We really enjoy reading reviews of our books, especially the ones by book bloggers (who tend to have a little more space to discuss than, say, the average Amazon reviewer); I love hearing what works and doesn’t work for different readers, especially in our anthologies, where often every review has different favorites (and different least favorites).
Recently I read a great one from Kelley at Oh, the Books on Divergent Thinking (thanks, Kelley!). The whole review was smart and thoughtful, but she made one particular comment that stood out to me and stayed with me long after reading: “this could just as easily have been a series of posts on a blog somewhere.” It’s a terrific point, even if it’s one I’m not sure I fully agree with.
The past couple of years, I’ve been thinking a lot about the basic Smart Pop book model—a collection of a dozen or more authors writing about a particular pop culture property—and its place and value in the current writing-about-pop-culture climate.
When we first started publishing what we think of as Smart Pop titles, way back in 2003 with Taking the Red Pill , what we were doing—pop culture analysis for a lay audience—was still reasonably rare. In the decade-plus since then, smart television, film, and book criticism has exploded; the internet has made the thoughts of smart fans all over the world (not to mention great “professional” critics) easily accessible, not to mention free.
So what does that mean for Smart Pop? What value do our books offer? How do we earn your time and, frankly, your money? And what could we be doing to make our books better?
We have our own ideas, but we’d love to hear your answers. You’re the ones buying and reading the books we produce. What do you like about what we do? What do you think we should be doing differently?
To show our appreciation for taking the time to share your thoughts, if you leave a comment, we’ll enter you to win a free Smart Pop title of your choice (past Smart Pop contributors, your opinions and entries count too!).
Thanks for your help! Can’t wait to hear what you have to tell us.