Amy Hertz, the Huffington Post‘s new books section editor, who is also holding down her editing job at a Penguin division, has a little clarification for all the publicists who have been spamming her inbox with pitches:
“This is NOT a book review section.”
“Let me say that again, because I know about 72,000 publicists just plotzed because they have no idea what to do other than ask for a review,” she continued in a piece posted in the section. “Huffington Post Books is not a review — there’s a reason those sections in newspapers are dropping like flies. Book reviews tend to be conversation enders, and when you’re living in the age of engagement, a time when people are looking for conversation starters, that stance gets you nowhere.”
Ms. Hertz tells them that they should be blogging, along with their editors, writers and writers’ friends on Huffington Post and gathering buzz for their books way in advance of publication dates. “For the first time, you can reach your readers directly instead of waiting for a large chain store or a major media outlet (getting that is like winning the lottery)” (another “ow!”) “to promote a book to the point that it becomes visible,” she wrote.
If they’re not willing to “let the world know how you feel personally about the books you stake your job and reputation on every day, then ask a blogger to review a book,” she notes. Just make sure if you pay ’em, they let the FCC know!