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A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


On Tuesday, I accompanied Peter V. Brett on shelf stock signing of his debut fantasy The Warded Man.

It was a good day. Counting every small hobbit cave book location in Penn Station we visited 20 stores. Peter signed over 100 books. We had 100%ish compliance at Borders on putting the book on the FOS (front of store) mass market table except that the copies due in to Columbus Circle may have been cross-shipped to another store. The FOS placement at B&N doesn't start for a couple weeks, but all of their stores had the book out, on a shelving cart, or poised to come out of the back room. We made very good time, better I think than last year when we did this for the hardcover. After we'd done our work for the day, we had a nice celebratory dinner in Brooklyn, and then I decided to visit the Forest Hills B&N since I had a one-day Metrocard pass, and was pleased to see they had sold a copy of the book very quickly.

Two sad notes on the day. The Uno Chicago Grill at 6th Ave. and 8th St. in Greenwich Village is gone. This was a 6th Ave. mainstay for 25 years, and where I celebrated the weekend I moved out of my parents house and to New York City, I think it would have been only the 2nd Unos I ate at. Manhattan still has 3 Unos, Queens 3, the Bronx and Brooklyn 1 each, but the Greenwich Village location is a special one in my heart.

And I detoured off of our bookstore itinerary one block to check in with doorman at a friend's apartment building since he hadn't shown up for Scrabble. He had a tumor operated on, I found out, and was in rehab. Some people have pride issues and don't like to be seen at their best, so do you not visit if somebody might not want visitors even though it seems the righter thing to do than to not be there for someone? This is one of those awkward things where nothing you do seems right, either doing or doing nothing.

And another sad thing today, that Robert Culp passed away. I remember him from Greatest American Hero, which was a lot of fun for five or six episodes and a theme song much much better than that. Robert Culp is "walking on air."

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