Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When You Return Home, It's Time to Catch up on Newspapers, and This One's a Doozy from McSweeneys

At Winter Institute, we had publisher speed dating, where we spend over three hours listening to 15 minute presentations from sales reps, managers, and marketing folk. Most of the books were coming out in the future, but when we got to PGW, Elise and Leslie included the new McSweeneys #33, The San Francisco Panorama newspaper.

It's not often that I shed a tear when presented a title. And we'd already gotten our five at the store. But there was only one conceivable response when I saw this laid out before me--call Jason up immediately and have him order ten more! (Still not very much--twas a time when we'd sell 20-25 of these, but I think these folks are now subscribers).

I was so excited to return back to Boswell to find that Stacie had put together a wonderful newsstand style display for the paper. It's getting lots of stares. I looked at it and was convinced I could collect some RDA on it (that's newspaper coop, for those not in the know).

It's in the form of a newspaper, including sports, arts, food, a feature magazine, a puzzle page. I bought my copy immediately and ransacked it, as if I was in a new town and had just found the best newspaper ever.

And so thick. One of the most depressing part of travel nowadays is buying the local paper (on this trip, The (Saint Paul) Pioneer Post and The San Jose Mercury News, and seeing how thin they were. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle, as it still had lots of book coverage. And I know part of this is the disappearance of ads. But still.

(Note: we for one are still placing ads in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Cue section, as close to the book pages as possible. You might have spotted our ad last Sunday for February events).

But in McSweeneyland, every day is 1981, safely before the internet and all those alternative forms of advertising and marketing. (I originally imagined it in 1991, but I thought maybe by that point cable started making inroads.) And yet there's a 3D crossword puzzle. I suspect no reprint. So don't sit around waiting till Tuesday. The Sunday paper comes out on Sunday.

Oh, and I still have eight days of New York Times and Journal Sentinels to wade through. I did not read them online.

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