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Update: Llewellyn’s Letter Off Dead, Dead?

“Random House has officially passed on Letter Off Dead,” lamented Tom Llewellyn recently on his blog. “And, might I add, damn it.” Llewellyn started his novel in September 2009 as a series of blog posts, working on it for the next ten months online, for all to see. As noted in last month’s issue of City Arts (“Blogging before Binding”), the author soon found himself in a good position as a writer – with a book contract. Tricycle Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books based in Berkeley, decided to take on the book. Shortly after that announcement, though, another arrived: The press would be shuttered as of January 31. The vice president and publisher, along with her four-person editorial team, will all get pink slips. Now the titles once slated to run, including Llewellyn’s latest, have been set adrift on the tides of the ever-changing publishing market. His editor at Tricycle, Abigail Samoun, tried to find another Random House imprint to take it on. No luck. Despite his outburst, Llewellyn is taking it in stride. “This is a drag,” he wrote, “but it’s the most common status in the publishing industry and I’ve been there before. My plan is to keep plugging away on promoting this book and keep plugging away on writing the next one.” •

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