The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

If you’re an editor and say you’ll review a book, then review it

When I worked as a book reviewer for a regional print magazine, my editor had a hard and fast rule: when she promised an author we would review his or her book, we reviewed it. For the most part, I enjoyed writing the reviews even though this meant reading fiction and non-fiction outside my comfort zone.

My editor believed that a promise was a promise. She didn’t promise we would say the book was the best thing since fire or sliced bread, simply that we would give it a fair shot.

Unfortunately, the web has given rise to a lot of editors who say they will review books, but then don’t bother to do it. Of course, one is at their mercy and will only make things worse by sending them an e-mail asking why no review ever appeared, or if one mentions their publication and its unfulfilled promise on Facebook or Twitter.

This practice hurts authors because it leaves them with fewer editorial reviews to post on their books’ Amazon listings or on their websites. But I think it also hurts the publications because it calls their integrity into question. If you’re an editor and you make that promise, then I’m here to tell you that if you can’t find one of your paid or volunteer reviewers willing to review the book, you’re going to have to review it yourself.

Or, stop making empty promises.



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2 thoughts on “If you’re an editor and say you’ll review a book, then review it

  1. Yep. Really, if anyone makes a promise, they need to keep it. That’d be spiffy.

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