Most authors (and publicists) consider the TBR to be the holy grail of print media. Everyone wants a their book to be reviewed there. Next to, "what about Oprah?," this is the most common question I get from authors. Yet, the times (ha) I have gotten full page reviews, it's barely moved books. Not to mention, these are almost always books that have already been covered a multitude of other places. Sometimes it feels as though the TBR waits to see what everyone else is going to do, and then jumps on the bandwagon - at which point, I no longer care about the book.
For instance, this week, there was a review of Barbara Walter's Audition - which came out over a month ago and has been covered ad nauseum by bloggers, reviewers, TV and radio, etc. We all know the scandalous parts already, and anyone who cared to read the book, probably has already done so. Or is waiting for the paperback. Why bother to run a review a month after pub? Even bookstores don't like to host events after a month has lapsed...why is the Times so willing to feature a book that has arguably already jumped the shark?
There are exceptions of course. There's a review of the new David Sedaris, which pubbed only two weeks ago (and which, btw, I can't wait to read!). But again, even two weeks feels like a long period of time. As publicists, we're taught to get in as much media the week of pub. Not the second or third or fourth. I mean, we'll take coverage those weeks, but we're supposed to line up as much as possible with the hopes of moving enough books to debut high on the list.
So why doesn't the TBR follow this? I know it's not because we don't get the books to them soon enough. As soon as galleys arrive, copies are immediately sent to Dwight, Sam, Nancy, Rick...And yes, I know they received hundreds (if not thousands) of books a week, but you know what, so do all the other major outlets...which often beat the times in coverage by several weeks...is it just because they CAN? Or is it because they are struggling to keep up in an era where book news breaks quickly and bloggers have upped the ante on churning out reviews?
Or I am just being grouchy because it's Monday and I'm bitter because not enough of my books are reviewed?