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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Major Critics Continue to Brush Independents Aside

Indie publishers continue to sound the alarm on how the New York Times critics' top books for 2009 all came from the eight major houses dominating the market. If not for the advent of blog reviewers willing to review books from independent presses, we would truly be in dire straits. Martin Shepard's blog (see link) offers practical advice for independents to fight back against being ignored. Independent press authors deserve major coverage, too. Unfortunately, it's pretty clear that the critics Shepard profiled are either clueless or truly do not care that the review coverage is woefully unbalanced. That being said, we can either try to open their eyes to the issue at hand and request a small press reviewer be added to their ranks (as suggested in Shepard's post), or forget them altogether and continue to pursue reviewers and bloggers receptive to good work, no matter the house it comes from. Perhaps soon, the right combination of independent reviews will trump that of conglomerate-inspired reviews and the reading public will hear more than eight voices. Until then, it's important for indie publishers to stay actively involved in this fight for the sake of their authors.