Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Eek! How Did I Miss This?

I've been scanning my feeds much too quickly lately, since I missed entirely that Crown editor Jason Pinter got fired for a post on his personal blog. I caught up with the story today with the news that he has a new job at St. Martin's Press (and good for them for snapping him up).

The post that got him fired is down now, but GalleyCat summarized it here (with added BookScan numbers, which apparently Pinter didn't include in his own post).

If the GalleyCat account of events is correct -- and I don't see why it wouldn't be -- then Pinter was fired, not for revealing anything proprietary, but simply for pointing out that a book from FSG (anointed by Starbucks) was outselling a book published by his employers (anointed by B&N). That's pretty harsh, and it's not as if the Bohjalian book isn't selling really well -- it was the #3 hardcover fiction book the week in question, after all.

GalleyCat says that it was pressure from Random House higher-ups that led to the firing; I would have guessed that B&N demanded that Crown shed him, but I'm cynical like that. The Random House blog guidelines GalleyCat links to in the new-job post leads to an error page, so I don't know what RH's specific rules were -- they may very well have said something like "don't ever talk, in any way that might remotely be viewed as negative, about any book published by any RH imprint," and, if so, I guess Pinter could have violated that. But this certainly looks like massive over-reaction from where I'm sitting. (And where am I sitting? As a blogger who works for another Bertlesmann company, that would be anxiously, pulling on my collar and looking over my shoulder with a nervous chuckle.)

So, if any of you out there have been wondering when I was going to start sharing the juicy stuff...the answer is never. I might have poor impulse control (look at the way I keep walloping on poor ol' Dave Itzkoff, for example), but I'm not stupid.

No comments:

Post a Comment