19 November 2008

It's 3am. Do You Know Where Your Reviews Are?

Random House New Zealand recently sent me a package outlining the publicity and marketing they’ve done for Transported (which you can buy online from Fishpond, New Zealand Books Abroad or Whitcoulls) to date. It was nice to get this - a continuation of the very good service I’ve enjoyed as an author from Random House - and it was especially good to see all the print reviews that Transported has received collected together. There were even reviews I didn’t know I’d had: Diane McCarthy of the Bay Weekend (Whakatane) said that:

The stories certainly live up to the title with each one transporting the reader to a new reality …. These [stories] will leave you pondering their deeper meaning long after the last sentence has dropped you back in your own particular reality.

In the Timaru Herald, Abby Gillies said:

The stories are diverse, linked only by real, developed characters whose circumstances are challenging them to react. Let these original stories lead you to unexpected places.

To date, Transported has been reviewed in the following New Zealand newspapers:

Bay Weekend
Wanganui Chronicle and Daily Chronicle (Horowhenua)
Nelson Mail
Timaru Herald
Taranaki Daily News
Marlborough Express
Southland Times
Otago Daily Times

and in the magazines Craccum, the New Zealand Listener and Critic. Interviews or articles about the book have appeared in the Southland Times, Dominion Post, and Marlborough Express, and also on Radio New Zealand and Plains FM. (Plus, of course, the online reviews: see the Transported page on my web site for links to these.)

I’m very grateful for all these reviews, but I also notice an interesting pattern: nearly all of them are in provincial papers, with only one in a metropolitan paper. Transported has not been reviewed in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch or Wellington (though, in the latter case, the feature article is pretty substantial compensation).

Of course, that’s entirely the prerogative of these papers, and they do — sometimes — still review New Zealand books, but am I alone in the impression that they review fewer New Zealand books than they used to, and give those they do review less space? The change has certainly been marked in the Dominion Post, where it’s now quite rare to see a New Zealand book reviewed in its book pages.

I suspect it’s something to do with the fact that books pages have been transferred from the newspaper proper into glossy lifestyle supplements — and the books reviewed are chosen as much for their lifestyle-supplementing qualities as their literary interest. Am I wrong?

More about Transported

3 comments:

maureen said...

tis the season to get the media clippings...fa lalala lala lala
I got mine yesterday too.
not as many as yours
only two but Thankyou ODT for the kind words....
I suspect you may be right on the reviewing book front...I know that when I asked the publicity department very nicely what places they were sending my book to be reviewed I got the snippiest reply
CC'd to the editors making it look like I was a nagging author...when in reality I think they were covering their a%%. Coz the points they were making had no relevance to the initial questions asked.
I loved your ten reasons to buy Transported!
Brilliant!
Maureen....on that note if you know a boy just getting into reading and you are looking for an easy fast paced book with police chases, bones, skeletons, dogs etc
Bones by Maureen Crisp
(a Kiwibite) available in Children's Bookshops and Dymocks

Tim Jones said...

Good to hear from you, Maureen!

Random House consulted me on where review copies were to be sent, so I know the big metropolitan papers did get review copies of Transported.

And re "Bones", I can add that I have bought a copy of "Bones" as a Christmas present for a boy getting into reading, and I think he's going to love it!

harvey molloy said...

I'm actually posting additional review copies out of Moonshot to poetry journals. I think that Random House have done a good job for you, Tim. I'm finding that print media isn't really doing such a good job of covering NZ books apart from high-fliers/high-profile writers. That's to be expected, I guess, though I wonder if the endless travel/gardening sections are really that interesting. I'd like a bit more on arts generally or even one good NZ arts mag that covers lit/music/theatre. Your post shows how narrow some of the big smoke journos are becoming.