Seattle Times:
"A good thing…fresh material…forged in the crucible"
Washington Post:
"So true. Clearly…masterpieces. Brave."
Mother Jones:
"Conservative world view…is…great"
London Review of Books:
"Conservative values triumph. Nice. Utterly, utterly…moral."
The New York Times:
"Lots of talented people. Truly great, truly lasting. A range of creators whose talents effectively transcend…most…bestsellers. Liberty Island: fundamentally…the best…sex."
Yeah, OK, this is the old Mad Magazine gag, copied by Maureen Dowd when George Bush didn’t say exactly what she wanted him to, and then designated dowdification by the Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto.
Thing is, I’m not sure Liberty Island needs to employ dowdification to declare victory in our first PR skirmish with the legacy media: They rope-a-doped themselves into the wrong argument, giving Liberty Island lots of visibility, without hurting our prospects for success.
Basically, all of the negative articles harped on the same two points: 1) There’s no shortage of conservative writing, so what are we complaining about? 2) The creators they know aren’t conservative, so conservatives can’t be creative.
These arguments can be easily debunked. But why bother? They have nothing to do with what’s really happening.
Adam Bellow told them. He explained it in plain English. We’re making an end run around the gatekeepers. We’re disintermediating the middle men. We can do it because we have the Internet. It’s the same force that’s killing traditional newspapers and magazines. Classified advertising and phonebooks. And now, it’s transforming book publishing.
People now have more choices. Mass media are losing their power. Book reviewers at all of these publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, or the supposedly prestigious but actually just plain tacky London Review of Books, can’t make us or break us. We control our own destiny.
Ironically, this is what publishers have been telling authors for decades. "Advertising doesn’t make sales. PR doesn’t make sales." What makes sales? "Word of mouth." Authors hate to hear it. We’re introverts. Selling books person-to-person, one-at-time, feels like it should be somebody else’s job.
But now we have these great new tools: Social media. Crowdfunding. Online bookstores with e-books and print on demand options. And we have the help of a couple of industry experts, Adam and David.
We really are almost on an equal footing with the big boys. If–and this is the big if–if we tell great stories that connect with our audiences in a meaningful way. Reviewers at the big papers or the snooty journals and the other left-wing pacifiers no longer stand between us and our market.
All their snark does is make their core readers anxious and elevate our importance for people who are seeking alternatives to dull, politically correct, minimalist or predictably ironic fiction written by mainstream establishment authors.
Free to choose? That’s what Liberty Island’s about.
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