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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Sarvas’

Is This Still Your Father’s Book Review? (And If So, Why?)

Just in case you were wondering: Yep, I saw the Lee Abrams memo that touches upon the future of the LA Times Book Review. In case you hadn’t, here’s the nut:

“Maybe Book sections in newspapers are just dated. Not the idea… but the look and feel. Maybe they’re modeled after a book store in 1967 whereas we’re in the Borders, Amazon, B&N era. Maybe they are too scholarly. Maybe they avoid genres like Christian books, Celebrity books and Popular novels, opting instead for reviews of the Philippine Socialist Movement in the 1800′s. The point here is maybe Book sections need to be as dramatically re-thought as Borders re-thought retail. Not dumbing down—but getting in sync with the 21st Century mainstream book reader.”

I don’t know if I’d put it in exactly those words, but if you’ve been reading GalleyCat posts about book reviewing for any amount of time, it won’t surprise you to learn that I think Abrams is on to something where the big picture is concerned. (Although Chad Post is unconvinced.) As for the LATBR, Mark Sarvas has some good ideas about moving all the book coverage online to create the most kickass book review in American mainstream media.

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The Art of the Book Review

The Art of the Book ReviewStarting August 4, learn how to get paid to write reviews that will influence the publishing landscape! Taught by a Publishers Weekly book critic, you'll learn how to recommend a book to its audience, write reviews of varying lengths, tailor a review to a specific publication and more! You'll leave this course with two original reviews and a list of paying markets for book reviews. Register now! 

Saunders on Letterman

It’s not often that a writer appears on Letterman these days (ever?) but George Saunders did last week for his new essay collection THE BRAINDEAD MEGAPHONE. Originally available as a Quicktime download, now the embed code is available for one and all to share.

(embed code swiped from Mark Sarvas. Original story swiped from Ed Champion.)

We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful, Part Two

When Mark Sarvas began blogging about literary matters in late 2003 at The Elegant Variation, he never shied away from mentioning there was a novel in the works, but was understandably discreet about giving out details. Now he’s far more forthcoming after announcing on his acclaimed litblog (which started around the time both Ron and I got into the blogging game, me from scratch, Ron relaunching his longstanding website, and we’re both pals of his) that the novel in question, HARRY, REVISED, was bought by Bloomsbury‘s Colin Dickerman, which will plans publication in Winter 2008.

No doubt many are asking whether having a blog helped Sarvas secure a book deal. “It’s undeniable that the blog helped but only in getting me over the threshold and perhaps moving me into a higher place on the list,” Sarvas explains. But he also adds that both agent Simon Lipskar‘s decision to represent the work and Bloomsbury‘s decision to publish the book “really appear to have been based purely on the merits of the work.” And as for whether Sarvas is going to stop being critical now that he’s “part of the establishment?” There’s only one emphatic answer for that: “Fuck, no.”