In an interview with The Review Review that will be coming out soon, I was asked whether or not I thought that a 100-review year would be sustainable beyond 2015. My immediate thought was, yes, of course. Why wouldn’t it? It isn’t like books aren’t going to be published. If anything, there will probably be more indie lit books published in 2016. The more I thought about it, though, the question became less of an issue of “Would it be sustainable” and more “Would it be needed?”
I’m not saying that I don’t think book reviews will be needed. Hardly. I think they will always have a place in indie lit in some form. Do I think that form is always going to be the review as we know it now? Again, I have to say hardly here.
I think, as indie lit progresses and changes in response to whatever is going on in the lives of the authors, publishers and readers that support it, book reviews will also change. It may be slightly, it may not, I really don’t know, but I feel that as we move into 2016 and beyond they will change somehow. That being said, I don’t know if 100 reviews in 2016 will be necessary.
I am all for pushing for another 100 reviews in 2016, if they will contribute to the forwarding of indie lit in some way, shape or form. I will not publish 100 reviews if I’m only doing it to say that I can do it. That is what this year is for, in part. I want to be able to see if a) I can do it (and I feel I can) and b) how it changes the landscape, if at all. I find it hard to believe that it won’t change the landscape in some way, but I’m unsure of the way, and I’m okay with that.
We—authors, publishers, readers, indie lit enthusiasts—are living in a great period of time (as I’ve said over and over) for indie lit. We’ve got everything we could ever want and it is only getting better. Writers are pushing more bounds daily and publishers are taking bigger leaps to showcase new, groundbreaking work. If these envelopes keep getting pushed, the book review may change. We may not need a 1,000 word essay on the high and low points. We may need video somethings, or audio whatevers. I don’t know, I wish I did, but I don’t. Mostly, I’m excited to see what will happen in the next year-plus, and to see where we as a community can take book reviews to make them useful and continuously relevant to the community at-large.
In the meantime, I offer up ten new book reviewers covering a range of authors and subject matter. Also, please check out our list of available books for review, which has continued to grow thanks to the work of many different publishers across the country. Things have not changed yet, and we are still in a time and place where (I would at the very least hope) the kind of work we are doing is useful. If I’m wrong, please do not hesitate to let me know.