Friday, September 22, 2006

Prepublication Reviews

Prepublication reviews are important because they are read by professionals in the publishing industry--such as booksellers, wholesalers and buyers at libraries--to determine what books to order.

The biggest periodicals that publish prepublication reviews are in Kirkus Reivews, Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal and BookList. Among those, Publisher's Weekly is perhaps the best known and the one that has the broadest reading audience. The others are focused more on the library market, with BookList specializing in public and school libraries in particular.

It's difficult for smaller presses to have a book reviewed in a prepub periodical, as I know from my experience with my two prior books, The Immortal Game and Vulture Capital. My then publisher Poltroon Press tried for reviews with Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly with both books, but never got past the "we'll see if we can fit them in" stage.

Not so with Bleak House and Candy from Strangers. Publisher Ben LeRoy managed to have Candy reviewed in three of the four periodicals I listed above. The reviews have appeared in recent editions, and--thank goodness--were all favorable. Here are some excerpts from each:
"[A] gripping ... hard-boiled exploit... Riordan's street smarts and witty asides will make him a familiar—and welcome—figure to fans of Robert Parker's Boston PI, Spenser." —Publishers Weekly

"This third outing for Coggins's private investigator August Riordan proves him a worthy successor to the iconic Sam Spade... [A] volume that fits comfortably alongside those of Hammett and Chandler. Heartily recommended." —Library Journal

"Sourpuss secretaries, predatory professors, greedy gurus, sanctimonious shrinks ... [a] well-crafted cast of characters, led by [a] smart-stepping shamus." —Kirkus Reviews
Although I'll admit to a fair amount of nail-biting before the reviews came out, it's particularly gratifying to have comparisons made to my hardboiled heros--Hammett, Chandler and Parker.

Next up: the book in the flesh. My editor, Alison Janssen, has told me the book is back from the printer and author's copies are winging their way to me!


At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Joyful Alternative said...

Aargh! I can't stand Spenser. Why do so many reviewers try to turn me off so many excellent PI series with this lame comparison?

(But I'll find a copy of the first in the series and see what I think anyway; I was sort of hoping that was a Philly trolley in that excellent picture.)


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