The Mail I Get

I got this today from someone asking about Advance Reader Copies of books, commonly known as ARCs.

I'd like to know how far in advance authors/publishers generally send out ARCs. If they only do it for a review, do they wait to hear back before printing, or just go ahead?
If they want a blurb, do they state so with ARC and wait for it, or do they do all of this earlier than the regular ARCs?

ARCs are sent out three to four months before publication. If the ARC is
being sent out for an author's blurb, there is, of course, a letter
accompanying it along with a deadline for receiving the quote. That
said, nobody sends out an ARC to someone for a blurb without the author or
publisher contacting the person first to see if they are willing to read it and
if they can make the deadline. 

If the ARC is being sent out for review, it's not to gather blurbs for the cover. The purpose of sending an ARC out for a review is to get a review. Nobody expects that the reviews will be
published in time for use on the book cover. That's because critics are reviewing the books for readers, so the reviews are usually published when the book is actually available for purchase (the exception are trade publications like Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist…and sometimes its possible to get the review on the cover in time for publication).

World’s Dumbest Reality Show Winners

Alg_big-brother_adam-jasinski  I'm just waiting for one of the networks to do a reality show about the pathetic post-reality show lives of reality show winners & finalists, like SURVIVOR's Richard Hatch (who went to jail for tax evasion), WIFE SWAP's Richard Heene (who allegedly staged the "balloon boy" incident), MEGAN WANTS A MILLIONAIRE's Ryan Jenkins (who murdered his ex-wife), and SURVIVOR's Jenna Lewis (who did a sex tape), to name just a few examples. Now you can add BIG BROTHER winner Adam Jasinksi to the list.  This moron used the $500,000 he won on the show to buy oxycodone pills and resell them.

Adam Jasinski, 31, of Delray Beach, Fla., has been charged with attempting to sell 2,000 pills in Massachusetts to a government witness.
Federal prosecutors said Jasinski was arrested Saturday after he flew to Boston and showed the witness a sock containing two plastic bags filled with oxycodone, a powerful painkiller that is a popular street drug because of its euphoric effects.
As agents tried to arrest Jasinski at a strip mall in North Reading, he struggled and threw the sock under a car parked nearby, Todd Prough, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, said in an affidavit filed in court.
Jasinski won $500,000 last year on the CBS reality show in which contestants live under constant surveillance and vote once a week to evict each other in hopes of becoming the last houseguest standing and winning the grand prize.
Prough said in the affidavit that Jasinski told him that he has been using his winnings to buy thousands of oxycodone pills and has been reselling them along the East Coast for the past several months.
Jasinski's lawyer, Valerie Carter, did not immediately return a call Tuesday.
He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine on a charge of possession of oxycodone pills with intent to distribute.

Serving the Story, Not You

Here's an excerpt from an excellent blog post from UK TV writer James Moran about abusive fans…a post that preceded Josh Olson's much-discussed, incendiary piece on a similar topic.

I'm a professional writer. That's my job. I write what I write, for whatever the project might be. I have the utmost respect for you, and honestly want you to like my work, but I can't let that affect my story decisions. Everybody wants different things from a story, but this is not a democracy, you do not get to vote. You are free to say what you think of my work, even if you hate it, I honestly don't mind. But the ONLY person I need to please is myself, and the ONLY thing I need to serve is the story. Not you. I will do my work to the very best of my ability, in an attempt to give you the best show, the best movie, the best story, the best entertainment I possibly can. Even if that means that sometimes, I'll do things you won't like. I won't debate it. Either you go along with it, or you don't. None of it is done to hurt you, or to force some agenda down your throat, or anything else. It's all in service of the story.

I urge you to read the whole thing. I can't tell you how many times I've been through the same experience that he suffered through…

We Are Family

Od1 There's a great article about my brother Tod, author of the new book OTHER RESORT CITIES, in today's edition of THE DESERT SUN. Here's an excerpt:

Tod Goldberg had the odds stacked against him.

In addition to his dyslexia, he's also color blind.

That was problematic, because the workbooks that were supposed to teach him to read were color-coded.

“I was all messed up,” Goldberg says. “There's no reason I should be writing today.”

What the doctors and teachers didn't know was the power of the Goldberg clan. They rallied around him — “They actually formed a secret cabal without my knowledge to get me to read,” he says. “They didn't want me to be the butt of jokes forever.”

He's still the butt of jokes, but not for that reason.

I Bet This Guy Listens to Rush Limbaugh Every Day

Yes, it's 2009. Yes, we have an African-American president, but some people in the south still think it's the 1850s. Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Louisiana, refused a marriage license to a mixed-race couple. 

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told The Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them.

Imagine what how racist a person would have to be to qualify as one in this neanderthal's mind…

Booklist Loves Tod


My brother Tod's new collection of short stories, OTHER RESORT CITIES, got a rave review from Booklist:

Menace and mayhem brew beneath the finely crafted surface of these magnetic short stories of American mania and despair. Goldberg draws on his crime-fiction chops (Living Dead Girl, 2002) to portray refugees from failed attempts at middle-class normalcy seeking freedom and revenge in the overdeveloped deserts of the American West. Goldberg’s disgruntled characters get up to no good in Palm Springs, Las Vegas, and various gated communities just begging for defilement. A lonely, no-longer-young cocktail waitress struggles to understand her missing Russian adopted daughter. A former sheriff and cancer survivor returns to the strange, toxic, devouring Salton Sea, where he lost his first wife. A man converts his fancy home into a Starbucks after the disappearance of his second wife, and one wonders just how insane he truly is. Goldberg pulls out all the stops in “Mitzvah,” a tale about an ersatz rabbi and a temple-centered money- and body-laundering scheme. A divorced father kidnaps his kids; a family is found slain on a mountain. These are eerie, obliquely compassionate, darkly humorous, and ensnaring stories of misery and catharsis. — Donna Seaman

Fast Track Webcast

Fasttrack-392  We had a few technical glitches on our first live, interactive webcast…and weren't able to record the FAST TRACK portion of the show. So we're doing it again this Sunday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. I'll be joined by FAST TRACK stars Erin Cahill and Andrew Walker. If you would like to watch, or participate by chat, here's the link. If you would like to join us on camera, via webcam, please send your Skype username to info AT or forward it to me at lee AT and I will get it to them.