Friday, June 20, 2008

Anonymous Tip: Ekstrom Vacates Penguin

Remember back forever ago when we posted about the rapid revolving door at Dutton/Gotham? I think things have been pretty steady for awhile, but a tipster just let me know that Rachel Ekstrom, associate (assistant?) director of publicity, has resigned. That's the fourth associate/assistant director to go in less than three years. To be fair, prior to that, I think there had been very little turnover in that department for many years. What does it all mean? Are publicists getting less loyal? Are the publishers getting meaner? Whatever the cause, perhaps they can get one of the desperate former Hachette/Houghton employees to come on over...


ps. Keep the tips coming, you crazy kids!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What Julia Allison Reads...

Yes, apparently she does read things other than Time Out New York and the mean things they write on Gawker. Julia has posted her top 3 summer reads for your enjoyment! Her picks?

1. Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky
2. Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good by Sarah Lacy
3. Sperm are from Men, Eggs are from Women by Joe Quirk

Let's analyze, shall we? Here Comes Everybody and Once You're Lucky both explore technology as it relates to the interwebs. The first is about using web 2.0 for social, political and professional networking. The second looks into the rise of...web 2.0. Huh. Well, we all know that Allison is a bit of an internet addict - from her blog to her failed joint relationship (blog) to her twitter. If you want to know where Allison is, it's not hard to track her down and figure out exactly what she's wearing.

And of course, Sperm are from Men, Eggs are from Women, which explores how biology causes men and women to act differently - basically one's reproductive cells make the rules for us. Written in a way we can all understand (as Quirk is a "normal" dude rather than a scary scientist who uses big words), Sperm is no doubt great fodder for Allison's Time Out New York dating column.

So there you have you it. Julia Allison's top 3 books all tie into what Julia Allison - web 2.0 addict/dating columnist/user of blogs to document relationships - does best. Promoting herself, her love life, her feelings about her love life, and her "career" to anyone who bothers to tune in. Which, god help me, I do.

--Paige Sexie

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday meat market...or Publishing sausage fest

Gawker is holding the "Hottest Men of Book Publishing 2008". So far, MattHilliard of Penguin is kicking ass. None of my suggested nominees made the cut. Sad times. I am a bit partial to the guy holding a kitten though. Awww.

Get your votes in now, kids, or forever hold your peace...

--Paige Sexie

From the man who bought you the Bong Guitar

This week's Literary Event is the Half King Reading Series...since, you know, I'm partial to any reading that takes place in a bar. The Half King Bar and Restaurant hosts an author reading on Monday nights, and tonight's reading features Mike Edison, author of I HAVE FUN EVERYWHERE I GO: Savage Tales of Pot, Porn, Punk Rock, Pro Wrestling, Talking Apes, Evil Bosses, Dirty Blues, American Heroes,and The World’s Most Notorious Magazines - creator of possibly the longest subtitle ever, as well as the mastermind behind the bong guitar. Mike will be backed by The Rocket Train Delta Science Arkestra.

In addition, he and the Arkestra are also taking over Pete's Candy Store in Williamsburg on Thursday, so if you can't make it over to Half King tonight, check him out there.

Do tell,

The Editor

Is the TBR all it's cracked up to be?

So, yesterday, I was flipping through the NYT Book Review and noticed that they had finally gotten around to reviewing Barbara Walter's Audition. This in turn reminded me of a conversation I've had with several authors and industry peeps over the past few months - has the Times Book Review become outdated and irrelevant?

Most authors (and publicists) consider the TBR to be the holy grail of print media. Everyone wants a their book to be reviewed there. Next to, "what about Oprah?," this is the most common question I get from authors. Yet, the times (ha) I have gotten full page reviews, it's barely moved books. Not to mention, these are almost always books that have already been covered a multitude of other places. Sometimes it feels as though the TBR waits to see what everyone else is going to do, and then jumps on the bandwagon - at which point, I no longer care about the book.

For instance, this week, there was a review of Barbara Walter's Audition - which came out over a month ago and has been covered ad nauseum by bloggers, reviewers, TV and radio, etc. We all know the scandalous parts already, and anyone who cared to read the book, probably has already done so. Or is waiting for the paperback. Why bother to run a review a month after pub? Even bookstores don't like to host events after a month has lapsed...why is the Times so willing to feature a book that has arguably already jumped the shark?

There are exceptions of course. There's a review of the new David Sedaris, which pubbed only two weeks ago (and which, btw, I can't wait to read!). But again, even two weeks feels like a long period of time. As publicists, we're taught to get in as much media the week of pub. Not the second or third or fourth. I mean, we'll take coverage those weeks, but we're supposed to line up as much as possible with the hopes of moving enough books to debut high on the list.
So why doesn't the TBR follow this? I know it's not because we don't get the books to them soon enough. As soon as galleys arrive, copies are immediately sent to Dwight, Sam, Nancy, Rick...And yes, I know they received hundreds (if not thousands) of books a week, but you know what, so do all the other major outlets...which often beat the times in coverage by several it just because they CAN? Or is it because they are struggling to keep up in an era where book news breaks quickly and bloggers have upped the ante on churning out reviews?

Or I am just being grouchy because it's Monday and I'm bitter because not enough of my books are reviewed?

--Paige Sexie

Captain Kirk unveils yet another talent

Is there anything William Shatner can't do? He's a double-Grammy, Emmy, and Saturn award winner. He's a muscian, movie and TV star, and an author. He's currently starring on Boston Legal and on those Priceline commercials. He auctioned off his kidney stone for $75,000. Oh, yeah, he also played some dude named Kirk on some sci-fi series.

And now, it turns out, Shatner is also a speed signer. At last month's BEA, where he was promoting his new memoir "Up Till Now," Shatner apparently signed "an astounding 260 books in 25 minutes, leaving the assembled publicists slack-jawed". Wow. I guess all those years of signing Trekkie memorabilia at conventions has finally payed off. Well done, sir. Well done.