Today in books and publishing: Yao Ming's memoir is going to a very limited edition, John Updike's fixer-upper of a boyhood home will be turned into a museum, and the truth about book blurbs.
Very tall former NBA center Yao Ming has signed a deal with Opus Media Group of Britain for a "limited edition volume" detailing his professional career, which is really, truly going to be called Yao Ming Opus. An auction for the U.S. and Chinese language rights will take place next year. Reportedly, the Chinese-language version of the opus will have an initial run of just 500 copies. That is pretty limited. [AFP]
The Guardian has gone into Jim Garrison mode to figure out who is helping who (or whom) in the book-cover blurbing game. The startling conclusion: some of the same people blurb some of the same people. Gay Talese actually talked to us about this once and said that what may seem like a vague, literary conspiracy is actually just a byproduct of being social and having people send books to your house and asking you to read them. And if you do -- and you like what they have written -- you usually say something nice so they can put it on the front of their book and maybe sell a few more copies. No conspiracy, just basic decency. [The Guardian]
John Updike's boyhood home in Pennsylvania -- which we told you back in December needed a few light repairs -- is going to be turned into a museum honoring the author. The John Updike Society put up the cash to acquire the property, and will presumably do something about that ramshackle upstairs. [Jacket Copy]
Rick Riordan -- who did very well with that Percy Jackson series, which was based on Greek mythology -- is going to be writing a new series "based on Norse mythology." No publisher was announced, but Riordan's sold 2 million books, so he'll probably have plenty of takers. [GalleyCat]