book and product review policy

More and more lately, I get books in the mail. I thought it was about time I had some sort of stated policy about this. My FAQ nonwithstanding, if you have a book you think I would like to read, feel free to drop me a line if you actually know who I am and can explain why you think I would like it. I’ve read many books I’ve gotten from colleagues and strangers alike (Tara’s Web Search Garage is the one outstanding because I keep using it) and have put reviews up on my book review page. If I discuss anything in this blog that could possibly be seen to have a “go out and buy this” implication attached to it, I will clearly state that I got a free review copy or was contacted by the author or publisher about the book, either here or in the review. Exceptions to this are “current awareness” links to things I read about on other blogs — Library Elf comes to mind — if I also hear from the publisher/company, I might neglect to mention that fact if it’s not germane to why I’m linking to it. That said, here’s my policy, such as it is, which I’ll link to the FAQ. review and promotions policy

  • If you would like to send me a review copy, please email me and tell me why you think I would like it. I prefer short succinct messages to copied and pasted press releases. I delete 9 out of 10 copied and pasted press releases.
  • I cannot guarantee I will read every book I get. I have read about half of the books I have gotten so far. If you do not want to send me a book unless I read/review it, please do not send it to me.
  • I have no review mechanism on any of my sites for reference works, magazines, movies, or software. Unless there is some very specific library angle — better than “librarians should buy this for their libraries” — do not send me these.
  • You can keep the promo materials that get sent with review copies, I tend not to read them. Do not put me on an announcement list. Do not add me to any mailing list without my explicit permission.
  • Reviews, if I read the book, good or bad, will be posted to my book review page, not on I will mention, as I usually do, where I got the book. Reviews will rarely contain links to other web sites.
  • Unless I have contributed to a book or the author is a good friend of mine, I practically never make new book announcements on these pages and I don’t intend to. I do not otherwise publicize books here except in rare cases.
  • There are “buy this book” links on my reviews pages that go to Powell’s. I receive a small associate fee if you purchase items using these links which I think is 7% of the purchase price. In the lifetime of this program, the links have brought in about a hundred bucks total. Powell’s is not the cheapest online bookstore, but they are worth supporting, in my opinion. However, please consider the library as your first option.
  • I accept no payment of any kind for anything on this site with the exception of rare specific promotions that are clearly marked, such as the “buy this bumpersticker” auction. The site is hosted for free on ibiblio’s servers and updated during non-work time using free software. If you feel the need to contribute, send me links, or a postcard and/or unused [preferably interesting] postage that I can use to send out my postcards.
  • If my rules are too rigid, or this is not what you were looking for, you may want to consider bookslut, bookzen or biblioblog.

Here are some examples of reviews of books that have been sent to me:
The Anarchist in the Library by Siva Vaidhyanathan,
The Flame Tree by Richard Lewis,
Codex by Lev Grossman.

updated 30dec07