Common Mistakes

As a publicist, I am constantly on tight deadlines and writing makes up 90% of the job. Unfortunately, speed does not lend itself well to correct spelling and grammar. Thankfully, I love to write and have always found comfort and solace in the written word. My partners and I all share a common trait, we are grammar nerds and this comes in handy when writing and proofing dozens of press releases, pitch letters, biographies and media questions on a daily basis. I found this great article about the 32 Most Commonly Misused Words and Phrases. And here is a very interesting piece on 12 Grammar Rules You Can Toss Out the Window. Enjoy!


I think that any time I have an opinion or a question regarding the media industry in general, I’m going to post that picture of “girl on laptop” because to me, that epitomizes where we are right now as a society. We are all sitting by ourselves, connected to the internet, while the clock ticks endlessly forward, wondering what the future holds.

A recent piece in AdAge asks if we are ready to pay for content online, content that, if we do enough searching and sifting, we should be able to find for free somewhere else. And what is happening to the quality of this content?

According to a survey released this week by PWR New Media, a leading e-marketing firm based in Chicago, Illinois, 60% of journalists responded that they now contribute to a blog or other on-line site. 39% of these journalists said they acquired these responsibilities in the past year and 71% added on-line work to their duties in the past two years.

The White House Blog

Along with a new President, the White House now has a new website to accompany this period of change. now has a blog, weekly YouTube video addresses and a director of new media to manage everything and keep the site running smoothly. The site looks great with a very modern design and provides incredible ease with navigation.

The first blog post, by Macon Phillips, Director of New Media for the White House, wrote:

Millions of Americans have powered President Obama’s journey to the White House, many taking advantage of the internet to play a role in shaping our country’s future. is just the beginning of the new administration’s efforts to expand and deepen this online engagement.

The advantages and opportunities provided by the web are limitless. It can certainly be overwhelming and many feel lost amidst the clutter and confusion, but it is making our world smaller and strengthening our ability to connect with more people. The key to using the web in a productive and marketable way is to create an organic interaction with your audience. Don’t use Twitter just to post direct links back to your website. Try to engage in conversations with your followers and draw in new followers. Don’t turn your blog into an “all about me” platform. Write about things that would be of interest to your audience and will result in return visits. What the web is showing us is that everyone has something they can teach. Find your message, whatever it may be, and teach it to the best of your ability. Your voice is out there and the web is waiting to hear!

Book Deals

We love keeping track of the deals that are being brokered in the book world. It should be seen as inspiring that new work is still being acquired. If, perhaps, you don’t agree with some of the books that are being published, than it is food for thought. Here is a round-up of the latest deals.

New York City Countess LuAnn de Lesseps

{image courtesy of Amy Sussman}

Star of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City Countess LuAnn de Lesseps with Diane Reverand’s CLASS WITH THE COUNTESS: How to Live With Elegance and Flair, a complete course in the art of sophisticated living including contemporary etiquette tips, to Lauren Marino at Gotham, by David Vigliano at Vigliano Associates (World).

The deals keep rolling in for debut novelist Anne Fortier’s JULIET. It recently sold to Universal, with James Mangold and Kathy Contrad (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) attached to produce and direct, by Rich Green at CAA, on behalf of Daniel Lazar at Writers House.

Sandra Bullock’s sister, Gesine Bullock-Prado, recently sold the rights to her debut book. CONFECTIONS OF A CLOSET MASTER BAKER an humorous and edgy memoir (with recipes) of the author’s journey from sugar-obsessed child to miserable, awkward Hollywood insider (she ran her sister, Sandra’s production company) and how she left it all behind to follow her love of baking and open Gesine’s bakery in Montpelier, Vermont, to Stacy Creamer at Broadway, in a significant deal, at auction, by Laura Nolan at The Creative Culture.

John Irving’s LAST NIGHT IN TWISTED RIVER, set in a New Hampshire sawmill settlement, spanning five decades, as the central character and his 12-year-old son become fugitives after a case of mistaken identity, to Louise Dennys at Knopf Canada, in a significant deal; to Alexandra Pringle at Bloomsbury UK, for hardcover publication in October 2009; and to Bill Scott-Kerr at Transworld for paperback, in a major deal, by Dean Cooke at The Cooke Agency (UK/Commonwealth).

Star of Full House Jodie Sweetin’s WILD CARD, about growing up on the set of the hit TV show, her downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse that began when the show ended, and her path to sobriety, to Sarah Sper at Simon Spotlight Entertainment, for publication in 2009, at auction, in a significant deal, by Kirby Kim at Endeavor (NA).

Lisa Genova

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Lisa Genova, self-published author of Still Alice, credits Kelley & Hall for getting her book noticed by national media, which resulted in a six-figure book deal.

We wanted to send a congratulations to our wonderful client, Lisa Genova, for her new deal with Simon & Schuster! Here is the mention from Publisher’s Weekly.

Pocket Wins Debut

Anthony Ziccardi at Pocket was the victor in an auction for a first novel by Lisa Genova titled Still Alice; Vicky Bijur sold world rights. The book is about a successful 50-year-old professor and renowned linguistics specialist who has finally found time to enjoy her marriage and career now that her three children are grown, but whose accelerating memory lapses culminate in a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s. As she struggles with the steady stripping away of her cognitive abilities, she finds new meaning in the moment and a different level of intimacy in the indeterminate time that remains. Genova, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard, is an online columnist for the National Alzheimer’s Association. Senior editor Kathy Sagan will edit, and planned pub date is early 2009; post-BEA, there are translation rights offers on the table in several countries.