Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Reviewing Policies: Books and Other Media

Gilbert Wesley Purdy has been reviewing books and other items on the Internet and in paper venues for well over 10 years now. As regards books, he reviews both poetry and topical non-fiction prose. Should the texts be translations from a romance language, and the original texts be available to him, he may also choose to review the quality of the translation.

At present, he is the Review Section Editor for the online journal Eclectica. His reviews have also appeared at Jacket Magazine, The Georgia Review, Rattle, The Compulsive Reader, and his own Virtual Grub Street family of blogs. Links to his online reviews (and other work in poetry and prose) are posted at his Online Bibliography. The Bibliography is regularly updated.

He receives more titles than he can possibly review, generally direct from the publisher. The books (tapes, CDs, DVDs) are placed in a queue ordered more or less by the following criteria:

  1. Books/items accepted on assignment;
  2. Books/items that are in some way exceptional;
  3. Books/items that will generally be positively reviewed;
  4. Books/items from larger publishers;
  5. Books/items from publishers with whom he has an ongoing reviewer relationship;
  6. Books/items that touch on a theme or issue that seems especially worth comment even if that comment is mixed or negative in tone.
A book/item may remain in the queue for more than a year before it is reviewed or removed as "not accepted for review".

While he rarely pans a book/item, it is not altogether unheard of. The only representation he makes is that, if he should review a book/item, he will do so with the utmost honesty he can muster. Only rarely will there appear direct encouragement to buy a book/item. The reviews are intended to be descriptive and to leave the reader to decide, based upon the description, whether the book/item is for him or her.

Assignments are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Book solicitations are accepted with the understanding that they will be considered for inclusion in the book queue. Query to gwpurdy@yahoo.com for mailing address. Please begin the subject line with "###" so I can find your book amongst the deluge of other emails.

Contact information should be included with all materials. An e-mail contact address is greatly preferred. Related requests that require postage and/or handling (i.e. returns, correspondence other than tear-sheets) will generally not be fulfilled unless postage and materials are provided with the request and perhaps not even then.

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