Dear Reviewer: Please Join Us in the 21st Century

January 2007
by Jan Nathan, Executive Director, PMA

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For years, I have spoken on panels with people from review media across the United States who offered one big reason for not reviewing books by independent presses: the books were not readily available in bookstores nationwide. This was and probably still is very true, especially now that more and more new titles are fighting for the shrinking shelf space in stores. But, as some reviewers might be surprised to hear, lots of titles from major houses weren’t—and aren’t—on bookstore shelves either.

The reviewers’ point is that, whether they work in print or on air, they want to provide a service for their audiences, and they don’t feel they’ll be helping readers by recommending books not available in bookstores.

Well, 20 or 30 years ago, I would have agreed with them. Back then, when people wanted to purchase a title they had just read or heard about, they went to the nearby bookstore to see if it was there. If it wasn’t, sometimes they ordered it. I emphasize the word sometimes since a title had to be really intriguing to get a customer to place a special…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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