I've recently found two new reviews for Happy Kid!. One is at Reading YA: Readers' Rants, and the other is at what is for me a new blog, The Kiddosphere@Fauqier. I was delighted to see both of them.
These are not reviews from last year that I've just stumbled upon. These are reviews that were posted in the last few days. That's important for a book that was published eight months ago.
Earlier this week while mulling over all the recent awards, I got to thinking about how books are like debutantes. They all have their season when they are introduced to society. And when their season is over, they're last year's news.
You can extend the analogy to those English historical novels in which young women have their season when they are introduced to society. Those young woman are actually looking for suitors, as are books. In the case of books, the big review journals are the suitors. Starred journal reviews are the equivalent of a marriage to a younger son who has a lot of money but no title. Good reviews with no stars are the equivalent of a marriage to a good and decent man who can support you but isn't very exciting. A book with few reviews of any kind is the equivalent of a young woman with no dowry and no connections who is pretty much ignored by all.
Awards are the equivalent of a brilliant marriage, perhaps to a prince or at least to a powerful aristocrat.
At the beginning of December, Anthony McGowan said that his book Hellbent "has sunk without a trace in the US." It had been published here only three months earlier. A book's season can be cruelly short.
Here's where blog reviews come in--They can extend a book's season.
Blog reviews aren't going to make any difference as far as finding a book review space in the big journals or getting them an award is concerned. They can, though, find them readers, which is at least as important if not more so. Blog reviews put titles and names out there. Blog reviews create name recognition. Blog reviews bring books to the attention of readers who had never heard of them, but they also remind readers of books they'd been meaning to read but had forgotten about.
Two new reviews eight months after publication? Oh, yes. I am very pleased.