By Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer
In a recent Q&A with industry professional Clay Smith, who is the Editor in Chief of Kirkus Reviews, Smith reveals his path to his current position, the future of the book review magazine, how the publishing industry is affected by changes in technology, and more:
MEDIA CONNECT: Clay, what road did you take to rise to editor in chief of Kirkus?
Clay Smith: My first journalism job was at the Austin Chronicle, the alt weekly in Austin, and I immediately gravitated to the books department there. An alt weekly is a great place to start in journalism. I found the editors there really receptive to writing for them, even if I didn’t directly work for them. I eventually became a senior editor there, leaving in 2002 to attend NYU’s Cultural Reporting and Criticism graduate program. My timing was all off when I graduated, and I realized that I had only interviewed people who wanted to be interviewed by me: writers, musicians, filmmakers. So I did a six–month investigative journalism fellowship at the Dallas Observer and interviewed some people who didn’t really want me poking around. I’m very glad I did it, but I’d rather stick with covering writers. At the end of that fellowship, I began working seasonally for Sundance Film Festival, interviewing their filmmakers for their website, which is also when the Texas Book Festival called me, because their literary director position was open. I was the literary director of that festival from 2005-2012, doing freelance journalism when I could, and I joined Kirkus as features editor in November of 2012.
By Anna Patrick, Assistant Digital Publicist
On this day as we celebrate all who have served for our country, the MEDIA CONNECT team has been reflecting on those brave individuals in one of the best ways we know how: through their written accounts. Here’s a list of a few of our favorite veteran and military-related books from around the office:
If you’re interested in understanding the mindset and emotions of our solders in Afghanistan, Sebastian Junger does a great job of capturing the daily life and tensions of fighting in one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan, Korengal Valley. He spent 14 months with a platoon there so the reader gets a good feel for specific individuals. The book, WAR, came out in 2010 and was based on a series of articles that Junger and photographer, Tim Hetherington, created for Vanity Fair. This material also formed the basis for the documentary, Restrepo. The book doesn’t take a political view, but rather explores the adrenaline high that a lot of soldiers get hooked on while serving in combat zones. It also examines the commitment that each soldier feels toward one another along with the risks they’re willing to take to honor that commitment. Worthwhile reading.
-David Hahn, Managing Director
By Media Connect Chief Marketing Officer Brian Feinblum
While the nation frets over dealing with its $17,000,000,000 debt, some financial experts are encouraging individuals to go further into debt.
Media Connect helped launch a controversial personal finance/investment book, The Value of Debt: How to Manage Both Sides of Your Balance Sheet to Maximize Wealth by Thomas Anderson (Wiley Books), helping it hit No. 9 on The New York Times best-seller list for business hardcovers http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/hardcover-business-books/list.html
The debut book by a nationally recognized wealth strategist promulgates a powerful approach to debt and personal finances, maps out tax-free retirement income, and reveals a tool that both insulates against financial emergencies and also helps finance luxury items, real estate, and investing. He applies lessons from corporate financing practices and applies them to individuals. Anderson’s views may seem contrarian, even controversial, but he provides a compelling, alternative and holistic approach to personal finances.
By Anna Patrick, Assistant Digital Publicist
As the book Dogs With Old Man Faces, Portraits of Crotchety Canines by Tom Cohen circulates through our office, often followed by a chorus of “Aww’s,” dogs have become a regular subject of conversation around MEDIA CONNECT. While glancing over the glossy pictures of dogs of all breeds, colors and sizes, it raises familar questions: What is it about dogs that capture our hearts? What is it about dogs that solidify their kind as truly man’s best friend? While the answer to those questions often transcend words and flood our hearts with memories of that one special canine that was or is always with us, we continue to celebrate the dogs that inspire, motivate, and loyally support us all at our best and worst. Inspired by Tom’s adorable portraits, here are the pets behind the staff at MEDIA CONNECT.
Now, I know that everyone says they have the cutest or most lovable or smartest dog, but mine truly is all of the above. My loyal pup Bailey, a Golden Retriever, is nine years young and was born and raised in New Jersey (that place below New York). He’s a handsome, intelligent young man whose reputation precedes him. Like most Goldens, he’s extremely loyal and lovable, and an excellent family dog. It’s been an honor to watch him grow into… Well, actually, now that I think about it, besides not chewing our furniture or (god forbid) shoes anymore, he’s pretty much the same care free, happy-go-lucky guy he was eight and a half years ago! On an average day you can find him basking in the sun, trying to get someone to play fetch with him, or forlornly watching from the front window as we leave for work.
By Anna Patrick, Assistant Digital Publicist
Top row, left to right: Chris Ulloth, Alison Jordan, Alexandra Israel and Anna Patrick. Bottom row, left to right: Karissa Hearn, Cori Cagide and Emily Labes
Last Thursday the MEDIA CONNECT and Finn Partners team enjoyed a festive Halloween Happy Hour at Bloom’s Tavern, an Irish pub that recently opened near our office building in Midtown East.
‘Tis the season…to fire up the oven! For full bellies and festive get-togethers, here are some of MEDIA CONNECT’S favorite cookbooks and recipes to inspire your Thanksgiving dinner preparations:
Winter Frittata, a crustless veggie quiche from Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe, is a great dish for the day after, especially if you have a crowd spending the night!
Kristin Clifford, Partner, Director of MC Satellite
by Media Connect Chief Marketing Officer Brian
While working with Allen Baron to promote his new book, it dawned on me that he is a classic case of being just six degrees of separation from everyone in Hollywood from the last six decades.
Early in his career he had a bizarre and dangerous adventure while working in Castro’s Cuba, shortly after the revolution, on a low-budget film starring Errol Flynn. Baron provides a connection from Old Hollywood to today’s version.
He went on to write, direct, and act in the low-budget film, Blast of Silence, at the age of 32. The film caused a mild sensation in 1961, and he received a contract in Hollywood that turned his life around and launched a career spanning three decades in film and TV.
MEDIA CONNECT is ready for a good scare this Halloween! Once you’ve carved your pumpkins and decked the halls with witches, ghosts, and ghouls, be sure to cuddle up with a glass of cider and one of MEDIA CONNECT’S favorite spooky reads.
A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
A short story I was assigned to read in 11th grade English still gives me the creeps — A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner. In the story, a narrator tells us about Emily Grierson, the last member of an old aristocratic Southern family. Her controlling father never let her marry, and she’s a recluse her whole life, aside from a brief fling she had with a Northerner named Homer Barron. Just when it seems they’re about to get married, Homer disappears — and a terrible smell begins to emanate from Emily’s house. Decades later, when Emily finally dies, the townspeople realize what she’s been hiding her whole life. Prepare to be creeped out in an eerie, really sad sort of way.
–Ali Zielger, Assistant to the Publicity Team
By David Hanh, Managing Director at MEDIA CONNECT
MEDIA CONNECT celebrated Sandy Trupp’s transition to Publishing Consultant after her many years of excellent service to the agency and its clients. At a party this summer in Manhattan Sandy was feted by her colleagues from MEDIA CONNECT and Finn Partners at Tony’s di Napoli on the Upper East Side.
By Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer, Senior Vice President at MEDIA CONNECT
There are many challenges to making an impact in the publishing marketplace, and for one UK-based publisher, breaking into the American book world is easier when the media is supporting you. One of our clients, The Carlton Publishing Group, recently began working with MEDIA CONNECT to promote its leading photography book line, Goodman Fiell. This year, their line of books is being released into the United States by Illinois-based distributor, Continental Sales, Inc.. The line was featured in this week’s Publishers Weekly, seen here.