Some of you may recognize the name Pavone from my long time friend and mentor Vera Pavone, one of the founders of the Coalition of NYC School Workers in the 70's and the Independent Community of Educators (ICE) in 2003. Vera did so much of the work in ICE's early years and much of the writing on our co-written review of the Richard Kahlenberg Shanker bio (Al Shanker: Ruthless Neo-Con - get the pdf) for New Politics. When I look smart in that piece, it is due to Vera. The dumb stuff is all mine.
Her son, Chris, who I've known since he was 3 years old, survived endless ed-political meetings throughout his childhood and lived up to his guarantee he would never be a teacher, (his brother has become a NYC teacher), though in this interview there some teaching on how to write a best-selling novel. My contribution to us upbringing was taking him and his brother to see Star Wars when it first came out and they flipped over it. So where is the sci-fi novel?
Well, Chris has written a spy movel that is being billed as a very hot novel which is being released with a buzz on March 6. The story is based in Europe where Chris and his wife and twin boys lived for a few years. They are now NYC public school parents. How about a novel based on the machinations in a PTA?
Chris will be on national and world book tours and will be doing book signings. Here is one in NYC: 8 March 2012, BARNES & NOBLE, Tribeca NYC: talk, Q&A, signing
Our community of 70's UFT opposition activists are thrilled at the news about Chris. Boy is there a mystery -- or horror- novel to be written about the ed deformers. Wish I had the time. And the talent. Or convince Chris there is a best-selling novel lying in wait in the WalBloomBlackKlein era.
Here is the latest from Chris's blog:
Check out The Expats at Amazon.
Here is a story on the novel from the WSJ.
A Mystery Highlights Fast Shift To Digital
"The Expats," a serpentine tale of greed and espionage as seen through the prism of a complicated marriage, is being published March 6 by Crown Publishers, an imprint of Bertelsmann AG's Random House Inc. Pre-publication reviews have been excellent, including starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist and Library Journal.
The title has already been sold to 11 countries, including Brazil and Japan, said Mr. Pavone's agent David Gernert, who also represents John Grisham. Movie rights have been acquired by CBS Films, a unit of CBS Corp. Crown said it is planning an initial printing of 100,000, hefty by today's standards, but the actual print run will depend on bookstore orders.
The novel is likely to highlight a digital shift under way in the book market. Mystery/thriller titles, one of the biggest categories in fiction today, are more popular with e-book readers than the broader market. Random House estimates that digital books accounted from 35% to 40% of its mystery/thriller sales last year, roughly double e-books' proportion of total consumer book sales from January through November 2011 as reported by the Association of American Publishers. Random House expects digital books this year will account for a tad more than half of its mystery/thriller sales.
It is a transformation driven by price and convenience. "A lot of mystery and thriller readers who once bought mass-market paperbacks have migrated to digital," said Tina Jordan, vice president of the publishers trade group. Adds Otto Penzler, veteran mystery bookseller and editor who late last year launched the MysteriousPress.com, which focuses on digital titles: "Many mystery readers read two books a week, and digital is cheaper."
The willingness of genre fans to embrace e-books is driving Crown's marketing plans for "The Expats." In addition to the customary book tour, Crown is already backing the novel with a social-media advertising campaign on Facebook and Goodreads.com, a book-recommendation site that claims more than seven million members. The Facebook fan page arranged by the publisher contains blurbs from writers like Mr. Grisham and Patricia Cornwell. There is also an ongoing Twitter promotion via the publisher's Twitter feed and others. A selection of the book has also been posted on Scribd Inc., a social publishing site.
After publication, Crown will continue to use Facebook and Twitter, plus print and online advertising that the publishing house says drives e-book sales.
One unusual digital marketing wrinkle: Crown thinks the female protagonist in "The Expats" is so well-drawn that the publisher intends to market the book on sites aimed at readers of women's fiction as well as on sites targeting thriller readers.
"Digital is a huge part of how this genre is skewing, which means we've got to use social media as well as print to reach readers," said Molly Stern, publisher of the Crown Publishers imprint.
Twenty years ago, Mr. Pavone worked as a copy editor at Random House Inc.'s Doubleday. While there he met and married a colleague, Madeline McIntosh. When she landed a job as Amazon.com Inc.'s director of Kindle content acquisition for Europe, he moved with her to Luxembourg, which became the setting of his thriller. Ms. McIntosh returned to Random House in December 2009 as president of sales, operations and digital, shortly before Mr. Pavone finished the first draft of the book.
Zachary Wagman, an editor at the Crown Publishers imprint, said he liked the manuscript so much that he read it in one night. "I thought it hit that sweet spot between literary and commercial," said Mr. Wagman. The next day, Ms. Stern made a pre-emptive bid to Mr. Pavone's agent.
Write to Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at email@example.com