Interesting Items from the Book World, January 25 edition


Just a few more days until AWP 2011

How to spot yourself in AWP bookfair photos: wear orange stripes.

Writer Leslie Pietrzyk offers some very good advice on attending the AWP conference at her blog.There are a number of good suggestions in her blog, but I especially hope and pray we can all read and agree to this admonition:


“Someone will always ask a 20-minute question that is not so much a question but a way of showing off their own (imagined) immense knowledge of the subject and an attempt to erase the (endlessly lingering) sting of bitterness about having their panel on the same topic rejected. Don’t be that person.”

I also loved Leslie’s advice to make a budget ahead of time, and spend some money in the bookfair. Presses and journals need the support of readers and writers–help them out, buy their work, and become a critical part of the living, breathing organism that is the small press world.


The Great Gatsby…now in 3D!

The Great Gatsby
3D makes it feel as though his mind really never will romp again like the mind of God.

Anyone who knows me well, or has been forced to take a class from me–same thing–knows I’m a rabid F. Scott Fitzgerald fan. In fact, if you see me and my orange, stripe-ey dress at AWP, dare me to quote the last three pages of Chapter 4 from memory. If I’ve gotten any sleep the night before, I should be able to do it. So it shouldn’t come as much surprise that I was ambivalent about the Baz Luhrmann remake of Gatsby, though I thought it couldn’t fail but be better than the rotten Jack Clayton version. Then I learned it the remake would be in 3D.

That’s right. The Great Gatsby. In 3D. I can’t for the life of me understand why we would need jump-off-the-screen visuals, unless we’re going to see some non-Fitzgerald-sanctioned brawl between Daisy and Myrtle, in manner of Godzilla versus Mothra.

But I ask with all sincerity: is there anyone who’s excited about the 3D aspect of the film? I’d like to hear an argument for, as against seems to be leading the literary public’s opinion.

Publish–and Publicize–or Perish

Susan Orlean
Publicity. Everybody's got to do it. Even if you write for The New Yorker.

Finally, I ran across this New Yorker blog post by Susan Orlean last week. This blog piece is good not only for a knowing chuckle, but also for a reminder to writers that we’ve all got to fight the same publicity battles. In her checklist of considerations to undertake before writing a book, I particularly enjoy #5:


“Is the topic likely to lend itself to a good book trailer? Currently, how many views do you get on your YouTube channel, excluding those for your cat videos? If below a hundred thousand, can you get an A-list director to do your book trailer? If not, consider changing the topic.”


It’s overwhelming being a writer with a younger career, attempting to balance platform and promotion with writing and development of the craft. But it seems established writers like Orlean have just as much to contend with. Perhaps this revelation ought to be depressing, but for commiserative reasons, I found it heartening.

2 Replies to “Interesting Items from the Book World, January 25 edition”

  1. Well, these are the benefits of being startlingly pale and of having loud taste in clothing! 🙂 Thanks for reading, Claire!

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