live shows in New York, LA, and Chicago. Quoting the Chicago Tribune,

"Management felt that the time was right to find new entertaining experiences for our guests," Julie Parks said, a spokeswoman for the American Girl company.

Yeah. OK. But the message boards have a different theory. Again quoting the Trib,

In New York, the production was hit by a strike in 2006, when actors involved in the shows attempted to join the Actors Equity Association, even after management turned down a request by the union to meet with them. That dispute flared up again in late last year, when actors again voted to join the union and American Girl charged that Equity had unfairly influenced the voting.

In other words, if you folks want to go union, fine. You can wear your union badges in the unemployment line. Perhaps the next American Girl doll should be Equity Annie.

And third there's a piece in today's New York Times that should be required reading for any aspiring author for young readers. Little, Brown & Company, publishers of James Patterson's Maximum Ride series are asking (the NYT's word for it) booksellers to commit to keeping the new “Maximum Ride” book at the front of their stores as long as Mr. Patterson’s adult titles usually stay there, in the hope of luring more adult buyers. The "request" also includes placing Patterson's “The Dangerous Days of Daniel X,” due out in July, up front as well.

Nice deal. According to Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks about 70 percent of retail sales, “Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports” sold 192,000 copies in hardcover. And, quoting The New York Times, according to market research conducted by Codex Group on behalf of Little, Brown, more than 60 percent of the readers of the “Maximum Ride” series are older than 35. Yeah, those Maximum Ride books are languishing sitting next to "Bridge to Terabithia."

Patterson makes a good point when he says women - Moms - make most of the book buying decisions. But if that's true wouldn't Mom head straight for the children's and YA shelves when shopping for their offspring as opposed to picking something stacked right next to the latest from J.D. Robb?

I don't have a thing against James Patterson working a front-of-the-store deal. I want to see top-selling YA books get the star treatment. In that vein, the third Inheritance book will be greeted with midnight parties ala Harry Potter. Bring it on. After all, Patterson is simply voicing the same nagging annoyance all young adult authors feel when they find their book at the back of the bookstore with the Berenstain Bears.

What I do object to is the lack of credit to his co-writer on the series, Gabrielle Charbonnet. Whassa matter, Jim? Afraid to admit you need help turning out more books in a year than most authors write in a decade?

And that brings me to the one thread that links the three news stories of the day together: somewhere, somebody working hard behind the scenes is getting the screw.

Ain't that America?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like I've always said, "It's not who you know, but who you bl**"