It’s starting to get out that I’m now reviewing for Publishers Weekly, so, guess what? I’m working as a reviewer/contributor for Publishers Weekly. (Yay!)
The reviews are mostly anonymous, which means that for the most part, I’m not going to be talking about which books I’ve reviewed or the work itself. Anonymous reviews are part of what helps to keep reviewers honest: there’s nothing to be gained by bragging about giving a good review, and less to fear about being truthful, even if parts of your review are negative. I won’t talk at all about what books I’m reading this week, and even after the reviews are published, I’m not sure I (personally) feel free to say much about those.
I don’t choose which books I’m assigned, so please don’t ask me to select yours in particular. I will turn down assignments where I feel I’m biased for or against the author, and that includes anything an author/publisher/publicist/fan tries to influence me about. If you think I’m likely to give your project a better review because you know I like that author, that series, that type of thing… your best bet is to not mention it to me at all. And, if I review a book here on this site, it’ll be one I didn’t review for PW.
I took this job because I wanted a consistent reading schedule, and access to books that I might not have read on my own. It’s very part time and the checks aren’t great if you want to be paid for the time it takes to read, but the books are free, I read quickly, and the per-word rate on writing the reviews themselves is good. By reading outside of my tbr pile, and then thinking about that work critically, I’ll learn more about the craft of writing. (That’s been true whenever I’ve done reviews in the past.) I’m interested in other genres that I don’t currently write in–like romance–and other areas of SFF that I don’t currently write in. I’m hopeful I’ll discover authors who are new to me, with original stories, diverse perspectives, and new ways to tell a tale.
I think, if I do my job correctly, I’ll get a lot more than a paycheck out of this experience, and you’ll see that reflected in my own writing, somewhere down the line.