A friend pointed out that MaudNewton.com is listed in the Fall 2006 Crown catalog (page 71) as an “online promotion” venue for a forthcoming book. This is a false — and, given my distaste for corporate marketing practices, defamatory — claim. Lacking a more specific contact, I have sent the following email message to the general Crown publicity address.
I am the proprietor of a website listed in your Fall 2006 catalog as an “online promotion” venue for Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects,” a novel about which I have not previously heard and in which, based on the description provided, I have little interest.
I do not now, nor have I ever, mentioned books or anything else on my website in exchange for money. I do not accept advertising. I am not in the business of running “teaser excerpts.” I do not offer promotional opportunities, help to create buzz, or engage in any other activities covered by the marketing-speak that pervades your fall catalog.
The suggestion that placement on my website is available in exchange for a fee, or can otherwise be arranged as part of an “online promotion” campaign, is a libelous one.
I demand that you remove the name of my website from your fall catalog and from any future promotional materials related to Ms. Flynn’s book.
Again: placement on my personal website is not for sale.
All that catalogue copy ever means is what we’re *targeting* for attention — and naming specific magazines, reviewes, or, sure, even blogs, that have a defined audience and personality helps lend a shape to the book being publicized.
Also, a correspondent points out that the same language appears on page 52-53 of the catalog, in relation to another book.
Further update: Several days after I posted this item, I received the following, thoughtful apology from the Director of Marketing at Crown.
Dear Maud Newton,
I am writing in response to your recent posting about the mention of your blog site in our promotional material. The mention of your blog in our catalog was a mistake, for which I sincerely apologize. I respect your work and can appreciate the stance youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve taken against advertising and promotion of literary works on your site. Please be assured that we will not include mention of your blog in any future promotional plans or material.