January
16th 2008
Faust-us too, or why you want a book agent

Posted under: American history, book reviews

gloria-swanson.jpgBook agents can do more than just procure fat advances from trade presses.  Drew Faust’s appearance on Fresh Air last week was apparently just the kickoff to her major media blitz.  Her new book is reviewed this week in both The Nation and in The New Yorker.  (OK–maybe “major media blitz” is an exaggeration–after all, it’s not People magazine’s Picks and Pans–but “a great slice of media that people who buy and read books pay attention to.”) 

Memo to all of you book agents out there who read Historiann.com:  I’m ready for my closeup.  And no, I won’t mind addressing all correspondence to ”My Dark Lord (or Lady) Satan.”

7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Faust-us too, or why you want a book agent”

  1. Sisyphus on 16 Jan 2008 at 11:33 pm #

    Forget a book agent —- I’d be willing to sell my soul to have the dissertation done.

    (Ok, maybe I’d hold out for both.)

  2. Susan on 17 Jan 2008 at 5:59 am #

    You didn’t mention the amazing review/article by Edward Ayres in the CHronicle. Sigh. I need a publicist.

  3. Historiann on 17 Jan 2008 at 7:30 am #

    Sis,

    Here’s my unsolicited advice: once the diss. is done, skip the book and go right to screenplay. That’s where the money is! (And p.s. to Susan–your next project could very well get you an agent!)

  4. squadratomagico on 17 Jan 2008 at 8:40 am #

    That is my favorite movie of all time. Period.
    Except… several Pedro Almodovar movies.
    And maybe Midnight Cowboy… OK, I can’t choose just one. But Sunset Boulevard is such a great film!

  5. Ari on 18 Jan 2008 at 8:58 pm #

    Awesome blog. Also: Do we think that Faust has been getting so much attention either because of her book or because she has an agent? (Hint: We do not.) Being the president of Harvard is probably a bigger deal here. Also: the first woman president at Harvard. Still, a good agent’s a mighty good thing to have.

  6. Historiann on 19 Jan 2008 at 8:17 am #

    Ari,
    Thanks for visiting! Good question–I’m sure that her recent coronation doesn’t hurt the news value of her book, but she did very well for herself way back when she was just a perfesser at Penn. All of her books were reviewed in the New York Review of Books, even when she was published by LSU Press and UNC Press–but although at Penn she was just across town from the Fresh Air studios, she was never (to my memory or knowledge) interviewed there.

  7. Ari on 19 Jan 2008 at 10:24 am #

    Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that she’s not a great historian. She really is. And was, as you imply, even before getting a new job. I was just saying that the president of Harvard, woman or not, can get invited onto pretty much any NPR show s/he wants. Which is a whole different kettle ‘o fish than getting reviewed in the Times.

    It’s not the agent that’s the variable, in other words, but the title. Now, the interesting question is whether the president of Harvard can get invited on Oprah, where one can really sell some books (and I mean REALLY, like tens of thousands with one visit). I’m guessing, with absolutely no data avaialbe to me at all, that said president would have a much better chance if she’s the first woman to occupy the job. (Unless said president had made inane and offensive comments about women in the sciences — that might also do the trick). Again, this takes nothing away from Faust, who’s a terrific scholar, and, by reputation, a wonderful person. it also takes nothing away from Oprah — assuming I’m right — who covers the gender beat and should take an interest in Faust’s ascension (sp? too lazy to look; sorry).

    Finally, I really do love your blog. And when you visit ours, you should consider included your blog’s URL when you comment — if you ever do again. But only if you want the readers (all eight of them) who visit our site to come to yours. Also, not that it’s my business, but why do you moderate comments prior to having them go up? We did for awhile. But then Bitch PhD and Michael Berube both explained that we were making a mistake. Well, if you want to hear more, send me an e-mail at my work address. If not, as I said, it’s really none of my business. And it’s not like your blog doesn’t work wonderfully just the way it. No need to change a thing.

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