James Frey, Inc.: A Million Little YA Deals

You may or may not have known that author James Frey has been working as a Big Businessman for the last few years! Here is how his company works, according to today’s fascinating New York mag story: “In exchange for delivering a finished book within a set number of months, the writer would receive $250 (some contracts allowed for another $250 upon completion), along with a percentage of all revenue generated by the project, including television, film, and merchandise rights — 30 percent if the idea was originally Frey’s, 40 percent if it was originally the writer’s…. Full Fathom Five could use the writer’s name or a pseudonym without his or her permission, even if the writer was no longer involved with the series, and the company could substitute the writer’s full name for a pseudonym at any point in the future. The writer was forbidden from signing contracts that would “conflict” with the project, without specifying what that might be. The writer would not have approval over his or her publicity, pictures, or biographical materials. There was a $50,000 penalty if the writer publicly admitted to working with Full Fathom Five without permission.” Honestly, I sort of love it. It’s brutal and Randian and hilarious and full of mayhem, just like book publishing itself. And it really is kinda like Warhol’s Factory, except everyone’s trying to get rich instead of famous and/or high. Parties probably aren’t as good I guess though.