Friday, January 2, 2009

Memo to publishers esp publicity/media staff

Dear all,

Never mind all the blurb and puff and comments solicited from patient and put-upon established writers and heavily edited extracts from old reviews (especially when permission to quote has not been sought and said reviews were written by moi*): could you please, please, please include some actual information -- RRP, total number of pages, ISBN and name of Australian distributor -- in the media releases you send out with review copies? I am sure you all read the reviews pages and journals and are therefore aware that reviewers and literary editors and the librarians who rely on them all want/need this information. It would save this reviewer and no doubt many others an average of 10-15 minutes' Googling, emailing and telephoning, plus associated costs, per insufficiently informative unit of publicity.

Lots of love,
Pav xxx

*This has happened at least half a dozen times to my knowledge. If you must do it, could you at least identify the reviewer by name instead of just naming the paper or journal?


innercitygarden said...

As a reader, I'd get enthusiastically behind a shift to quoting reviewers by name rather than publication. A review that says "buy it right now, best book of the century" is meaningless to me unless I know if it's the reviewer X with whom I never agree or Y with whom I could live happily ever after.

Misrule said...

I've also had reviews quoted and no-one's ever asked my permission. I haven't minded, in fact, I've been a bit chuffed, but I couldn't agree more—I want MY name on the review! I've told a few publishers this. There are so few perks you get from reviewing and it would be quietly gratifying to get the credit for your own comments. (And you'd look like less of an idiot when you excitedly point it out to the sales assistant in Berkelouws...)