On Book Reviews at Whatever
Posted on July 16, 2014 Posted by John Scalzi 1 Comment
One of those “post once for future reference” posts.
I’m getting a lot of requests for book reviews, many from indie/self-published authors who are, understandably, hoping to see their book talked about, but also from editors/publicists from established presses. So please allow me to note:
I do not regularly, nor do I plan to in the immedate future, review books here on Whatever.
The primary reason for this is simple: I have a finite amount of time, and that time needs to be spent on my own books. I don’t get paid for reading books; I get paid for writing them. The secondary reason for this is that I’m not a gentle critic, and I don’t expect that people asking for reviews would be happy with what I have to say if I don’t like their books.
This does not mean that I don’t read other people’s books; I do. I read them for fun and enjoyment, not with an eye toward formal reviewing. I may from time to time write a quick review or comment here about a book I particularly liked (or, and rather substantially more rarely, gripe about a book I didn’t like). This should not be construed to suggest I intend to regularly review books here.
In lieu of regularly reviewing books, I do the following:
1. I present the Big Idea feature here, in which authors talk about their books. Here is how to be considered for the Big Idea. Indie/self-pubbed authors: please note the criteria for inclusion.
2. I (usually weekly) note new books/ARCs that are sent to me, both here and on my Twitter account. As I take a picture of these books/ARCs, a physical copy of the work is required. Here is how to be considered for this particular feature. This is open to any author.
Either or both of these achieve what I suspect is the goal of most people asking for reviews, which is exposure here on Whatever. It’s also easier for me. Everyone wins.
Requests for reviews will largely be ignored. I don’t have time to respond to each review request. Sorry.
Editors/PR folks at established presses, I understand review requests are part of your boilerplate. However, please take a moment to update your contact information about me. I’m happy to consider your authors’ works for inclusion in the Big Idea feature, but please note that I will not request their participation. You (or they) must ask. Thanks.
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