Paul Constant: “One publicist in the Macmillan booth spots my name tag and yells at me for a negative review of a memoir by Mike Edison—the former editor in chief of High Times and publisher of Swank —called I Have Fun Everywhere I Go, that Ari Spool posted on The Stranger‘s music blog, Line Out. ‘You really hurt Mike’s feelings,’ she exclaims, and continues, ‘And I think it’s borderline irresponsible journalism for you to be running things like that.’ A couple other publicists step in and try to defuse the situation with humor—’Oh, imagine that, someone didn’t like Mike Edison, ha ha!’ Ignoring the fact that Spool’s post was fairly evenhanded, this has never happened to me before, and I’ve written reviews with the express intent of pissing off publicists. The mood of sales reps and publicists in the majors’ booths usually tends to be bored aloofness; this year, they seem aggressive, neurotic, and strung out.”
Funny that. As it so happens, this same publicist has tried to pull similar shit with me. She even unfurled one of those predictable “You don’t exist in my universe” routines last Friday night. Meanwhile, publicists who are friendly, inquire politely without pestering, return phone calls and emails promptly, exhibit a sense of humor, pay attention to the kinds of books I like, and who go out of my way to understand the website and my scheduling requirements often get their authors onto The Bat Segundo Show. Imagine that!
Incidentally, the Ari Spool review is hardly that harsh.
[UPDATE: I’ve spoken with the publicist in question and it appears that there was a misunderstanding on Friday. I should note that the party’s atmosphere was considerably cacophonous, which could have easily created the social impression that I divined. My policy with all publicists is that, no matter where things stand, I am always open to communication. Even those who loathe what I do.]