There has been a lot of debate lately on Twitter about the New York Times Book Review and how they’ve been lavishing praise upon Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. Authors Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner have been very vocal in calling out the NYT on what they see as a double standard. Weiner says that when a man writes a book about family and “The Way We Live Now” it is covered by the NYT, but a book about the same thing from a female author is dismissed as chick-lit. I think they’ve got a valid point, but I’ve had trouble mustering up much interest in this because, honestly, I think most of us outside of New York couldn’t care less about the New York Times Book Review. It’s just not something that’s even on the radar of your average reader.
EarlyWord confirms  my thoughts about the NYT with their report that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart does more for a book’s sales than the New York Times Book Review. They note that after The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic by Robert L. O’Connell was reviewed in the Sunday NYT Book Review, it rose to #106 on Amazon’s sales rankings. Not bad, right? Well, after the author’s July 30th appearance on The Daily Show, the book rose to #36 on Amazon. It was also #32 on the next NYT Hardcover Fiction bestseller list.
I think that is pretty good evidence that The Daily Show bumps up book sales more than the NYT Book Review. What do you think? Is the NYT Book Review irrelevant to those of us who don’t live in New York or work in publishing? What media outlet do you use to find new books?
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