Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Forbes 25 Reviewers - #8 Dan Schwent

Today's guest is Dan Schwent.  Dan posts at his blog, his book blog, Shelf Inflicted, and Dantastic Photos.

How did you discover Goodreads?
It was 2008 and I was pissing away an evening on MySpace when someone in the Christopher Moore group mentioned Goodreads being like crack.  She was right.  After staying up into the wee hours playing with it that first night, I've been cooking it on a spoon over an open flame every day since.

What have been your most memorable Goodreads experiences?
Hands down, that would be Lawrence Block liking my review of Getting Off enough to start sending me ARCs.  When your favorite living crime writer starts sending you free shit, you're probably doing something right.  #2 would be Kemper sharing a joke his wife told him that is now my favorite dirty joke of all time.  Honorable mentions go to having MAC accost me for talking shit on his Nolan character and drinking with Kemper at Bouchercon.

Name one reviewer not in the Forbes 25 that people should be aware of.
Since I came up with the questions, I should probably stick to one reviewer instead of mentioning the greater portion of the Shelf Inflicted staff and a few other people.  I'll go with Anthony Vacca.  At 23, he's so talented I just want to slap the shit out of him.

To hell with it.  I'd also like to mention the Shelf Inflicted staffers that will be at the top sooner or later (Stephanie, Nancy, Amanda, Brandon, Carol, Trudi, James L. Thane, Sesana, and Robert), and also ShovelMonkey , Jason Koivu, and Nikki.  And about a hundred other people.

What was your initial reaction to Amazon buying Goodreads?
Like I posted in a couple places, I felt like Peter Parker when Aunt May got engaged to Dr. Octopus.  I was pretty sure things were going get nefarious at some point but at least Aunt May was happy.  I'm not slitting my wrist over it but I'm not doing back flips either.  As long as they don't tamper with it, I'm cool.

How many books do you own?
Not nearly as many as I used to.  Less than 500, I'd say.  Since I know I'll be moving in the next year or two, I'm trying to lighten the load.  Also, I like having a ton of store credit at my local used bookstore.

Who is your favorite author?
All time, I'll go with Lawrence Block or P.G. Wodehouse.  Hot on their heels is George Pelecanos.  He's the guy, right now.

What is your favorite book of all time?
If I can count Stephen King's Dark Tower series as one book, that would be it.  If I can't, it would probably be Eight Million Ways to Die or Code of the Woosters.

What are your thoughts on ebooks?
I'm still devoted to treeware books but I recently invested in a Kindle to take advantage of all the ARCs out there and it's quickly paying for itself.  Ebooks cost too damn much for what you actually get.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing?
Self-published books are a crap shoot, emphasis on the crap.  I've read a couple good ones but most of them look like they have never been edited and/or have really bad formatting and lackluster covers.  If book itself doesn't look like a professional product, why should I take a chance on the story?

Any literary aspirations?
I've written seven books, six in NaNoWriMo events, but only the last two are ones I'm continuing to put work into.


  1. "At 23, he's so talented I just want to slap the shit out of him."

    I thought it was just me! :)

  2. Damn. Now I have to go find an audience so I can showcase my newest dirty joke . . .