Monday, December 28, 2009

There Go My Dreams

...of being a Kirkus Reviewer.

Everyone harbors some little secret dream job, or the fall-back plan B if the day job doesn't work out. What better for me than the feared Kirkus, arbiter of smack-down snark for the publishing industry?

I've long thought Publisher's Weekly just a cheerleader for book sales and several others of just phoning it in; quite possibly as a reaction to the struggles of the book business. But not Kirkus.

I've met authors that are absolutely terrified that a bad review from them will impede sales. Did they have that much power? Doubtful. If other review sources saw merit it a work, I don't think it would have that much impact in the grand scheme of things. I've never spoken to anyone who said they were solely guided by Kirkus, and thus, they have gone by the wayside. How sad.

Where else will I get witty rebukes of calling a 400-page slog an 'insult to trees' or the encapsulation of someone's inner journey set to paper as 'better left unexplored'? Or the simply dismissive 'wretched drivel'?

I for one, applauded Kirkus for their contrarian stance in an era of participation trophies. Meghan Daum said it much better than I ever could here.

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