So What Happens Next for James Frey?

Photo: Patrick McMullan

Leon Neyfakh at the Observer writes today about James Frey's new book deal, speculating that agent Eric Simonoff's repeated assertions — to the Observer, to the Times, to Publisher's Lunch — that "every publisher in town" wanted a look at Frey's novel, Bright Shiny Morning, might be overblown. Neyfakh gets a great quote from an unnamed senior editor, who notes, correctly, that “I get 5, 10, 20 submissions a day. If it’s from a legitimate agent I never say, ‘No, don’t send it! Save the postage!’ No one ever says that.” Another editor grudgingly admits, though, that "This is publishing. We hire the handicapped."

And it is true that whether or not people wanted to read the novel before, everyone wants to read it now, and Simonoff's plan — to avoid leaks by only submitting to one editor — so far has worked. Book and film scouts are zipping through their Rolodexes, asking everyone if they've seen it yet, and rumor has it that the manuscript just went out to foreign-option publishers. We're told Rich Green at CAA is handling the movie rights, which means that just as Frey landed a great new literary agent after being dumped by Kassie Evashevski, so has he landed a great new film agent. There's no official timetable for film submission, but we wouldn't be surprised if it happened soon.

Reconstructing Frey [NYO]
Related: HarperCollins Passes Over NYT Meanies for Kinder, Gentler WSJ [Daily Intel]