Friday, February 1, 2008


This month's "Book News" cross-posted from Lisa Guidarini's Bluestalking Reader

Contact: Angela Hayes, Goldberg McDuffie Communications

"Titlepage" Will Debut March 3
New Online Literary Conversation Program

Long-Time New Yorker Editor, Author,
and Recent Random House Editor-in-Chief Daniel Menaker Will Host

NEW YORK, NY (January 30, 2008) - Eight months after leaving Random House, Daniel Menaker is returning to the book world, hosting an Internet show that will feature interviews with authors of all kinds, the first of its type on the web.

The show, "Titlepage," for which Menaker will serve as host and editorial producer, will feature a group of writers discussing their new books in a roundtable format. The debut season will include six episodes, the first of which will go live on on Monday, March 3, 2008.

"'Titlepage' is the perfect way to share my enthusiasm for books and their authors--in an instantly and permanently accessible format--with as many readers as possible," said Menaker. "I've always sought out literary conversations, and I think we can make them surprising and entertaining for anyone who might want to stop by. Editors, particularly editors who are also writers, like nothing more than to share their love of books with others --although the occasional royalty check is also pretty enjoyable."

"Titlepage" is the result of a collaboration between Menaker and Brown Hats Productions, headed by Odile Isralson and Lina Matta. It draws its inspiration from the classic French program "Apostrophes", PBS's "Charlie Rose," and "Dinner for Five," the actor's roundtable discussion seen on IFC.

Isralson and Matta feel that bringing the program to viewers on the net made more sense, and was clearly more cutting-edge, than producing it for network or cable television. "The line between screens has become blurred," Matta said. "Computer, TV, iPhone, iPod-they are all the same. People catch their shows whenever and wherever they can. The Internet allows viewers to manage their own entertainment and cultural resources in ways that traditional TV just can't match--such as interactive participation, watching supplementary content, selecting content according to one's own very specific interests, all of which add up to advantages for sponsors and advertisers."

"In other words," Menaker added, "They can choose to fast forward from Steve Martin to Martin Amis."

Isralson made the point that "one shouldn't have to have to live in New York City and pay $150 to some elite festival in order to be part of literary culture. From now on, if we have anything to do with it, you can be having dinner in Gillette, Wyoming, and enjoy a great hour of conversation about writing with your dessert and coffee. And thanks to Daniel, 'Titlepage' will be provocative, smart, and fun. I think we'll demolish a great many rules about what a book program should look and sound like."

"Titlepage" will be produced as though for television broadcast, making its quality far superior to most online video programs. Each new episode can be watched on the program's website-in its entirety or in parts-and can be downloaded and viewed on an MP3 player, or transferred to a home theater system for viewing.

To take advantage of the instant responsiveness of the net, the website will also offer links to online vendors so that viewers can purchase the books being discussed, and other books by these writers, with a click of their mouse. Visitors can also interact with the show's hosts and guests through comments, discussion forums, and e-mail.

"Authors with new books of all kinds will appear on the program in the coming months," Isralson said. "We are aiming for the greatest possible diversity and variety. We are looking to have poets, novelists, journalists, Americans, foreigners -- we will talk to anybody, about anything to do with books, as long as it strikes us as worth talking about, timely, and deserving of a wide audience's attention."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great venture - to really bring literary culture to the masses!!!!!They have a "dream team"
-good luck to all!