Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ask and Ye Shall Receive: Forthcoming Reviews

I ran across a blog post by Neth, a guy who writes reviews on his website as well as on Fantasy Book Spot, a website I visit and frequent the message board. Actually, I'm there more for the forum than the website content. Anyway, if you click on "a blog post" you will see that Neth sometimes receives books to review. Some have been through FBS, but others apparently are directly from the publisher.

A lightbulb made a pinging sound in my head.

Do publishers really send books to average shmucks to review? Maybe.

Now, I don't have an association with FBS other than occasionally posting on the message board and I owe my blog three hits every month, but I do post reviews on and I have a moderately high reviewer ranking there (226 at last count), so maybe if I write to some publishers they can send me some books and I'll give an honest review and post it on Amazon.

I write Pyr first. Pyr is mentioned a few times in the list of books Neth has received. I introduce myself, give my bona fide (I do have one, right?), mention that I would love to receive ARCs and name drop a couple of Pyr books I am interested in reading no matter what the response is. Because really, I just love to read and I have a noted interest in SFF.

The Director of Publicity at Pyr responds back within a day with a very friendly e-mail, offers me the two books I mentioned, and over the course of a couple of e-mails we worked out a couple of other books to review.

So, from the very friendly and good people at Pyr I will be reviewing:

Infoquake, by David Louis Edelman
Fast Forward 1, edited by Lou Anders
Keeping it Real, by Justina Robson
Bright of the Sky, by Kay Kenyon

I knew I've enjoyed a book or two from Golden Gryphon Press and plan on reading some of their other work, so what the hell, let's e-mail Golden Gryphon. I contact the Editor and Publisher of Golden Gryphon, since this is a small press (and I love the little guy!) and he responds back same day (same hour, I think!).

From the good people at Golden Gryphon I will be reviewing:

Harvest of Changelings, by Warren Rochelle
A Thousand Deaths, by George Alec Effinger

I am really excited to receive these books and get a chance to read them and post reviews (honest reviews, if I don't like something, I'll say it) both here as well as on Amazon. I really appreciate the willingness of these publishers to send out reading copies (in the case of Pyr, finished publication ready copies because it is more cost effective than Advanced Reading Copies) to a guy who loves the genre.

So, I just have two questions.

One: Are there any other publishers out there, small or large, who are willing to send out reading copies of their recently published or forthcoming work?

Two: Is there any way I can get paid to read books for the rest of my life?

Actually, I have a third, but it is tied to Two.

Three: Is that too much to ask?


Neth said...

Good luck with your quest - I hope I never get paid to it. I read because I love it; if it becomes work, it might loose some magic.

I'm no expert - some publishers are easy to get books from, some won't acknowledge a blog that gets under 10,000 hits in a day.

Joe said...

I know what you're saying about reading losing its magic, but on the other hand...wouldn't you want to be paid to do what you love rather than having to work for no better reason than to earn a paycheck to pay your bills and gain no satisfaction from your work?

I would.

I don't think I've hit 10,000 in my lifetime and half of my hits are probably me using the links on my blog as bookmarks, so I think some of those publishers will ignore me as well.

Neth said...

don't get me wrong - I've certainly daydreamed about finding a way to make a career out of reading books. I'm just realistic enough to know that with my background (in now way english, literature or writing) it would way too much work to even approach what I make now in my day job. The needs of family have to come first.

Nice blog here - I think I'll have to add it to the RSS.

Joe said...

Agreed. I don't make "that" much, but I don't see how I could equal my salary in books, and I do have a bachelor's in English.

I wouldn't mind making reading a side job, though, assuming it wouldn't take up my family time.

And, thanks!