Friday, May 16, 2008


I know it's not technically next week, but the Literary Event of the Week is on Monday, so I figured we'd give you guys a bit advance notice. Plus, it's almost five on a Friday so I'm having a hard time doing actual work. And it's raining. And cold. Ugh.

Anyway! Monday night, mediabistro is having a cocktail party where you (as long as you are a full-time "media professional") can meet all the writers/editors/bloggers from the different sites, including...galleycat. YAY! Although, really, any publicist worth their salt should really already know Ron, Andy, and/or Emily, but hey, if you've been slacking, now's your chance to make up for it.

From what I understand from Ron's kinda not-very-informative post, this party will be held at Corio, and I believe it starts at 6:30. Here's my question, though. If mediabistro is "throwing" this party, does that mean free booze? Oh, well. I guess we can all just expense it anyway.

Do tell,

The Editor

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Newman Party: The Review

Last night, the Von Tron family gathered for an intimate night of drinking with close friends. By which I mean, Ladyton, Publitron, and Babytron showed up to get wasted for free with all the other freeloading publicists at the Newman party. And, as predicted, it was awesome.

Anything at the bar was fair game, but with a two tricky (and easily loopholed) rules: no shots, no martinis. Bizarre, yes? However, the bartenders were more than accomadating in helping us cheat. A shot of makers mark because a makers on the rocks with the tiniest spash of coke. A vodka martini became vodka, vermouth, and olives with a cube of ice in a tumbler. And anything that a garnish could be added to, well, I mean it's hardly a shot if there's a twist of lime floating in there, right?

We're pleased to report that there was no buffet, but instead servers carried platters of trays around, and then placed the leftovers on the bar or back table for us to go back for seconds, thirds, and fourths. My personal favorite were the little mini-pizzas that looked like keish, until surprise! Bite in and get a mouthful of cheese, pizza sauce, and a little mini-sausage. Delish.
And, per usual, mingling with former co-workers, current friends, and new drunken besties - as well as old drunken besties, ie people that you have no memory of meeting at a past function because you were obvi too wasted to retain any info but they know your name and think that you're good friends and it's very embarassing. Not that that happened or anything. Ahem.

Moving right along. The final word? The party was awesome. Thanks again David Ratner and Newman folk for treating us to another wonderful night of drunken debauchery.

The Von Tron Publicity Family

oh more reason PW sucks

Oh, PW. First, you refuse to tell us the review status of the all the books we send. Then, you write obnoxious blogs about how publicists could do their jobs better. And now, you're cutting the payment for your reviewers - the only people at your magazine who actually matter:

Dear Reviewer,

We are under constraints to reduce our expenses and must reduce the fee we pay to reviewers. Any reviews assigned after June 15 will be billed at $25 per review. However, you will be credited as a contributor in issues where your reviews appear. Please know that we value the work you do for us. Your astute reading and writing are what make our magazine so valuable in the industry and we regret this necessary action. All of us here are also experiencing change but we expect that we will continue to be the gold standard in book reviewing.

Sigh. I think we can safely expect less starred reviews and more mean ones. 'Cause if someone was only paying me 25 bucks to read an entire book and write something about it, well, I would be even more bitter than I usually am.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reminder: Newman Party

Latitude Bar & Lounge. Eight Avenue (between 47th and 48th). Tonight. Booze. Food. Publicists galore. Be there. All the cool kids are doing it.

Do tell,

The Editor

Why I love some BREs....not

So, a lovely publicist friend just passed this along to me. For those of you too lazy to click through, it's a Publishers Weekly blog entry by Editor-in-Chief Sara Nelson, entitled "Why I Love (Some) Publicists." Bascially, Sara acknowledges that we have a hard job (duh) and face constant rejections (sigh, it's amazing we retain any self esteem). But, then, she goes onto say how she appreciates it when publicists tell her the "truth" - ie, admitting that this book might not be for everyone, but here's why she should look at it anyway. Sara goes on to say:

"It’s not easy – and it usually helps to have been in the business a few years and to know the tastes of the person you’re addressing. The greatest publicists, even, will privately admit to a book’s faults without damning its author – and those, above all, are the publicists I like. No book is going to be 'perfect' to everyone, and by admitting flaws, honest publicists are helping reviewers and editors do their jobs."

Ok, first of all, I don't know anyone's tastes. I don't even know my own. I mean, I know Marilyn Stasio likes mysteries. I'm not going to pitch her a memoir about Iraq. And I know that Pat Towers isn't going to review the new advice book about how to pick up chicks. So yeah, fine. But do I have time do look through a pile of literary fiction and think to myself, hmmm, would Dwight Garner prefer the moving one about the boy coming of age during the Holocaust, or the comical story of a young woman trying to make it in finance. Um, no. And I certainly don't have time to do it for Sara Nelson - no offense, Sara.

For every book I work on, I'm pitching hundred of reviewers, editors, producers, and reporters. And yes, I try to tailor those lists based on the type of book and to tailor certain pitches. But, the book review editor in Tulsa is probably going to get the same pitch as the BRE is Atlanta (if the AJC still had one, of course). That's just the way the cookie crumbles. I don't have time to research all of you and discover your tastes. And if you care so much, why don't you let me know? How about sending me some guidance - ie, I only review this. I prefer this. Then, I can stop wasting your time and mine.


Bonus question: Thoughts on who the favorite unnamed publicists are?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

MTV: Invading a Borough Near You

OMG, you guys. The next Real World (21st!) is going to BROOKLYN. Yeah, that's right. After already having two seasons in Manhattan, the MTV staff has decided to venture into the across the bridge. Apparently, Real World: Hollywood is doing super-well, so the MTV has green-lit season 21 (was there ever really a doubt?) and decided to, according to Jon Murray (ya know, of Murray-Bunim, the company that brought us the Real World, Road Rules, the Challenge, the Gauntlet, etc.) "focus on what people loved about 'The Real World' when it launched in 1992 - genuine people, meaningful conflict and powerful stories." Hmm, do you think "meaningful conflict" will include taking a side on the Atlantic Yards issue? Or more like, "I really wish you hadn't slept with dave since you knew we slept together the night before which I thought meant he like totally loved me and now things are totes awkward"? Only time will tell...

Oh, and this totally relates to publishing because we're all poor and can't afford to live in Manhattan, so we hang out in Brooklyn where now we will run into Real Worlders. See?

--Paige Sexie

Monday, May 12, 2008


Yes, it's time again for the literary event of the week, and this one's a great one: the spring Newman Cocktail Party! For those of you unfamiliar with the Newman party, it is one of the favorites among publicists in the city - particularly lower level ones who will travel far and wide for free booze and free food. Newman Communications is a Boston PR firm that publishing companies hire to do extra publicity - mainly satellite radio tours in my experience, but according to their website, they do lots of other stuff too. Anyway, twice a year, the Newman bunch travels down to NYC and throws a major "thank-you for your business and please continue to give us money" cocktail party. And, as someone who has gotten wasted at many a Newman party, they are AWESOME. Open bar. And not only open well drinks, beer, and cheap wine. No, OPEN. Everything is free. So don't feel bad asking the bartender to reach up to the tippy top shelf 'cause hey, it's on Newman.

Secondly, there is free food. My first Newman party, the food was amazing. I also managed to snag a spot by the kitchen, so I had first tasting of everything that came out. The second party, they switched to buffet which was a horrible decision. The lines were killer, you had to have a plate and napkins instead of just being able to grab a handy toothpick speared bite, and the food got cold and kinda gross. I can't really remember what the past couple ones were like, so I assume they were satisfactory. Or, I just drank a ton and forgot that alcohol is not one of the main food groups. Whatevs.

Point being, this Wednesday, Newman party! Come eat (for free!), drink (for free!), and be merry (a direct free result of first two).