Tuesday, August 7, 2007

To whom it may concern

Many publishers and publicists include letters of introduction with their galleys as a way of making it look like they're personally recommending the book to you rather than having some overworked, underpaid intern shove it in an envelope and slap on a mail merge address label. (Instead, the overworked, underpaid intern wedges a folded piece of paper into the galley before shoving it in an envelope and slapping on a mail merge address label.) I would never suspect any of our reviewers of intentionally cribbing from these letters, of course, but sometimes phrases pop up in your brain when you're writing to deadline, and it's not always easy to remember where they came from, so I always glance at them despite knowing full well that the content is full of ridiculous hype and probably factually inaccurate.

I just came across a publicity letter that begins "Dear Piblishers Weekly". I can only hope that was the fault of the above-mentioned overworked, underpaid intern and not the press's editor and publisher, whose signature--actual, not scanned-and-printed--appears at the bottom of the page. Best of all would be a mistake in their mail merge database. I'll have to see if I catch the same error on letters accompanying their future books.