Books in the media

<p>In the debate on this website about the value of the latest World Book Day survey, <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/79191-wbd-reveals-nations-reading-secr... user writes that &quot;it is incredibly difficult to get any book-related story into the national media&quot;.</a><br />
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Really? Of course the PRs behind WBD are very good at it, but from what I see books punch well above their weight when it comes to the coverage they get in the media. Think of&nbsp; the endless column inches devoted to the &quot;death of the book&quot;, <i>The Jewel of Medina</i>, the Booker Prize, &quot;<a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/68440-super-thursday-boosts-book-sales... Thursday</a>&quot;, and <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/78755-dubai-debate-skirts-bedell-ban.h.... People are interested in &quot;books&quot;, the people who write them, the shops that sell them, and sometimes even the publishers who bring them to market.</p>
<p>In fact, such is the attention some stories get, one might wonder whether this is always good news?</p>
<p><a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/in-depth/trade-profiles/78078-of-love-and-l... couple of weeks ago we ran an interview with Julie Myerson about her new book <i>The Lost Child</i> (Blooms&shy;bury, 4th May).</a> The book charts the decline of her relationship with her eldest son, who she says became addicted to the powerful form of cannabis &quot;skunk&quot;, an addiction which led to him being locked out of the family home. For anyone with or associated with young children the interview is painful and unnerving. &quot;Even looking at baby photographs is painful, so I don't. It has tinged everything,&quot; Myerson says in conclusion.<br />
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<a href="http://news.google.com/news?pz=1&amp;ned=us&amp;hl=en&amp;q=%22julie+mye... <i>The Bookseller </i>we are well-used to our stories getting picked up by the wider media: but even so the reaction to this author interview has been surprising. </a>Myerson's son is unhappy: among other things he has suggested his famous mother was using the family's private ordeal to sell her books.<br />
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The furore has now moved off the news pages to the opinion columns. <a href="http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23657305-details/Your+son... the Standard, Will Self writes: &quot;This writerly cannibalism has now reached a grim apotheosis, with the author herself pre-puffing her latest book . . .&quot;</a><br />
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<a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1159444/JAN-MOIR-How-mother-th... Mail's Jan Moir is somewhat cattier: &quot;Such principles! Particularly coming from the kind of chattering-class queen who I bet a pound to a penny would sneer without hesitation at the cheap thrills of Big Brother-type reality television and baulk at the tackiness of confessional celebrity culture.&quot;</a><br />
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Is Bloomsbury questioning its decision to put Myerson forward for an interview? Or rubbing its hands with glee? Probably neither. The publisher and author would most likely have expected some kind of backlash, even if the ferocity might have come as a surprise. Its next step might well be to bring the publication date of the book forward. Or at least weather the storm for a while before allowing Myerson to put out her side of the story once again. There will certainly be interest.<br />
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Putting this in a wider context, what all this means for the business is that books still matter. At a time when there are concerns about where digital is taking the industry, what form books will take in the future, and whether there will be a flight away from quality as a result, it is sometimes good to remind ourselves that what gets printed between two covers remains important.</p>