Blogs About Publishing: Books on the Nightstand

19 Sep

This week, thanks to Lori Cates Hand at Publishing Careers and Krisan Matthews at The Publishing Curve, I came across a cool new (to me, that is) blog: Books on the Nightstand. It’s the product of Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman, both editors sales reps at Random House.

I always find it interesting to read blogs by people who work at big giant publishing houses.  Sure, by virtue of being a small publisher, in our office all of us get to see the different facets of the publishing biz up close and personal: Lindsey is selling books and next to her Grace is getting books put together while in the next room Melanie is wrangling daily office life: purchases, travel requisitions, order fulfillment, intern schedules, and the like. (Oh, right, and then there’s me: standing around all wound up, plotting world domination through book publishing, tapping my watch, and asking people to work faster.) But, it’s a completely different scale and scope when you get to hear from specialists at large companies talking about what they do and the sorts of resources they have to work with.

Which is all well and good . . . so why is it, you may be asking, that there is a picture of the books on the nightstand next to my bed in this post?

That’s because BOTN is giving away five free books in honor of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. All you have to do by midnight tonight is post a comment at this blog post at their blog with the link to your nightstand photo. Four winners will be chosen at random; one will be chosen based on creativity and style.

Much like Lori and Krisan, I have eschewed creativity for verisimilitude. There are the five books that have been on my nightstand for a while now—Collapse, The PITA Principle, University Inc, The Cardiac Recovery Handbook, and The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps. Even though I have plowed through parts of all these books, I have to admit that they’re on my nightstand so that I can start reading them again (and actually finish) as I’ve had all of them for a while. Instead, over the last couple of weeks—especially while I was stuck at home after getting back from each round at the hospital—I spent a lot of time reading a stack of remaindered books I got at our local Barnes & Noble: Revolution #9, The Ghost, and (for the sake of full but moderately embarrassing disclosure) You Can Run But You Can’t Hide. I was also trying to get going on Black Girl/White Girl but Joyce Carol Oates’ novels have one of two effects on me: after the first chapter I’m either hooked for the whole thing (Man Crazy and Bellefleur, for example) or I can tell that I’m never going to come even remotely close to making it to the end. And, I’m afraid, this is one of the latter for me as opposed to the former.

So, what other books do people have lurking out there on their nightstands: the good, the bad, or even just indifferent?



3 Responses to “Blogs About Publishing: Books on the Nightstand”

  1. Ann Kingman September 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm #

    Thanks so much for reading Books on the Nightstand and showing us your own nightstand — very impressive!

    I do just need to set the record straight, though. Michael and I are both sales reps for Random House, which as you know, is a role that is very very different from that of editor. So while we not only get the inside scoop on books that Random House is publishing, we also spend most of our days in bookstores, absorbing the incredible knowledge and enthusiasm of great booksellers. We that that makes for a unique perspective and we love to share that with our readers and listeners. However, we make no claim to editorial expertise, and in fact I usually struggle to know where to properly place a comma.

    Thanks again, Mark!

    Books on the Nightstand

  2. Mark Long September 21, 2008 at 9:56 am #

    Hi Ann,

    Many thanks for stopping by our blog . . . and for getting me squared away on y’all’s jobs at Random House. I have to admit, given that we do primarily academic adoption sales, getting an inside perspective on trade sales is something we’re all really interested in here.


  1. And the winners of the "Show Us Your Nightstand" contest are … - January 1, 2010

    […] Mark’s nightstand gets applause (but no extra consideration) for housing The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps, which is a fun and fantastic (and huge) collection of good old-fashioned pulp mysteries. Nice taste! Mark has won his own copy of the book that I am currently reading – Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner. […]

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