Graff Uses Mag to Pimp Book

Washingtonian Editor Garrett Graff must have had quite an internal dilemma when he put together the most recent issue of the magazine: Just how much me shall I include? He settled on me, me and okay, twist my own arm, why not more me.

In the Contributor space, which usually fits in two people, there is just one: Himself. Yes, an entire space dedicated to how his book The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror came about. He’s even quoted, which means he assigned a reporter to write about himself. Only in Washington, right?

Sure, other publications promote their writers — think WaPo‘s blanketed coverage of Bob Woodward’s tomes. The difference is, Woodward doesn’t direct or decide his own coverage.

In Washingtonian, we learn about Graff’s family. His father worked for AP. His mother is a children’s-book author. His grandfather was a drama critic for the New York Herald Tribune. The final line reveals Graff’s depth as it says, “A writer is all I’ve ever wanted to be.”

Speaking of which, his writing appears on page 52 and gets top billing on the “In This Issue” page. The bottom billing is a story on page 74: “Looking for a Good Dentist?” Graff’s story encompasses four pages and includes a full-page illustration. Another admittedly shameless plug arrived recently with a bow on top in the magazine’s events calendar. Washingtonian again promoted the book here. Then another time here.

In Graff’s defense, books need a publicity jolt early on in the launch phase: His has been out for a little over a week and hovers at #8, 254. It is, however, #21 in the Terrorism genre.

We don’t want to take anything away from our star pimp, The Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz, but we think Graff would look pretty fine in this purple Pimp Daddy zebra costume. Maybe he can wear it to his next signing.

Publish date: April 7, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT