Monday, January 18, 2016

Reviewing the Mail: Week of January 16

Hey, I'm back again. And this week, I want to try to correct what might be an incorrect assumption some people might have. (Is that enough waffling for one sentence?)

I do get some books for free, and I'm very grateful for that. As part of that gratefulness, and to do a tiny bit to keep the free stuff coming, I do this post every Monday morning. (It looks somewhat different when I have books to write about, but bear with me.)

But, here's the thing: that's not enough. It's not what publicists are actually looking for. They want someone with an actual platform (meaning a stable, and preferably growing, audience who care about a particular genre) who will review those books in a timely manner, and, preferably, do galley giveaways and author interviews and blog tours and all that other stuff that raises awareness and sells books.

I pretty much don't do any of that. I got onto publicity lists because I had a lot of publishing contacts, because I had a book-focused blog during the great Blog Surge of 2007, because I did a lot of reviews for a number of years, and because those publicists were throwing what they had against every wall they could find to see where it stuck. But, these days, I am a very bad wall for their purposes. They know that, and I know that. And I don't make much effort to be a better wall.

There was a time when I was reading and writing about books when they were still somewhat new, and at that point I was a half-decent target for a publicist. I'm not doing that now, and -- I think I've said this before -- I would not send me free books. Seriously: I'm not doing what they're looking for. I've never even made much effort to ask publicists for books, which is Step One for a book blogger.

So the long thread of free books may finally be petering out for me, and that is totally fine. To keep it going, I'd have to spend a lot more time reading and reviewing books in specific genres -- since that is why publicists send books out, to get coverage focused on particular genre readers -- and that's not how I want to spend my time these days. (And I have a lot less time these days to begin with.)

I'm not killing this blog; I'm not even killing "Reviewing the Mail" yet. But the latter will probably happen, and the blog itself is more and more often in deep storage. Luckily for you stalwarts, I'm the kind of person who never gives up on anything and treasures routine above all else -- I'm still playing, pretty regularly, a Mac game I got at college in 1988 -- so there will be stuff on Antick Musings as long as I'm around. Maybe only haphazard stuff every once in a long while, but stuff.

That's what I can promise.

In the meantime, I bought a couple of books yesterday and wrote about them here. Hey, a post!

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