September 2012 – The Guardian/The Observer
Notes from September Meeting: The Guardian/The Observer
Sarah Crown, Books Editor, Guardian.co.uk email@example.com / 020 3353 3465
For the printed paper Sarah is interested in high end literary fiction. On line the variety of books covered is more eclectic. Most of the reviews come through the printed paper. Interested in good strong visuals for audio visual slide shows (around 3-4 minutes) where an author talks over images relating to their book; for example The Making of Audubonâ€™s Birds of America (The Guardian â€“ September 28th 2012). Also run podcasts and Claire Armistead is responsible for these. The main literary fiction interview on line is more genre-focussed than the print versions but not just crime or horror, could also be for instance poetry. Science Fiction if very popular â€“ currently re-reading Steven Kingâ€™s books. Looking to do more historical fiction as this has been rather overlooked up until now. Crime is not Sarahâ€™s area so the website is weak in this area. Lead times are more flexible than the printed paper and she can turn things around pretty quickly. As donâ€™t work closely with other departments, there isnâ€™t much chance of her passing things on but do please tell Sarah when another section of the paper is using a book. Yes, to press conferences but no to parties as not enough time! Sarah likes to meet publicists for coffee to discuss advance lists. Childrenâ€™s books are handled by Michelle Paulie (deputy editor of guardian.co.uk books). Michelle is also responsible for the books blog.
Lisa Allardice, Editor, Guardian Review Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7713 4984
Instead of having to wait until Saturdayâ€™s paper, reviews are published throughout the week due to the digital edition. You may previously have sent copies for review to Claire Armistead â€“ she now has more of a co-ordinating role â€“ Lisa edits the Review section. She is responsible for the cover story which is 4,000 words and can be an extract. She is also responsible for the interview (3,000 words approx). There are several other parts of the section where books can be used. Paul Laity covers non-fiction and Justine Jordan fiction. Deadlines are 3 pm on Wed and 3 pm on Thursday. Please email, try not to phone. Coffees are useful but not really lunch! Please be honest about where books are to be covered. Lisa is responsible for the column My Hero where figures from the world of literature describe the writers who inspired them.
Charlotte Northedge, Features Editor, Guardian Weekend email@example.com / 020 3353 3588
Charlotte loves really strong new ideas that havenâ€™t been read about before â€“ big writersâ€™ personal stories eg Ben Goldacre author of Bad Science feature worked really well. The personal stories need to be fairly extreme, well researched and a story that can be told in around 3,000 words. Author interviews need to be big name authors eg Jonathan Franzen , JK Rowling, Niall Leonard (E.L. Jamesâ€™ husband). Do please get in touch if you have a fiction author with a story to tell. Photography books with never before seen photos (ie photos Guardian photographers couldnâ€™t come up with) and a strong story behind them. Lead time is 2-3 month for extracts but can turn things around more quickly if necessary – very last minute would be about a week before publication date. If you would like a book to be seen by all sections of the paper, do send to all as they donâ€™t get the chance to pass things on. Please send ideas for the Experience column to Emma Cook and Q&A ideas to Rosanna Greenstreet. Childrenâ€™s books and genres fiction only covered if really big name authors.
Rob Fearn, Assistant Features Editor, g2 Rob.firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 3353 4156 (but email definitely better!)
G2 Monday to Friday â€“ topical news lead. Main interview on a Monday. G2 showcases well known authors eg Salmon Rushdie, Naomi Wolf etc. They run 2-3 extracts a months â€“ mainly non-fiction and topical eg Daniel Trilling (assistant editor at the New Statesman. His book Bloody Nasty People: the Rise of Britain’s Far Right”, is published by Verso)
Lighter things work well eg Ben Masters (wrote a book on University life called Noughties) did a great piece on the misuse of the word â€˜literallyâ€™. Try to think creatively about what sort of piece you think your author could write. Do keep in mind that The Guardian doesnâ€™t have much money to spend but their readers are engaged and buy books. Can do on-line interactives, for example relating to Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Canâ€™t Stop Talking (introvert/extrovert test).
Sarah Phillips sets up interviews for G2. Rob is happy to meet for coffee and also to chat through ideas on the telephone. In fact he asks you to â€˜do anything you can to make life easier for himâ€™ ie bullet points in your press releases highlighting things that might be of interest to him.
Lisa Oâ€™Kelly, Commissioning Editor, Observer New Review email@example.com / 020 77134996
Lisa doesnâ€™t work closely with colleagues from other sections of The Observer but can sometimes pass things on if she thinks they would be of interest. She deputises for Will Skidelsky, Observer Books Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org). She is interested in books for serialisation (similar style of books to those featured in Guardian Weekend section). Often a Q&A runs alongside the extract. Books need to be issue based e.g. economics and philosophy titles or biographies e.g. of Marilyn Monroe. Lisa likes strong personal stories particularly if the author is not well known. The big Q&A on page 5 of the section is often with an author. On page 3 there is always a big picture and a shorter feature. Likes a quirky piece with a twist to the story. Another regular slot is the mini-interview and this could be with a debut author. Lisa loves launch parties and coffees! There is a childrenâ€™s books round-up once every three months and books should be sent for the attention of Kate Kellaway.