Thursday, May 7, 2009

How Big Is "Big Idea Authors"?

In my last post, I blogged about the possible fate of newspaper and magazine book reviews. The responses indicated that print reviews still and will continue to have a valuable role to play but are now part of a larger picture.

While that topic was on my mind, I came across a related article in the May issue of Romantic Times BOOKreviews. There I read (interesting irony, eh?) about author John Scalzi’s forthcoming project, a book promotion vehicle called Big Idea Authors. It will debut “in Mid 2009.”

The Big Idea Authors Web site explains its raison d’ĂȘtre:

“Newspapers and magazines are curtailing or dropping entirely their book/publishing coverage, offering publishers and publicists fewer professional outlets to promote and advertise their works and authors – creating a need for new, professional outlets that fill this need.”

John Scalzi decided to launch Big Idea Authors because he believes the decline of newspaper and magazine coverage is hurting SF&F books in particular. In the Romantic Times article, Scalzi pledged to include books representing the wide range of SF and fantasy subgenres.

This sped up my mental wheels considerably, to about sixty miles an hour. Big Idea Authors seems to be an excellent opportunity to spread the word about one’s book, and with newspapers cutting back on book reviews/features, it’s filling a vacuum left by struggling newspapers.

I already knew that Jordan Summers (SCARLET) had made an appearance when the feature ran on Scalzi’s blog under the name “The Big Idea.”

But…I couldn’t locate posts by any other science fiction romance authors. Granted, I didn’t scroll through all of the posts, but soon it became clear that action wasn’t necessary. I wondered about the lack of SFR authors, because the absence spoke volumes.

Did SFR authors not know about “The Big Idea” feature? Or if they knew, did they shy away from it for some reason? Granted, there’s a high level of testosterone slicing through the waters of Whatever like a swarm of great white sharks. Maybe not the best match for SFR.

Yet regarding Big Idea Authors, it’s independent from Scalzi’s blog. The potentially broader audience might be a boon for science fiction romance authors. Regarding the call for submissions, the site’s language is inclusive. To reiterate, Scalzi expressed that he and the staff would welcome books from all subgenres. I hope he means it.

So, given this new venture, I wonder which authors will lead the charge of science fiction romance at Big Idea Authors.

What do you think about Scalzi's new venture?

Joyfully yours,