How to know when they’re talking about YOU.

Lauren has something for YOU:

Basically, his [Jonathan Baumbach’s] latest novel, and in his (and others’) opinion, his best, came out last January and got one review before the fledgling indie publisher went under. Was there anything that could be done? I started to write my usual reply: no. I mean, anyone knows you have ten days after the publication date to get at least some initial traction, and you need to get at least a three month lead on planning for that. And then I thought, when did I get so boring? And so I wrote instead: “I will be frank, of course: getting publicity for a book past its publication date is a little like surviving a terminal illness… everyone cheers if you pull through, but the prognosis is justifiably grim at the onset. That being said, I’m aware of your work and have long thought that you should have a higher profile. Perhaps we could meet for coffee some afternoon next week and talk further?”

And we met and hit it off instantly, and I read the book, and started, quite uncharacteristically, marking it up and bending down corners and reading passages to friends over the phone and so I said that if he was willing to take a risk, well then, so was I. Hence, “The New You Project.” The afore-mentioned review ran in The Los Angeles Times last January and YOU or The Invention of Memory promptly slid off the map. Or did it? Here’s how it works: email me (correspondence at laurencerand dot com) between now and February 14 to request a free copy of the book (limited to the first 365 requests) and I will send it to you in the mail. Free. You can read it. You can give it away. You can sell it to the Strand or Powell’s, depending on your coast. Whatever. The point is, this is a book that I believe in. I believe it belongs in the world. I believe it belongs with you.

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