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Today in publishing: Scott Rudin is developing Swamplandia! for HBO, three major publishing houses are going to let authors have greater access to their sales numbers, and the National Day on Writing.

  • HBO has picked up a half-hour comedy series based on Karen Russell's novel Swamplandia! Naturally, producer Scott Rudin is adapting the sweeping, swampy, well-received novel. Between this, The Corrections, and the new Aaron Sorkin series set in the world of cable news, Rudin may want to go ahead declare residency in HBO's midtown Manhattan headquarters. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Taking a lead from Amazon Publishing's policy of radical transparency when it comes to letting authors see their sales figures, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette announced they are all in the early stages of creating portals where their authors can check their sales across all formats. The Simon & Schuster portal seems to be the most far along. Their site In addition to enabling authors and illustrators to "check sales of their books, broken down by type of merchant and book format," their site also "features links to publishing news and instructional tips on using social media, blogs and videos to promote their books." If you're curious to see it, you're out of luck. Authors have been "instructed not to share the data with anyone other than their literary agent," though that embargo seems like one that could be broken with a fair degree of regularity. [The New York Times]
  • Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough have a signed a deal with Random House to write a memoir slated to come out next fall. Memoirs tend to be single author affairs, but a book by Mika and Joe has more going for it than a book by Mika and a book by Joe. Frequent Morning Joe guest and Random House executive editor Jon Meacham is publishing the book, titled Mika and Joe: Our American Stories and will detail their lives prior to joining the MSNBC morning talk. According to the release, there be "lessons to be mined from their journeys about civility, chemistry, and the art of respectful conversation." [Playbook and TV Newser]
  • Today is the National Day on Writing. The template sounds like any of the other 'National Day on (insert occupation or highly specific hobby)' but the events are fascinating and the New York Times education section is doing a good job of covering them in real time. Schools are using the day to show students why writing is necessary and, in many cases, a compulsion. On Twitter, a number of notable authors are using the #whyiwrite hashtag to explain their own reasons. Some are funny (Andy Borowitz: "Because I had to give up sexting"), some are earnest (Neil Gaiman: "Because I can lie beautiful true things into existence, & let people escape from inside their own heads & see through other eyes"), while others are just practical (Peter Straub: "Because it's never boring, and because you never know where you'll wind up. And because I can stay at home") [The Learning Network]


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