There’s recently been a giant literary brawl on Goodreads , where readers, authors and their agents took sides and went on the warpath! (btw Goodreads is the vast online site where millions of members discuss the world’s books.)
You can read full details on Monday’s Guardian Books Blog, but briefly, a reader made a less than complimentary comment about a much hyped YA book, prompting the author’s friends and agent to wade in and say some rude things about the reviewer. All hell then let loose. The result? A lot of upset passionate young bloggers, reviewers and readers. Does that matter? Well, yes, it seems so! Here’s what Julie Bertagna, author of the Guardian Books Blog post, said …
“Twilight and The Hunger Games showed young adult fiction to be a potential goldmine. Authors and publishers quickly latched onto the galaxy of online book sites, where a vast young readership roams, as the key to global success. But can you harness that energy? Should you even try? More and more bloggers are reluctant to host the author blog tours that now swamp book sites – only to find that publishers refuse them free advance review copies of the new books they want. Who wins there? With such precarious balances of power, a bust-up was always likely.
Whose book is it anyway? The hardest thing a writer has to learn is that once you publish a book, it’s no longer truly yours – even though it’s got your name on the front and it lives inside you. It belongs to the readers now. All you can do is steel yourself as you push it out into the world, stay gracious, and get busy with the next one…”
What do you think? Who does a book belong to? The author? The readers, or the publishers and agents?