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Kirkus, we hardly knew ye. Or did we know ye too well? I forget. I’m feeling strange.

Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews in its prime.

So Kirkus is closing. Is this the regrettable end of a venerable literary institution–a guiding light–or is this another happy blow to an elitist, canonical institution that will place greater power in the hands of smaller review venues and make way for the continued democratization of the written word? Or is it both? Or neither? I’ve never really paid attention to Kirkus Reviews’s reviews. Were they on target? Did they bring attention to work deserving of more exposure? Was the editorial direction righteous? Does anybody care?

5 thoughts on “Kirkus, we hardly knew ye. Or did we know ye too well? I forget. I’m feeling strange.

      1. Wow. I had no idea. But this is just a side thing. I’m assuming these reviews are not seamlessly integrated with the bulk of their normal reviews.

        It was a subscription service, right? They’re business model depended on libraries and other organization subscribing to a digest of reviews. So unless they were just poorly run (which may of course have been the case), this is probably just an issue of not having had a big enough demand for the digest.

        Of course, the parent company–Nielson–is just killing it because they’re getting out of the trade publication business, which probably has a low profit margin. So really it’s a victim of media consolidation. It might have been turning a profit, just not a big enough one for Nielson’s shareholders.

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