Why we don’t even try

Let’s be clear about this. Some of the best books I’ve read have been self-published.


You couldn’t put it better than Ron Charles in the Washington Post; ‘No, I don’t want to read your self-published book.’ He in turn based his article on Roger Sutton’s post for The Horn Book. They both know what it’s like to be inundated with top quality books they have no time for.

So do I, but not to the same degree as them. And I do not exist merely to review new books. I am here to read and enjoy myself, and then tell people about it, even if the book is positively ancient.

I want to be kind, and open-minded. Just not to the extent I become unwell, and the self-published label is a good place to begin the pruning of my incoming post.

Just the other day I had an offer I found reasonably easy to refuse:

‘We’d love to offer you the opportunity to serialise the novel each day during the eponymous month [of November]. Or if you prefer we can provide an extract, a review copy (as a PDF/Kindle only) or an interview with the author. The book is in the literary fiction genre and is aimed at grown-ups. It includes some swearing, and drug taking, and lots of attempted suicide – so although it is a very funny book, it’s not really suitable for children.’

Yeah, Bookwitch would be the ideal place for it, wouldn’t it?

At the other end of the spectrum, I was offered an interview with a celebrity, who’s written their first children’s book. But the celebrity is too busy to actually meet for an interview, because a celebrity status comes with a lot of work. I can understand that. We should be grateful there was enough time for the book to be written. Which may be excellent. I just don’t intend to find out.


2 responses to “Why we don’t even try

  1. Bookwitch, apart from the celebrity offers, this is so true. I get sent similar emails for the review section of another blog. When the promoter’s own style suggests nothing good about the writing within the book and where (despite words of praise) they obviously haven’t understood the kind of books reviewed on “our” blog, I don’t warm to the request.

  2. The hardest to withstand is when someone loves my blog, but I have learned to recognise people who say that without obviously knowing me very well, as opposed to those who clearly do.

    As for celebrities being too busy or simply too big – for me – I have to mention John Barrowman. He set aside equal time for me and ITV, and all those other channels. He wasn’t too busy to publicise a book he ‘co-wrote’ with his sister.

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