Back in the spring, SiriusXM and PW came up with the idea of creating a PW-branded show that would air on SiriusXM’s Book Radio channel. It would be an hour long, it would air weekly, and it would be full of awesome consumer-focused bookish goodness. Based on the podcast I’d been doing for PW, I was asked to be one of the hosts. For the other, we picked my fellow editor Mark Rotella, who handles consumer nonfiction reviews and our regular “Why I Write” feature; between the two of us we see most of the popular books, Mark had done some radio promo for his own book that demonstrated his great voice and presence, and we work well together.
“Come to the studio and record a demo,” the Sirius execs said. To do that we needed an interviewee. Neil Gaiman graciously consented to be a guinea pig (as well as a demonstration that we could scare up some literary star power on short notice), and at the appointed time we called him and interviewed him “on the air” in Sirius’s very spiffy studio. That piece will probably never see the light of day, but it did its job of being a satisfactory proof of concept. We did a live broadcast from BEA in June, which made everyone very happy, and since then it’s been a matter of getting the details hammered out to everyone’s satisfaction.
Now I’m delighted to announce that Publishers Weekly Radio is officially a thing! It is a thing, specifically, that happens on SiriusXM Book Radio (channel 80) every Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. You can listen on your handy SiriusXM device or through the Sirius website. Our first broadcast was on December 6th, interviewing Eloisa James about her romance novels and memoir and chatting with PW children’s reviews editor John Sellers about Christmas books for kids, and we’ll keep doing them until they make us stop. So far it’s exhausting and fun in about equal measure, and over time I expect we’ll build up our radio muscles and it will get more fun and less exhausting.
Please do tune in, follow us on Twitter at pubwklyradio, and send us suggestions for future people to interview–maybe Neil will be willing to do it again for real this time!–and questions to read and answer on the air. The focus is very much on providing industry insider info that will demystify books and publishing, and we’d love to know what you would want to hear on a show like that.
(And yes, I’m still doing everything else I was already doing at PW.)
Wow, this week! When I was describing it on Twitter, Ruth Sternglantz said it sounded like “a pie-eating contest where the prize is more pie” and that about sums it up.
The June romance issue of PW came out on Monday, with great articles by Julie Naughton: a big feature on contemporary romance, and two smaller pieces on YA romance and (my favorite) men who write romance novels. I’ve been wanting to write about the men of the romance world for ages, and they gave us some really fascinating insights into what it’s like being a guy in an overwhelmingly female industry, and why romance writing calls to them.
BEA was terrific, if super busy. I had almost no time to socialize, but I did get to meet Masumi Washington of Haikasoru and Christopher Payne of Journalstone, both of whom are lovely, and hang out a bit with Charlie Stross and Walter Mosley. The radio show went very well, I think. (My mom liked it, which of course is the audience that matters most!) We talked a lot about Ray Bradbury and got in a wonderful interview with Nelson DeMille. There’s a great picture of me and Mark with our headsets on in the day 3 Show Daily. Also in that issue is my recap of the SF/mainstream panel with Walter Mosley, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, and John Scalzi. You don’t need to be a PW subscriber to read the Show Daily; it’s all up on Scribd free of charge. To cap it off, I went to the NYPL reading with N.K. Jemisin, Catherynne Valente, Kristin Cashore, and Naomi Novik, introduced by Lev Grossman and backed by Brian Slattery’s band; given that line-up, I have no idea why there were only about 30 people in the audience, but the 30 of us enjoyed a really great show.
I got back to the office and edited Q&As with Jim C. Hines and Kij Johnson for our last two June issues; keep an eye out for those. Now I’m hip-deep in the fall announcements issue, when I get to prognosticate about trends in romance and SF/F/H. As of right now, I have no idea what those trends are! But this is one reason why I still love paper ARCs: I can look over the shelves at my desk and pick out hints of zeitgeist. Hopefully I will acquire two essays’ worth of hints by Tuesday.
On Wednesday, PW senior editor Mark Rotella and I recorded a one-hour BEA special for Sirius XM Book Radio! We chatted with the fabulous Nelson DeMille, shared memories of Ray Bradbury, and gave listeners a taste of the BEA experience. It aired at 7 p.m. on Sirius channel 80. Did you tune in?