The truth, the entire truth…I am a New York Times Book Review junkie. I pay for delivery of the Times so I can get the Review on Saturday. The other sections often remain untouched, recycled eventually at the end of the week. The point of being a subscriber is simple: to read the fiction reviews, and of particular note are the debut authors. First novel writers who somehow rose to the top of the new fiction pile to be given a nod in the New York Times.
My big question is how? How does one unknown author with the good fortune of being published get into the Book Review? Being an author with a newly released novel of fiction, my curiosity is heightened. I think it has to do with the publisher, one of the big five. No. In this week’s Review there were three debut novelists and their publishers are all obscure. What is the formula? I don’t know who to ask, there is no call in number, no Help line indicated.
Considering all this, there are days that I feel like I live in Whoville, that place where the inhabitants fit on the head of a pin and go about life unseen, unnoticed and unheard by all the bigger folk. Having written a book and achieved mainstream published status has not given me bus fare out of Whoville.
Book store managers and librarians for the most part are kind, but they need to be convinced about my book. Some are warm and supportive and others avert their eyes when they speak to me, acting hurried and late for some previous appointment just remembered. Frequent return trips to skulk the new fiction aisle often turns up nothing and requires another request to the higher powers.
Along with this let me throw in the daily internet marketing, the emails and the requests to Amazon reviewers and other such cyber spaced acquaintances. This still leaves me pondering the how of getting to the almighty New York Times. In Whoville it is difficult to be heard through the din of A-list authors of churned out thrillers and romance.
Perhaps if I blog about a Whoville Review someone might notice. Some random editor navigating Blogger might stumble upon my Whoville Blog and find it delicious, really dig it and gather all of his or her friends into one Space…put them face-to-face and then they would all say: This is a review blog from WHO?
Blog what you think, hear, and feel.
Linda Merlino, author
Go to amazon.com to order: Belly of the Whale