Crown’s least favorite jewel: Opal

Not that we know that much about publishing, but it is grimly fascinating to watch a wunderkind twist in the wind. Indeed, it smells more and more like a set up:

To this end, The New York Times offers two articles, one today, one for tomorrow, each more bizarre than the next.

The first, a peek at how teen chick lit gets fashioned – created would be too strong a word – by “book packagers” like Alloy Entertainment Hint: It’s even more incestuous than Hollywood:


“…the incident opens a window onto a powerful company with lucrative, if tangled, relationships within the publishing industry that might take fans of series like ‘The It Girl’ by surprise…The relationships between Alloy and the publishers are so intertwined that the same editor, Claudia Gabel, is thanked on the acknowledgments pages of both Ms. McCafferty’s books and Ms. Viswanathan’s “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life.” Ms. Gabel had been an editorial assistant at Crown Publishing Group, then moved to Alloy, where she helped develop the idea for Ms. Viswanathan’s book. She has recently become an editor at Knopf Delacorte Dell Young Readers Group, a sister imprint to Crown.”

What’s confusing to us is the second article: It say that Little Brown is doing a 180 and pulling the Viswanathan book, but “plans revise the book to remove the copied passages and that they would reissue it.”

The copied passages? The whole thing sounds like a reverse-engineered knock-off project that was doomed to blow up in some poor 19 year old’s face.