Last week I discovered that many of you who responded to my post about blurbs don’t actually place much stock in them, so now I’m offering up another of publishing’s sacred cows to see whether (and how) it’s barbequed. I’m curious about the publicity or promotion that is most likely to convince you to buy a book. NYT Book Review, appearance on The Daily Show, Oprah segment, Salon, Slate? Although I ought not play favorites, the book publicity to which I most respond has to be the NPR interview, in particular, Fresh Air’s long form, in depth, almost-always-memorable conversation with an author. Somehow, even more than a lengthy review, this format—which is capacious enough to allow a writer not only to discuss her thesis, but explore her ideas in detail—succeeds in piquing my interest.
I listen when I can, and download the podcast for times that I can’t tune in. This past Tuesday’s interview was with psychiatrist and author Daniel Carlat, whose new book Unhinged, The Trouble with Psychiatry, has just been added to my to-read list. My fondness for NPR in general and Fresh Air in particular may border on the unhealthy, but mine is a functional addiction, and enables me to participate willingly in any number of otherwise tedious chores/activities: running on a treadmill, folding laundry, doing dishes, even, on occasion, cooking. My husband refers to NPR as “the drone” and teases me mercilessly regarding its dangerous propensity for inducing catatonia, but as far as books are concerned, and sometimes music, I find NPR tremendously convincing.
What sort of promotion/interview/feature captures your attention?