More on Politics & Prose…

Earlier, we posted about Politics & Prose’s experience/policies regarding author appearances.

Freelancer (and author) Kelly Dinardo writes in to FishbowlDC with a reaction and personal anecdote:

Earlier this week, you included a post about Politics & Prose and how they canceled a book reading for political reasons. I was particularly interested to read owner Carla Cohen’s response and her line that the store does “not usually vet books before we schedule the talks, since we book these events months in advance. …”

I was absolutely shocked. In my experience, not only do they vet books before scheduling them, but they do so extensively. Months before Gilded Lili was to be released, my publicist got in touch with Politics & Prose. She was told we needed to send galleys 4-6 months in advance if we wanted to even be considered for their calendar. My publicist obliged and was in touch with the book store several times in the months before Gilded Lili came out. When she finally got a response, she was told:

“Our intention is to consider all the authors/books that we might be able to have as events; considering a range of subjects and the author’s local ties and/or name recognition. There are plenty more we have to turn down without even considering. I can’t schedule on a first-come, first-served basis … It helps us to see a galley and take a look at the book …”

Clearly they vet books. Gilded Lili didn’t make their cut, which was fine. The book was very warmly received and supported by Olsson’s. But for Politics & Prose to say they don’t vet books is absolutely untrue.

Gilded Lili clearly didn’t have the potential political controversy that Palestine Inside Out did, but I suspect a biography about a burlesque dancer — even one with a starred PW review — just wasn’t high brow enough for Politics & Prose.