Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Need a Shot of Optimism?

Read this most excellent post by MARIE MUTSUKI MOCKETT about how debut authors and small presses are slowly winning their deserving readership.

Graywolf Press published her debut novel Picking Bones from Ash last fall.

Kick tush, Marie!

Peace, Linda


  1. Engaging article and many good lessons to take from it.

    The only qualm I had was with the cheering of the demise of the "professional critic". I don't doubt that it's a world entirely different than I imagine; that like a restaurant critic who simply will not give a single star to anything that is not French cuisine, there are reviewers that let their own prejudices overly influence how they read and comment.

    But the professional critic is at least a somewhat neutral opinion; he might not share the same views of what makes good literature as you, but he's not the author's BFF, mother, favorite cousin or writing buddy. Reading reviews from people with an attachment to the writer always makes the review suspect, even if they happen to be right.

    That said, I do believe that public comment on a novel from the chattering masses, (such as that which appears in Amazon, for example), is the most valuable buzz of all. Several times, I've read a book and then looked to see what others thought and found much which I agreed with. You can spot the shills from a mile away; the disgruntled party-poopers from even further out. Sift though those, and you'll come to reviews and opinion from non-professionals that make perfectly good sense.

    The problem is, as it gets back to Marie's article, getting enough folks to read your book who will take time to comment in a public forum.

    CTRL + SHIFT / end rant


  2. good article and good follow up comments by John. :)