Waiting for Recognition – All We Do
Waiting for recognition is about all we do. Early on this year we went through the process of sending our newly published books (Hawthorne Illustrated and Sammy’s Day at the Fair) to eight pre-publication reviewers. Not to all pre-publication reviewers—there’s a few more. But we sent books to the ones almost every acquisition librarian (school and public) consults before shopping for new books to add to their collections. We got nothing back from those reviewers. Not a word. Not a wink.
But really, dopey. What did me expect? Distinguished book reviewers don’t review books published by selves! They virtually always review books published by corporations of selves! It’s the economies of scale, dopey!
Well, excuse me. I didn’t mean to think we might get by with inserting our small self into such a well-designed, well-oiled system of judgement! Not to offend the people within that system! I do not question the taste or sincerity of high-test reviewers. But what does their taste and sincerity matter to me when I know they never open our books and take a look. Their fine qualities don’t really matter much to me at all.
I’m not dopey. I know that these reviewers cannot take time to look at books from selves. Given the never-ending stream of self-published books that flows into their facilities, I know they need criteria regarding the books they review. That criteria must automatically rule out books from selves, even though reviewers might lament that each self-published book they pass by will not acquire necessary recognition.
But not just that. These reviewers know for sure that their reviews, usually positive, greatly influence buyers. They know if their reviews of books from large publishers even hint at quality, they will entice a huge segment of the book-buying market (libraries and schools) to buy. Those buyers, time-strapped, working for money-strapped institutions, are looking with tunnel vision for books that pass muster with the elites. And those countless self books that big reviewers must pass by according to their criteria? Libraries and schools will never meet them via normal match-up channels, and likely won’t care whether or not those books were ever brought to market.
I’m sure important reviewers know all this. But criteria is criteria. We understand. Nevertheless, as I affix stamps to the packages that I send to those important reviewers, packages that contain personal letters and copies of our newly published books, I always pray my package’s handlers and evaluators will not strictly apply their employer’s selection criteria. But first, and most emphatically, I pray their systems will not see through the faux corporate disguise I apply so meticulously inside and outside the packages I send them. Have blindness I pray—mistake me for who we are not.
My SEO (search engine optimization) conscience demands that I evenly distribute today’s key-word—recognition—so the artificial mind in the rating brainwork of Google will deem my blog effective. Then I can post it with a high degree of confidence that someone will find it. Given that, I will mention again we are waiting for recognition. That’s about all we do. In our next blog, I will speak to other processes that show we are waiting for recognition. Don’t you know that’s about all we do!« Back