A starred PW review is, for authors, a coveted thing.
Most readers could care less, but book buyers and librarians pay very close attention to the starred review.
As for The Tourist Trail, there will be no starred review. There will be no review in fact, because as a matter of policy Publishers Weekly does not review self-published books.
I can certainly empathize with PW. They simply want to keep the noise level down. And it’s easy to draw a clear line between “published” and “self published.”
The trouble with such a policy is that the line between published and self published is blurring. As the mainstream publishers panic over declining revenues and take fewer chances on new authors and challenging works, PW is going to miss out on a growing number of potentially great works. Naturally, I’d like to consider my book to be in that category.
I’m not suggesting that PW needs to open the floodgates and accept every self-published book that rolls out of LuLu and Lightning Source.
But PW does need to come up with a way of scouting self-published books — some sort of moderation or filtering tool. Or some hoops for self-published writers to jump through to prove their “review worthy.” But to simply put on blinders and ignore all self-published book is, well, short-sighted.
I’m aware of several writers who had mainstream publishers once, grew dissatisfied with the process, and are now considering self-publishing for their next books. Are these folks also not worthy of serious reviews?
The good news for us self publishers is that we really don’t need PW. There are hundreds of passionate book bloggers, alternative media, and, of course, the social networking platforms. That’s where I’ll be focusing my energies in the weeks ahead.