The LitBlog Co-Op is a worthy idea, and if it spurs more reading of valuable books that would have otherwise been ignored, terrific.
LA Times: Bloggers push literary fiction. Marking a departure from the solitary life of reading and writing, about 20 independent literary bloggers will begin working together in hopes of drawing readers to books they feel deserve more attention, while seeking to generate more and deeper public discussions of literature.
Of course, the blogosphere is already doing some of this without the organization. When a lot of folks talk about books they like, they inevitably create more readership.
This was plainly true for my own book, published last August. It was essentially ignored by the mainstream media in the United States -- just one full newspaper review, a couple of magazine pieces and only a few media mentions otherwise. (Papers in other countries paid a lot more attention.) But the online chatter was, and remains, substantial. The book has just gone into a new printing, and I have no doubt that bloggers have instrumental in its continuing sales.
I wonder if the bloggers doing this realize the extent to which they're about to get lobbied by publishers, authors, agents and others who want to sell books. Actually, I'm sure they do, and probably will welcome the attention. I'll be watching this experiment with great interest.