On Oct. 5, The Huffington Post will launch a new books section with a perhaps unexpected partner: The New York Review of Books, according to Arianna Huffington. The site’s newly minted editor, Amy Hertz, a Penguin editor at large under their Dutton division, will have to balance the fortnightly magazine’s 5,000-word essays and thoughtful articles based on multiple publications with book reviews written by HuffPo readers, HuffPo co-founder editor in chief Ms. Huffington confirmed with the Observer.
“The Huffington Post is about having the the best of the old and the best of the new,” Ms. Huffington said. “We have the traditional way of covering books with the best of the reviews from the New York Review of Books and then the readers can interact,” by posting their own reviews, she added.
The Observer put in a call to speak with Robert Silvers, who has edited the NYRB since it was founded in 1963, and will post an update as soon as we hear back [see update below].
Ms. Huffington will also be launching her own book club on Oct. 5th (take note, Oprah!). She is still debating between three of her favorite titles for her first choice, she told the Observer, and is working out further details on the frequency of her picks.
Ms. Hertz will be doing double duty–keeping her job as an editor at Dutton while working for the site, according to Ms. Huffington. She said she met Ms. Hertz while she was meeting with publishers about her 2006 book, On Becoming Fearless… In Love, Work, and Life. Ms. Huffington eventually went with Little, Brown and Company for the hardcover print but “[Amy] and I have really connected and she was somebody that I really wanted to bring onto the project,” she said.
Ms. Hertz did not return messages to comment on the record with the Observer.
UPDATE: Mr. Silvers called into the Observer to clarify that NYRB is still in “serious discussions” with the Huffington Post, but is still working out official details and plans to make an “official announcement” of the partnership soon.
“We’ve been talking about plans with the Huffington Post with the staff here and Arianna and Amy Hertz, of course, for weeks now,” Mr. Silvers told the Observer. He said a selection of the reviews will be chosen to be posted in full on the books vertical, and other articles will simply be linked back to the magazine’s official site.
“It’s marvelous to be in touch with the Huffington Post audience,” he said. “It’s very various, very big and for them to be aware of our articles, or simply mentioned,” will be a positive thing for the magazine, he added.
What kind of NYRB articles does he think Huffington Post readers will want to see?
“It’s hard to predict but I think it’s intuitive,” he said. He mentioned that a new article in the Oct. 8th issue by Gary Willis about the Obama administration, titled Entangled Giant, “would be just natural for Huffington Post.”
He said a team at NYRB will work with HuffPo staff to chose the articles.
As far as user-submitted book reviews, “That’s something that remains to be seen,” he said. “I look forward to that kind of proliferation. But we’ll have to see just how it works.”
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