Frankly, Bloggers Lack Team Spirit!

[Our Save the Blogs coverage continues with a special guest post from fifteen-year-old cheerleader Shannon Byrne, who just received an C+ in her English 3A class and has some Michael Connelly team spirit!!!!!!!!!!]

Like, OH MY GAWD! It’s time to go all like EWWWWWWWWWWWW from those dorky bloggers with the taped glasses and the pocket protectors! They have bad B.O. and certainly NO team spirit! (Go Little Brown! Go Connelly!) The other day, I was passing Pietsch a note in class! And he was like, “What have the bloggers ever done for us?” And I go, “Exactly!” So I dropped my panties and pissed all over a scribbling my varsity boy did of Mark Sarvas! Ewwwwwwww! Grosssssss!

So, like, enough “newspapers are dying” stuff and we’re talking about, like, food chains and parasites. OH MY GAWD! Bloggers. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. When I saw the title, I thought you were referring to your team of substitutes, called in when the star player on this blog is missing. Just when you think the whole NBCC campaign get any sillier, they manage to do it, and this one was a doozy. Not only did she insult Dinty W. Moore, a great writer and editor (thanks to Dan Wickett for beating the rest of us in calling her on her ignorance), but the analogies to parasites verge on the imbecilic.

    Look, I love newspaper book review sections. On my MySpace blog, I recently posted all the newspaper reviews my first book got in 1979. They were incredibly valuable to me, and it’s sad that someone like me today, an obscure debut short story writer with a very small publisher with no promotion budget, probably couldn’t get a one-paragraph review in the Los Angeles Times, much less get he only review in a Wednesday edition of the paper as I did. Or have my book paired with a veteran like Jim Harrison’s in a joint review in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. My first books, all published from ’79-83, all got a number of newspaper reviews, both daily papers and weeklies — and yes, if you add up the Ventura County News, the Delray Beach News, the Arkansas Traveler, the Baltimore City Paper, the San Francisco Voice, the Washington Review of the Arts, it adds up to a lot of criticism and a lot of exposure for a writer.

    But that’s gone now. I remember appearing on a panel with Bill Robertson, the Miami Herald book editor, over 20 years ago, when his pages were being cut for financial reasons. As the David Carr column in Monday’s New York Times noted, it’s not just the book section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that was in danger; it was the entire ball of dead trees. What was the NBCC doing in the years before blogs existed as newspaper book review sections were being cut down and eliminated? It’s been going on for over 25 years now.

    This last post you refer to makes me wonder what geniuses are really steering the NBCC campaign. You’d think they would have realized that sniping at bloggers was, at the very least, counterproductive. But this post seems to go out of their way to bait them, as if they wanted to provoke more outrage to keep going what is probably a futile effort (online petition, ha ha) to save the job of the AJC book editor and her pages. They seem to have lost focus entirely. And that’s a pretty bad thing for a critic to do.

    By the way, I have to say that I love and have always loved newspapers. And while I’m incredibly grateful to the litbloggers who were kind enough to review my last book, the one review in a newspaper — Frank Wilson’s Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday pages — meant a lot more to me. (It probably wouldn’t to younger writers like Nick or Tao.) I don’t want to see one book review section cut in the slightest. We’re on the SAME team, NBCC, so quit this kid stuff and get out there and do your job.

  2. And maybe the New York Times is taking up the slack: in addition to their featured review on E7 by Janet Maslin, on E6 there’s a roundup of brief reviews of six — count ’em, six — “Newly Released” novels about the transition from childhood to adulthood.

    But look again, and here’s the answer why there are TWO book pages in today’s Times: the Academy of Arts and Letters award announcement ad I posted about earlier, and then all those ads by Knopf, Scribner, FSG, Viking, Penguin, Riverhead, Norton, and Pantheon congratulating their authors on winning the awards. I bet if I went back to the issue when the Academy announced last year’s winners, there’d be another page of “Newly Released” novels.

    By the way, in 1979, the Times may not have reviewed me, but it did print my name, the title of my book, publisher, pages and price (albeit in miniscule type) on a then-regular feature on the daily book page, “Books Released Recently.”

    It’s all about ads, even more so than readership.

  3. i found it interesting that while mark was talking about moving the question AWAY from merely print vs online to a more fundamental issue (i.e., where are people most likely to get their info these days, and how can we best utilize those spaces in a way that will benefit writers and readers alike while perserving the literary culture we all want to protect), the NBCC would post a reactionary response that basically takes us right back to the blogs vs print debate. argh!

  4. I thought Ms. Kohler was going to walk off in a breeze with the title of dumbest comments uttered in the Campaign to Save Book Reviewing but Byrne across the board is giving her stiff competition. Aside from the Dinty W. Moore gaffe (nothing like knowing your industry) there are many inaccuracies in her post – ridiculing Mark for “busting” on Publishers Lunch (re-read his work Ms. Byrne, it’s not what he did), spelling piddling as pittling, questioning his usage of the word saga, wondering why he’d consider newspapers as a dying breed (look at statistics much lately?). All of that and references to bloggers (again, after saying some are great, then wandering into generalizations) as parasitic and maggots. Ms. Kohler, sorry, looks like it will only be a silver for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *