January 30, 2009

Former Book World employees make lemonade out of lemons


So, you want to write a book? “How hard can it be?” asks Alex Beam of the Boston Globe. An experienced author himself (his newest is A Great Idea at the Time, about Mortimer Adler‘s campaign to sell the “Great Books” door-to-door), Beam’s newest column offers a list of four easy steps to successful publishing, including #3, Reviews: “Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.” Still, they’re impossible to get nowadays, right? Wrong: “Debra Gaynor‘s site, reviewyourbook.com, (‘We Read. You Succeed’) offers free reviews, and nice ones at that. Reviewyourbook.com has a five-star rating system. One star means ‘a waste of paper and ink.’ Two stars mean ‘don’t waste your money.’ However, ‘We only post reviews of books that have a rating of 4 or 5,’ the site explains. ‘We do not give bad publicity.’ Gaynor says she receives about 150 books a month and reads most of them herself. ‘I love reading, and I don’t want to hurt anyone,’ says the Hawesville, Ky., native.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives