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The Weekly Blague

And Furthermore…

If I may elaborate on yesterday's blog post, about the PR person from a major publishing house who told a roomful of authors, "We turn down good books from people we think aren't good-looking enough": Part of what bothered me, and everybody else who was there that night, was the arrogance and self-satisfaction with which this woman made that statement. She said it in a tone that communicated, "That's the way it is. That's the way it should be. There's nothing wrong with it. And even if there were, there's nothing you can do about it."

Which raises a question that went unasked: When, exactly, did the publishing industry lose the ability to market books because they’re good, rather than because they were written by (or, more likely, ghostwritten for) young, pretty celebrities?

Today, of course, is the semi-official US publication day of Beaver Street—a good book, critically acclaimed in the UK, and written by an author who’s neither young, pretty, nor a celebrity in the Hollywood A-list sense of that word. (Though my name does appear in boldface in the current issue of Vanity Fair.) And I’d like very much to prove to whomever might be paying attention that my aesthetic and chronological shortcomings will not interfere with my ability to get out there and “move product,” if I may use such a term.

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