Friday, 7 December 2007

Only books published in America welcome

Someone recently told me, describing the policy as completely irrational for the world's daily newspaper, that only books that have been published in the U.S.A. get reviewed in the International Herald Tribune.

This is apparently a long-standing, but unwritten, rule, said to be enforced by the guardian of the daily Books review, Assistant Managing Editor Katherine Knorr.

It's a ridiculous rule, bars thousands of good books being ever reviewed by the IHT, and is especially irritating given that the vast majority of the readership of the IHT is of course outside the U.S.A and that only a minority of them, wherever they live, are American.

It's time Mr. Oreskes re-examined this rule, and if he finds it reasonable, perhaps explains to readers why this is the case.

If you are a book publicist working in Europe or Asia and send books to be reviewed in the IHT, you should perhaps be aware of this. Great as it may be for the private libraries of members of the newsroom frequently able to pick up expensive hardbacks for free, it's not great for your publicity campaigns, even if you think the book you are promoting is perfect for the IHT readership.

If you are a book publicist who has continued to send books not yet published in the U.S.A to the IHT for review, and have been informed of this 'rule' in writing or by phone, I would be keen to hear from you at

Equally if you have continued to send in books for review that have not been published in the U.S.A and have NOT been informed of this rule, then I would be even keener to hear from you.

IHT Readers worldwide: did you know of this rule and what do you make of it?

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