Message on a doorstep

Though none have appeared in the national media Going with Gabriel has received some brilliant 'private' reviews since publication 11 February. Nevertheles its sales are not exactly rippling the surface of the The Bookseller pond. I've asked this before - about a million times - but why? Why does the media review books only when they're written by well-known authors, encouraging readers to buy the things 'sight unseen'?

My wife is an avid reader of novels. She reads at least three novels a month, mostly on loan from the Highlands mobile library and almost always as the result of media reviews or past 'author satisfaction'. She has just finished Michelle Frost's First Light It's probable that you've never heard of Michelle Frost, but she is the lady who wrote a very professional review of my own Going with Gabriel. I confess to having bought Michelle's novel from Amazon almost as a thank you gesture, but because I'm a slow reader and am currently deep into a learned non-fiction on the poems and songs of one Robert Burns, in spite of her initial misgivings Dee picked it up and read it. I can tell how she rates a novel and this one that you've never heard of thrilled and absorbed her and definitely got a ten out of ten. She's now going to write to Michelle so I won't say any more at the moment.

By co-incidence on the news this morning came the story of a similarly unknown author who, frustrated by all the usual 'Trade' frustations, took the imaginative step of leaving the manuscript on Richard and Judy's doorstep. Guess what happened next?

Now here's a revolutionary thought: what would happen if publishers left the author's name off the books they publish? Would the cream rise to the sales surface or would folk stop buying books? Think about this; the most famous writer in the English language is one Wm Shakespeare but hardly anyone knew who he was when he was alive and even now we know so very little about this true 'celebrity'.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Bryan, and Delia. :-)

    Yes, what would happen if books were judged without authorship known and musicians without us needing to see if they were pretty or sexy enough? That one also irks me.

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