Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To sell or not to sell?

In the nine months the Short Review has been in existence we've had a lot of emails saying how much people enjoy the reviews and how they have gone and bought several of the books we reviewed. And others have said, Well, why don't you just have a Buy this Book link from the reviews?

I am conflicted: there is a difference between a site that publishes reviews and a site that sells books, no? One is commercial and one is literary/artistic. Or is this an old-fashioned view? The aim of The Short Review is to bring short story collections into the spotlight. Is it ridiculous to tease someone with a great review, and then make them spend those extra minutes searching for how to buy the book?

If the Short Review was to link directly to Amazon, then we would get some percentage of books sold. Does this affect the "objectivity" of the site, if it appears that we are attempting to push a book so that you buy it? Our reviewers are supported in whatever opinion they take of the book they are reviewing. Would this be affected?

What do you think? Have your vote in the poll on the right, and leave a comment!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Issue 8 June 2008

Issue 8 June 2008 of The Short Review is now up - lots of ideas for summer reading if you're in the northern hemisphere and books to keep you warm in the winter months if you're down south.

This month's issue is brought to you by the numbers 3, 13 and 18. There are phantasms, bodies, apologies and meetings, a bumper seven author interviews, some lies, some truths, some very tiny gems, a little fantasy and a lot of great writing.

New Reviews:

You Have Time for This
a celebration of the richness that can be packed into the brevity of five hundred words or less...
ed Mark Budman

Ryan Seacrest is Famous
A successful blend of pop culture and lad lit.....
by Dave Housley

Balancing on the Edge of the World
A temperament both in control and struggling with private rage, corrosive humour, then a gentle, dry empathy....
by Elizabeth Baines

The Dream Lover
He describes the miserable burdens of humanity, but his approach is humorous, not grim – a bit like Graham Greene with jokes...
by William Boyd

How They Met

Teens fall in and out of love and lust while navigating the minefields of school, parental expectation and sexuality
by David Levithan

13 Phantasms & Other Stories
A smorgasbord of Blaylock's best short fiction
by James P. Blaylock

Apologies Forthcoming A sensual immersion in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, with stories that expose the everyday hardships of citizens...
by Xujun Eberlein

Bodies in Motion
The first collection I read for which the label novel-in-stories felt appropriate.
by Mary Anne Mohanraj

18 Lies and 3 Truths: 2007 StoryQuarterly Annual
An assortment of stories, some of which sparkled more than others, especially those from newer writers whose trajectories are surely on the rise.
ed by Tom Jenks, Carol Edgarian, MMM Hayes

The Cusp of Something
An original and often beautifully written collection, which challenges and occasionally frustrates readers with its lyrical prose and complex characters.
by Jai Clare

Author Interviews:

"I very consciously organized the order of the stories, with the one page fictions teaching the reader that Black Tickets was an unusual book"
Jayne Anne Phillips, Black Tickets
"I chose what I consider my best stories – and those with some kind of thematic development."
Jai Clare, The Cusp of Something
"I constantly worry about boring the reader. I think this psychology helps me developing a more captivating plot and pace"
Xujun Eberlein, Apologies Forthcoming

"When writing Bodies in Motion, my advisor, looking at an early draft, said that I seemed to be writing for white people, because I was doing a lot of explaining of Sri Lankan culture.That really startled me,..."
Mary Anne Mohanraj, Bodies in Motion
"It honestly blows my mind to imagine what my junior-year-of-high-school self would have thought had someone told him the story he was writing would be published twenty years later in a collection by Knopf... and that it would be his eighth book"
David Levithan, How They Met
"Jennifer [the publisher] also strongly encouraged me to make the story Bare the first story, so the first four words of my collection are 'I shaved my balls...'."
Dave Housley, Ryan Seacrest is Famous
"It was interesting to see the different ways in which my stories "talked" to each other according to the order in which I placed the rest of them – creating different rhythms of mood or style or situation.."
Elizabeth Baines, Balancing on the Edge of the World

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New competition for short story collections from Dzanc books

Good news for short story authors: one of the most exciting short story collection publishers around, Dzanc, whose first book, All Over by Roy Kesey, is reviewed on The Short Review, has announced that along with its usual submissions process, it will also hold the Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest:
Between 2008 and 2010, Dzanc Books and its imprints, OV Books and Black Lawrence Press will publish no less than 21 short story collections. This is a staggering number in an industry where many publishing houses will not publish more than a single collection in any year. Dzanc's commitment to publishing great writing does not shy away from the short story and we are intent on extending our vision past 2010 with plans to publish many additional short story collections.

Dzanc is now receiving some 2000 submissions per year. With this in mind, we feel it is imperative to the process of publishing not only short story collections, but novels and literary nonfiction, that we alter our submission policy for unsolicited short story collections.

Beginning June 4, 2008, we are announcing the Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest. All authors wishing to submit a short story collection to Dzanc may do so, and will be judged collectively during the remainder of 2008. In January of 2009, we will announce the winner of our Dzanc SSC Contest and that author will be published by Dzanc in 2011 and receive a $1000 advance.

If you strongly believe your work is the type of collection that Dzanc would be interested in, please feel free to enter.

For more details, visit Dzanc's Submissions page. Best of luck to all.