A chance phone call with a potential client, Lorimer Press in Davidson, N.C., led to a book deal for long-time publicist Sandra Goroff. The press will publish a collection of her photographs, most taken near her home in the Boston area or along the New England coast, Solitary Soul in November. “I met someone who knew Sandy, and she said you two ought to connect,” says Lorimer founder Leslie Rindoks. Fortunately for Goroff, before Rindoks made the call, she checked out Goroff’s Pinterest site. “I thought her photography was exquisite,” says Rindoks, who told Goroff that her work should be a book.
“It’s a little strange being on the other side,” says Goroff, who hadn’t planned on publishing her work. Goroff spent a dozen years doing PR at Houghton Mifflin, then another 18 on her own at Sandra Goroff & Associates. Her clients range from Chris Van Allsburg to Clive Cussler and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Although she’s usually handling publicity for others, Goroff will be doing some for herself for Solitary Soul. In fact she already has begun contacting New England booksellers about the book and plans to attend the New England Independent Booksellers Association fall conference.
Goroff studied photography with Allison Shaw and at the Maine Media Workshop in Rockport. “Photography is an intensely personal and intimate activity for me,” she writes in Solitary Soul. “As a person engaged in books most of my adult working life, I find a certain sense of relief—and pleasure—in conveying what I see and what I feel through images as opposed to words.” She told PW that her publicity skills intersect with her photographs when she’s checking to get permission for subjects like the iconic man from Boston’s North End, who s pictured on the front cover of the book.
The photos—of a lone boat, a line of laundry, a little girl with her stuffed bunny—exhibit what Anthony Mason of CBS News describes as Goroff’s “keen eye for the subtle, but telling, details of life.” Comments novelist Caroline Leavitt, “Goroff’s brilliantly original photos get at the heart of what it means to be human.”
Rindoks, who publishes six titles a year, including at least one volume of poetry, is pleased with the response so far. “I love creating beautiful books,” she says. “Even my printer’s rep is excited about Solitary Soul.” Lorimer’s books are distributed to the trade through Partners Book Distributing.