L.A. Story: Regan Goes Hollywood

By Kathryn Comment

You want more recent information on Judith Regan, don’t you? We’ve got plenty

reganmoves.jpgAs you probably know by now, Judith Regan (pictured left, with a lipstick applicator on fire) has announced she’ll be moving ReganBooks to L.A. before the year’s end “to spend more time on television and film projects.”

According to Edward Wyatt of the Times, “The move could shake up an industry that has long operated in a parochial, Manhattan-centric fashion, even as technology has made the location of a company less important.”

The importance of Regan’s move, however, is twofold; the geographic shift mirrors another, more conceptual one, in the way publishling conceives of its relationship to non-book rights. Noting ReganBooks’ successes, the Times spotlights Wicked, the novel “that led to the Broadway show”; the article continues:

Ms. Regan lamented that she did not own any of the non-book rights to Wicked and cited it as an example of the kind of situation that, under her new contract, ‘will never happen again.’*

On a slightly different note, the Times also relays Regan’s intention to “bring a different idea of culture to Southern California.” Regan’s “idea of culture,” however, sounds suspiciously like the Borders near my mother’s house in West L.A.:

“I would like to create a cultural center,” she said, a sort of salon where authors could meet informally with people in the television and film businesses, with a bookstore and cafe, [and] space for readings or other cultural events…”

*The article goes on note a caveat that sounds more like a direct contradiction:

There is no guarantee, however, that Regan Media can secure film or television rights to all the books she publishes, or even to those she most desires. Authors retain those rights, often hiring film agents in addition to literary agents to more fully exploit the opportunities.

But, if Wyatt doesn’t want to ask the tough questions (i.e., what the hell is in Regan’s new contract), why should we?