Over a year ago, it became clear to me that the 70 Book Beat columns I had written for the Naples Sun Times from mid-2006 to mid-2008 were NOT likely to appear, as once promised, on naplesnews.com. A few days ago I confirmed that fact when Phil Lewis, NDN editor, wrote to me with the news that these columns were not in their database.
The good news: via Mr. Lewis I received word that the Naples Daily News would make no copyright claims and I could go ahead and republish them. What I’m assuming, then, is that THEY ARE MINE!
I am now republishing them on this web site. What you’ll see here is the unedited copy I sent to the Naples Sun Times. I made no attempt to revise the copy to match what the staff editor, most likely Marty Miron, achieved before publication. They’re not raw. I’m careful. But they are not in most cases identical to the newspaper version.
Though I have illustrated the republished columns with head shots and book cover images, these illustrations do not necessary match those used in the original publication.
In republishing the Book Beat reviews, profiles, and book news, I have entered a posting date identical with the original publication. Thus they are lodged far behind the entries posted on this web site since it was launched in November 2008, shortly after I began writing the “Books” section for Fort Myers Magazine.
The easiest way to find “Book Beat” columns is to click the Book Beat selection on the Topics menu (right sidebar). Also, you can always use the search feature — that too is found on the sidebar — to enter the name of an author or other search term.
If I remain ambitious about the utility of this site as a register of local and regional literary creativity, I will make links among entries that deal with the same author. (There are already links to the now-dead site on which the Book Beat columns were originally posted. Sorry. I’ll eliminate or replace them when I can.)
Why did 2/3 of the columns appear in year one and the other 1/3 in year two? Changes in ownership, editor, and editorial policy account for this difference. When I came on board, invited by then-editor Larry DeMaria, the paper was independently owned. Sometime before that first year was over, the Naples Sun Times was purchased by a group affiliated with Scripps and the Naples Daily News. DeMaria was eased out and replaced by Leigh Tahirovic, who had enjoyed a previous stint as editor. Leigh’s second reign came during a period of shrinking circulation and advertising. Also, she wanted the paper to give less space to columns and more to local news and other kinds of features. Finally, she prefered pieces from me that were more conventional reviews, with less of the author profile material that I had been doing. So, there it is. Fewer pages, fewer columns, and for my particular column, more time spent on reading/reviewing and less on interviewing. While I was able to publish almost weekly during year one, I was lucky to appear twice a month in year two.
Note: Though my Book Beat columns and several other contributions disappeared from the database, many of my other contributions to the Naples Sun Times did not. Thus, you can find a couple of dozen news items and opinion pieces by doing a search on my name (in quotes “Philip K. Jason”) at www.naplesnews.com. However, it may not be clear which ones were originally in the Naples Sun Times and which in NDN or some other part of the NDN local empire.