02 June 2006

S&S to go Foo

Publishers Weekly reports that Simon & Schuster will pick up the paperback rights to Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo, by Obert Skye, and future books in this series. According to the magazine article, the book has sold 60,000 hardcover copies despite its publisher, Shadow Mountain, suffering "distribution glitches."

Shadow Mountain is an imprint of Deseret Books designed to focus on the "values-based, general market." Deseret Books, in turn, is "a wholly owned subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, the holding company for business firms owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." All of its books, the company website says, "reflect the values espoused by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." So the Leven Thumps series is at bottom a Mormon answer to the Harry Potter phenomenon. As the Christian Science Monitor review pointed out, "even the typeface looks the same." (Of course, the Monitor is the Christian Science answer to the New York Times, or vice versa.)

The Motley Vision blog discussed this series a year ago, including the assumption that Obert Skye is a pseudonym. Interestingly, a man answering to that name does school visits, at least in Utah. Apparently, pseudonymity doesn't compromise school security if you come to tell children that "Impossible is not a word. You have the potential to do great things."

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