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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Financial Reporting, Book Promotion--Or Both?

I saw something in yesterday's New York Times that I've never seen before. In a fascinating article by Diana B. Henriques, a financial correspondent for the Times, Bernard Madoff said, among other things, that some banks had to have been at least passively complicit in his Ponzi scheme.

But what really got my attention was the information—right there, in a paragraph all its own--that the piece, which was based on an in-prison interview and a series of e-mail messages, is part of the reporter's research for her book on the scandal. That's one thing. But the book's title, publisher and that it will come out this spring all were included. I was torn between feeling that this is somehow unseemly—there was a whiff of quid pro quo about it—and wishing that other worthy authors could be so lucky: free advance promotion on the front page of the NYT. Wow. The only thing missing was a link to Amazon for pre-ordering.


  1. Hmm, interesting. I certainly see your point, but my reaction was pretty much the opposite: Won't the publisher be annoyed to have the "big news" leaked before anyone could buy the book?" What happened to the whole idea of embargoing books that were considered to contain breaking news? I suppose it could go either way.

  2. Interesting post, Carole, and comment, Judy. Another question would be: would not mentioning the forthcoming book have been viewed as a lack of full disclosure?

  3. And the questions go on--and on. If a publisher has bought the book, who now owns the information? Does the publisher own only the exact words that will appear in the book? Is there also a rights issue here?