Ruth Porter | Chicago Reader

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Re: “The feculency factor: reviewing a bunch of self-published books

That's good, Angela.
Look, this whole argument is silly. All the commenters say there are good self-published books to find. And I quoted you Publishers Weekly saying the same thing. You say you can't find them. Well, the next time you want to try this experiment, send me a box of self-published books, and I will find the ones that should be reviewed if there are any there. And I will give them all a sympathetic look, which is what they deserve.
Ruth

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ruth Porter on 04/20/2012 at 1:54 PM

Re: “The feculency factor: reviewing a bunch of self-published books

Publishers Weekly puts out a quarterly reviewing self-published books “in recognition of the boom and as an acknowledgment that valuable works are being published outside traditional publishing.” And there are many reviewers online who review self-published books. Blue Ink Review is a good and serious example. You could have checked around to find books that were worth your while to review. You are so ready to condemn all self-published books that it’s hard to avoid the idea that you found what you meant to find. Most authors need editors, but not all do. Max Perkins said he never had to edit Hemingway because Hemingway edited himself.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ruth Porter on 04/19/2012 at 4:10 PM

Re: “The feculency factor: reviewing a bunch of self-published books

I agree with everything Stephanie said in her comment. And most particularly, “Relying on literary filters to tell you what is intellectually valuable implies that your reviewers don’t have the intellectual wherewithal to judge books on their own.” Of course there are gems to be found, even though it’s a huge pile to wade through. New and important art almost always comes from outside the establishment, and that means that new and important writers are likely to be self-published, at least, in their early days. Reviewers who want to be taken seriously will need to develop a system for searching through the piles of self-published books.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ruth Porter on 04/19/2012 at 12:37 PM

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