Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Paging Sloane Crosley

If you are at all involved in book publicity, chances are you've heard of Ms. Crosley, and her recently-released book, "I Was Told There'd Be Cake."

By all accounts, it is a delightful collection of essays surrounding the mid-20's experience. It is published by Penguin. She herself is a book publicist in New York, is buddies with Candace Bushnell, and has dated Moby. Oh, and she sometimes moonlights for The Village Voice.

God I hate her.

Kidding! In fact, Sloane Crosley seems not only nice, but worth modeling ourselves after, if you're a publicist. Here is what Lockhart Steele (what a name!), former managing editor of Gawker, had to say about Sloane:

“[Sloane is unique] among media people. You deal with so much b******t from people and so much b******t from publicists trying to tell you this is great or this is the next great American novelist.”

And Leon Neyfakh in the New York Observer:

"Ms. Crosley, by comparison, cuts to the chase with editors and writers, and conscientiously tailors her pitches to suit their tastes. In other words, where publicists of all kinds—for movies, books, socialites and dentists—have created a giant wall of noise, Ms. Crosley manages to be heard above the racket, recommending her writers and titles to others with a gentle caress instead of a swift kick."

First of all - dentists have publicists?

Second - Sloane sounds like a fine example of the publicist who has transcended all publicist stereotypes. You know the ones I'm talking about. Loud. Chirpy. Substance-less. Hooray for Sloane for giving book publicists a good - nay, aspiration-worthy! - name.

But here is the number one thing I want to point out about Sloane. And it isn't the fact that her parents apparently named her after Ferris' girlfriend in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

When Sloane is not a publicist, she is an accomplished writer.

Leon again:
"Like a lot of book publicists, [Sloane] has wanted to be a writer all along. She majored in creative writing and did summer internships at Mirabella and The New Yorker. When she graduated and moved to New York in 2000, she did so with the intention of finding a job at a magazine."

Oh Sloane! I see myself in you!

Publicists, how many of us out there secretly yearn to see our name in bylines? On books? Just like our authors!

I think it's worth it for all of us to have a side writing project, outside of book publicity - even if it's a private diary that no one else sees, or a LiveJournal account you maintain under a teenage pseudonym (imagine everyone's surprise when GrrlSuperstar1992 publishes her first novel!). Perhaps the reason everyone, from media to authors, looooove Sloane Crosley is very simple: she is also a writer. She knows what writers want - authors want to be understood, media wants good stories.

So book publicists, can you hear me? It's time to join ranks with our author clients. Sloane Crosleys or not - it never hurts us to be better writers.

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