Archive for September, 2010

Putting the spin on women’s fiction

I had Cape Breton author Lesley Crewe in Toronto last week for a publicity tour for her new novel, Her Mother’s Daughter. This turned out to be a tough project — nothing to do with the author or the publisher: Lesley is simply lovely and publicist Diane at Nimbus was really attentive and on-the-ball. The problem was two-fold: 1) For two weeks before Lesley’s arrival in Toronto the city’s arts media was all TIFF all the time, and 2) Lesley writes contemporary women’s fiction.  Thing is, she’s a best-selling “chick lit” author, so I played that up — a best-selling author whom you’ve probably never heard of if you live west of Sydney, NS.  Print media for the most part ignored the pitch, however Chatelaine gave the book a mention in its October Book Club pages — a direct hit to the target market (and a sigh of relief).

Now to make sure folks came to Lesley’s readings at the Toronto Public Library. A print interview in any of the local papers would have been perfect in the days leading up to the readings, but when it became clear that wouldn’t happen, I relied on the listings route. Found a site called EastCoastConnected, a website for East Coasters who live away from home, and they listed Lesley’s events, as did the TPL, OpenBook Toronto and Torontoist. Her events were moderately well-attended (let’s say there was nothing embarrassing about the turn-out). But it wasn’t these listings so much as a CBC Here & Now interview that got people (for the most part women over 50) out to the readings.  A — I must admit — last minute “oh-what-the-hell-maybe-they’ll-have-her-on” pitch mere days before her arrival. And that’s just how it turns out sometimes …

Published by Vagrant / Nimbus

P.S.  I also had Lesley on two Toronto-based InternetTV programs, but the interviews were  cringe-worthy and not worth mentioning. I was tempted to grab the mic and take over the shows.

Updated: SNAP North Toronto covered the Locke Branch reading, too.


September 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

Waiting for Superman

Last week’s TIFF screening of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, the new David Guggenheim documentary (his last was An Inconvenient Truth),  got great buzz,  especially with Bill Gates showing up to lend the film — and the cause (the crumbling state of US schools) — his support.  The doc is produced by Participant Media, and together with PublicAffairs, they also produce “companion books” called Participant Guides.  The Waiting for Superman Participant Guide is available now. The film opens in Toronto on October 1.  Critics at TIFF call it a shoe-in for Best Documentary  Oscar.

September 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment


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