Not for sale

A friend pointed out that 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.

(On a related note, authors, please read the blog before you pitch to the blogger.)

Update: More on the catalog language here, in response to the assertion that

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 you’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.



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