Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Harry Potter Trailer!

This could well be the nerdiest day at Slunch ever but we can we do. Today the new Harry Potter trailer was unleashed and if you haven’t seen it yet then I’m sorry what are you doing? Actual work? Lame.

In the trailer we got glimpses of young He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (go ahead say it – I dare you) and Dumbledore fighting off an army of Inferi and Harry looking all stressed out. The whole thing gave me chills – but as you all know I’m a sucker for movie trailers. However it did bring up some questions – like where is the romance? And did we even see Hermione – that’s odd And WTF – Where was Alan Rickman? There are some things I feel strongly about and Alan Rickman is one them.

So what did you all think? Excited? Don’t care? Let’s hear it – I’ll check back after I’ve watched the trailer a couple more times.


Breaking Dawn Release

As some of you loyal readers may remember that one our first posts was about the Harry Potter Book 7 Release. In honor of that, I'm making this week's literary event, the most anticipated release party since that INSANE event. That's right, folks. Stephanie Meyer's Breaking Dawn is being released this Friday - and the midnight buying frenzy is back. I've never actually read any of these books, but Paige Sexie, Ladytron, and Babytron swear by them. Well, maybe swear by is a bit strong, but they seem quite obsessed. So, in honor of them (and Ms. Meyer), dress up and line up to learn the fate of Bella, Edward, Jacob and the rest of those crazy vampire/werewolf kids.

It remains to be seen, however, if Ladytron will once again brave the masses to report on the chaos for us. She seemed quite frightened at the idea of lining up in Union Square again. So if any of you slunch fans attend a party, feel free to send something in to us! And look for a review of the new book in the next week or so.

Do tell,

The Editor

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Sees the Error of Its Ways? (UPDATE: No)

I was just skimming yesterday's Publishers Lunch (no matter how many times I whitelist it, PL always gets caught in my spam filter), and I noticed this. Apparently, after laying off half the publicity staff in the merger, HMH is now hiring a senior publicist. I'm sure that all of those still looking for a job are thrilled to hear that. Could HMH (specifically, Lori Glazer) have finally realized that doubling their list without doubling their staff was a mistake? UPDATE: Ok, apparently someone left. Which makes this whole post kind of pointless. Oh well. Except, hey guys, there's a senior publicist job out there! Apply. Or maybe they can hire one of their old employees back? I'm sure the severance must have run out by now.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oh, Deathtron

In response to Deathtron's latest, I just had to say something. It's quite possibly all the lemon vodka thingies I've been having tonight, but I agree. I do. And it makes me a little bit sad that this is my job. Because some days it does truly suck. There are authors or bosses who can suck the life out of it - and make me doubt that I'm any good at it. And I hate that. It pisses me off more than I can say, especially when it's one of those authors that I have made a priority. Deathtron is right in the fact that we're all overworked, and that there are just too many damn books for anyone to do a decent job. But when one of the authors who I have focused on, who I have pitched to hundreds of outlets, who I have gone above and beyond for...well, when they question my "commitment" to a project. Yeah, it's enough to make me want to throw in the towel.

But...there is something great about some authors that makes it worth while. The ones that appreciate every little thing you do. Unfortunately, some authors are horrific. You can try and try, and no one cares about the book - and the author thinks it's because you're not putting the effort in. That you're emailing instead of calling, or not calling or emailing enough. And the fact is, that at least from what I've experienced, that people you are pitching to either want the book or not. And I'm not going to mess up my relationship with a reviewer because Author X thinks the best way to handle it is to call them everyday. I know that reviewers and producers are overworked as well. Mostly because people like us are harassing them everyday with books or stories they don't care about. But I like to think that it's understood that I'm going to try this idea out on you, and if you don't like it, then I won't bug you again. And the times I do have a story you like, then we will get along splendidly. But, I'm sorry, authors, I'm not going to make someone so irritated that they NEVER want to like a pitch I send them in the name of harassing them about your book.

Yes, your book is important. I get that. you wrote it, it means a lot to you, and I'm publicizing it. If I'm freelance, then I took it on and I obviously want to do a good job because it's my name and my reputation. If I'm in-house, I want to do a good job so I don't get in trouble. WE ARE TRYING. And calls about how you think maybe we could try harder, or maybe we're not doing it right...well, it's not a motivator. It's a turnoff. The authors that are appreciative for what I do, I work that much harder for them. Because I want to prove that I'm worthy of their thank yous. Those of you who criticize....well, I feel guilty and then angry. And it eats away at my self-confidence. And I don't think you want a publicist who is doubting him/herself.

So, yes, Deathtron, there are times when publicity can be a soul-crushing job, and if I had the balls and/or money to leave it, I just might. But, at the end of the day, I do it for those authors that appreciate me. And for the rush of getting the perfect placement for one of my favorites. And for now, those moments of glory are enough for me. And I hope that it will continue to be. And I hope that authors and bosses will keep this is mind (ha ha, 'cause I know that sooo many of them are totally reading this. sigh) - because I've watched people that I know are fantastic at their jobs being broken. And I hate it.

We do it because we love books and we love our jobs. Please stop ruining it for us. Or we'll all end up like Deathtron. And I, for one, would like to retain enough optimism to keep this up until I'm head of a department with much, much more money.