Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Retire the catalog mailout.

HarperCollins just announced an eco-friendly industry move - online catalogs! According to the AP, Penguin (USA) and Random House are moving in a similar direction. Mike Merschel over at the Dallas Morning News just blogged his thoughts on the possible industry shift, confirming a little inkling I had.

Formerly a publicist at a division of Random House, I logged many hours (and subsequent papercuts) stuffing the shiny new catalogs into envelopes addressed to our list of coveted media contacts and over the years. I wondered how many trash cans they might have graced. I was in the literary pr biz at the crux of a ditigal turning point, yet the old school catalogs kept coming. As it turns out, things like blindly-mailed catalogs only tend to multiply in said contacts' mailboxes and then migrate to the garbage bin.

Recent initiatives in green publishing are also good news for book publicists. Online galleys + digital catalogs = more time for targeted pitching.

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