Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Novel tells tales of B2B magazine sleaze

Years ago I had a friend who worked at a tiny B2B magazine in Washington, D.C. And it bothered him to no end that in our nation's capitol -- a place were "journalist" is a job with a considerable degree of caché -- he worked at a nondescript rag staffed by unskilled editors and unethical bosses. It wasn't that the job was so awful. It was that he was convinced he was missing out on the glamour of a life in another part of the media.
So he consoled himself by working endlessly on a script for a situation comedy about the nutty and charming characters at a trade magazine.

I thought about that guy recently when another writer at another trade magazine sent me a press release announcing the publication of his novel that "satirizes the compromised ethics at play in the fictional offices of American Tractor Times magazine."

Now I don't expect to live long enough for my old friend's B2B sitcom to appear on my television. But I wouldn't have thought I'd live long enough to see a humorous book about B2B publishing either. So anything is possible.

I'm not going to offer a review of the novel, which bears the-wink-and-a-nod-to-James-Frey title of "A Million Little Pieces of Feces." I can't. I haven't read it yet. But I have ordered the book. And you should think about doing so too.
Because even if it isn't funny, any book about compromised ethics in B2B may cause some embarrassment to the least ethical among us.
And that's worth $18.99 plus shipping and handling.

CORRECTION: The author of the book sent an email to tell me that his work is not a graphic novel, as I said in an earlier version of this post, but is rather "a traditional novel, all 90,000 or so words."
I regret the error.

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