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Avalon and 4 Walls 8 Windows

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Jeremy
Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 09:45 am:   

Anbody here have some books with 4 walls? Recent merger, which puts john oaks in chage of thunder mouth/nations books, and makes the 4 walls list part of Avalon was a relativley big shake up, in the mini-conglomerate publishing world. anybody have any good info or gossip on the likely reprecussions. I know of a couple editors that will be leaving Avalon as a result...
-jl
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ellen
Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 10:24 am:   

Gordon Van Gelder knows John better than I do (I know him as an acquaintance) so he may have more info.
Lucius is published by them. As is Paul Di Filippo.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 08:08 am:   

Jeremy---

John Oakes sounded pretty good about the deal overall (from his standpoint) and he emphatically felt this merge was best for the books. I believe that all books currently under contract with 4W8W will be published (I'm guessing that they'll be published as Thunder's Mouth books, not 4W8W) and I got the impression from John that he'll be able to continue publishing all the same sorts of books he has been publishing. Plus he anticipates better distribution, marketing, and promotion for the titles.

Basically, he felt that Four Walls Eight Windows was at a plateau and the only way for it to grow was by merging.
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Mike H.
Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 04:14 pm:   

Aside from my editor there, what other editors do you know who will be leaving?
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 11:27 am:   

Sorry, I was concatenating information to the point of being misleading. What I meant was, your editor would be leaving Avalon. Editor Kathryn Belden, from 4 walls "will stay with the press until the fall" [PW].

These are to the "couple" of people leaving "Avalon" that I was referring to. Technically correct (as by then, Kathryn would be leaving Avalon) -- but misleading

On a slightly related point, I grew up with the understanding "a couple" meant two, and "a few" meant three or more. Thus, "I have a couple of things for you to do" means two things, while "I have a few things for you to do" means three or more.

My wife always gets mad at me, insisting that when I use the term "couple" I am implying more then two. My initial use of the term above was meant to imply two.

This is why I should stay away from gossip. :-)
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 11:39 am:   

A "couple" does mean two as far as I'm considered. However, I also thought "several" meant around "seven" but that isn't so. So what the heck do I know?
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Michael Hemmingson
Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 03:59 pm:   

Ah, okay. Well, a couple could include Ortenberg, and my editor, Dan O'Connor. His assisstant, Mike O'Connor (no relation) did move from his duties with Blue Moon and Thunder's Mouth to become the assoc. managing editor of Nation Books. Not that there are any major shifts as I imagine he's still sitting at his same desk.

My agent tells me Avalon will honor the current contracts but won't be buying any new Blue Moon titles (hence the death of two of my contracts in the works) and the assoc. publisher even asked him if he'd find a buyer for the imprint and broker the deal (he's brokered other deals for Avalon/PGW, like their purchase of Hemp Prses).

I also "hear" that Richard Kasak, who once ran Masquerade Books and is a former Grove Press guy, is sniffing around to buy the imprint. Which would be bad for me as Kasak and I have bad blood.

This news doesn't sit well with me, of course. I have book #3 of a four book deal due to Blue Moon next week and I can't motivate myself to finish it...I know they'll pay me, or my agent will make them, but whether the book will be published, who knows? Since it has a cover and is in the all cat, it's okay, but what about #4? And what problems do I have without my editor, with no editor, or someone else who has never worked with me before? The same thing happened with me with Masquerade in 98-99.

I also have a book due out this Fall with Thunder's Mouth, EXPELLED FROM EDEN: A WILLIAM T. VOLLMANN READER that I co-edited with Larry McCaffery. I imagine this book is safe since it's had two prior pub. dates, two years of work and lots of Avalon money invested and everyone there is keen on seeing the book finally out (just got the cover the day before I heard my editor was going).

I don't know any more info, but I wonder how it settles with employees to have someone from the outside come in and take over, even though 4 Walls' and Thunder's Mouth's taste in publishing is the same...but I can imagine the office politics and resentment, etc.
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M. Godwin
Posted on Saturday, May 08, 2004 - 06:17 am:   

I have a book due out with Thunder's Mouth in Oct. '04 - Tracking Evil Minds. I hope Dan O'Connor stays as editor. Any more information on this?

Regards,

Dr. M. Godwin
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Virginia Field
Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2004 - 04:35 pm:   

Avalon never had it so good ... they'll be acquiring one of a kind, cutting-edge books like LITTLE NEW YORK BASTARD and STEAL THIS BOOK from Four Walls. Hopefully Avalon won't muck things up for the young folks over there ...
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Michael Hemmingson
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - 05:48 pm:   

Dr. Godwin -- As far as I have been told by both Dan and my agent, Dan is leaving June 22.
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Dr. M. Godwin
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 05:53 am:   

Michael:

Thanks for the information. Who is supposed to replace him? I have a book due out in the fall with Thunder's Mouth. Dan signed the book.
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Michael Hemmingson
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 03:45 pm:   

Have no idea who is replacing Dan, if anyone at all. I imagine that John is bringing over his 4 Walls staff. If your book is due in the Fall (like mine) we;ll probably be working with production staffers only. I plan on contacting John after the whole merger is complete on May 31.

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