Graphic Splendor

The signs of graphic novel mainstreaming are everywhere, from the serious Sunday reviews to the curriculum at your local college. Now the format is getting another validating stamp, in the form of a Best American title from Houghton. The publisher that compiles greatest hits collections of everything from sports writing to short stories will be adding a Best American Graphic Narratives title to its series. All manner of graphic stories will be included, from novels to memoirs to journalism. Houghton's Meg Lemke is the in-house force; she's brought on former Comics Journal editor Anne Elizabeth Moore to be series editor. Like all the other titles in the series, this will feature a guest editor for each edition, with the house tapping colorful comics figure Harvey Pekar (an excerpt of whose new book appears in PW's new Book Life magazine) to serve for the first year. First book is due in fall 2006, covering material from the previous year. HM pub Janet Silver describes the arc of the graphic narrative as going from "emerging fad" to "high quality literary form."

Foreign Fluffer-Nutter?

Pre-pub foreign sales don't usually go to the unknowns, especially authors of slim business volumes. But that's what happening with a Berkley book not yet published that's being compared to Who Moved My Cheese? The title, Don't Eat the Marshmallow...Yet is a sub-100-page book counseling strategic patience in business (based on a study that shows kids who can refrain from eating a marshmallow so they can get a second grow up to be more successful than kids who can't). Korea (Korea Economics Daily), Brazil (Sextante) and Eurasian Press (Taiwan) are among those who've bought the title, due out here this month. The oddest part: The author is Joachim de Posada, who is being (subtly) promoted as the cousin of New York Yankee catcher Jorge Posada. Denise Silvestro bought the original from Jane Dystel; Tim Taylor in Penguin subrights made the foreign sales.

The Cookbook Code

The name da Vinci, when cited in a Doubleday catalogue, tends to have a salutary effect on sales, which is why hopes are high for The Leonardo da Vinci Cookbook, which Doubleday's Jennifer Josephy and Charlie Conrad have just bought from Scott Mendel. There have been a handful of Da Vinci Code—inspired titles, but this one is the first from Doubleday. Part-cookbook, part-history, it is written by David DeWitt, a prolific cookbook author, most recently for Stewart, Tabori and Chang. Old Leonardo is apparently known for many concoctions and inventions in our kitchen, including the napkin.

Artful Acquiring

Creative selling is about more than just agent skullduggery; sometimes it's about an interesting package—literally. That's what Sandra Magsamen did when she shopped her book called Living Artfully, using a handmade sample book and lavish illustrations in her proposal package. Magsamen's book is a "call for the reawakening of the creative spirit" and encourages laypeople to use all kinds of creativity in their daily lives. The move paid off, with the Free Press acquiring the title. What's interesting here is that senior editor Leslie Meredith and the publisher put together their own creative package, including elegant photographs and clever trinkets, to help win the competitive auction. Richard Pine, who's dabbled in some creativity himself for clients like Arthur Agatston, did the selling. Pub is slated for fall '06.