As the publisher of Encounter Books, I have long been aghast at The New York Times‘s treatment of conservative books. By and large, it oscillates between utter neglect and ostentatious contempt. This is frustrating for authors, who have been taught that a review in the Times is the literary, or at least the commercial, equivalent of entry into the Promised Land.
In fact, though, the Times matters less and less. This is true across the board at our former Paper of Record, I believe. Its plummeting circulation and ad revenues are objective correlatives of its loss of influence. Fewer and fewer people get their news from The New York Times, and more and more people complain about its political bias, its blurring of editorial comment and reporting, its trivializing embrace of every politically correct, metrosexual trend. On the cultural front, the dumbing-down of the Times‘s coverage has been an open scandal for years. Its coverage of books is no exception, and it is with a sense of liberation that I have announced today that Encounter Books will no longer be sending its wares to the Times. As I wrote in the announcement on Encounter’s web site:
Sure, a positive review in the Times still helps sell books. But it’s quite clear that books from Encounter won’t be getting those reviews, so it is pointless for us to send copies of our books to the Times—worse than pointless, because by so doing we help to perpetuate the charade that the Book Review is anything like even-handed in its treatment of conservative books. There is also this fact: the real impetus in selling books has decisively shifted away from legacy outlets like The New York Times towards the pluralistic universe of talk radio and the “blogosphere.” That is why Encounter can see its books on the Times’s bestseller list without ever making it into the paper’s review columns.
You can read the whole thing here: Encounter Bids The New York Times Farewell.