Adam Langer, author of Crossing California, schools American publishers in the ways of their oft-superior German counterparts. “The [European] publication of Crossing California,” Langer writes, “offers some inventive marketing ideas that some folks in the U.S. might want to take note of.”
Most interesting to me among the ideas was what Langer called the “‘We’ll Put Out Our Own Damn Magazine’ PR Work-Around,” in which the shrinking space reserved for author profiles and book reviews gets counteracted by “a slickly designed magazine” put out by the publishing house to “[promote] its authors with articles by established journalists who don’t work for the company’s publicity department.”
Part of what makes this idea interesting, at least as it’s described by Langer, is Langer’s worry-free enthusiasm for it. Personally, I feel uncertain about the further blurring of advertising and journalism; these “slickly designed magazines” remind me a little of the “video news releases” federal agencies encourage newscasts to air.
On the other hand: I hear the words “magazine,” “authors” and “slickly designed” and, immediately, I have the promitive urge to hunt the thing down, drag it home, and lovingly devour.