Informed and informative, "Faint Praise: The Plight Of Book Reviewing In America" by Gail Pool (a freelance journalist, reviewer, and review editor based in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is an impressively insightful, deftly written, accessibly articulate, expertly knowledgeable, and decidedly analytical survey of the multifaceted and complex world of book reviewing today. Getting a book reviewed can result in prestige for authors and their publishers, improved sales, and a raised public awareness of a particular title struggling for attention against thousands of competing books. They can also bury worthy and literate titles in a sea of inane and flawed books that are published by the tens of thousands every month. "Faint Press" provides a descriptive and comprehensive introduction to the institution of book reviewing, including such issues as why bad reviewing happens despite good intentions, why so many intelligent bibliophiles, knowledgeable readers, and gifted authors can fail at the art, craft, science, and business of writing book reviews. "Faint Praise" takes the reader behind the scenes and shows how books are chosen for review, the context in which book reviewing takes place, including a book review culture that is shows little interest in literature, a surprising antipathy toward criticism, and a vulnerability to the 'seduction of praise'. It's a sad fact of contemporary publishing that reviews so often degenerate into unmerited hype. Very highly recommended for both academic and community library Literary Studies collections, "Faint Praise" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone aspiring to become a book reviewer, and is especially valuable reading for authors, publishers, academicians, and the general reading public.
This Microsoft Word document is used in press kits to give journalists an index to the dominant story lines in a book. This is one of the most effective tools I have come up with for getting a book reviewed.
Getting a book reviewed is becoming more and more difficult
What have you learned about the process of getting a book reviewed since you started?
I've learned so much about pitching, just noticing my own response to books I get in the mail.