Wine aficionado Jay McInerney’s book-signing at 310 East 53rd Street last week seemed a little out of place. Notable authors usually sit behind a table at Barnes & Noble to receive fans, not at a townhouse showing in midtown.
But that’s changing.
In May 2006, Michael Gross, he of 740 Park fame, signed copies of the juicy book at Barbizon 63, a soon-to-open condo on East 63rd Street.
“We think that authors are celebrities in their own right,” said publicist Harriet Weintraub, whose firm has organized eight different author signings at newer luxury properties around the city since last May.
Ms. Weintraub looks for writers that not only will attract brokers, but will also complement the space.
“When we were showing 110 Central Park South, we wanted someone that fit in well with the property,” Ms. Weintraub said. “Evelyn Lauder had recently released a cookbook, so we asked her to come. We even used her recipes for the hors d’oeuvres.”
Christopher Gray, who wrote New York Streetscapes, and John Grogan, author of Marley and Me, have also done signings. Mr. McInerney came to mind as a good choice after the owners of Sherry-Lehmann, the renowned wine shop at 679 Madison Avenue, moved into 310 East 53rd Street, Ms. Weintraub said.
While an author’s appearance is an added attraction for property hounds, most writers are more than happy to take another crack at touting their work.
“Any writer these days, shy of a John Grisham, needs all the help that they can get,” Mr. Gross told The Observer.