"Just a year ago, screenwriter and aspiring novelist Mark Sarvas had a lot of explaining to do. When he talked up his fledgling book blog at a publishing conference, marketers had just one question for him: Huh?
"But this year, Mr. Sarvas returned to the same conference and found that publicists weren't mystified by blogs anymore. Instead, they wanted to know what they could do for him. "We are not the strange, unfamiliar beast we may have been before," says Sarvas, creator of a blog called The Elegant Variation.
"Although no one's exactly sure how influential they are, bloggers like Sarvas have become the new darlings of the publishing industry. They're getting free review copies, landing interviews with prestigious authors, and trying to boost obscure writers - especially writers in the literary fiction world where John Irving is a bigger name than John Grisham."