Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Librarians Choices

Today was a great day but a busy one. You might have guessed by now that I'm not a morning person--not at all--I love to read books until the wee morning hours. But today was a special day that required getting up about two hours earlier than usual. It was our second meeting for Librarians' Choices 2008. Fortunately, I had packed up all my books--most of which I had reviewed just this past weekend for MotherReader's 48 Hour Readathon (there was a method to my madness) yesterday.

Discussion was fun. I met a couple of new people which was great. :) I always love meeting people who are just as passionate about books as I am. And it's looking to be a really good group to work with this year. It was also super-fun to pick out new books to take home with me. To borrow. It's weird. I receive review copies of my own. TWU receives review copies as well. Yet we don't get the same books. TWU is missing a good many of the ones I've gotten, but yet they always have a dozen or so titles that I'm missing. So it all works out. Especially when I round it all out by going to my local library every week. It really does take all three sources to get a well-rounded picture of what's out there and being published.

Which reminds me, if you're an author and you want to make sure that your book (ONLY 2008 books please) is being read and considered, you might want to contact your publicist to see if they've sent a copy to Texas Woman's University's SLIS review center. (Or prompt them to send a copy.) You can contact me for more information. Of course, I'm willing (and able) to accept review copies as well. So please, if you're a new author and you want a chance to compete with the big names, make sure your book is made available! We're not trying to be snobbish or elitist. We like diversity, and embrace fresh, new voices. Last year when the list was released, the Brown Bookshelf wrote a post about how only well-known African Americans were highlighted in our choices. And her post did make me think. We can only select from what we have access to through our local libraries and the TWU review center and our personal libraries. After reading that post and following the 28 Days Later tour, I found a few great books that I would have certainly argued for if I'd read them in time.

Important update: While titles we consider do not have to come from a large (well-known, established) publishing house in order to be considered (we receive review copies from smaller presses as well), I'll be honest in admitting that we probably won't have the time and energy (as a group) to take self-published (vanity press) titles into consideration. (We have a difficult enough task as it is reading the books we already receive.) So I wouldn't advise sending copies to TWU. If you think that your book is something that I would personally enjoy (Becky, the reviewer) then you may email me with a brief description, and I might be willing to take a look. If I really really fell-in-love with your book I might talk about it to the Librarians Choices group. But no promises, no guarantees.

2008 titles only. January to December 2008. I know that late fall entries November/December are so close that you want to try to sneak them in. But no 2007 titles are eligible. No matter how good they are.

They must be children's and young adult titles. No adult books.

Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. The fiction includes picture books, chapter books, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction. All genres. Looking for quality. But special attention is given to make sure our list reflects the world's diversity. We're looking for interesting titles that will appeal to a wide variety of readers ranging from pre-K through 12th.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


tanita✿davis 9:51 PM  

Wow, thanks for the heads-up, going to contact my publicist personage today. Cheers!

The Class of 2k8 8:30 AM  

Thanks for the info, Becky! So true about needing multiple sources to get a good picture of what's out there!

N.A. Nelson 10:37 AM  

Wow--great opportunity! I just emailed my publicist also. Thanks!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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