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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Publishing Community Upbeat – When Wine Is Served

I attended an industry event last night that I’ve been going to for years, the first of the season’s monthly gatherings of the Publishers Publicity Association (PPA).  The get-together, over the past four to five years seemed to mirror publishing – shrinking in size, pessimism in the air.  But yesterday was different.

There seemed to be optimism underlying the buzz and chatter.  The roof-top cocktail gathering appeared to hold more attendees than in recent years.  It felt energized and forward-thinking.  Those expecting to see a funeral were mistaken.

The book industry is still made up of intelligent, talented individuals who love books.  Many of the publicists are young women, some right out of college.  They give of their time and mind -- beyond their pay scale -- because they are doing what they love and doing it with pride.

No one accidentally winds up in book publishing.  You’re there because that’s where you belong.  More than likely, you belong nowhere else.  You love words and books, even more than you love people, but as publicists, you enjoy communicating with others as well.

The PPA event is nice for people who so often e-mail each other and don’t get to see a face match up to a name. It’s also one of the few times competitors mingle with one another.  Today the person you laughed with is calling the same editor or producer that you’re trying to convince should talk to your author over theirs.

Of course, the industry, like life itself, looks better through wine-colored glasses.  Maybe the key to selling more books is to get consumers to drink too.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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