Seems this article in the Huffington Post about how blogs cannot possibly replace book reviews in newspapers made KatieBabs’ head spin around on her neck. (With anger, not because she’s possessed by the spirit of Col. Bimbo or anything). Bloggers cannot possibly replace book reviewers in newspapers, cries the author. Oh, they are so solipsistic and self-absorbed, and they use “I” too much.
So would it be snide of me to point out that if newspapers paid attention to the more profitable market share of fiction – that would be romance, folks – and reviewed books such as Kresley Cole’s, Nora Roberts’, or Nalini Singh’s recent novels, they might not necessarily be facing such dire financial straits? What, my economics has flaws? Please. My math skills bring all the boys to the yard, but mostly because they
don’t make any sense on this planet and thus are entertaining.
Yes, that’s a simplistic analysis and certainly one review of a romance novel would not turn the mothership of the economy around for any given newspaper, but while I try not to pay too much attention to analysis of blogs as writing formats, the bemoaning of the bloggers as the heiresses apparent to the now-dying review pages of newspapers bugs the crapola out of me:
I think book reviews on blogs—particularly those of the Blogspot variety—tend to be self-indulgent. Book reviewing bloggers need to move away from opinion in favor of judgment. How does the book compare to—and fit in with—the author’s previous work? What’s the book’s place in the genre? The canon? Does the writer succeed in doing what he or she set out to do—meaning, is it the book they meant it to be? Whether it’s the book the blogger wanted it to be is of much less importance to me, frankly.
We review romance because no one else in print did so consistently. I hold the books I read to any number of measuring standards as I write a review. Self-indulgent reflections on romance? Try: neglected as a genre too long. Put that in your newspaper and smoke it.