Perhaps it is simply due to me being a Southerner who lives thousands of miles away from the two main genre-publishing poles for the Anglophone markets, but it does seem rather odd to be hosting a shindig for repackaged covers and a galley proof. Maybe it simply is, as I saw it argued on Twitter, a way of celebrating an author and getting people involved, but it seems rather odd to have something where only a few erstwhile reviewers are invited along with industry people. Perhaps that's how they do things up there in the UK; I don't know if anything similar happens in New York, but it just seems rather strange to have such an affair if the purpose weren't to generate some positive coverage of an upcoming release from those who are best able to effect such a thing.
Is it necessarily a "cynical PR" thing? Depends on how one views it, I suppose. All I know is that it just seems to be a case of making much ado about a nothing thing such as repackaging an author's backlist and introducing the cover for his upcoming novel. Maybe I should steal this concept and have a flying squirrel circus promote Squirrelpunk whenever it is close to its release. After all, any PR is good PR, right?