Thursday, May 1, 2008

FAQ for Publicists, Publishers and Authors

This is my boilerplate e-mail reply for book review inquiries. I used to send it out to everyone, but somehow, I've shown up on pitch lists for religious stuff, romance novels, kids' books and other things I don't review, and since it's become a flood, and
most of those pitches are canned rather than personal, I usually just ignore 'em. But sometimes I don't. Depends.

Thanks for your e-mail about your book. Here are a few things you might find helpful.

First of all, I review business books usually intended for a general business audience. I avoid technical volumes, most business-to-business books, self-help, pop psychology, inspirational, religious, spiritual, sports, celebrity bios, novels, fables, parables and such. (There are exceptions, but not often!) CEO memoirs and the like are iffy, but not entirely out of the question.

I love books and language, and am endlessly interested in all forms of business, as it's a vital aspect of human culture.

That's why I review business books, week after week.

If you want your book considered for review, you need not ask me before sending a copy. It's an extra and unnecessary step.

I receive many books every day — more than I can possibly review — so if you think yours is a candidate, just send it. My address is below (and edited out here).

If you are not sure if the book is right, please take a moment to scan previous reviews (at The Miami Herald site requires registration. My own (admittedly incomplete) site, does not.

I like books offering fresh ideas that can be applied to a variety of businesses and situations.

Your book must be new, and available in bookstores and from normal online merchants (, etc.) and not just through your own web site or 800 number.

I'll sometimes review a book AND the CD audio version. Feel free to send both, if you like.

I don't (can't) return phone calls. You may always follow up with me by e-mail. I try to respond promptly, but this is not my full-time gig, unfortunately, and my "real" job takes up the majority of my time and attention.

I don't review unpublished manuscripts and can offer no advice on agents, publishers, editors etc.

I rarely do author interviews unless there are strong local South Florida connections, and even that's no guarantee.

I don't need any canned reviews, have no say about anything else in the paper and think that poetry is a huge scam, so don't send me any poems (pretty please!)

From time to time, I write about other stuff, but it's not worth pitching me on anything, since I have more ideas than time to execute them.

Thanks for reading. (Any implied grouchiness herein is certainly not directed at you! I promise.)


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