L.A. Times Panel Debates Gatekeepers, Supply Chain and e-Books
By Wendy Werris -- Publishers Weekly, 4/30/2009 7:41:00 AM
“Writing and reading are doing just fine. It’s the intermediaries that are failing,” commented Nash, referring to ineffective supply chain management among publishers. That supply chain needs to deal with 300,000 books published annually, which led Nelson to two points. “This is a gatekeeper issue,” she said. “We simply publish too many books. We need more midlist novels and less of the celebrity books that challenge the bottomline of publishing conglomerates. The supply chain is broken. In the 20th century you got books to distributors and they got books into stores, and reps from publishers into stores telling buyers what to order... that doesn’t work anymore. The more you publish, the more overwhelming it is, and you need somebody to help you through the morass of choices. Goodreads is one of those gatekeepers.”
"Chandler then noted that because of blogs and additional book Web sites, people can more easily find – and buy – the books they like, which is also advantageous to writers."
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So, we know that bookshare sites are advantageous to writers. I have spoken to many authors who have had success with Goodreads. Why, because it's a social site that offers reviews and commentary by other readers in an interactive setting. Book blogs come and go on the Internet, review blogs come and go even faster, so what makes an Indie book review site attractive to potential readers and authors? It's about making connections, so I suppose it's about good old fashioned reputation building, a long and arduous process, one which can only be accomplished with time; patience; a knowledgeable staff, offering engaging commentary; and of course, good honest reviews, the best of the best, and lots of them. Trust isn't an easy thing to come by, and a good book blog has to gain reader trust just like a journalist would. We here at the podpeople, like many of our colleagues in the indie book blog world, are authors ourselves. Our hands are dirty from doin' grunt-work in the field. When we talk shop, we know of what we speak. We check our facts, and we stand by our assessments and our opinions. I think this again goes back to David Louis Edelman's article: What do authors want from reviewers? In my opinion those 10 commandments are what gives a review blog street cred. -- Cannegardner