Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Editor in Chief at Publishers’ Weekly Laid Off

According to the NYTimes book blog, Sara Nelson, the editor in chief of Publishers Weekly, was laid off due to restructuring .  Reed Business Information has been on the auction block for a while now but the sale of RBI has stalled several times, some citing the credit crunch.  7 % of the staff has been cut.  Brian Kenney will be the editorial director for School Library Journal, PW, and Library Journal.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Keishon
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 20:18:44

    A lot of that has been going around, ie, restructuring from the top down.


  2. rebyj
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 21:42:44

    The comments at the link you provided are interesting. One in particular…

    it's been years since a starred review in PW was a crucial buzz generator for a new book. Blogs long ago usurped that function and now the PW reviews just serve as back-cover blurb copy.

    I know romance land has some powerful blogs but I have to question if review blogs in general become so powerful as to overshadow long standing publications?

    Readers are influenced by blogs absolutely , I didn’t realize that the business of publication itself was influenced by blogs moreso than industry mags. It’s only one comment by one person but it made me curious as to what people here at DA think about the subject.


  3. Jane
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 22:30:04

    @rebyj It could be that reviews are more diverse not just centrally located somewhere else. I think people rely alot on “customers’ opinions” so Amazon reviews can be influential to some extent. It’s hard to say though. I know that getting a starred review from PW is still very meaningful.


  4. rebyj
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 22:58:03

    I know that getting a starred review from PW is still very meaningful.

    Professionally I would think it would rate right up there with a good NYT review. It’s worrying how many jobs are being lost in the publishing industry. Books are like crack to some of us . Don’t threaten our supply! LOL

    Amazon is like the 5th place I go to read reviews for books I’m interested in but yes, the fact that reviews can be found there at one site adds to it’s influence.

    When interested in a book I hit DA and SBTB and some other blogs where I recognize people’s names and already have a feel for their tastes and how they relate to my own. Then the next stop is to google type in review; and title. Amazon reviews have to be taken with a grain of salt as we all know.

    Yeah I ramble at 11 pm when I have nothing to read lol. Sorry.


  5. GrowlyCub
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 23:52:40


    I don’t remember, but do you have a laptop and a library card? If so, you can check out loads of books from the TN online library! :)


  6. rebyj
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 00:10:23

    No laptop just the ancient desktop . I do use the library overdrive audio downloads and put on mp3. Ebooks are a pain to read on the desktop!


  7. Rae Lori
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 01:46:45

    @rebyj: @Jane: I remember a special on Book TV a year or so ago where a bunch of critics complained about how blogs have taken over as the new critics. Many showed their dismay that more people were swayed by blog reviewers than the ones at publications and newspapers. Strangely enough, that was followed by a segment at a bookstore where this guy was talking about his book. Cult of the Amateur, I think it was, which talked about how youtube and blogs were killing our culture! Weird.

    I do notice that within the past few years blogs and forums have become pretty strong in helping to raise interest in different books, movies and television shows. Marketers and advertisers have taken notice indeed.

    As for Sara Nelson, this is a shame indeed because I really enjoyed her segment on publishing and where it was going in the future. Informative stuff indeed. Here’s the news on YT. Part 1 –
    Part 2 –


  8. Emmy
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 02:50:02

    I know that getting a starred review from PW is still very meaningful

    To whom, Jane? The author? I’ve never read PW, and after an informal poll of all my fellow book nerds (10 people), they’d never heard of it. Who, precisely, is PW influencing, if not the general public? Like the article suggests, I get my info mostly from blogs, in addition to the author’s websites.


  9. Anion
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 06:08:41


    To whom, Jane? The author? I've never read PW, and after an informal poll of all my fellow book nerds (10 people), they'd never heard of it. Who, precisely, is PW influencing, if not the general public? Like the article suggests, I get my info mostly from blogs, in addition to the author's websites.

    PW reviews are *very* influential to bookstore buyers and library buyers. That starred review can mean the difference between B&N ordering three thousand or twenty thousand copies, which means it makes a huge difference in the amount of exposure casual bookstore browsers get to the book. It could be the difference between an indie store passing on the book or deciding to grab a few copies.

    Of course it doesn’t matter when it comes to table stocking etc., because those things are paid for, but in plain orders? In deciding whether to put the book up front in the library or have several copies in circulation? PW is hugely important.

    It doesn’t mean a starred review is the secret of success, but it *is* a big deal.


  10. Sherry Thomas
    Jan 27, 2009 @ 12:08:36

    This is sad news.

    PW has been very good to me. As well as Library Journal.

    Best hopes for both Sara Nelson and RBI.


  11. Anita C.
    Jan 28, 2009 @ 01:54:41

    I picked up Nelson’s book “So Many Books, So Little Time” last year (garage sale find) and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was ostensibly a survey of the books she read in a one-year period (how she chose them, whether she stuck with her list, etc.) but was really more of a memior, in book terms. She was essentially admitting to being a crazed book person (like most of us, probably) who organizes her life (somewhat) on her reading schedule, will jettison her social plans for a good read, judges her friends (this was a painful admission) on whether they have the same reading tastes (she didn’t want it to be true, but felt obliged to admit her snobbery!). She talks about her apartment in NYC and the bookshelves her husband built for her massive collection.

    A really good read, and pretty quick. 1997, maybe. I’m sorry she’s lost her job, but now she can spend all the time she likes, reading. Heaven!


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