How to parlay getting shot into a book deal

Diane Evans (MCT)

A few things worth noting in book news:

Mary Jo Buttafuoco is shopping for a publisher for her new book, titled "Getting It Through My Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned & What Millions Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know." In 1992, Buttafuoco was on her front porch when she was shot in the head and seriously wounded by her husband Joey's teenage lover, Amy Fisher. For years, Buttafuoco supported her husband, even amid the sensation that her husband invited. The marriage finally ended in divorce in 2003.

In the book, Buttafuoco stands for women who are victims of abusive relationships. Her message: that it's easy to be manipulated and to find reasons to stay in destructive relationships, but don't expect to change certain sociopathic behaviors.

"If his last name was Smith, I don't think it would have gone anywhere," she told The New York Times earlier this year, adding that her life now is "a hundred times better" than she could have imagined."

Regarding the book, she said: "People are either going to say, 'Oh no, not her again,' or they'll say, 'Hmm, it's Mary Jo, let's see what she has to say.'"

A worthwhile topic, stemming from a sensational media case. You can be sure there will be a taker for "Getting It Through My Thick Skull."

Here's another new title from a celebrity author, although not what you usually expect: This one is from Brian May, founding guitarist of the rock group Queen, and writer of such tunes as "We Will Rock You." Now May is co-author of "Bang! The Complete History of the Universe," published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. He is a recent recipient of a doctorate in astrophysics from the University of London.

The book, co-written with astronomer Patrick Moore and astrophysicist Chris Lintott, offers thoughts on how the universe began, how it continues to expand and how it might end.

Finally, a note on business books: The Wall Street Journal reported recently on the rise in books on entrepreneurship written by entrepreneurs. The number of such books published in 2007: 312, up from 188 five years earlier. As WSJ reporter Jeffry A. Trachtenberg noted, a lot of these titles fail because they don't offer anything new or they don't have broad appeal.

One such title that did relatively well: "Copy This!: Lessons from a Hyperactive Dyslexic Who Turned a Bright Idea Into One of America's Best Companies," by Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko's, which later sold to FedEx Corp.

One of Orfalea's points: Do the best with what you have. He writes that once, after being expelled from school, a junior high school principal suggested to his mother that her son might look to a career in laying carpet.

Orfalea acknowledges he couldn't read well or sit still, but he says he had a better view. Instead of floors, he opted for a ladder.



Diane Evans is a former Knight Ridder columnist and is now president of, a new interactive online magazine on books for writers and readers.

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