Firebrand Technologies founder Fran Toolantweeted a big statistic about his company’s digital book review service today: “over 45,000 reviews were generated in 2011 from reviewers using NetGalley. A 500% increase over 2010.”
NetGalley has opened the door for bloggers, librarians, and other readers to apply for review copies from major publishers. However, not all review requests get approved.
NetGalley has assembled a a practical What Are Publishers Looking For? page to maximize your chances of getting your NetGalley request approved. The guide reveals what individual publishers expect for review requests–follow this link to explore the page.
Novelist Jennifer Weiner has made a count of men and women reviewed by the New York Times last year.
Overall, Weiner (pictured, via) found that out of 254 fiction reviews, nearly 60 percent of the featured books were written by men. Her long essay also counted authors reviewed multiple times by the newspaper. Follow this link to read the whole report.
Check it out: “Finally, of the works of fiction whose authors were reviewed twice (either with two full reviews, or review plus roundup) and profiled, one was a woman and ten were men. The men who received two reviews plus a profile were David Foster Wallace, Albert Brooks, Julian Barnes, Kevin Wilson, Nicholson Baker, Tom Perrotta, Russell Banks, Jeffrey Eugenides, Haruki Murakami and Allan Hollinghurst. The only woman who received two reviews plus a profile was Tea Obreht.”
Daily Intel had a quote from Hoberman: “I would be disingenuous to say I hadn’t considered the possibility that this would happen to me eventually … I was shocked, but not surprised.” (Via Mediabistro Newsfeed)
The Huffington Post unveiled a new HuffPost Book Club today. Starting on January 3rd, the club will feature 10 books next year.
In addition to reading books, the online group will use Twitter, Facebook, Instagr.am, YouTube and Flickr to share reading experiences. It will also feature events at bookstores.
Here’s more from the release: “We begin with one of the most remarkable pieces of fiction in recent years: The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht … We’re telling you now, so you can add it to your Christmas list. We can’t wait to read it with you. The Book Club will officially begin on January 3rd. On February 7th, we will host an free event at St Mark’s Bookshop in New York City, featuring Téa Obreht. More on that soon.
The University of California, Davis English Department has posted a statement at the top of their webpage, calling for Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi to resign following a harsh police response to student activists last week.
The statement also urged the school disband the University of California Police Department. In the video embedded above, you can see a line of student protestors staring at Chancellor Katehi in a silent but powerful protest.
Here is the complete statement: “The faculty of the UC Davis English Department supports the Board of the Davis Faculty Association in calling for Chancellor Katehi’s immediate resignation and for ‘a policy that will end the practice of forcibly removing non-violent student, faculty, staff, and community protesters by police on the UC Davis campus.’ Further, given the demonstrable threat posed by the University of California Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to the safety of students, faculty, staff, and community members on our campus and others in the UC system, we propose that such a policy include the disbanding of the UCPD and the institution of an ordinance against the presence of police forces on the UC Davis campus, unless their presence is specifically requested by a member of the campus community. This will initiate a genuinely collective effort to determine how best to ensure the health and safety of the campus community at UC Davis.” (Via Maud Newton)
John Williams, the editor of The Second Pass book review site, has been hired as a web producer at The New York Times books section.
This morning, he tweeted the news: “couldn’t be more thrilled to be the new web producer for the books section of the New York Times.”
Here’s more about the new producer: “Williams, lives in Brooklyn, NY. From 2001-2007, he worked in the editorial department at HarperCollins. Before that, he spent time as a journalist in Texas and an editorial intern at Harper’s Magazine. His work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Slate, McSweeney’s, Stop Smiling, the Barnes & Noble Review, the Austin American-Statesman, the Dallas Morning News, and other publications.” (Via Sarah Weinman)
Wood dissected The Fortress of Solitude in a 2003 New Republic review, prompting Lethem (pictured, via) to write him a private letter. He received a short note back, and eight years later, responded to the letter with a public essay about the review. What do you think?
Check it out: “Wood, in 4,200 painstaking words, couldn’t bring himself to mention that my characters found a magic ring that allowed them flight and invisibility. This, the sole distinguishing feature that put the book aside from those you’d otherwise compare it to (Henry Roth, say). The brute component of audacity, whether you felt it sank the book or exalted it or only made it odd. These fantastic events hinge the plot at several points, including the finale — you simply couldn’t not mention this and have read the book at all. Or rather, you couldn’t unless you were Wood.”
As Halloween nears, it’s time for our annual feature on literary costume ideas. The blogosphere was bursting with ideas last year, but we’d love to hear more suggestions–especially literary costumes for this GalleyCat editor’s one-year-old baby…
Here’s one story from the blog: “He, lovelorn literary loser, just like me—but better at even that than I was, for I was a mere apprentice—gave me a hardcover edition of the complete poems of William Blake. I’d brought him to the legendary Hyde Park, Chicago Powell’s, and the Blake edition was on my shopping list. I was back in school at 34, newly divorced, to finish the BA in English Literature I should have taken the first time around. Starry-eyed, in love with the man and the poems, I found the book, but sadly noted its $70 price tag…”
So we just had to ask: What’s the best book you ever received as a gift from your lover? If you want to share the story of that particular gift book, email the blog with your submission. The guidelines are simple: “submit a few paragraphs and a valid URL for a cover image of the exact edition you were given, if possible.”
She cited four popular novels that the judges passed over: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and The Submission by Amy Waldman.
Here’s more from the essay: “the National Book Award in fiction, more than any other American literary prize, illustrates the ever-broadening cultural gap between the literary community and the reading public. The former believes that everyone reads as much as they do and that they still have the authority to shape readers’ tastes, while the latter increasingly suspects that it’s being served the literary equivalent of spinach. Like the Newbery Medal for children’s literature, awarded by librarians, the NBA has come to indicate a book that somebody else thinks you ought to read, whether you like it or not.”