Book reviews and when not to care about them
August 15, 2008 3:28 PM Subscribe
Question about small presses and book reviews.
posted by anonymous to media & arts (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So I wrote a nonfiction hardcover book that I'm pretty proud of. Then it came out and it didn't get reviewed anywhere.
While this sucks, I have no illusions about how hard it is to sell a book these days. Still, just out of curiosity, I'm trying to determine how common it is to get no reviews.
Some factors: The company, which is small but enjoys wide distribution at places like Barnes and Noble, packaged and presented the book in a way that I suspect was a turn-off to potential reviewers. The product came off as musty, arcane, and irrelevant; the press release that went out was awful; and the cover didn't match my goal of writing a cool book; now I know how Kilgore Trout felt.
Mostly, I'm just curious: Does anyone out there, either as an author or in the publishing industry, have first-hand insights into how this all works? Do certain companies, by dint of their relationship with Publishers Weekly, etc., have a better chance of being reviewed? This company, for some reason, has a track record of consistently not getting their books reviewed, despite buying table space at bookstores.
The second part of my question is: I've also been weighing whether I should try to solicit reviews myself, all this time later. Not having my own shipping and handling department, and tired from a long book tour, and soooo over the book itself, I've been of a mind to cut my losses, chalk it up to experience, be glad I'm on library shelves, and move on.
Is that crazy? The way my royalties are set up, I see no chance of meaningful profit, just the slim possibility of some modest recognition, a review somewhere saying my book isn't half bad. But I'd rather let it go than grub around for reviews this late in the game, if it's not worth it.
Or maybe someone out there has had success turning around a dead-horse book that flopped on launch? I just want to get some perspective on how I should look at all this. Thanks...