Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Plagiarism in Book Promotion?

In the old days -- well, up until this morning -- the big question about book promotion was: is it better to receive a mediocre (or even a hostile) reception from media outlets than to receive no book promotion opportunities at all. I could argue both sides of that question, and I often have entered into such a debate. (Although, admittedly, as a book publicist I am biased in favor of the "any book publicity is good publicity" side of the argument.)

But this morning I read a strange story in The Book Standard titled: 'NY Times' Regrets Publishing Book Essay that made me realize there's a new issue. Is it better to have a self-promotional essay published with your byline in one of the nation's top daily newspapers and be accused of plagiarism, or is it better to refrain from having that self-promotional essay not published at all?

The book promotion world is full of oddities, but this story is one of the strange tales I've read about lately. So, if your self-promotional article or essay has failed to capture the attention of a major media outlet such as the New York Times, perhaps it's a blessing in disguise. Who knows?