Monday, April 30, 2007

Adventures in marketing (not exactly by the book)

The back page of yesterday's Times Book Review takes on "quote doctoring"--the transformation of a nuanced or even, sometimes, a negative book review into a blockbuster blurb.

It happened to the Time magazine book critic Lev Grossman last October. Grossman says he was “quite taken aback” when he saw a full-page newspaper advertisement for Charles Frazier’s novel “Thirteen Moons” that included a one-word quotation — “Genius” — attributed to Time. Grossman was confused because his review “certainly didn’t have that word.” Eventually, he found it in a preview item he had written a few months earlier, which included the sentence “Frazier works on an epic scale, but his genius is in the details.” As Grossman put it, “They plucked out the G-word.”

Scott McLemee's review of Freakonomics for Time was not exactly positive. Yet a paperback edition of the book calls his review "largely positive."

Related: The Hollywoodization of restaurant reviews.

And since when did the publication of a book become a "release"? Just asking.

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