Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This is creating quite a stir, I gather ...

... The pitfalls of receiving free books, or how not to risk your book blogging credibility.

Bud Parr has some related links: Some Like it Hot.

I get upwards of a thousand books a week, all free, all from publishers. I assign some of them for review, and some I choose to review myself. The rest - by far the greatest number - go by the boards. Publicists email me every day urging me to review this book or that. Someitmes they visit my office to hawk their wares. Sometimes they call. That's what my job entails.


  1. A thousand a week? Wow......

  2. I'm up to dozens a week!

    I think peeople are more affected by million dollar ad campaigns for a book.

    Honest bloggers have a right to comment on what they read, whether they got it for free or not!

  3. Anonymous9:05 PM

    The idea that a reviewer is compromised by receiving a copy of the book for free is so ridiculous that I can't imagine anyone would even seriously entertain the notion. If a person is of such a limited mind that they would be swayed by such trivia, they clearly have no business writing criticism in the first place.

  4. Anonymous1:37 PM

    I made some similar comment to you, Frank, somewhere or other where this discussion was raging. At Nature, we probably don't get a thousand a week, but it is in the hundreds. And should we wish to review a book we didn't get sent, we would not go out and pay for it, we'd ask the publisher for a review copy (free) and get it.

    But although I agree with Bonnie and David, I must note that the original post at Reading Matters that caused all this was not only about bloggers reviewing free books, it was about them being asked to promote 13th tale via their blogs in return for being entered into a draw, something like that......
    This was what Kimbofo felt a blogger should disclose, if he/she complied with the request, but she also wrote that she thought a blogger should disclose if they got the book for free, it is true. But certainly on some blogs and comments, Kim has been quoted a bit out of context and I do not agree with the tone of some of the reactions to her post. It is not somthing to get that het up about, whichever side of this fence you happen to be on.

  5. Thanks, Maxine, for the clarification. I think the business about the free books is more or less irrelevant. But the promotional gambit is quite interesting - and obviously no reviewer in his right mind would get involved in that sort of thing. Of course, if you're a blogger and you really liked the book, where's the harm in entering a contest? (I am presuming you refer to the Diane Setterfield book The 13th Tale, which I review and liked.)Everybody should relax more. Leave Atlas to bear the world on his shoulders.