Helping a Worthy Book to Make its Way Out into the World

Please welcome my writer/friend Priscilla Long’s blog on the value or reviewing books you’ve read.  Priscilla is well Priscilla_long_-210known in the the  Northwest and beyond for her book, The Writer’s Mentor, for her “Science Friction” column in The American Scholar, for many articles, and for her workshops.


Okay, so you like a book. More than like it, you think it’s a terrific book. Perhaps this book is a great book, a work of literature. Or maybe it’s just the best damn novel you’ve read all year. I’m not talking about the book you wrote. I am talking about a book you’ve read. I don’t care who wrote it, whether a writing buddy or a total stranger. But I do care about: 1. You have read it from cover to cover; 2. You think it is a great book.

But this book is a poor little book, no matter how great. It’s a poor little book because it’s one of one million (1,000,000,000) books published this year (2009 figures from April 14, 2010 Bowker Report). This book wants to be read and you believe it should be read. Indeed, you believe it must be read. But reading a book is a big time investment and fewer people read and more books are published and they are read less and less.

But we are writers, members of this writing community. How can we effectively lend a hand to a book we wish to support? I’m not speaking of any corrupt practice—reviewing your own books, dissing competing books, reviewing books falsely under false names. All that bullshit.

Here’s an idea to effectively help a good book find its readers.

Take take care to write a short, telling, well-written “review” of the sort that appears on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. Then post it. But not just on Amazon or on your favored habitual site. Post it (the same review, no need to change) on:

  2. Barnes &
  3. Powells City of Books website (an important independent bookstore)
  4. Goodreads
  5. SheWrites
  6. LibraryThing  (important: librarians read it; the review shows up in the library catalog)
  7. Your Facebook page
  8. Tweet it
  9. Can you think of another? Add it to the comments to this post!
  10. Finally: Request that your library purchase it. Patron requests drive library acquisitions.

This is a way to make a bit of a difference. Or so it seems to me.


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