Monday, February 22, 2010

Snarking Romance

Emerson College journalism major undergrad Kimya Kavehkar wrote an article for the The Berkeley Beacon titled: Judging these Books by their Steamy Covers.

Copyright AmazonTherein she explored these novels: Full Throttle (2007) by Wendy Etherington, Her Colorado Man (2009) by Cheryl St. John, Irish Thoroughbred (1981) by Nora Roberts, and Toxic Bachelors (2005) by Danielle Steel. Intrepid reporter and reviewer Kavehkar deems these covers "steamy" and the novels "raunchy," including Irish Thoroughbred.

The point of the article, as titled, is purportedly to judge the book by the covers not by the back cover copy. Yet, that's precisely what Kavehkar proceeds to do. Instead of snarking the covers, she writes short snarky reviews that have everything to do with being self-indulgent in personal biases and negligent in journalistic ethics.

To draw attention to the eggregiousness of the snark, Smart Bitch Sarah Wendell runs snark on snark: A Snide Romance Review Drinking Game.

In the comments section, author Maisey Yates wrote: "And really, the biggest issue is, that if that article were available in the check out line at the grocery store, no one, regardless of how much cat food was in their cart, would spend good money on it."

That is at the heart of the matter. Taking on the likes of megablockbuster authors Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele while still an apprentice writer is akin to shooting yourself in the foot before even getting said foot in the door. Instead of snarking romance novels and their covers, Kavehkar should figure out what magic these two stars create with their romance novels that makes something so easily snarkable so likeabe, so marketable, so profitable. Now, that would be a worthy journalism undergraduate thesis.


Cheryl St.John said...

I sm loving the publicity for my book, however! LOL

Sherri Shackelford said...

Love the blog! Excellent commentary on the so-called-journalism.

Anonymous said...

I agree the article is atrocious, and its flaws deserve to be pointed out publicly. But she is a 20 year old undergrad, not a NT Times columnist or a Salon contributor. I think allowances for youth and inexperience must be made in dealing with her writing. don;t agree with her, don't accept her flawed logic, but try not to insult her every which way to Sunday.

Keira Soleore said...

Chery, Cheri, and Jessica: Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Cheryl, heh! Yes, hope all this inadvertent publicity is turning into many sales for you.

Thanks, Cheri, for your kind remarks.

Jessica, I agree, she's young and I agree she's an amateur and not a pro at a big newspaper. But in that case, especially, it behooves her to be careful about what she writes. As an apprentice, as a student, she cannot come off as a know-it-all who's poking fun at the giants of an industry about which she most likely doesn't know very much. If she'd come across as a clueless cub reporter, everybody would've cut her slack. It's the snark based on ignorance part that's gotten everyone hot under the collar.