All that abundance of titles lining the large halls makes you wonder: when was the last time you read a newly-published book that was not mentioned in a major newspaper or magazine? What happens to those titles that are not well-marketed, reviewed, mentioned in the mainstream media? How can such voices be heard, discovered?
But then again, consider this: In these days of social media prominence, reading a book is turning into a social act. You blog about the book you’ve just read, you mention it in your Facebook status or Tweet about it. In such a world, what (social) value is a book no one has heard of? So the social media regurgitates what has been going around in mainstream media, we hear about the same authors again and again, and the only new voices heard are those with good connections to mainstream media.
For an aspiring writer, the fair offers a simple message: get connected, or fade into obscurity.
I return with a resolution: to read a newly-published author not reviewed in any of the mainstream media, and then review it in this space. Now I must go find such a book.