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Penny Marshall has book deal with Amazon.com

- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Filmmaker-actress Penny Marshall has a book deal with a fresh twist: The publisher is Amazon.com.

Marshall's agent, Dan Strone, announced Tuesday that the online retailer would release Marshall's memoir "My Mother Was Nuts" in Fall 2012. Marshall is still remembered fondly for co-starring in the 1970s sitcom "Laverne and Shirley" and she is among the few women directors to have major commercial success in Hollywood, her big screen hits including "Big" and "A League of Their Own." According to Strone, Marshall will also write about ex-husband Rob Reiner, her friendship with John Belushi and her fight against lung and brain cancer in 2009.

"I can't say I'm excited about the Yankees losing, or there not being a basketball season yet, but I am excited about writing this book," Marshall said in a statement. "People have always asked me how I got from the Bronx to Hollywood, so I thought it was time to tell how it all happened. I have had many lives _not in the Shirley MacLaine sense _ and you will hear about them all. Just don't expect any recipes. I don't cook."

Marshall's memoir will be available as a hardcover and an e-book. Strone told The Associated Press that several publishers bid, but that Amazon "won the auction." He declined to offer financial details, but said that Amazon's offer was "a lot" and that it also agreed _ as it usually does _ to a much higher royalty on e-books than the 25 percent traditionally given by publishers.

"It was a decision whether to go with old school or new school," said Strone, CEO of Trident Media Group. He added that he had a history of working with the head of Amazon Publishing, Laurence J. Kirshbaum, who as CEO of Warner Books published another Strone client, Jon Stewart.

Amazon, which has been steadily expanding its publishing operations, recently signed a deal with best-selling self-help author Timothy Ferris and on Tuesday announced that it had started an imprint for science fiction, fantasy and horror. Publishers and booksellers have been worried about Amazon's dual roles as client and competitor and rival stores have expressed strong reservations about selling books released by Amazon.

Amazon Publishing editorial director Julia Cheiffetz said she regarded Marshall as a "trailblazer" in show business and that she hoped to find "new and innovative" ways for Marshall to reach readers. Amazon has angered stores by signing deals with authors that make the online retailer the exclusive seller, but Cheiffetz said that Amazon intended "to make this book available to any retailer that would like to carry it in physical or digital format."

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