In general, we don't accept review copies for books we didn't request. If they are received, we will not guarantee they will ever be read or reviewed. Our intention, for the most part, is to review books that are already listed on our site. For books by major authors that will probably be included on our site, we will accept a pre-release review copy in hopes that our review will be ready soon after the book is released. We choose which books we want to read and review. We understand that this will cause this list of books to reflect our tastes, but the time available to read and review books is always in short supply and we'd rather spend that time with books we expect to enjoy. That's not to say we've read books we thought we wouldn't enjoy as much and were surprised how much we liked them. Conversely, there have been books we really looked forward to reading and then were ultimately disappointed in them.
If there is a book we want to read and add its review to our site, we will contact the publisher or publicist to obtain a review copy. The main problem is time. We'd like to add a new review every few weeks. Time spent working on the site (and a lot of work often goes on in the background unseen) always cuts into our time to read. The pile of books waiting to be read and reviewed is always higher than we'd like, and there are books we've never read that we wished we had. We're always open to suggestions to books that are soon to be released, but keep in mind that these books should be ones we're likely to add to this site. See below for our policy for listing a book on our site.
The first criterion for adding a book to our site is that online reviews are available. These reviews also have to be available from sites that don't require registration before being able to read them. The only exception we've made to this rule are the reviews from Salon magazine because registration can be bypassed by watching an ad. We gather our reviews from our list of online publications which consists of mostly newspapers, online magazines, and book reviews sites like BookReporter.com, Mostlyfiction.com, or BookLoons.com. It's also true that not all sources are created equal. We prefer reviews from sites where the article is readily available for a long time (for example, the Washington Post or San Francisco Chronicle) than from sites where the review is available for just a few weeks or less (the Baltimore Sun). We'd like to keep the individual page for every book around as long as possible, and so far we've only had to remove one book because all of its links expired. We require that at least three reviews of a book are available from online sources, and we'd prefer those three links to be more permanent than temporary.
The second criterion is that the book be recent. Every once in a while we'll add a book that we should have added 6 months to a year ago. Typically, though, a book that's been on the market for more than 6-8 weeks won't be considered for addition to the site. Yes, there are books that sometimes take that long to develop a "buzz" around them, and we do consider these cases.
The third criterion is that the book fit within the theme of the site and the other books already listed. We prefer novels over short story collections and fiction over nonfiction. If you have a book of poetry or philosophical dissertations or an academic tome, it's likely it won't be added to our site. Great books do break out from every genre, and if the major online media discovers them and adds reviews, then they'll certainly get our attention.
We are constantly reading and collecting reviews. Not every book for which we collect reviews gets added to our site. Many times it comes down to a completely subjective and personal choice.
Please look at our site and see if the book you're suggesting will fit within the overall theme of our site. We love suggestions and occasionally get one that highlights a book that passed under our radar and it shouldn't have.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page last updated January 2, 2007
Copyright © 2004-2007 reviewsofbooks.com