More bookstore tales

This one is more of a prank than yesterday's scam, also from Shelf Awareness:

Kerry Slattery, general manager of Skylight Books, Los Angeles, Calif., has another cautionary tale about an author appearance scam (see yesterday's Shelf Awareness), one that happened a few years ago. She writes:

"The author Eric Alterman [a columnist at the *Nation* and author of *What Liberal Media?*, *When Presidents Lie* and more] was scheduled to appear at our store, and C-Span was planning to cover it. I got a call that morning from 'Eric Alterman's assistant,' who told me that he was terribly sorry, but that Eric woke up with a serious case of bronchitis and would not be able to catch his plane to do the event and wasn't able to talk at all--and that he felt just terrible about it. It was a very busy moment at the store and I didn't think to get the number, etc. The first thing I thought of was to call C-Span and let them know. I don't know why I didn't think to call the publicity person at the publisher, but I didn't have it handy and I was really busy, and the call seemed convincing to me. When I called C-Span, they contacted the publisher and found out that Alterman was indeed planning to appear and that the call was a scam (apparently from someone who didn't agree with the author's political views)! Fortunately, I hadn't sent out a cancellation e-mail, and everything was fine, but I felt so foolish for being taken in."

Yesterday's scam directed at Diesel bookstore.


More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Books stories on LA Observed:
Bestselling books of the week in SoCal stores
The other horrible April 29 date in Los Angeles history
Expo Line misses book festival by that much
Portrait of a Bookstore to close on Tujunga Avenue
Fiction does have a winner at LA Times Book Prizes

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