June 30, 2014

METAPOST: We're hiring some book reviewers again

Well, for the first time in over a year, I'm happy to say that we are officially bringing some new book reviewers on board around here; so if you've always wanted to write insightful long-form essays here for the CCLaP blog, now is the time to drop us a line at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com and let us know. We're trying things a little differently this time -- in the past, our aim has always been to hire a small amount of critics for actual pay and have them do a lot of writing -- but since we're no longer publishing the paper magazine that generated the pay for book reviewers in the first place, now we're looking to hire a lot of reviewers for each doing just a small amount of writing (one to two pieces a month at minimum, although as much more than this as you might want), done now on a volunteer basis simply for the fun of being published, and for acquiring the credentials needed to request free books from publishers.

Don't forget, we have very exacting standards around here of what kinds of reviews we like to publish, which is what always makes it so hard to hire new people: your thousand-word reviews of books you deliberately choose (or shorter for books that are assigned to you) should be funny but not silly, insightful but not pretentious, smart but not academic, sometimes controversial but never insulting, with a much bigger emphasis on what went right instead of what went wrong, and with a liberal dollop of literary history thrown in, to give readers a better idea of how that book fits into the overall history of that particular genre or style. Over half the reviews you'll write for us will be of books that you yourself deliberately choose to review, and that you track down a copy of yourself, specifically because you think in advance that you're going to like that book; in fact, that's what we vastly prefer emphasizing here at CCLaP, smart reviews of great but unknown books that deserve a larger audience, versus critical reviews of popular books that everyone has already heard of. But that said, we do also receive several hundred books a year directly from publishers and authors, and this will also be part of your job with us, to do much smaller reviews of these books and to always at least be respectful and courteous of them, no matter how bad they might be (and they can sometimes get quite bad, just to give you fair warning). We'll also get you the credentials needed to get set up at mainstream reviewing services like NetGalley and Edelweiss, so that you can be requesting and receiving books from major presses on a regular basis; and of course we'll get you directly introduced to the several dozen small publishers we hear from on a regular basis, and you can expect to be regularly receiving titles from such great outfits as Pyr, Akashic, Soft Skull, Curbside Splendor, Eraserhead Press, Two Dollar Radio, Pedlar Press, and a whole lot more. Although it's not technically required, it is very strongly recommended that you own a Kindle, in that a growing amount of presses don't even send out paper review copies anymore, and it's overwhelmingly the Kindle format that most presses send when they send an eBook review copy.

Like I said, to express an interest, please just drop me (Jason Pettus) a line at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com, and please be prepared at that point to share three representative examples of the kinds of long-form reviews you'd be doing for CCLaP as well, either by pointing to them online or including them as a Microsoft Word/Open Office attachment. We especially love enthusiastic members of GoodReads.com, who are already demonstrating a record of frequent write-ups simply for the love of sharing their opinions, so I especially encourage all of you who are heavy users of that service (and also Shelfari, LibraryThing, Riffle, Smashwords, Amazon, etc etc) to drop us a line. I look forward to hearing from you!

Filed by Jason Pettus at 3:39 PM, June 30, 2014. Filed under: CCLaP news | Literature | Reviews |