I reviewed FOLLOWING TOMMY for http://thesmallpressbookreview.blogspot.com/2013/10/review-of-bob-hartleys-following-tommy.html The Small Press Book Review, specialists in bringing attention to the underknown and often unsung writers and publishers doing some of the best work in fiction publishing today.
Small presses, ones with editors and designers and passionate owners, are doing what we most need done in the Groves of Readerly Delight. They are using their critical faculties to decide what kind of work they want their own names associated with. They are making editorial changes, guiding writers to the best book that the story they want to tell can make. They are surviving on sales that make Amazon's shrinkage (theft and damage) allowances look like titanic bestselling sales department wet dreams.
I feel about this the way I feel about censorship: Don't let some witsy-teensy group of strangers make your aesthetic decisions for you! Find books by first-timers AND BUY THEM. Find small presses that publish things you're interested in AND BUY THEM. Vote for diversity and choice the only way that matters in business: with your dollars.
It matters, and it matters a lot, that us real readers who love our chosen hobby do this. Even if it's taking a chance with our scarce reading allowances. One purchase a month from a small press and/or a first-time author! Give the writers, the publishers, the editors whose labor is at best meagerly rewarded some much-needed practical support.
I already do. And I promise you I'm poorer than you are.