Saturday, October 23, 2004

Books--HOT HOT HOT!

A Reader posted a comment ( http://bookangst.blogspot.com/2004/10/mad-max-is-technospastic.html) about the level and nature of the New York Times' coverage of the book biz. To which I respond:

Dear Dorothy:

I think it'd be a fanastic idea for the NYT to hire Maud Newton, who (in my limited experience--I'm new to this whole blogging thing, to be honest) seems to be incredibly smart about a range of subjects. But not to the exclusion of Mr. Wyatt--how about in ADDITION to? You see, the sexiness of an industry is directly proportionate to the number of reporters assigned to cover it.

And--let's face it--book publishing is HOT these days, don't you agree? If you have any doubts, just look to the New York Post (ALWAYS on the leading edge of journalistic trends). Used to be, back in the day when books weren't so sexy, they had only one guy writing about the publishing scene--a knucklehead who seemed to know nothing whatsoever about the book trade; so the only time he ever wrote about books was when a deal broke the $6-million dollar plateau (and even then he typically failed to spell the editor's name right). Instead all his articles were about Bonnie Fuller and Jann Wenner and Anna Wintour and those boring magazine folks--as if anyone cares!

But now they've added the terrific Sara Nelson--a real pro who knows the industry inside and out (and whose excellent book SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME is due in paperback any day now), and her presence restores some of the lustre to our sorry trade. So I don't mind if the coverage is sometimes shallow and "product" oriented--I just want more column inches!

With apologies to graybeards like McInerney, Ellis et al--to say nothing of snaggletooths like Mailer, Roth, Bellow & the like, much less the iconic Maxwell Perkins himself (perhaps you heard the sad news? Max Perkins, he dead...)--well, THESE are the halcyon days of publishing! And if you have any doubt about this, just wait till you see the new national t.v. spot AAP has funded, featuring Naomi Watts in hot-pants holding a copy of Jon Stewart's AMERICA [the book], and Jon Stewart (not in hot-pants) holding a copy of Jenna Jameson's HOW TO MAKE LOVE LIKE A PORN STAR [which is not pornography but, rather "a book about smart sex"], singing, Cabaret-style,

"BOOKS: We're back,
and more fabulous than ever!"

You feelin' me?
Mad Max Perkins

7 comments:

Debra Hamel said...

Welcome to the world of blogging!

Cornelia Read said...

Dearest MM,

It is indeed really neato-jeeto that the NY Post has hired Sara Nelson to cover publishing in its business section. However, it's pretty damn disappointing to skip over to the books page only to find the words "Content Provided by HarperCollins Publishers" emblazoned across the top of each "review"—complete with little red and blue torchy logo.

I hope this is only true of the online edition (pretty much all that's available to us out here in the wilds of Berkeley). If the same applies to the print version, it seems the NYP has taken advertorial content to a new low, one sick-making enough that it might be dubbed "advertainment."

On a happier note, thanks for starting up your terrific blog.

Take care,

Cornelia

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