As a publicist, it irks me when a reviewer uses the publicity material that accompanies a book as a jumping off point for a book review. However, if the reviewer uses the publicity material as the basis for a standalone story, I’m in!
Scott McLemee’s piece in today’s Inside Higher Ed analyzes and responds to a book publisher’s cover letter.
The new titles that arrive from publishers each week usually come with promotional material that, apart from remembering to recycle, I carefully ignore. But over the past week — thanks to an eagle-eyed colleague — I have been making up for this practiced neglect by lingering over one publicist’s letter in particular.
It is remarkable. It may be the most striking and provocative bit of prose concerning a scholarly book to have circulated in some while.