Thursday, November 08, 2007

Authors Lose Air Time as Writers Strike

By Edward Nawotka -- Publishers Weekly, 11/8/2007 10:23:00 AM

The Hollywood writer’s strike has reverberated in the halls of New York publishing, in particular with the suspension of production of the late night talk shows that have become integral to launching a book to a national audience.

This week Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart had interviews scheduled with Karen Greenberg, author of The Torture Debate in America (Cambridge Univ. Press), Robert Reich, author of Supercapitalism (Knopf), CNN talking head Lou Dobbs, author of Independents Day (Viking), and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, author of Surrender Is Not an Option (Threshold). No interviews have made it on air. And The Colbert Report planned to interview David Levy, author of Love And Sex With Robots, AJ Jacobs author of The Year Of Living Biblically, and radio producer David Isay, author Listening Is An Act Of Love.

“For the right author, they are the gold standard,” said Lisa Johnson, v-p executive director of publicity and marketing for Dutton and Gotham. Gotham author Jared Cohen was scheduled to appear next Monday on The Colbert Report to talk about his book Children of Jihad. “It is his first book and getting him booked on Colbert was a coup.”

Johnson pointed out that Stewart and Colbert’s shows are not the only late night gab fests that hosted authors: The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is also known for promoting books. Johnson’s author Jenny McCarthy, whose latest book is Louder than Words, had an appearance cancelled this week due to the strike.

“It’s not as if our business is going to collapse,” said Paul Bogaards, executive director of publicity at Knopf. “But we publicists are desperate to get our authors in front of readers and these are lost opportunities, especially as we enter the holiday shopping season.”

"We go through this all the time," added Johnson. "There's always something in the news to contend with, either politics, a natural disaster, a war," said Johnson. "It's rarer when it doesn't happen."

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