aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

How books get picked to be reviewed

Some interesting facts from a Washington Post article about how books are chosen for review [Full disclosure: I've never been reviewed by the Washington Post, but I have by the Washington Times, which I think may be owned by the Moonies]:
- About 150 books are sent to it a DAY.
- The Post reviews or mentions about 2,000 a year. This includes mentions less than 200 words.
- Genre books - including self-help, as well as mysteries, sci-fi, and romance - are relegated to round-ups for "devotees."
- "Book World Editor Marie Arana and her staff look at every book for significance, literary worth, variety and just a good read. But they also look for a little bit of magic."
- "Mass-market writers who produce every year, such as Danielle Steel and James Patterson, usually aren't reviewed."
- ""Self-published books don't stand a chance."
- The editor starts by picking 35-60 books a week. She reads a bit of them, and eventually picks out 15 to 20.
- She pays no attention to blurbs.
- She does pay attention to early reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly.
- " Reviewers must sign a statement saying they have no conflict in reviewing a book. Occasionally reviewers have signed that statement knowing that they had a conflict, and Arana has found out only after a review has been published. Arana apologized in print after she found out that author Marianne Wiggins, who signed the statement, slammed a book by John Irving without divulging that Irving was a close friend of Wiggins's ex-husband, Salman Rushdie."

Read more here. You may have to register but they don't seem to sell your name or bug you.

Here's what I've said about how I chose books for review.

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