Book industry people talk about this year’s fall list
“You can only read so much,” said Ron Charles, the fiction editor for The Washington Post. “There are some real giants this year. It’s difficult for places like us that just run one review a day.”
This season may be especially compressed because of the presidential election on Nov. 6, an event that several publishers privately said that they were trying to avoid, lest it take away from news media attention they might receive for their books.
Michele Filgate, the events coordinator at Community Bookstore in Park Slope, Brooklyn, said that when media coverage was devoted to an election, “a lot of books can get lost in the shuffle.”
For shows like NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, one of the most plum spots for authors to promote their books, interviewers and reviewers are dividing their time among genres, said Maureen Corrigan, the show’s longtime book critic.
“This week alone I’m reading a political autobiography, a debut novel and the Zadie Smith, and I’m trying to make a decision by tomorrow which one I’m going to go with,” she said. “It does seem like an embarrassment of riches.”
Some bookstores have struggled to find enough evenings for author events. Rebecca Fitting, an owner of Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, said it had been at least four to five years since a fall season was crammed with so much high-profile fiction. To squeeze all of the available authors into their schedule, the store planned events on nights — like Friday — that were previously off-limits, said another owner, Jessica Stockton Bagnulo.