By: Dave Astor
The Associated Press is ending its book review package.
“This is a sad turn of events for book reviews. AP reviews, even small, ran far and wide, and always helped sales,” said a book-company publicist who alerted E&P to AP’s decision. The publicist requested anonymity.
When E&P asked AP about the decision, Linda M. Wagner, the wire service’s director of media relations and public affairs, said in a statement today: “AP is revamping its Lifestyles coverage to focus more resources on topics like food and parenting, and as a result we are discontinuing the book-review package that had moved through that department.”
She added that AP “remains as committed as ever” to covering books — via reviews, features about authors, etc. — through its Arts and Entertainment Department.
“In addition, there is a full-time reporter on AP’s national staff, Hillel Italie, whose beat is publishing and books,” Wagner said. “[And] we’ve written a healthy number of spot-news stories related to books, including the announcements of the final Harry Potter installment and the next book pick by both Oprah Winfrey and Starbucks, the National Book Critics Circle finalists, the Newbery-Caldecott prize winners, an obituary of author Tillie Olsen, and a piece about George McGovern’s plans to write a biography of Abraham Lincoln.”