Flutterby™! : You can't Keep a Bad Man Down

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You can't Keep a Bad Man Down

2010-11-15 00:24:30.201948+00 by petronius 2 comments

Remember James Frey, the memoirist who entralled us in the early 2000s with his story of conquering addiction while undergoing root canal therapy without novacaine? When his lies were revealed, he was made to suffer the ultimate punishment: public scolding from Oprah. One would have thought that his literary career was over at that point, but not so.

Since the public whipping, he has begun hanging out with literary lions, published some works, and comparing himself to Hemingway and Henry Miller. His latest project is Full Fathom Productions, a boiler-room operation where he gets debt-ridden MFA grads to write young-adult novels he will then peddle to Hollywood and the publishing empires, with a view to producing the next Harry Potter or Twilight franchise. In a fascinating article from New York Magazine we see how he offers these starving writers contracts that virtually enslave them, for at least one book. meanwhile, he owns the copyright, the authors psuedonym, and 40% of the take. Sort of like Oprah owns her spinoffs like Drs. Phil and Oz.

[ related topics: Books Writing Beer Copyright/Trademark New York ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-11-15 06:40:42.470053+00 by: spc476

I think Dave Sim's Pro Con '93 Address should be mandatory reading for anyone producing intellectual property. Sure, Dave Sim is a misogynist right-wing nutcase (to get that bit out of the way) but he's a great artist, and he certainly has put his money where his mouth is (he self-published 300 issues of his own comic).

#Comment Re: made: 2010-11-15 22:33:41.936468+00 by: petronius

Self publishing is fine, but only for the truly obsessive. Frey's idea is not to be a publisher, or even an agent, but rather a repackager. I'm not sure what he can offer the publisher or Spielberg that others can't, except the strange cachet of being a proven liar who writes a fair line of prose.