Thursday, August 09, 2012

Are we entitled to book promotion?

Are we entitled to book promotion? Or book sales? Or shelf space in a particular bookselling venue? Joan Rivers seems to think Costco has banned her autobiography, I Hate Everyone … Starting with Me, and I guess that's possible. However, the book publicist in me tends to think that Joan Rivers is on the wrong track here. Many books are pitched to Costco. Given Costco's limited shelf space (so to speak), few books are chosen. Saying that Costco banned Joan Rivers' autobiography is like suggesting that "Entertainment Tonight" banned Joan Rivers' memoir by choosing not to schedule her as a guest or that Publishers Weekly or Library Journal banned Rivers' autobiography by deciding not to review it (assuming "ET" didn't book Joan Rivers, and assuming PW and Library Journal didn't review Rivers' memoir, which I don't know to be the case).

So, okay, Costco might have found Joan Rivers' book (or Joan Rivers herself) to be objectionable, and its book buyer may have decided to forgo the opportunity to stock Joan Rivers' book. But does one potential book buyer deciding to not buy a book constitute a boycott? Joan Rivers seems to think so...but this book publicist, I'm happy to say, has a bit more common sense than that.