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>Random media moments

>Product placement (by design) is coming to YA books this fall. I haven’t yet seen Cathy’s Book, but when co-authors Jordan Weisman and Sean Stewart remark that changing their heroine’s preference from Clinique # 11 “Black Violet” to Cover Girl’s Lipslick “Daring” was a “natural connection,” I have to wonder just why these guys know so much about lipstick. And what does “Daring” say about a girl that “Black Violet” doesn’t?

Having not read any adult chick-lit since Bridget Jones, I wanted to see what was happening there, so this weekend I listened to Plum Sykes’s The Debutante Divorcee. Yikes. “Hello, Editor? Plum here. I’ve finished my new novel and am phoning it in. Got a pencil?” Somebody recommended Sophie Kinsella to me, and I am enjoying her Can You Keep a Secret? much more.

But let’s talk testosterone now, and let me highly recommend the new French film “District B13,” an action movie set in the very near future in the housing projects of Paris. I was afraid it was going to be all French and morally ambiguous, but it’s a straight-up story of good guys and bad guys with tremendous, but unbloody, fight scenes and superb atmospherics. Go see it maintenant.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Rosemary Graham says:

    >I wonder if this really is the first product placement by design or if it’s just the first product placement by design with full disclosure. Alloy Entertainment (those folks who bring us Gossip Girls and A-List) boasts on its corporate site that it “partners with clients to facilitate brand integration or product placement within popular youth media – books, internet, online gaming, film and TV.” The current VOYA features an interview with Emily Meehan at Simon & Schuster where she says that packaged books are “completely freelanced. From proposal to finished books, all author hunting, copyediting, research, designing, proofreading, and sometimes editing is done by the packager. We get a finished disk with the book and its jacket on it.” She adds that they are “involved in every step.” Still, I wonder.

    Then there are the Limited Too books commissioned and sold by the chain and featuring its clothing, and the Roxy Girl books, commissioned by the Roxy Girl clothing line and published by Harper.

  2. Anonymous says:

    >Blech! Blech! Blech! I’m sticking with kiddie lit!
    Anon in OH

  3. Richard says:

    >For some of us who write books of literary fiction — in other words, books that don’t sell — product placement has long been a necessity for profitability.

    For example, in my new book, I have made money through product placement. In just one of the thirty stories in it, I got money for plugging Murray’s Sturgeon Shop, Washington Mutual Bank, the Leonard Nimoy Theatre, the Kashbah Kosher Café, Victoria’s Secret, Tasti D-Lite, the Estée Lauder Stress Relief Eye Mask, Starbucks’ frappuccinos, Hard Candy Vintage Nail Polish’s classic Tantrum, Urban Decay’s Maui Wowie eyeshadow, the Café des Artistes, the Cellcomet Anti-Stress Cream Mask, Cooper 35 Restaurant, Molson Ale, Blue Cult jeans, Kim’s Video, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Dreamers,” Con Edison, Target,, Mitchum Deodorant, Demeter’s fragrance Riding Crop, Altoids, SparkNotes, Kiehl’s Pharmacy, the Union Square Café, The Body Shop, Sephora, Longo’s Baci XXX lip gloss and even the St. Marks Bookshop.

    I don’t care that the book has sold only 6 copies because I’ve already made big bucks through using my fiction for product placement.

  4. Melinda says:

    >Dude! Sign me up! I already went down to the crossroads at midnight to sell my soul to Satan, but he didn’t show.

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