the complete review Quarterly
Volume I, Issue 1   --   February, 2000

Books Received
by the
complete review - 1999

Overview | Looking Ahead | Books submitted for Review

I. Overview

       Established in the spring of 1999, the complete review chose not to rely exclusively on material provided by publishers in building up its library of reviews. The intended scope of the site -- including reviews of backlist titles, out of print titles, and foreign books -- was (and remains) at odds with publishers' eagerness to push their latest offerings. Nevertheless, the complete review attempts to provide users with a generous sampling of recent titles. While most of the titles under review were obtained elsewhere, a growing number were provided by publishers. In most cases publishers were solicited to provide review copies; increasingly, as the reputation of the complete review grows, publishers have approached the site suggesting titles for review.
       The response by publishers to requests by the complete review for review copies was generally very positive. University and independent presses were generally the most accommodating, though a number of commercial publishers were particularly forthcoming in providing material. Though the complete review is based in the United States almost all British publishers approached provided copies of the requested titles (of books not available in the United States). (Given the large British and European audience of the complete review coverage on the site of UK-titles clearly is advantageous to British publishers.)
       Six larger imprints of American houses, two university presses, two independent publishers, and one larger independent house with a presence both in the UK and the US declined to provide the complete review with the requested material. None of them gave any reason for rejecting the requests for review copies; it is possible that the requests (made, where possible, via e-mail) did not reach the various publicity departments. It is also possible that the powers that be did not want their books under review at the complete review.
       Publishers submitted 53 titles to the complete review in 1999. (See chart for breakdown of submissions by publisher.) Only one title was unsolicited. By the end of the year reviews of 43 of these titles were available at the complete review. A number arrived too late to be reviewed by year's end, while reviews of others are being held in order to be posted together with related reviews at a later date. Except for the unsolicited title reviews of all the books should be available at the complete review by the summer of 2000. (Note: As of February 1, 2000, 45 of the titles were available at the complete review.)
       A surprising number of very small publishers, as well as a number of authors, also contacted the complete review, hoping to submit material for review. However, none of the material was found to be appropriate for consideration by the complete review.

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II. Looking Ahead

       In 1999 15 percent of the books reviewed were titles provided by publishers. This number is likely to increase, and can be expected to approach 25 percent for the year 2000.
       The focus of the site remains much the same. New (and old) titles of authors already under review remain the highest priority. It is particularly to be hoped that publishers will be willing to fill in some of the backlist holes on the site. (Generally the complete review had far greater difficulty in obtaining backlist titles from publishers than new titles.)
       Of note is also the planned increase in the number of foreign titles under review. The French Publishers' Agency has been particularly helpful in providing French-language titles. Reviews of French titles should become more frequent, with 10-15 planned for the year. During the course of 2000 the complete review also intends to increase coverage of German-language titles, possibly adding as many as 15 as well.

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III. Books submitted for Review
Publisher Books
Addison-Wesley 1
Bantam - Spectra 3
BFI/Indiana University Press 4
Cambridge University Press 3
Columbia University Press 2
Dalkey Archive Press 5
Doubleday (UK) 1
ellipsis 2
Four Walls Eight Windows 5
Victor Gollancz 1
HarperCollins (US) 2
Harvard University Press 4
Harvill Press 2
Library of America 2
Milkweed 1
MIT Press 1
New Falcon 2
Perseus 1
Polity 1
Sun & Moon 3
University of Chicago Press 2
Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1
various French publishers 4
T o t a l 53

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© 2000 the complete review Quarterly
© 2000 the complete review