As if anyone still working with print needed even more bad news — more than 24,000 of us canned in the past year alone — today brings the news that Kirkus Reviews, which reviews 500 books pre-publication, and Editor & Publisher, the industry bible of newspapering are being shut down. No word whether their digital counterparts will live, although it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t.
No matter how much their insider information seems old-school to some, it’s essential to others. Any author hoping for decent sales liked to get a nod from Kirkus, Booklist and Library Journal, which tended, back when there were book reviewers for…oh, yeah, newspapers…to drive their reviewers’ decisions about what to pluck from the annual 200,000 books pumped out every year. With fewer and fewer places to even get a book reviewed, at least in print, anything that narrows a new book’s, or author’s, chances of being discovered, sold and read is a sad thing.
E& P, whose website bills it as “the oldest journal covering the newspaper industry” is only the latest casualty in the past few months, as trades and consumer glossies alike, such as Gourmet, have been closed for good.