Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages by Christine Pinheiro ***

The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages by Christine Pinheiro is now in its fourth edition, and this edition is a record breaker! Its has over twice as many entries as the previous edition. Whether you write a popular genre like paranormal romance (over 55 entries) or something obscure one like crochet (3 entries), you find book reviewers in this volume. With over 350 online book reviewers listed, you'll certainly want to use the index.

At this point, you might be thinking, "Isn't this just the kind of book that Google made superfluous? Why is this tome (a good old-fashion word for almost 800 pages, weighing over two pounds) published?"

Well the answer is simple. Google won't find your list of reviewers without wading through lots of links that are reviews of individual books, or listings, or just sites that aren't interested in your book. Each of the entries in the Yellow Pages lists contact information, specific information on what is reviewed, turn-around time, ... and my favorite: Do you accepts fees?

The book has a fixed set of questions that are answered for every entry. This kind of information is a big time saver if you're looking for blogs to review a specific book.

That said, I have some other reservations. First, the book seems to focus on blogs, especially blogspot, and to a lesser extent wordpress. What about podcasts? I listen to two excellent nonfiction science podcasts (Brain Science Podcast and Books and Ideas) that exclusively feature author interviews.

 Second, while the current 350 entries is a significant increase from the previous editions, what percentage of the available internet resources does this represent? Consider a small experiment with crochet - three entries in the Yellow Pages. A simple Google search turned seven more crochet blogs with book reviews, so maybe 350 isn't that many and maybe Google still has a place. Of course, each of these would require research to get the answers that are conveniently available in the Yellow Pages.

Third, the Yellow Pages has the subtitle: A Promotional Reference Guide for Authors and Small Publishers. This might have been my biggest surprise and disappointment. I expected some editorial material about promoting books. The Yellow Pages just listed book review blogs with no perspective, advice, or suggestion about how to best employ this data.

For example, the third edition included "Author and Publisher Etiquette," but even that seems to have been cut from the fourth edition. That section in the third edition included this, "Even if you get a negative review, you should accept it as valuable feedback."

In summary, this may be just the right resource, and certainly at the $20 price point (available for Amazon free shipping), it is a good investment as you begin your thoughts on book promotion.

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