Last week I was invited to a blogger event hosted by the publishing house of Simon & Schuster in London with my jazz hand friend, Melanie Gow, artist, author, even co-ordinator, and creative genius behind Glow Magazine.
Historically, publishers haven't paid much attention to the blogosphere. It would appear this is set to change as they realise the influence over the power of suggestion. You see, many readers don't set much stock by what the "official" book critics published in the newspapers have to say about books when book groups and people sitting on a beach go to select a book. And there's money in these markets. Lots of money. Publishers have struggled to find out what criteria led these groups to selecting books. Guess what? The answer lies in what we formidable readers have known all along. We take recommendations from those people like us who live to read in those spare moments when normal life of family, day job and laundry aren't getting the way. OK, some days laundry will have to wait if we've found ourselves lost in a really good tale.
These people have taken their book reviews to their blogs and write about them. And people like you, my stalwart readers, sometimes say, hey, that sounds like something I might like to read. And word of mouth spreads like wild fire and you have a surprise hit on your hands. No big PR budget was spent. No big launch party was attended. No muckety mucks mucking it up. Just pure and simple joy in reading was had by one and all.
Simon and Schuster, in all their wisdom, has realised this. they have also realised that we bloggers do this only because we like to read. We don't make any money from it and we tend to have day jobs or children or both, so our budget for books can be rather limited.
For a blogger to be offered stacks and stacks of free books along with a glass of wine and some rather good cheese was reason enough to make my way into London and deal with the traffic, congestion charge, and parking.
And boy was it worth it!!!!
First off, we got to meet 4 great authors who told us all about the reasons we should read their books (after they had signed them, of course) and then we got to stuff beautiful canvas bags full of other books published by Simon & Schuster.
Ali Harris was talking about her second novel, The First Last Kiss, and I was able to pick up a copy of her first novel, Miracle on Regent Street.
Wendy Wallace was very excited with the publication of her debut novel, The Painted Bridge, a Victorian novel which also features a bit of early photography.
Robert Ryan was the veteran in the bunch having published numerous novels before largely set during World War 2. With the publication of Dead Man's Land, he goes back in time to the first World War but interestingly has included a link to Sherlock Holmes.
And Dean Crawford talked about the science featured in his third novel, Apocalypse, which follows on from his two previous novels, Covenant and Immortal. Funny thing is I didn't manage to pick up a copy of Apocalypse as they got snatched up in the speed of lightning but I did manage to grab the first two.
All of this oughta keep me busy reading all winter long! Just wish I didn't have to do other things like sleep and eat. Where to start? Where to start?