Jill Walker sends me an annotated list of email narratives that I've found online and it is very interesting. As I told Jill in an email, I don't know if this blog is doing anybody else any good, but I'm sure learning a lot from it.
It also seems people are interested in knowing more about what goes into newspaper book reviewing. So I'll continue with some behind-the-scenes info.
I get, on a good day, maybe 200 emails (not including the deluge of spam). Most are from publicists, some are from authors, others from reviewers, still others from those who would like to review, and some from readers. I actually have hundreds in my inbox that are as yet unread. Almost all of those are from publicists of one sort or another. I pretty much know what they're about and plan to get to them ASAP (of course).
I could spend every day doing nothing but responding to email. Then there's the regular mail. Conservatively estimated, about 500 books come into my office every week. Bins of letters and catalogs as well. But : I have to read a book and review it every week. I have to edit reviews and articles. Go to meetings. I have to figure out what to review and when and who to ask to review it. And so, lamentably, I am always behind. I hope that some of those who have tried to get in touch (I haven't even mentioned the phone) read this and understand that I do eventually look at it all and will almost certainly, eventually, get around to responding in some way, shape , or form.