Tumblr does a fantastic job of pinpointing key influencers. Just look at the curated Books Spotlight, Writer’s Spotlight or browse Tumblr Book News to see what’s trending. A lot of great authors use Tumblr successfully. Some of my favorites include Emma Straub, Heidi Julavits, and Chuck Palahniuk. It’s also a good idea to follow literary sites like The Millions and The Rumpus along with sites that started on Tumblr like Last Night’s Reading and Slaughterhouse 90210. Feel free to check out the Doubleday Books Tumblr, too. (via Tumblr for Writers 101 | Book Country Blog)
Going back to my post about The State of Readers’ Advisory from Library Journal et al., I want to say I empathize and sympathize with those of you who are scared or feel unqualified to recommend books or genres you haven’t read widely and deeply. At Library Journal, I used to have the same exact feelings as a young book review editor taking on unfamiliar categories (e.g., religion, self-help, computers).
How I got over my insecurities was by plugging into excellent RA resources, from Twitter and trusted book fiends to book reviews and, yes, Tumblr (see the authors and publishers active above). No one with all the time life has to offer can ever read every single book in the world. Let’s all acknowledge that. The best you can do, and it’s more than good enough, is to familiarize yourself with publishing trends, genre tropes, and best-selling and influential authors. You fashion yourself not into The Supreme Reader of All Things but A Competent Book Generalist, who no doubt possesses some expertise on a few areas. This takes time, but less time than it would to read every book in existence.
First step to getting there: grant yourself permission not to know everything. Trust your instincts. Then I promise RA gets really fun.
See you at the RA Unconference, I hope.