The inside scoop on the book world

By Clarissa Cruz
November 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

The Ones That They Want Promising to delve deeper into the topics she explored on her hit one-woman, Off Broadway show, comic Margaret Cho just inked a mid-six-figure deal with Ballantine to pen her memoirs. I’m the One That I Want (due in early 2001) will cover Cho’s experience with her failed ABC sitcom and battles with alcohol. ”I think that celebrities think about themselves more than any other person or thing in the world,” Cho cracks. ”So it’s really exciting that I’m finally given the opportunity to write about it.”…. The hottest manuscript of the week is making the rounds at the New York publishing houses—in French. Editors call If Only It Were True, a first novel written by architect Marc Levy, a supernatural romantic comedy in the Ghost mode; DreamWorks has already snapped up the movie rights for Steven Spielberg for $2 million…. Another editor-turned-agent has closed a major deal: Wendy Sherman, who left her position as executive director of Holt in a shake-up earlier this year, has sold D.W. Buffa’s next two legal thrillers to Warner in a low-seven-figure deal.

Smoke Gets In Your Ears Stephen King, who has already published two novels this year, has a third work of fiction up his sleeve—but, like Tom Wolfe’s Ambush at Fort Bragg, it’s for your ears only. Simon & Schuster Audio is bringing out Blood and Smoke, an original three-and-a-half-hour audio book in which King reads three short stories — two of them never before published — which all prominently feature smoking. King got the idea for the recording while spending a week in the studio reading Bag of Bones, where he was reminded what it was like to tell scary stories out loud. ”He said, ‘Not for nothing, but I have these other stories, if you want them,”’ says Seth Gershel, publisher of S&S Audio. ”We said yes.”

— Matthew Flamm and Clarissa Cruz