I was once told by a famous author whose name I will not abuse that if a genie came to her in the night and asked if she could have a somewhat favorable review at The New York Times or glowing reviews for her books in all the other media outlets she would opt to have the former, as all the other critics in America are so in awe of The Times they would praise her work anyway, lest they be considered rubes and Philistines.
Such is not my concern. The Times and other major media do not know I exist. When my first book appeared in August of 2004 I recieved a starred review in Publishers' Weekly, a journal which would also name me one of the six best new authors of that year. My editor at the time assured me I was on my way to greater things. Unfortuneately, Publishers' Weekly was the only print medium that would grant me a review of any sort. Not even the small newspaper in my home town was interested in looking at my book. I was with a sci-fi house that is part of the second largest publishng company in the world, and yet not even the geeky sci-fi magazines would mention my novel. Everything else said about my book (a novel called Fitzpatrick's War) was said on the net, and although nearly everything said there was favorable,
no one read what was written of my book, and Fitzpatrick's War died an ignoble death. I likewise was unable to obtain a single interview on radio or TV or in the local advertizing rag.
I do not wish to boast, and while I realize there are authors who have not been published who are less read than I am, I do have to say my first novel may be the least read book ever printed by a major house. I think in hard-cover and paperback editions put together it sold less than two hundred copies world-wide. I have no reason to think my new book (which will issued this spring) will do any better. Obviously my publisher is printing me only to create a tax loss so they will have to pay millions less to the government for the sales of those authors who do get reviewed in The Times and elsewhere. But I have to be positive: by selling next to nothing while getting praise from those few who do read me I am setting records famous authors can never touch. Perhaps the next book will do so poorly even The Times will have to notice.