Friday, July 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Authors

I’m always excited to discover great reads from new authors. In May I found such a book and was eager to write my review. This past week I received an email from the author thanking me for the review and asking me to post it on Amazon. I was shocked to say the least!

After taking a deep breath I reminded myself that this is her first book and she may not be aware of how offensive this request is to an independent bookseller. Books that we are particularly excited about can be nominated for the Indie Next List which promotes new authors much better than one review among many on the online giant. I explained this to her as kindly as I could, pointing out that not only did I nominate her book, but it was chosen as a notable pick for August. The sting of her request was slightly diminished after looking at her site and seeing listed as a site to purchase her book.

On the flip side, in May of 2009 I wrote a short review of an amazingly original first novel by Brian DeLeeuw. This one was chosen for the Indie Next List last summer. Yesterday in the mail I received the paperback version, which will be out in August. The book was not only signed, but personalized! Included was a letter from Brian thanking me (me - not "Dear Reader"!) for nominating In This Way I Was Saved and promising to thank me in person if he’s ever in Wisconsin. In the letter he discusses his strong feelings about the increasing relevance and necessity of independent bookstores in this current age of depersonalization and tells us to keep fighting the good fight. Wow! Now this is an author I want to support! He does not have a link to Indiebound on his website yet (Brian, if you are reading this, please add one.), but the first link to purchase his book is an independent bookstore. It is authors like Brian that make me love coming to work each day.
I had to include both covers and would love your opinion.
Personally, I prefer the hardcover (left) over the paperback (right)