Advertising Age correspondent Claude Brodesser-Akner (the husband of mediabistro.com’s Los Angeles office), considers how the Goldmans’ team are working the press to create maximum buzz for their enhanced edition of OJ Simpson‘s If I Did It while spending minimum money on publicity. Although Brodesser-Akner seems to have missed the news that Denise Brown bailed on Oprah, he’s to be applauded for soliciting commentary from Phoenix Books publisher Michael Viner—who, let’s face it, many of us thought was a likely candidate to publish the book, not only after the Goldmans acquired the rights last month but back during that brief period when we knew the book was coming but didn’t know Judith Regan was behind it.
But oh how wrong we were, apparently: Viner says “this is not a book that should be published,” describing the press finessing as “catering to the train-wreck crowd.” The part that made me laugh, though? His assertion that “the one thing nobody’s mentioned is the quality of the writing… Because it makes no difference; it’s become immaterial to the discussion. That’s troubling, because it’s completely mediocre.” Yeah, that’s exactly what the public debate over If I Did It needs: literary criticism. That’d save our nation’s book review sections right quick. But now I’m curious, and maybe Viner and Timothy Noah are the only people who, having read both books, can answer this question: Which is worse, the original mix of If I Did It or Burning Down My Master’s House? (via Gawker, which describes Viner’s criticisms as “like Courtney Love calling you a hopeless drug addict.”)