If you have a book that’s a good fit, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how accessible the weekly “alternative” newspapers are. Over 100 alternative newsweeklies are scattered through major cities, and they offer impressive circulations. For example, the mainstream Seattle Post Intelligencer, a large metro newspaper, has a circulation of about 190,000. The LA Weekly, an alternative paper, has a circulation of 220,000! The key to getting your book covered is to make sure it’s a good match to this niche.Here are some of the book review topics that alternative papers have bitten into recently: digital music, an eerie science fiction novel, a book about how to pass a drug test, a spiritual New Age book, and a travel guidebook described as “a subversive masterpiece about travel.”If your book can be described as “counterculture” or “underground,” you’ve got a good chance. If your book is about rap, rock, alternative music, or heavy metal, they may jump at the chance to review it. If you have a book that ties into the arts, or anything that appeals to youth or singles in their twenties, you may catch their interest. Here is fresh contact information on some alternative newsweeklies. Most are quite accessible using the main telephone number. Many direct e-mails are provided too, and I also mention a few papers that you may not want to contact.Austin Chronicle
address: 4000 N. IH 35, Austin, TX 78765
book contact: Clay Smith
Austin is a surprisingly sophisticated market for the arts, has some very avant-garde elements.
address: 11 East Illinois, Chicago, IL 60611
book contact: Alison True
Cleveland Free Times
address: 1846 Coventry Rd., Ste. 100, Cleveland, OH 44118
contacts: Books, Toni. Managing Editor, Eric Broder. Eric’s direct e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
address: 750 Willoughby Way, Atlanta, GA 30312-1124
contact: Ken Edelstein. His direct line is 404/614-1244. His direct e-mail is email@example.com.
address: 100 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103
book contact: Alistair Highet. Direct e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
address: PO Box 2690, Durham, NC 27715-2690
book contact: Darren Stanhouse. His e-mail is email@example.com.
Los Angeles Weekly (LA Weekly)
address: 6715 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
book contact (new): Debbie Picker, arts/entertainment writer
address: 550 S First St., San Jose, CA 95113-2806
book contact (new): Michael Gant
address: 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226-2936
contacts: Books, George Tysh. His direct line is 313/202-8012; his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also ask for Alisa Gordaneer, direct line 313/202-8013; her e-mail is email@example.com.
Miami New Times
address: 2800 Biscayne Blvd., Ste. 100, Miami, FL 33137
contact: Nina Korman. Her direct line is 305/571-7565.
New Haven Advocate
address: One Long Wharf Dr., New Haven, CT 06511-5991
contacts: Books, Christopher Arnott (new). Editor, Joshua Mamis. Mamis’s
direct e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
address: 189 Church St., Toronto, ON M5B 1Y7
book contact: Susan Cole
Written as a Toronto alternative news and entertainment magazine. Articles profile film, music, theatre, art, dance, fashion, comedy, and restaurants, as well as news of social change and seasonal activities.
address: 807 S Orlando Ave., Suite R, Winter Park, FL 32789-4870
book contact: Lindy Shepherd
address: 1701 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103-5235
book contact: Liz Spikol
address: 150 Chestnut St., Providence, RI 02903-4644
book contact: Ian Donnis. His direct e-mail is email@example.com.
Sacramento News & Review
address: 1015 20th St., Sacramento, CA 95814-4202
book contact: Marcus Crowder. His direct line is ext. 1364; his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Francisco Bay Guardian
address: 520 Hampshire Street, San Francisco, CA 94110-141
book contact: Tom Tompkins
address: 1008 Western Ave., Suite 300, Seattle WA 98104-1006
book contact: Emily Russin. Her direct e-mail is
Circulated in every coffee house in Seattle (and you know Seattle and coffee…).
address: 1310 E. 9th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605
book contact: Susan Edwards. Her direct e-mail is email@example.com.
Before you make a phone call or send out a book review kit, here are some updates about alternative papers that have specific requirements, no longer exist, or may otherwise be a waste of time.City Pages Minneapolis / St. Paul
address: 401 N. 3rd St., Ste. 550, Minneapolis, MN 55401
contact: Michael Tortorello (firstname.lastname@example.org) says, “We review literary fiction and literary nonfiction books only.”
address: 668 Williams Ave., Seaside, CA 93955
contact: Chuck Thurman, Editor – email@example.com. They only deal with local authors.
address: 2130 Commerce, Dallas, TX 75201
contacts: Arts/Entertainment Editor is Zack Crane. Managing Editor is Patrick Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org). They don’t do book reviews. You need to come up with a story angle instead.
address: 1621 Milam, Ste. 100, Houston, TX 77002
contact: Margaret Downing, Editor. Her direct phone 713/280-2470; direct e-mail email@example.com. They don’t do book reviews, need to go for an interview or a feature.
address: 3535 Broadway, #400, Kansas City, MO 64111-2534
Just bought by New Times. They cut their book column. Now mostly doing long features. Cover sports, art, theatre, and food.
San Diego Reader
address: 1703 India St., San Diego, CA 92101
contact: Jim Holman, Editor, says they’re up to their necks in book reviews; can’t do any more.
Long Island Voice
location: Mineola, NY
No longer printed. Ceased publication January 2000.
Bev Harris is with Talion – “Red Dog Publicity.” You can reach the firm by phone at 425/228-7131 or e-mail via firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll find additional contact information at their Website, http://www.talion.com/red-dog.htm.
This article is from thePMA Newsletterfor March, 2000, and is reprinted with permission of Publishers Marketing Association.