Are Litblogs Parasites on the Printed Press?

Joy Press reports on litblogs and the Litblog Co-op in the Village Voice. She quotes Mark Sarvas saying he hopes the Litblog Co-op will rival print media with its considered attention to little known literary works.

In a post on subject, the Co-op says it is “not a marketing tool or ploy. It’s an attempt to widen the conversation about serious fiction that has inevitable marketing ramifications.” And Contributor Sarah Weinman writes, “The aim of highlighting worthwhile books that might fly under the radar is something I’ve long been committed to on my own blog.”

Press also quotes Jessa Crispin of Bookslut, saying litblogs are parasites on mainstream media outlets: “They aren’t generally about content—they just link to it. So if something is dominating the print book reviews, that’s what the blogs have to work with.”

Press continues (either on her own or paraphrasing Crispin):

This creates the danger of a catch-22 scenario: Newspapers attribute decreasing book sections to shrinking ad sales. And if publishers begin to funnel more of their marketing budget toward the Internet, print media coverage could decline further, leaving the bloggers with even fewer book reviews to comment on.

If the reviews are not printed in newspapers, they will be printed, aired and blogged elsewhere. I don’t think declining newspaper coverage is a big problem, though it may be a small one. Collected Miscellany is fairly immune to it. Kevin and David’s reviews are good enough, no, better than some print reviews and could be news on their own. Other bloggers should link to them for content. I may be wounded a little though by less newspaper coverage since I don’t have original thoughts.

I am the dew which spins the light for a glimmering moment before I vanish.

Press concludes her article with a quote which says bloggers, to be read, should be little snarks with quirky tastes. What do you think about that? Are the harshly opinionated blogs the ones you prefer? For that matter, what is your favorite blog, the one which would disappoint you most if it shut down? What would you miss about it? I’ll think this over and answer in the comments later.

About the author

Jeff Grim

Jeff Grim has been a reader all of his life. He has had a particular interest in military history, any war at any time. His fascination with military history has brought him to an interest in historical fiction where the history comes alive with fictitious heroes and villains. Recently, Jeff has become interested in historical mysteries set in various time periods.

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3 Comments

  • Nice post. I don’t mind a little bit of attitude, or at least some snappiness, to the writing.

    If one blog were to go that would really bum me out right now it would be a tough call. I probably click onto Scott’s Conversational Reading first most days. TEV and Beatrice are close second/thirds followed right behind by Maud and Moorishgirl. The Happy Booker has been a great recent bookmark for me. I’ll stop there as I’ve already made a mockery of the question, and I forgot The Rake, who I’m sure I check somehwere in the middle of all of those.

    Enjoy,

  • Nice post. I don’t mind a little bit of attitude, or at least some snappiness, to the writing.

    If one blog were to go that would really bum me out right now it would be a tough call. I probably click onto Scott’s Conversational Reading first most days. TEV and Beatrice are close second/thirds followed right behind by Maud and Moorishgirl. The Happy Booker has been a great recent bookmark for me. I’ll stop there as I’ve already made a mockery of the question, and I forgot The Rake, who I’m sure I check somehwere in the middle of all of those.

    Enjoy,