The Book Business: An Industry of Whiners
Confessions of a Failed Interviewer
I have always done my best to learn from failure. And I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t report that, this afternoon, while conducting an author interview, I failed to carry out my duties as interviewer. I hope that my honesty here will atone for my inadequacies.
“Boomsday” by Christopher Buckley
One thing I hate: any book that reads as if it’s based on an “idea” — you know, those plots that occur to you on your way to work in the morning. Usually, they seem great on the surface, but any attempt to build an entire book on one reveals just how empty the idea actually is. As in, “Why hasn’t anyone written a book about a time traveling serial killer?” or “What if a blind man was cured but didn’t like what he saw when the bandages were removed?” Novels like this clog bookstore shelves, often sell well, and are usually terrible.
Syntax of Things (“One person’s crap is another person’s blog”)
Thanks to the part-time paying gig, I didn’t get the chance to finish up the first set of reviews I wanted to share today. I blame the broken promise on the fact that I had to spend an evening proofreading text full of Chinese characters, typeface not people. Let’s just say I’m still hungover, so here’s a little something from Roberto Bolaño’s “Advice on the Art of Writing Short Stories.”
Blogs clearly are not the answer to providing readers with the information they want.
A Possible Solution: Quickiebookreviews.com
I propose an advertising-driven daily e-newsletter that is free to anyone in the world interested in new books.
The daily announcement arrives in your e-mailbox. Click on the hyperlink and you land at quickiebookreviews.com.
What pops up is a lively page with publishers’ ads and a series of capsule reviews (70 words, max)—with ratings of one to four stars—plus price, publisher, ISBN, binding and number of pages—plenty of information to make a buying decision.