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July 21, 2005

The Random House Girl Seethes With Jealousy

by Ron Hogan

I was totally out of the "Jolie in NYC" loop, so it wasn't until I read Mediabistro's Fishbowl today that I found out about the blog by the anonymous beauty mag insider--unmasked in the Post today as Ladies Home Journal associate beauty editor Nadine Haobsh. The revelation won't boost her site, though--we can't say for sure that she took it down to keep her job, but let's put it this way: the blog's not up, and she's not fired (at least not publicly).

Apparently, this incident will find its way into the novel Haobsh is writing in her spare time, prompting some not-entirely clue-filled speculation from the Washingtonienne's agent:

"The blog can help her, absolutely... This gives her a platform, 50,000 people already know about her blog and if they are avid readers of her blog, then they'll buy the book, and that gives editors confidence. Now she has to wait, turn on her phone and wait for people to call her--publishers and agents will be looking to talk to her."

Never mind that a 100% conversion rate from blog reader to book buyer is wildly optimistic--what kind of "platform" does she have when the blog isn't up anymore? Those 50,000 people are probably going to find something else to hold their attention between now and whenever Haobsh's first novel comes out (if...)--and, yes, I know that's the same situation Jessica Cutler faced, but prostituting yourself to government employees carries a lot more media weight than not getting fired by a women's magazine.

(Note: This isn't to say anything about Haobsh's attractiveness to agents and editors based on her talent. She could be a great writer, and as a fellow aspiring novelist myself, I wish her nothing but success accomplished on her own merits. But being half-remembered as somebody who used to have a blog isn't the way to get there.)

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