Thursday, July 01, 2004

Perhaps Someone Should Try This in Other Cities?

I was ego-surfing this spring (something I don't do all that often because, really, I don't find that much about me) when I stumbled upon a review of one of my books in a publication called is a 'zine that describes itself as a local newspaper for kids between the ages of 8 and 13 living in the St. Louis area and a tool adults can use to help kids become better readers. In addition to news articles on kids in the area, it has book and movie reviews, games, and articles on things to do in St. Louis. For adults it has lesson plans around the articles in the current issue, which I thought was interesting.

As a writer, I found the book reviews interesting, too, because the staff members don't limit themselves to new releases. This month's issue includes a review of A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck, which has been out for a few years. But it's a very decent book (yes, I actually liked it) and why shouldn't it be brought to the attention of people who've never heard of it or may have missed it when it was fresh off the press?

There's lots of talk among book people about the short window of opportunity for selling new books. We're talking months, here. I think that's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. People in the book business believe they have only a few months to bring a book to the publics' attention so that's what they do--spend a few months on a book and move on to something else. But publications like can keep titles out in front of the public indefinitely. So long as journalists read something and want to write about it, they can.

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