Should Authors Be Allowed to Campaign for Their Own Books?

Yesterday we opened the polls for the fifth edition of 1book140, The Atlantic's monthly book club. The theme, appropriately enough for an October Read-Along, was scary books. The shortlist of six titles contained many fine works, ranging from the literary (Gillian Flynn's Dark Places) to the classic (Rebecca) to the contemporary (Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill). Within an hour of posting the ballot, Heart-Shaped Box—by all accounts, a very good book—was killing the competition. And I think we need to talk about that. Here's a look at the conversation so far:

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