A few weeks ago, Paul Bogaards did something few good publicists, let alone the head of public relations at New York’s most patrician publishing house, would suggest their client do.
In the early hours of Jan. 24, the 51-year-old executive director of publicity and marketing for Knopf posted “The Hierarchy of Book Publishing,” a top-100 ranking of his colleagues and competitors, on his personal Tumblr. Far from a fawning Forbes-style list, Mr. Bogaards’s blog post was a gallows-humor-inflected schematic of an industry in collapse. Books are so screwed, it suggested, that a self-published genre geek (J.A. Konrath, #2), the father of a 4-year-old child who has purportedly been to heaven (Todd Burpo, #4) and the intern running the company Twitter feed (#6) all faced sunnier futures than a feared industry veteran like Andrew Wylie (#11).
A couple hundred publishing-industry observers liked and reblogged the post, including the official Tumblr accounts of Vintage/Anchor, Penguin Press and Pantheon Books.
“It’s funny because it’s true,” Kathryn Ratcliffe-Lee, a HarperCollins assistant, commented.
“AHHHHH PERFECTION,” wrote Emma Straub, the bookstore-clerk-turned-fiction-writer. “And I don’t even get half the jokes.”
The first time Helen DeWitt disappeared was in 2000.
Her debut novel, The Last Samurai, was on the verge of becoming a publishing sensation. It would eventually sell more than 100,000 copies in English and be translated into 20 languages. People told Ms. DeWitt she was a star. Tina Brown, the owner of Talk Miramax Read More
The contestants represented New York’s spelling elite. Many of them had whole careers’ worth of spelling behind them, elevated reputations and steady salaries underpinned by the public’s faith in their agility with words.
Now, sitting in two rows before an audience on the third floor of the Standard Hotel, wearing comically large name tags and sparkly bumblebee antennae that bobbled gently as they fidgeted, they awaited the bloodletting.
Summer is on the wane, the book publishers have vacated the city, and New York magazine can only look forward, towards fall, when we can all get excited again about big advances for debut novels and another article about debut novelist and big advance recipient Chad Harbach!
Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham, artist Maira Kalman, author James Frey, Vogue editor Sally Singer and others gathered at Diane von Furstenberg’s studio beneath the High Line on Monday, Oct. 26, for a spelling bee to support the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and independent publishing.
“I’m so damn, Read More
HarperCollins announced a major restructuring this morning that will see the four-year-old Collins division folded under the jurisdiction of Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham.
Lisa Gallagher, the head of the William Morrow group, has also been laid off, and the division will move under Avon publisher Liate Stehlik.
Much more on the ramifications of Read More
Some time before it became crystal clear that, despite all laws of nature, James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning would be an unqualified hit, there was a moment when agents and editors wondered if the man who’d agreed to publish it might have reason to worry for his job. Back in September, Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham Read More
Back before Tribeca became the sun-dappled playground of New York’s Hollywood-on-the-Hudson set, Mary Parvin was running things down there. And when news of her death from cancer early Sunday morning at the Beth Israel Medical Center at age 58 spread through downtown’s literary and artistic community, the grief sounded a particularly deep note, as if Read More
After walking up the oyster-hued carpet leading to the Council of Fashion Designers Awards at the New York Public Library on June 7, style mavens discussed the sartorial sins of summer.
“Flip-flops on Fifth Avenue!” groaned double nominee Michael Kors, his arm around aspiring starlet Molly Sims, whose fringed frock swept the floor. “I’m Read More