Reading Ahead & Sharing Thoughts Early On…

Everything seems to be a little ahead with me at the moment. You see with me going in and out of hospital I have scheduled Savidge Reads a few weeks in advance so as when I go in, or if I suddenly have to go in, you have no idea that anything is out of the ordinary. This leaves me most confused when I then come back and discover that a book I read a week or three ago is now up as the latest title for discussion. Anyway I have somehow digressed as what I actually want to talk to you about is advance reading which I am currently doing rather a lot of and how I should deal with it here on the blog.

One of the delightful things about writing Savidge Reads is that from an unpaid passion of books has come the joy of getting some lovely books in advance, especially when they are books you are desperate to read. The slight draw back is that you don’t get to talk about them non stop when you are reading them, which is what I love to do, you have to wait. At present I have three books I am simply desperate to discuss with you and one I know I soon will be but they are not out for a few weeks in a couple of cases and a few months in others…

In fact thinking about it I have just realised that I am not sure if I will be able to tell you about two of them at all. ‘The Stranger’s Child’ is the latest Alan Hollinghurst and indeed is so fresh of the printing press it’s not in a proper bound copy as it’s not due for release until July. How have I got it? Well like ‘The Tenderloin’ by John Butler, which isn’t out itself till June, these are two of The Green Carnation Prize 2011 submissions. Delightfully it seems that the publicity departments of some of the good and great publishers, not all it has been noted, are really keen on The Green Carnation and Picador/Macmillan have sent these for starters.  I want to rabbit on about them already but whilst I am happy to share submissions and make the whole thing as clear as possible (did you see the lovely show on World Book Night where the whole judging scenario was shown on TV for the UK debut novelists of the now?) I am not sure how transparent it should be? Any suggestions?

Digressing again as the two other advance books I am eager to discuss with you are the latest wonderful Flavia De Luce mystery ‘A Red Herring Without Mustard’ by Alan Bradley and the lovely, lovely Natasha Solomons second novel ‘The Novel in the Viola’  both which come out in a few weeks. It’s tempting for me to just get over excited and tell you all about them yet at the same time it could come across as showing off rather than just being an overexcited book fiend. There is also the worry that if I bang on about them now you will forget them by the time they are out, or not have anything to say and despite my recent rubbish responding (I blame health) to comments I do love the discussions we have on here. This all causes a little dilemma or two with me and I thought I should ask your advice really. So…

Do I dish the delightful dirt on these books, and books like them going forward, before their release date or would you rather I scheduled them for around the time of release? And how much is too much transparency or over sharing regarding The Green Carnation Prize 2011? Is there anything specific you would like to know/hear about?


Filed under Book Thoughts

21 responses to “Reading Ahead & Sharing Thoughts Early On…

  1. Tons of transparency 😉 I’d like to see some stats break downs about which publishers are sending you the most submissions even if you can only by omission show us who isn’t sending any at all.

    As for whether we’ll forget about the books if you post about them now, well that’s a marketing consideration and marketing might equally want advance buzz to push their book up people’s reading list. Maybe you should be asking the people who send you the books which they prefer…or maybe you need to work out if you want to be a direct book marketer, involved with all the ‘what will make people buy more of this’ consideration or a bit of an indirect book marketer who expresses opinions without a huge emphasis on what might encourage a person to pick up the book.

    • Hahaha I like the omissions saying a lot rather than blatantly saying ‘and this publisher has sent us flap all – the homophobes’ haha.

      I don’t like the idea of being part of any marketing… yet I know in a small way I am because I read lots of what I get sent. But then I could hate it all so thats my way of feeling like I am not part of it. Making sense? Maybe I’m not lol.

      • No makes sense, you have the ability to say ‘ugh, did not like’, or to not feature the book while regular marketers have to push the product they’re employed to.

  2. kimbofo

    I have this dilemma, too, not of Green Carnation submissions, but receiving proofs in advance of publication date. The way I try to deal with it is to schedule the reviews at/or around the date of publication. I’m not sure the marketing bods look too favourably on advance reviews only because if they are bad ones then it puts a dampener on the whole release etc. But I could be wrong.

    You could always do what you have just done now: tell us briefly what you’re reading/what you’re excited about, before it’s published, then do a full-on review when it’s available in the shops for everyone to buy.

    • I think the scheduling idea is the way I am going to move forward with it. I will also then have moments where I have a week filled with posts which is nice, especially at the moment.

      I think the way forward might be the occasional ‘ooh I’m really loving these’ posts. Thanks Kim.

  3. novelinsights

    Hmm… I tend to agree with Kim that a compromise is good. Perhaps give us a general feel for the one’s that you’re loving which might also cause discussion from other readers with advance copies and then post the full on reviews scheduled for. That way it’s a teaser, we get to know what you’re enjoying and the publisher’s can’t be annoyed because it’s not full disclosure!

    • Thanks Pol, I think Kim’s idea is a really good way forward so I shall be putting that into practice in the future.

      Have you started The Godless Boys yet? I picked it up the other day and I am gripped.

  4. novelinsights

    Hmm… I tend to agree with Kim that a compromise is good. Perhaps give us a general feel for the one’s that you’re loving which might also cause discussion from other readers with advance copies and then post the full on reviews scheduled for. That way it’s a teaser, we get to know what you’re enjoying and the publishers can’t be annoyed because it’s not full disclosure!

  5. Claire

    I agree with kimbofo, let us know what you’re enjoying! Interestingly, the new Bradley novel is out here (Canada); I borrowed it from the library a few weeks ago, and have read a couple of online reviews from Canadian bloggers. I wonder what the publisher’s take on this is when books are released at different times worldwide?

    • I always find the whole different release in different places interesting. I guess its all part of where the author is a native and when the rights, or indeed if, get bought by different publishers. I used to think if Penguin bought a book in the UK then they must buy it for the USA too… wrong!

  6. The latest Flavia de Luce book is well worth the wait!

  7. I do enjoy sometimes seeing general impressions but not full reviews ahead of time, so I know there’s something to look forward to. But my general rule on full reviews is to shoot for something close to the release date and to try never to post a complete review before a book is available for preorder.

    • Thanks for your feedback on this one Teresa. I have to say I am in agreement with you. Even if your just keen on a book in advance I do wonder if even doing a post like this looks like showing off when its nothing but enthusiasm.

  8. I say dish away! I want to hear about what you think as soon as you have finished!!

  9. I have the same problem as well. I want to read some of the books as soon as I get them but I don’t want to write about them too early. Unfortunately, it usually just means that I don’t read the book as early as I would like to. I don’t like to post more than a week or two before a book is released because, like you, I don’t want the book to be forgotten before it even comes out.

    • Well my worry is that I will want to desperately read them, then not because of the release date and then forget about them completely. I think reading and scheduling is the way forward as Kim suggested.

  10. I would love to see a video of the judging process for the Green Carnation Prize! Probably not possible… but it would be fun to watch 🙂

    I rarely have your problem, as I forget to read the advance copies until long after the publication date is past…

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