Tag Archives: the press

Echo Chamber

On 9 May 2017, I wrote “Echo”, https://newauthoronline.com/2017/05/09/echo/. There is a pronounced tendency for we humans to consort with like-minded people and to seek out media which affirms those views we already hold.

Many live in “echo chambers” where their own views are reassuringly echoed back to them. It’s not always easy to stand back and (so far as is humanly possible) to view the whole picture.

Yet we must do so if we are to be wise and avoid the “echo chamber”.

Of Death and Sex

Gravestones I can not see
Look back at me.
Tomb rhymes with womb,
Or is it the other way around?
Both death and sex are profound
Yet today
We go out of our way
To Avoid speaking of the final sleep.

Stories of sex do our need
For entertainment feed.
We are “shocked”
By a footballer’s disgrace,
Although the smile on our face
Mocks the “shocked”.

The papers care
About morality and titillate
Their readers over their breakfast plate
With stories of how a paedophile was caught
And brought to court
By vigilantes who perhaps encourage the week to do
What they might not otherwise do
By pretending to be an underage kid.
No matter for we are rid
Of another “monster” from our midst.

The gravestones continue to stare,
While the populace care
About the celebrity’s whore.
Perhaps it is a fear of what the grave has in store
That causes the tabloid readers
(Those bottom feeders)
To read
Articles about how the underclass do breed
And gaze at half-naked celebrities capers
In what some call “newspapers”.

Who Chooses Your Books?

Recently my friend Brian and I where enjoying a pint or two in my favourite local when the conversation, as so often happens turned to books. Brian argued that a powerful minority of reviewers and literary critics largely determine the choices of the book buying public. If an influencial reviewer rates your work highly you are, as an author far more likely to prosper than if the same person provides a bad review or ignores your book.

I believe that my friend is correct upto a point. The kind of review an author receives in a leading national newspaper or periodical (assuming he receives one at all) can exert a powerful influence on the book buying public by (firstly) drawing the writer’s work to their attention and (secondly) by influencing the public in favour or against the book. However I believe that my friend is overly pessimistic as, with the rise of the great leviathan (Amazon) and other e-book retailers the world of reviewing and literary criticism has been democratised in that anyone can now leave a review. So if lots of Jo Blogs and Joan Smiths leave positive reviews on Amazon an author’s work is likely to prosper. Having said that I am sure that if the same author has his or her book slated in the press this will, quite possibly impact negatively on book sales.

The rise of e-books has also expanded the reach of authors across the globe. Until very recently a writer wishing to publish either had to be offered a contract by an established publisher or pay to have their work printed privately. With the birth of e-books a book can be published on Amazon today and within a matter of hours be available in most (in some instances) all of Amazon’s online stores. Of course this is by no means the end of the story as, once a book is available the challenge of getting people to look at your Amazon author’s page (let alone buy your books) begins.

In conclusion my friend, Brian is right in that positive reviews by influencial critics in mass circulation newspapers and magazines can greatly influence the purchasing habits of the reading public. However the rise of Amazon and other similar outlets does enable ordinary book lovers to post reviews and by so doing assists, to some extent in democratising the world of literary criticism.

For my Amazon author page please visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/K.-Morris/e/B00CEECWHY/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0