The Write Stuff: Putnam goes glam

Book pub taps mag's Mathews as senior editor

Book publisher Putnam has just added a little glamour to its staff by tapping Laura Mathews, formerly the book editor of Glamour, as senior editor.

Mathews leaves the Conde Nast publication after a 13-year stint helming the mag’s book coverage, which included a stand-alone review page (an increasingly rare dedicated focus to books in the mag world), some key serializations (such as Susan Faludi’s feminist tome “Backlash”) and general scouting of the book world to feed into feature ideas.

“I’ve been recommending books for years, and I like the idea of getting involved in the process earlier,” said Mathews. She says she plans to concentrate on acquiring books that appeal to women, who make up the majority of fiction buyers. Mathews has also worked at Atlantic Monthly and Cosmo, and early on was an assistant at Random House.

Mag shakeup

Mathews’ move comes on the heels of the shakeup of the editor-in-chief spot at Glamour, in which 31-year vet Ruth Whitney was replaced by Bonnie Fuller, who also has been agent of change for YM and then Cosmo.

Fuller is often tarred for tarting up books with sex content and dropping more serious coverage. Two of her first key changes in the magazine –eliminating its “Women in Washington” column and adding a horoscope — rated a story in the New York Times intimating as much.

But Fuller, whose changes will first appear with the January issue, told Daily Variety she plans to expand book coverage and is actively seeking a replacement for Mathews. (As for the women in politics column, she is planning to encompass political women into a new “Women of Influence” section.)

Moving reviews

Fuller’s alteration of book coverage will appear in February. While she is eliminating the stand-alone review page, she said reviews will be incorporated into other magazine sections such as “Private Time” and a new “Do Everything Better” guide, and she plans more serializations than in the past.

“I’ve always seen books as a wonderful resource,” she said, noting she started the Cosmo Book Club, a monthly excerpt and the mag’s recommended picks.

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