The Los Angeles Review of Books has a lengthy piece on self-published authors and how difficult it can be for them to get review attention. I’m quoted in it a couple of times, repeating what’s been a stock line for me for a while: “[R]eading a book is time-consuming, and while I’ll try pretty much anything, I want evidence that more than one person was excited enough about a book to see it into print before I invest that time.” I probably should put that on the “For Authors and Publicists” page that makes some self-published writers so unhappy. Perhaps then I’ll receive fewer emails like the one that said self-published authors were being treated as if they were asked to wear a yellow star on their jackets. Or maybe I’ll receive more. Regardless, I recommend the article.
One thought on “Everybody’s Doing It”
I don’t blame you for not looking at self-published books, and I’m a self-published author. I don’t even try to get my books reviewed, except when I started self-publishing, paying Kirkus Discoveries. I think the Philadelphia Inquirer reviewed my self-published book without realizing it was self-published. But then I used to be published by people who weren’t me, and I got reviewed in the NYT Book Review, LA Times, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Minneapolis Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Orlando Sentinel, PW, LJ, Kirkus, Best Sellers, Rolling Stone and lots of other publications. If I wanted reviews, I wouldn’t self-publish, but I have had the reviews and so it easy for me not to care so much. At this point in my life, I am happy to give away everything I write for bupkis. I am grateful for today’s ease of self-publishing, but gatekeepers were, all in all, a good thing, and I think you are smart to be your own gatekeeper. It’s highly unlikely you’re missing anything worth writing about here.