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Some musings on book reviews and GOD'S BANKERS
I just learned in the past few days that The New York Times notified Simon & Schuster that God’s Bankers will be reviewed next Sunday, March 22. It is like being told that you will be publicly graded in front of the entire class, from a reviewer still anonymous at this moment.
At least the NYTBR is set. I am not certain yet whether I will also get a daily NYT review at some point. A number of my previous books got covered in both the Sunday and daily. But friends and colleagues who are published authors will commiserate with me when it comes to the angst of waiting for major newspapers and magazines to review a book. Those reviews are often how many readers find out that a book exists. And of course raves can help it fly off the shelves.
Unfortunately, some key newspapers and periodicals have sharply cut back on their book sections. While record numbers of books are published, an ever-smaller number gets reviewed every year.
Some papers gives a heads-up to the publisher about which date a review will run. The Washington Post told Simon & Schuster they had scheduled an early review on God’s Bankers on February 8. Then it slipped to 2/16. No review ran that Sunday. Turns out the reviewer – who shall remain unnamed – did not turn in her review. Since more than a month has now passed, the paper says it is too late to reassign it to a new reviewer, so one won’t get done. You can imagine that ‘no review’ can be even more frustrating in its own way than a mediocre one.
I’m still waiting for reviews from a host of places that have regularly covered my earlier books, including among others the Boston Herald, SF Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Dallas Morning News, Detroit Free Press, and even my ‘hometown’ paper, the Miami Herald. Not to forget, of course, The New York Review of Books, Time, and The New Yorker. Journalist friends at those papers, please give a nudge to the book editor a few offices away.
Meanwhile, I’ll wait to see what the Gray Lady says next week….