January 28, 2013

A.A. Knopf “rogue” tweet inspires speculation


A seemingly unauthorized tweet from Random House’s most esteemed and genteel imprint’s account caused a bit of a stir on Twitter on Friday:



The twitter community immediately noticed the account’s change in tone.

The rebellious sentiment expressed in rhyme led some to wonder if disgruntled interns might be behind it (#yolo = you only live once).


Others suspected Knopf’s Publicity Director Paul Boggards, who isn’t afraid to take risks on the internet.



But he was golfing in Florida.



Some connected the words to Alfred A. Knopf himself, even imagining them in his voice.



Pam Brown, who ran the Knopf account from the beginning and was a major voice behind its success was not involved (she has recently moved to Mulholland Books).

By the afternoon, Jonathan Lazzare, who now run Knopf social media with Danielle Plafsky, introduced himself explaining that he’s just a fan of Kanye West’s lyrics.  Here’s the line from the song  that inspired him: I step in Def Jam building like I’m the shit / Tell ‘em “Give me fifty million or I’mma quit.”



I contacted Jonathan who explained further by email:

We’re both still getting a feel for what works and what’s fun on the Knopf socials, and it was great to see something get a response — even if a bunch of our followers didn’t get the reference! We both just hope that this sort of thing (which is really fun for us) is something that our followers are into, and something that helps folks who are just becoming acquainted with Knopf see that we’re not just this PR machine screaming “buy buy buy!”— we’re people who love our books, love the evolving culture of publishing, and happen to love Kanye as well.

Case closed.




Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.