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tv   Open Phones on the Publishing Industry  CSPAN  May 31, 2015 11:53am-12:36pm EDT

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table. as long as you're able to get on, you know conference calls it doesn't matter. i don't believe in this day and age there's actually a bias towards that. inherently not being in an office-potential setting, you may miss some of the informal aspects of things that can happen because that does exist, but i would say absolutely not, i don't see it being an issue. >> i think the part of the way i look at it, and i don't think i'm unique in this, is that we benefit -- and this is true of both penguin and random house separately and together -- employees have a long-term commitment to working at these at our company. and that really means that for me as a manager of an employee i have a long-term investment in that employee. and if there is a particular period that they're going through where they need more flexibility or they're going to be, you know, they need a different kind of creative
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solution again, i'm not going to penalize that, them for that at all. i think the fact is, as you said with technology particularly we're in different office locations anyway. so often there's really no way i would know if someone was calling me from connecticut or from uptown. but at the same time, i think there is the reality of the fact that we also, the work that we do is very much people work. it's there's a lot of our work that just is not when everybody's on a conference call, the quality of the ideas and interaction that come out are not necessarily as good in my experience as when we are sitting around a table looking each other in the eye. and so i would tend more towards being very flexible in terms of helping somebody get through particular issues that they may
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have to deal with that might be short term, but in general i really like for the people who are working together on a team to actually be there together physically for the most part. >> yeah. i mean, i would agree. i have somebody on my team who just had her second baby, and after her first baby who's now two and a half, she decided to work part of the week at home. and her workload has not changed, and she was promoted through all of that, and she's going to continue to do that, and i'm thrilled for her because i value her as a human being and i value her as a member of my team. and anything that i can do to support her creative process is something that i would do. that said, you know, we live in a world where we're losing personal interaction at a fast rate due to our obsession with looking down at small phones. [laughter] therefore i do believe that anytime we can all be together and look each other in the eye we now moved downtown recently,
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and we have more of an open office plan, and even the people that have offices, the walls are glass and it's so exciting to be able to see somebody walk by and remember that you had an idea that you wanted to discuss with them and just, you know, either shout their name out or run over and grab them and walk with them to the elevator. you can't do that from home. so i do think working from home part time if you need to is okay, but if you really want to be a full member of a team, it's important to be able to be there actually in person. >> very good. we have time for one more question. kelly. >> hi. [inaudible] >> she thanks them for being so fabulous which we'll applaud in a few minutes but have they ever had a colleague try to
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sabotage their work and how did they deal with it. >> yeah. i had that happen in news, and i dealt with it by going into book publishing. [laughter] >> if i did have a colleague i was never -- who did that, i was never abare of it, so i -- aware of it, so i guess i dealt with it by being clueless. >> i'm with madeline. i wouldn't know it had happened. >> well, thank you very much. thank you, panelists, wonderful. [applause] i do just want to let you know we have another women's media group panel tomorrow in the same room at 9:30, women entrepreneurs of learning from ceos of start-ups about the difficulty of having a start-up. and we have someone's pointing at something, as i mentioned at the beginning, we have the handout sheets in the back about women's media group a sign-up sheet as well. oh and also we are having a digital meet-up today at four
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that charlotte abbott had organized in the digital space, and we understand there's going to be 110 digital women there. so it should be a very exciting party. thank you for coming. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> books tv is live in new york city at the javits convention center here booked time is going on. this is a convention opened to the public. if all is publishers convention known as book expo. we are doing a live call-in program. we have two publishers with us.
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jamie raab is in the green dress on your left and she is president and publisher of grand central publishing. susan weinberg is senior vice president and group publisher of perth he is. before we get into publishing i want to ask about books time. this is quite a phenomenon. have you attended this before? >> this is our first year exhibiting and attending, but we are excited to have a chance to have them come with panels and sending. we are watching right now -- it's happening on a lot of levels. it's really great energy. post energy. >> host: book expo is publishers and book related industry. >> guest: those who are retailers really try to have direct interaction with readers. >> host: jamie raab.
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i thought the lines of people. people care enough about books to come to something like this, pay money. i think it's fantastic. >> host: what is grand central publishing? >> guest: right now we have assigned with an oscar who read this areas of books. we have brad nelson who was signing next. ..rennial favorite. those are our line up. we have candace bushnell tomorrow and nelson demille will be here. it's a lot of fun. >> host: what is your publishing house though? what kind of books do you publish? >> guest: basically, we're part of a big international publisher. grand central publishes books when someone looks at our lineup there's something for everything. we have cookbooks literary fiction, commercial fiction, we have business books, you know?
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we run the gamut because you know i want, i want readers to find something they like. so we have mass markets, trade beyoncé. the list goes on and on. i worked with robin roberts on her memoir last year. we have, we just had dana perino b
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on the bestseller list now and the good news is. good mike morel deputy director,rector farber deputy director of the ter cia did a book on terrorism but as iro said, wide range of booksost: all rht i'll smack susan weinberg,ome of perseus. the tell us about perseus in some the authors you've worked with. >> guest:ked purchased books grip is very interesting unique and company supporting independent publishing. perseus is aombina combination of the imprints owned and operated by the perseus books group basic books, public affairs. our and then we also through ourtion distribution company represent and support hundreds of independent publishing companies throughout the country post-bakke both refer to book groups. utah going apart. he talked about perseus and before you are the publisher at public affairs which is one of the divisions of perseus, what are these book groups, why can't
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there just be one title?ink >> guest: that's a really t great question because i thinks a the question of intimacy and scale is really important one in publishing that comes up in a lot ofb ways. because you want to give the and author and the book the i attention the human touch that's and needed i think to make the book the best they can be edited the creativity going with the marketing and publicity for how to reach the audience have, have some heft and clout when you're dealing with some of the bigger retailers and some of bigger networks and organizations that you use to also get your message out and to get your books out in front of consumers. so as an independent publisher coming to a distribute know,
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subsumed by larger organizations. i started out hachette books. before we were grand central, we were owned by time warner, and we were warner books. had completely time warner and warner books. we simply change our identity. the industry. to have clout you need to be big. but you do want to be small enough and is we're divided into divisions. my company has
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industry and want to talk to our two publishers, phone numbers are up on the screen. you can dial in, 202 is the area code 748-8200 if you live in the east and central time zones 748-8201 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. we'll get to those calls in just a minute. susan weinberg, how'd you get your start in this business? >> guest: you know, i got out of college like a lot of people unsure of what i wanted to do, but secretly in my heart i wanted to do publishing, but i wasn't sure if publishing wanted me. so i -- but i got out of college. i had a brief internship, and i started looking for jobs. and at that time -- this was a little while ago -- you looked for jobs in the classified ads in "the new york times," and it was very clear there was a way to get a publishing job and that was to go to these temp agencies or the employment agencies and take a typing test, and then they would send you on interviews. this was a while ago peter, i have to admit. [laughter] but they, so you take the typing
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test and you go on the interviews. and i go on my first interview, and it was -- i was so excited it was with a really amazing woman who did children's books. and i never thought about about doing children's books before, but she was amazing. and i was like -- in college they always said take the professor, not the course. and i said i would love to work for this woman but i got turned down because i didn't have office experience. so when i got a job offer which was really starting -- i was offered the job as a floating secretary at book of the month club. and that is why, you know you're an internal temp basically. and i said, well, no one will ever say i don't have office experience if i take this job. so i took that as my first job in publishing and i was there for a dozen years. >> host: and? >> guest: well, that was before amazon so the book clubs were an american institution, they were very different. but we've certainly seen the disruption in the industry and amazon you know, what happened to the book clubs. but i left the book clubs after
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that and started working at harper k08 lins which was my entree into trade publishing. .. i was a kid a voracious reader and i was kid whose mom had to say go outside and play. don't sit there curled up with a book. but i could not about. i have a degree of civic planning which is far from the publishing industry. came to new york and had some jobs to go back to graduate school and international affairs actually and started to say toffai anyone i knew i need a job i
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need a job.'s someone's mother knew someone in publishing. it was at random house in those days. i went for my interview he hadintervi often loved it right away but then had to go take a typinge a test which i feel. they said do not hire this d. woman. she can't tie. they all the data women i think in those days. it to fortunately, i was hired. i felt like i found my placeed like that. i did make a detour into the women's magazines which was fun. detor i injust came back to it and you back do moved up the ladder. i think it's very much an apprenticeship business. you start as a secretary or you sta rt assistant. cretary or assistant you learn the ropes and move up and that is what i did and i stayed with one company for 30 years which is quite unusual. >> we just showed a panel on women in publishing. has it changed since the days of the typing test?
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>> oh yes it has. a lot of women in publishing, women who have very senior positions. a lot of ceos are still men. i think there are a lot of opportunities for women in publishing. it is wide open in all areas and everybody wanteds to going to editorials. everybody looks at other things you can do. marketing positions, selling rights sales some much opportunity in publishing for young men and women. >> host: susan weinberg, what is the publisher do? >> guest: great question. i always wanted to be a publisher i figured out an answer i could give people. the publisher is the person behind the decision, what we publish and how we publish it. that is it in a nutshell
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deciding how the public -- how to publish it and making all the things that have to happen, success is measured in a lot of ways. an important measure and profitmaking, and matter for publishers and authors too. there are certain kinds of nonfiction with an impact. and knowing you are reaching, if you are writing or entertaining, make people laugh or have given that kind of thing. >> host: jamie raab how would you describe your job? >> figuring out what to publish and most of all, that is not easy. talking about it all the time. it starts in house.
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i say it is the business of passion. it is an editor finding a book saying i want to buy it. and how to get leaders excited. how to get them to know about a book and a group of people in house to make people outside the house come to the book. >> is that a fair comparison for companies? >> the ceo probably has more of an umbrella position looking at operations. publishers as i practice publishing, really focused on what to acquire and how to get it out into the world. we think of it in a different way. in some ways we tell each editor, the publisher of this
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book and drive down the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership and tell editors at 10 points you are always selling. you are always selling even when reading the books and employee meetings, that is the beginning of the seller process. there are marvels at a publishing house has to take a different times if you are going to bring this whole thing together. bring the book and read it together. >> some viewers see what kind of questions are out there and in washington, and, you are on booktv with jamie raab and susan weinberg. >> caller: hello. >> host: we are listening. >> caller: i am close to finishing my first e-book and i wondering how do i find an
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editor? >> host: tell us about your e-book and your experiences as a writer. >> caller: i have never published anything but my e-book, having to do with survival strategies and recovery from alcohol and drugs. i am retired chemical dependency counselor, i was a counselor for 20 years and that is why i thought i would share my awareness as you continue doing this. >> host: here is a woman and i will let you answer her in a second, she has the background, expertise, she wants to share that in a book and she has written it in her head and put it on paper as well. what is her next step? >> turn next step is basically to find a publishing house that wants to publish it. not that easy.
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i recommend writers find agents literary agent they know all the editors, all the houses and they are better able to filter all the manuscripts that come through because no editor editors get a lot of material. most of them only take agented manuscripts because there's not enough time to read everything. a literary agent taking on your product to show you have a platform in this case, a professional platform and work with a literary agent to find a good match for your book. to send something in directly to publisher is very difficult. i do strongly suggest they go through a middleman and now you can always self publishing. self publishing is a very good option for many people.
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online or amazon or another platform, you find ways to market the book yourself and see if readers come to it. >> host: susan weinberg. >> guest: everything jamie raab said as far as the process you go through i agree with. a couple things i might add is there are a lot of books about how to get published and most of them are very good. almost always written by somebody in the industry. if you read the author's bio in the background you contrast they will give you a lot of information, more than any one person could explain to you and it could be very helpful for you to figure out what kind of publishing solution is best for you. when you ask a person how do i find an editor, realize that an editor is basically a really experienced reader. there are people you know, in
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your field, that might be helpful readers of your book and ask to see that not just for people to tell you what is good about it but some questions to guide their feedback. even in school i was fascinated when my kids come home from high school english and do peer editing which is fantastic. i see the comments students make to each other are incredibly helpful land of lot of english classes in high school and college use. editing and is an interesting model when you are starting writing as a way to helped develop your writing. another way is writing classes might be offered at your local college or writing groups in your community. i know writers can do that and i imagine looking online you might find things in your local community you are not aware exist through adult and or what
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not. >> host: susan weinberg, have you add perseus books group or public affairs ever taken a book directly from an author? >> guest: we have. every publisher, certainly in public affairs we have. but i would say it is more because the kind of book public affairs it, there was a qualifier kind of fodder, a person came from a certain background or level of accomplishment in the field and was riding with a certain level of expertise on the field and if that field match what public affairs was doing we did sometimes take books that way. i remember a wonderful book we did with someone who had been a diplomat and had a very distinguished specialized language skills and was writing about the recent history of afghanistan and using some documents that were very rare that he knew about and for not publicly known and had written a long complicated manuscript that was a very good one.
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when we took on the boat, he got a modest advance but part of the advance the staff editors didn't have the bandwidth. it is unusual to match that. >> host: jamie raab? >> guest: two our biggest book came without an agent. one was a huge best seller for many years actually and sales rep heard about the book was being sold directly by the author in the back of his car, we benefited and bought it and the rest is history. another one very similar was rich dad poor dad also a huge best seller and a series of
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books. we -- he was selling them in a car wash or something but it was beginning to catch on so one job of an editor is to keep his or her ears open all the time. not only depends on agents but what other people are reading. those are exceptions. it is very rare but it does happen. the other thing we do now is look at self published books, we look at books that seem to be taking off the were put on line by readers and we are aware of books that are gathering followers and sometimes go directly to the author and say would you like a publisher? >> the rise of the robot is a part of perseus, the life of robots and the first book was a self published e-book that he then wanted to write more and has written his new book for
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basic so we are taking this when he discovered about his topic and the audience he started to develop on his own and the publishing company working together with him created even bigger audience for this. >> joyce is in worse. >> caller: how are you? >> host: will good. please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: my question is, i have been riding since i was very young. i was never published, but a lot of my stuff was thrown out by accident and i have been riding poetry and i wanted that published but it is about a certain subject. it is about the cycle of abuse.
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i was abused for many many years actually since i was 4 and i went to counseling what got me through everything all those years was my writing. and so many peo c1 years was my writing. and so many people tell me, including my accomplice to use my poetry in their women's groups. i don't know how to go about it. i have so much poetry. >> we talked about that a minute ago. thank you very much for calling in. anything else when it comes to, potential writer, we have quite a bit of advice here. anything special about btryng a poet? >> it is hard to get published as a poet. there are literary magazines, poetry journals.
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i would definitely start by submitting stuff to those outlets. figuring out who publish poetry. going to reading this meeting other poets, and i always say this, it is not about being published. if you are a writer you are a writer. it is about the process, still loving what you do. don't ever let not btryng published stop you from writing. it is something if you are riding you have to write. and self published authors getting discovered, there are authors who create publishing companies because they feel i want to be published and they go to step beyond and maybe they attract other books and also whether it is your local bookstore or counseling group, you can use your community to
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start a writing community may be published for each other, doing it together with the library or local bookstore any of the commu crties around books and reading weather is co usunity college or library or bookstore, and meet with other writers to start sharing your writing and start building a community of leaders that can build out into a bigger publishing product. >> host: let's take this back to the publishing industry, how self publishing, how has affected your business. >> i love thtryr btryng a lot of options for people to publish. i love the fact that now we have an option for riders wear before it was either a commercial publisher picked you up for you had no way to reach readers beyond those you had in your own town. i think this of publishing
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option is a very healthy and robust one. it is good for writers and readers. it pro ldes publishers sometimes with material as well and i feel that it is a natural and organic outgrowth of the way we all co usunicate now and the way the internet and the web has gone. >> when sedus publishing started booming i think there was some trepidation on the part of publishers, the future of publishing, people get anything out there. then it became clear there is room for everybody. there's enough food on the table.
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there is production distribution. if you have a print book you just can't go to barnes and noble landscape please do that. it takes publisher and distribution system. there is room for everybody and it is a good option and i am impressed by some of the stuff is self published. >> host: you talked-about cover art. don't get off the phone. you talk about cover art and i want to talk about this. the president's shadows, the new book, one of your books, fantastic cover, but how many people are involved in that? >> i am very involved in that. i love it. basically we work with the staff of art directors they tend to
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be very creative people and we talk to the author and share ideas with the art director and what they think it looks like and bring in the author, very collaborative. we see designs. a lot of it goes to outside artists and we have a cover meeting every week. best meeting of the weekend we put lots of covers out for a book and putting that one down, take that one, i can't read the type that is good and we go back and forth, share with the author. it is collaborative. cover art can sell a book. it is incredibly important. >> host: not to. c-span's:but c-span has a new book out, first lady's. were you involved in creating that? >> guest: in my new role i wasn't. but i know when we have done the books for c-span before it is
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very collaborative and interesting because you have two organizations. the publisher and c-span as well as the author. and things they're trying to communicate but when it all comes together you know and it clicks and it really does. i agree with what jamie was saying. is the experience of the book for everyone. the offer people buying it, people publishing it. it is incredible. a lot is going on with that. it communicates a lot in a short time and the only time you know covers working is when the art director man come of with a wonderful idea and starts to go let me explain this to you and you go unless you are going to stand next to the book, that is not going to work. i have a big wall of books. some are older ones. every day i look at dozens of
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books, and i go that one works, could have done better on that one. that one was fantastic. you are always reviewing trying to get better. one other thing about the cover the publisher has a lot of say in the cover. we are working with sales organizations and supposed to have a commercial sense but it is important, we always say i said this had whatever publishing company worked at, you cannot put a cover on the book that the author cannot stand behind. office cannot cringe when they see the. they have to be behind it so you have got a lot of people involved, and that is always that line that you are trying to -- it works, you remember it. every time you think of it the cover comes to mind.
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>> in albany new york, high. >> caller: and wondered if you going to get to me. i am very excited. i don't believe in coincidences but i always watch this on saturdays and sun.s, the book channel because i am looking for help to get my self published book marketed. i am doing well locally but i can't break out of local. i am going to be on television june 9th being interviewed by ought librarian but it is a channel that is strictly local. i need to break out of local. what a treasure my little book is. it's called the human's hand book. it is only 102 pages but it is
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metaphysical, self-help and humorous. >> back to marketing. you used the word discoverability. can you expand on that? >> discover su but above the become more options than ever. through social media through what you do yourself to get a core audience to know about your book but you have to know how to do it. you have to set up your facebook, tweet, know where your potential audience is and go for it. you can find communities, social communities and market directly to that rather than throwing everything against the wall. you say your book is
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metaphysical, you look at communities online try to get them aware of your books, what you can do. whether >> host: what is hey how's come is that self-publishing? >> guest: it's a wonderful publishing house that deals with a lot of actualization books,
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practical nonfiction. >> host: susan weinberg of what does a print run and is it a state secret? >> guest: the print run is simply literally the number of books a quarter to be manufactured and it has some relationship to the number of orders you're getting from stores for the print book. you don't need a print book. again that's one of those wonderful things when people talk about e-books what have they done to publishing? a nature of book is available all the time even if you run out of stock or the print book just isn't where it should be at that moment. is used to be called lost sales and now they are called e-book sales. it's not so much a trade secret as one of the danger working on all the time. it's not something that you think i don't want to know or is interested in and it changes.
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you go back to print. you put more out. it's one of those numbers that out of context is just another. it doesn't in itself tell you much. >> host: let's say perseus has the book into print run of 50,000 hardcover books. is not a big print run? >> guest: just like everything, it depends. it depends on the kind of book and the audience you're looking for and certain categories need a lot of books to be sitting out there at the moment of publication. certain categories are just reprint after reprint edges all of the books without ever having that one massive print run. >> host: i'm going to put you on the spot. if you were publishing harper lee's novel, what would your print run be transferred i'm not in a position to answer that question because i'm not talking to the retailer who is placing the order. that's why nobody is in a position when outside publishing
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company to evaluate that because it starts with the retailers were placing the orders. you are at that moment working filling your orders and try to get the book at all the right places. >> guest: there is no science to print run. 50,000 these days is a very healthy number. the number of outlets has decreased for print book. but you know, history matters. if you have been published before, your print run is based in which he sold in the past because like author david baldridge unit would be based on a very healthy sale of your previous book. on the other hand, your print record may be small maybe a literary novel, a very small nonfiction book starts with 5000, 7500. these are really fun books where you look at months or years later and decide that's in its
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15th printing. we are up to a couple hundred thousand. sometimes they are the silent as the sellers and their exciting. it does happen frequently. it little by little rather than going out with a huge splash. >> host: how important it is pamela paul in "the new york times" book review to your world? >> guest: it's important for certain books and not so much for others. obviously, for certain kinds of fiction it's very important to. for more upmarket nonfiction it's important to its not as important for other genres like "the new york times" is not as important for romance writers or write the book necessarily. it really is the kind of book. a fantastic review in "the new york times" can help a book enormously. on the other hand, not getting a review or getting a bad review is not the kiss of


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