Friday, May 11, 2007
Slight Change of Tack....
Looking around the De Facto POD Review Blog Ring, or whaetver da hell it's called, I notice one thing. Most of us are closed to submissions. In fact limiting incoming submission is one of those eternal issues. It is sensible to narrow the focus to a certain publisher, to print copies, to certain genres, or to open to submissions only briefly... but the POD People are going to try a slightly different approach.
Perspective is important. Bloggers write from the perspectives or editors, or self-POD authors, but in many cases they try to review primarily as that most mundane and elusive of creatures, the readers. That's what I strive for anyway. I write, some of our POD People reviewers write, some self-publish, and some do neither. Strangely enough some of our reviewers are in fact only readers--a reasonable proxy for the general reading audience we all hope to reach.
The problem is that we open for submissions, we take submissions, but many of them simply sit there for months on end. Sometimes this is because we all get busy. With a single reviewer this is bound to happen, and although we have 12 reviewers normally only 2 or 3 are particularly active at any given point in time. Sometimes it is just that the book doesn't strike anyone's fancy.
As has been suggested recently by both PODler and Leo Stableford there is more to reviewing than getting a book into the hands of a reviewer. It has to be a reasonable match, you want a reviewer to be a reasonable proxy for a the kind of reader who would see your book, become intrigued and buy it.
It is a little too late to cut this long story short, but here is the point I am getting to. From now on POD People will accept submissions, will post them for six months and if they have not been selected by one of our reviewers we will then delete them. We will open submissions as required to maintain a selection of not less than 20 books for our reviewers to choose from. I apologise to those authors who will, as a result, not receive a review.
I think this is a good move for several reasons. 1) It will help us attract and retain active reviewers by offering them a changing selection. Our available book pile is starting to look a little stale and monotonous. 2) It will ensure books are read by reviewers interested by the blurb and cover--perhaps active readers of that genre, and 3) as such it will maximise the chances that a book will be read by someone able to approach it from the perspective of a genuine prospective customer.
So if we have been sitting on your book for over six months you will probably soon receive an email from Dawno (who does all the work here) with our regrets at being unable to accommodate you by providing a review. But in my opinion not every review is a good review, whether glowing or harsh you want a review written by someone who had an interest in the book going in, some who had thoughts and expectations--not someone who opened the cover with a despondant sigh and read on from a sense of duty. And on the upside we should be re-opening for submissions soon.
On a side note, our current reviewers particularly appreciate poetry, romance, historicals including westerns, gay and lesbian fiction and thrillers (add more here, guys, if I missed any). We would like to hear from prospective reviewers interested in paranormal and fantasy, young adult, contemporary/mainstream, anthologies and non-fiction.