My latest Locus column, "Improving Book Publicity in the 21st Century," addresses the lack of automation and management in traditional publishing an publicity, and suggests some simple and cheap ways that publishers could join up the way its editorial, marketing a PR departments communicate with reviewers and other publicity outlets to save money and score more PR for their writers.
Right now, this stuff all lives in separate word-processing files and spreadsheets in different departments’ hands, which results in all sorts of bizarre occurrences that I see firsthand.
There’s the trilogy whose first volume I blurbed, and whose first two volumes I glowingly reviewed – and I sold a ton of each. The publisher didn’t send me book three for review, even though it had a quote of mine on the front cover, the back cover, and the jacket-flap. They didn’t even tell me it was out – by the time I saw it in a store, it had been out for a month, and my review showed up weeks after the book’s publicity push was over.
I know how that happened: the cover quotes came from editorial and were sent to marketing, which had them in a word-processing document. When PR brainstormed people to send review copies to, they forgot to include me, so it fell through the cracks.
There’s the graphic novel series, now in up to something like 17 volumes. I’ve given every book a positive review, and all the new volumes have quotes from me on the cover. I never get review copies of this one – I don’t even get a notice from the PR department when a new volume is out. But the same PR department has sent me something like nine volumes of another series, none of which I’ve ever reviewed. If I don’t review book one, that means I either didn’t like it, or didn’t even bother with it because it looked so unpromising. Having skipped book one, you can be certain I won’t review book two. This same publisher sends me mountains of single-issue comics, even though I’ve never reviewed one of those.
Improving Book Publicity in the 21st Century
The Smile Makers 88 was sent to McDonald’s franchise managers in 1987, filled with garments they could buy for themselves, their families, and their workers. It. Is. Terrible.
Earlier this month, I gave the afternoon keynote at the Internet Archive’s Decentralized Web Summit, and my talk was about how the people who founded the web with the idea of having an open, decentralized system ended up building a system that is increasingly monopolized by a few companies — and how we can prevent the same things from happening next time.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is one of the world’s largest private jailers; it runs prisons and immigration detention centers across the USA (and is diversifying into halfway houses, mental health center, and surveillance for poor neighborhoods). Mother Jones’s Shane Bauer went undercover at CCA’s Winn Prison in Louisiana, the state with the highest incarceration […]
Experienced shutterbugs with DSLR cameras have boatloads of lens options for capturing the moment. Unfortunately, smartphone photographers often get stuck with their one crummy lens, which means limited zoom and focus for their final image.Step up your smartphone’s photographic power with the Acesori 5-Piece Smartphone Camera Lens Kit, now just $9.99 in the Boing Boing Store.Magnetic rings easily […]
Some truths are universal. For one, your phone will always run out of power when you most need it. For another, the charging cords that come packaged with your Apple device will fray, split, and rip faster than Usain Bolt in a game of tag.Instead, pick up a charging cord that anyone would have a tough […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]