Axegrinder is no expert on the dark arts of PR but he suspects that banning journalists from a particular paper from your book launch party after a bad review is not the way ahead.
Katy Balls from the Telegraph’s Mandrake diary column emailed Zeus publishing yesterday afternoon to enquire if a representative could attend the launch party that night for MP Nadine Dorries’ novel The Four Streets.
The response was this bombshell from the PR:
I'm afraid after the slew of nasty coverage about Nadine in the Telegraph this week the team think it best not to have you there. Sorry about that but I really want her to have a wonderful night and not have to worry about anything.
I'll be sure to let you know about future events.”
Slew of nasty coverage?
The only other Telegraph coverage of the book was this piece by Matthew Holehouse. It is gentle ribbing at worst, but he does give the publisher a plug at the end.
Mandrake editor Tim Walker registered his protest about the ban to be told:
I have not one doubt that Katy is excellent, she was most welcome at James Naughtie's lovely launch last month and I'd be delighted to see her, or any of your team, at future events. But Nadine has had some really rather nasty coverage in the Telegraph this week and has asked that there be no representative of the paper there tonight.
My job is to protect and support my authors, I am very loyal to them.
I am however, sincerely sorry to disappoint you."
He told Axegrinder: “It's bonkers. Nadine seemed to be saying only diarists from papers that gave her awful book a glowing review could attend. She has been taking the moral high ground over Maria Miller but doesn't get arrogant MPs who seek to control the press are not flavour of the month.”
Meanwhile Dorries clearly thinks the Telegraph has it in for her:
Daily Telegraph rejected review of my book they commissioned Christina Odone to write and got a bloke to write a spiteful nasty one instead
— Nadine Dorries MP (@NadineDorriesMP) April 8, 2014