Secret Workings of the NYTBR Revealed!

Well, not quite that thrilling, but there is some useful info here.

The part I find most interesting is that the Book Review "winnows down" from 1,000 books per week. I don’t know how common this is, but I submit that if a large amount of the time of you and your assistant editors is spent tossing out books you’re not interested in reviewing, then you’re losing out on time that could be well spent making the Book Review a better product.

Again, for all I know this is SOP at all major papers nationwide, but it would seem that they could find a better way to pick books, or at least a better way to get rid of the books they don’t want to review.

Also, I’ve really got to say, if they actually do run through 1,000 titles per week, it’s amazing how few substantially interesting books make it to their pages.


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” I submit that if a large amount of the time of you and your assistant editors is spent tossing out books you’re not interested in reviewing, then you’re losing out on time that could be well spent making the Book Review a better product.”
So, the product could be improved by *limiting* its scope?

No Sebastian. Let me try to explain this to you. There are better and worse ways to find books for your book review. Shuffling through the 1,000 books that are randomly sent to you every week sounds inefficient and rather narrow to me. (What about the publishers that can’t afford to send books? What about the publishers that choose not to? What about the books that are tossed out before they even reach the editors? Why only let a small circle of a few editors pick the books week after week after week?) I think there are much better ways to pick books, ways in which the NYTBR can both be more efficient and that widen its scope.

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