Somewhere out there on the interweb, the Book Briefing section on this website bills itself as “Book Reviews You Can Trust”. This claim is based on the fact that it’s not beholden to anyone. The books that are reviewed I pay for. I’m not reliant on buckshee copies from publishers and don’t have to worry about a bad review meaning no more free samples. The number of other writers I know is tiny and if I’m reviewing a book by one of them, I declare an interest. But I’ve been lucky in that the writers I do know are nearly all at the top of their game at the moment and I’ve not been tempted to give any of them a poor review yet. It will be interesting to see what happens one of them writes a duff book. A couple of prize winning authors have been in touch with me to agree with my concerns that many book reviewers. One recent prize winner e-mailed me to describe the majority of reviews as “BS” and added “the system of reviewing and blurbs is totally corrupt - so much mutual back-scratching”. He is not the only one who feels that way. But here I have a confession. I’ve been sitting on three reviews for several months. In one case that’s because I have serious doubts that the book is what it purports to be. That’s OK. But the other two have not been posted because they are highly critical of two super-stars in the field of military history. In one case, I know someone who had to edit the guy’s work and my friend shares my reservations about his writing style and standard of research. So, why haven’t I posted the reviews? It’s because I have high hopes of following up Scottish Military Disasters with another book. While it’s unlikely either of these two superstars would be asked to review the new book, it’s not impossible. People can be really petty. Why take the risk? Anyway, I thought you might be interested in my experience next time you read a review in the mainstream media.
Why not check out Book Briefing?