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Sep 12, 2011 10:20 AM

Bourdain to Get His Own Line of Books-NYT

Not exactly sure what this means. Whether he is approaching Ray-hood or whether the titles will be more eclectic. So AB approaches being the conglomerate that he hates. This should be interesting. Will he beat himself up?

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  1. seems authentic considering his Vassar days and his penchant for writing and reading and literature.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bellachefa

      Not questioning his writing chops, but puzzled as to what "line of books" mean.

      Nightmare scenario: AB sharing the bookshelves with RR, Martha Stweart, Sandra Lee, Paula Deen, etc.

      1. re: Phaedrus

        I see it more like a riff on Oprah's book club with suggestions like a Ramone's box set or Patti Smiths memoirs. Not unlike Stephen Kings recommendations for an Entertainment rag. I guess time will tell.

        1. re: Phaedrus

          I doubt, Bourdain will acquire any cookbooks. I see him buying books that interest him and as you hope and are very eclectic.

          1. re: Phaedrus

            In a used book store, most of his books are in the 'about food' section, while there others are in the 'cookbooks by author' section. I don't recall seeing used copies of his cookbook.

            Both he and RR got their start in TV via their books:
            "The acclaim surrounding Bourdain's racy memoir, Kitchen Confidential, led to an offer by the Food Network to host his own food and world-travel show, A Cook's Tour, which premiered on January 8, 2002. " (Wiki article)

            "With the success of her "30 Minute Meals" classes, WRGB (the local CBS TV affiliate) asked her to appear in a weekly segment on their newscasts. This, along with a public radio appearance and the publication of her first book, led to a Today show spot and her first Food Network contract in 2001." (Wiki article)

        2. May be it is part of advancing his 'brand name', as M Ruhlman talks about in 'The Reach of a Chef'.

          One reviewer writes:
          "Ruhlman notes that in just the last few years Americans have been discovering that it’s possible to eat well, just as certain chefs have discovered that it’s possible to make sizeable fortunes from becoming brand names, with presences on the Food Network and in all the right magazines. Remarks one career adviser, circularly, “Not everybody likes a brand, but everybody likes a celebrity. . . . You become a celebrity because everybody likes your brand.” "

          1. Most posters here would have done better to read the NYT piece before clicking. He's working as an editor/curator for Ecco--assumption being, AB knows it, talent-wise, when he sees it. I view it as taking advantage of a rare combination of writing and cooking chops to scout titles that are unique and marketable to buyers who'd never touch a celeb tie-in cookbook title. That crew buys a whole lotta books and could care less about "branding."

            3 Replies
            1. re: Kagemusha

              And to quote the article, the publisher hopes to benefit "from the publicity and attention the celebrity authors can bring to the books they are acquiring." It probably will also add to Tony's visibility.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                Halpern seems pretty pleased about AB's bringing in Henderson and Adria (really--how did he discover these 2 little known guys?), so who knows what Ecco expects. Bourdain will likely not have to scout very hard--titles and treatments are all about to be thrown his way, and he gets to act as gatekeeper. Not a bad move for a (relatively) small and characterful imprint inside Murdoch's industrial Harper; here's hoping we won't see more food blogging memoirs, self-congratulatory or hectoring food ethics manifestos or personal "stories", expat reveries, food as an affirming journey, any of the usual food writer suspects, or Bourdain wannabee humor.. There's sharp, complicated, and fresh writing out there, and given enough line, maybe Bourdain can reel some of it in.

                1. re: Kagemusha

                  "Most posters here would have done better to read the NYT piece before clicking. "

                  umm, most posters did, maybe even all posters.

                2. There seems to be a misunderstanding among some here about what it means “to have an imprint.” Kagemusha has it right that he has been hired to attract talent. He will act as an editor, recommending authors and subjects. Ecco, a division of Harper Collins, has quite a few classic cookbooks on their list, including such authors as Roy Andries De Groot and Elizabeth David. Also on their list is Madhur Jaffrey, Mario Batali, Paula Wolfert, and Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz . They evidently want to expand in this area and have hired Bourdain to guide them. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with. Maybe cookbooks, maybe not. And when the books are finally published, the public may be only vaguely aware that it’s under the Anthony Bourdain imprint. I’m curious to see what he comes up with. Could be interesting.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: JoanN

                    I read the NYT piece before clicking - twice...
                    I don't think I "misunderstood", I simply did not understand. The article might be clear in the publishing world, elsewhere, maybe not so much.
                    Only after reading Kagemusha's "an editor/curator" and your "hired to attract talent" did I get an idea of what it entailed.
                    OK, he's a type of scout.
                    I'm thinking its AB's way of throwing his hat into the publishing ring, to dabble, to promote stuff he likes. Perhaps lightly scratching a long time literary itch?

                    1. re: porker

                      "Perhaps lightly scratching a long time literary itch?"

                      Well, he he had his first book published in 1995, five years before Kitchen Confidential so he's been at it for quite a while.

                      1. re: melo7

                        Thats what I mean by "long time". His writing career spans 20yrs and 10 books, so there's a "long time" literary interest (referred to as an "itch').