Although no one’s exactly sure how influential they are, bloggers like Sarvas
have become the new darlings of the publishing industry. They’re getting free
review copies, landing interviews with prestigious authors, and trying to boost
obscure writers – especially writers in the literary fiction world where John
Irving is a bigger name than John Grisham. Still, plenty of sophisticated readers don’t know a blog from a podcast…
…In years past, literary discussions were largely limited to academia and the
occasional book club, says Sarvas of The Elegant Variation. "What the blogs have
really done is encourage inclusion, encourage people from all walks of life to
join the conversation."
But is anyone listening? Many book bloggers seem to be talking only to
themselves, judging by the dearth of postings by outsiders on their sites. And
it’s hard to tell if bloggers’ mash notes translate into sales at Barnes &
What do you think? Are blogs changing the way you pick the books you’re going to buy?