Pub Rants

How To Lose a Publisher in 10 Days

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I’m thinking of a line from Forrest Gump, “I’m not a smart man.”

To recap:

Smoking Gun reveals that James Frey’s memoir is basically a fabrication.

Frey goes on Larry King Live to “defend” himself and implies that his publisher and editor Nan Talese knew all along that the work was more fiction than memoir.

News to her and appalled by the misrepresentation, Nan Talese contradicts Frey in a public statement. By her account, the work was presented as nonfiction and there was no discussion on how to publish it. (Note: Ms. Talese is a long time editor with a sterling reputation.) Not to mention, the publisher had been unequivocally standing behind Frey up until this point.

Boy, does this guy know how to win friends and influence people or what.

Every day I wake up with a little smile on my face. It’s going to be a good day because Frey isn’t my client.

2 Responses

  1. Jackie said:

    Don’t even get me started on Frey. I’ve already ranted about him, Doubleday and Oprah on my blog; I’ll pop a gasket if I get into it again.

    But I will say this: The other day, my Precious Little Tax Deduction, Loving Husband and I went into our local Borders, and Frey’s two books were on display as soon as we walked through the front door. And I was hit with an urge to spit on his books. I’ve never felt like that before. I didn’t actually spit on them…but it was a close call.

    A January 12, 2006 editorial from the L.A. TIMES sums it up perfectly:

    “It’s hard to know which is worse: a writer who acts as though there is no distinction between a novel and a memoir, or a publisher who does not care.”


  2. Anita Daher said:

    And after all this time Frey is still on the best seller lists! I’m guessing that at this point he’s getting round two sales from folk wondering what all the controversy is about.