Sunday, May 20, 2007

An Abashed Return

So I've been gone for two months. But I'm back now. For good, I think.

Basically, I had a minor existential crisis. Really very minor, in the scheme of things: I’m perfectly happy with family, friends, health, and all the important things in life. My crisis was limited solely to the value of my reviews. In mid-March, I happened to read an article about how most books even from big-name publishers with real marketing campaigns only sell one or two thousand copies if they’re lucky.

I already knew this, but it drove home many of my doubts. Why, I wondered, do I bother writing reviews when I doubt that I will ever be able to persuade an appreciable number of people to buy these books that I enjoy so much. No author is going to sell thousands -- or hundreds -- or dozens -- or necessarily even a single copy due to a positive recommendation from me.

Then, just like in a poorly written, melodramatic novel (whether POD or otherwise), I had my epiphany. The friend of an author I’d previously reviewed happened to write to say that the author had happened to find my review (I always try to e-mail authors who I’ve reviewed, but this was one I hadn’t been able to contact) and that my review had “made his day.”

Now, I know that my positive comments were more a minor bright spot in this author’s day than a moment of unparalleled rapture. But still, this reminded me why I started my reviews: to let those POD artists (who, let's be frank, likely will never reach a big audience regardless of their talent) know that they’ve touched at least one person. I know that this is an exceedingly minor prize, but I hope it's worth something, and, I have to say, I think (hope) it may be enough to make this all worthwhile.

So I've neglected this site for a couple of months. But no more. I know I've been impolite, ignoring my fellow POD reviewers and, indeed, all of the e-mail I've received. But I have been reading, lots and lots of books, as well as checking out new movies and music. So I'm going to start answering my backlog of e-mail (if anyone still cares). I'm going to start posting reviews of all the great stuff I've read, seen and heard in the last few months. Because if I don't, who will? (Well, except for all of the excellent sites listed at right, plus all the new ones that have probably sprung up recently. Check them out too. But don't give up on me yet. The best, hopefully, is yet to come.)


Snook said...

Welcome back buddy!

Anonymous said...

good to see you're back ;-) - GRG

Steph_J said...

I'm so happy you're back. I look forward to your reviews.