Permissum Lector Caveo
Recently, an author took umbrage with our review of his work. It was not, he said, that he objected to its being unfavorable -- although it was -- but that it was an incompetent review: badly written and excessively subjective. A number of unhappy and unpleasant words were exchanged, resulting in both the author and the staff of Green Man being offended.
The affair was unfortunately blown out of proportion. In the desire to prevent such a situation from happening again, a recap of some of GMR's apparently less-obvious review policies seems needed.
The staff members of Green Man are volunteers. They are not paid to do this work, but do so out of enthusiasm and a love of literature, music, film, and live performances. Nonetheless, each reviewer is subjected to an initial audition before being accepted (most are not accepted), and then to the normal rigors of editorial correction and review before their work sees publication. Quality of writing may vary, but we do strive to meet professional standards. For those occasions when a reader feels we have failed to do so, we can only offer the observation that tastes differ.
Reviewing is, as well, an essentially personal opinion. Short of actual libel, the opinions of a given reviewer are necessarily subjective and will not be censored. Green Man stands behind its reviewers. Getting huffy, dissing us on your blog, or writing nasty letters to your publisher won't do any good. Indeed dissing us on your blog will result most likely in a higher Google ranking for the review as it did with the review emntioned above. Being quiet is oft times the best way to deal with an unfavorable review!
We do not remove unfavorable reviews ever. We will correct actual factual errors as soon as they are brought to our attention, but an unfavorable review will stay published. In our determination to maintain honesty, we do not accept payments, gifts, directions or suggestions in our reviews. Even if we asked to read your book, we may not like it; and in that event, the review will reflect the actual opinion of the reviewer.
Approximately eighty percent of the books we receive for review are not solicited by us, but are sent to us requesting review. Over ninety percent of the CDs are unsolicited; conversely, most of the DVDs have been requested by the editors of Green Man. This reflects the relative ease of production and shipping of the various media which we review. We see several hundreds of books sent for review each month and upwards of five hundred CDs sent to us each month.
There are guidelines elsewhere on this site as to what we will accept for review. Authors and other creative types are strongly advised to read the guidelines before sending anything to us. If we have asked to see a work, we will review it provided someone wants to review it. If you sent it unsolicited, the odds are still fair that it will be reviewed. And while we cannot guarantee we will like it, we will review it (if it gets reviewed) with all available skill, diligence and honesty.