Another book review source bites the dust.

The Associated Press has announced that they’re going to stop doing book reviews. Previously, they wrote lots of little reviews on a lot of books. This is the AP we’re talking about here. When the AP publishes something, even a little review, lots of outlets pick it up. Reviews mean everything to mid-list authors and, especially, to small, boutique publishers.

I’m not just bemoaning a reduction in free advertising for authors and small publishers. The AP cutting its hundreds of little reviews to only covering major events, which they admit are limited to books with clout like the Harry Potter release, Oprah picks, and National Book Award finalists.

The AP’s decision will continue the homogenization of American literature. At your local book store or on Amazon, take a look at the number of derivative books. Since no one knows what the next phenomenon will be, publishers try to recreate the last one. Kids’ literature is increasingly paranormal, hoping to latch onto Harry Potter’s broomtail. Adult lit is either The Da Vinci Code tripe or Tuesdays With Morrie pabulum. More and more books are written about less and less.

Soon, all novels will manage to be written about nothing at all, and no one will review them to bemoan it.

TK Kenyon
Author of RABID: A Novel and CALLOUS: A Novel

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