My friend, author Kurtis Scaletta, said it well in a recent interview. Regarding reviews, he explained, “I mostly just want people to know I exist, I think.”
And because he thinks, he does exist, or so I’ve gathered. Cogito ergo sum. I think, therefore I read.
Isn’t this picture funny??!!
The point is — and there’s always a point here at jamespreller.com, people, sometimes you just have to look under the cushions — Kurtis expressed something felt by most of us scraggly author-types.
You write the book, you wait, you hope, and sometimes the indifferent world doesn’t even bother to shrug its shoulders. For all the “buzz” and “hype” that some books generate — and often deservedly so — there are many others that slip by seemingly unnoticed, then unceremoniously pulled from the shelves after three creepy months. That’s why I appreciate anyone who takes the time and effort not only to read my book, but to respond in some way. Truly, truly, it’s the greatest gift you can give to a writer. Your attention, your valuable time. Thank you, guys, very much.
On Thursday morning, thanks to the wonders of Google Alerts (if you don’t use it, you should), I found three new reviews for Bystander.
* In a detailed, thoughtful review for the “Book Look” section of the Lincoln Daily News, Louella Moreland writes: “I must give Mr. Preller a gold star for taking on this topic as well as he did. The story is interesting, which may make the lesson a little easier to swallow. It would make a great book for class or family discussions.”
* Here’s a cool new blog, titled Future Librarian, Kids! He’s just up and running, and I remember those early months of trying to figure it out, so hop on over and say hello. He’s posted some well-written reviews and also took the time to remember School House Rocks — and you’ve got to love that in a blogger. In a review that was obviously written with great care, the unnamed “future librarian” writes: “The theme of keeping silent over speaking up runs deep throughout the book . . . Needless to say, I read Bystander fairly quickly and really enjoyed it. It captures the feeling of middle school quite well and I really felt compassion and understanding for all the characters.”
* I nominate Kiss the Book for having the best logo image. This is an impressive, long-standing site — they first hung out their shingle way back in the waaaay back, circa 2003! Were computers even invented back then? Were they banging out reviews on stone tablets? The reviews are written by, ahem, “school library professionals and vetted student reviewers.” Each review includes ratings for language, sexual content, and violence, like so: “Bystander, 223 pgs. Feiwel and Friends, 2009. Language – PG (7 swears, 0 “f”), Sexual Content – G; Violence – G.” Check it out!