Do Reviewers Care About the Pitch Letter?

By Neal Comment

You might recall last week’s item about whether book reviewers still need to submit requests on company letterhead. Well, now a publicist has a question for the reviewers:

“When sending out books for review, how important is any sort of letter that accompanies it? My more cynical colleagues shove a galley into an envelope, label it, and send it off, believing that no one has the time to look at an introductory letter. Other, more ‘traditional’ colleagues painstakingly craft letters that summarize the book/highlight key components/spotlight the author’s credentials in the hopes that something they say might put the galley closer to the top of ‘the pile.’ In the end, are these letters tossed aside and the galley thrown in the pile? Or are galleys that come without any sort of run down ignored?”

How about it, book reviewers? Do you bother reading the pitch letter, or would you rather just have the book? Personally, I think the letters can give worthwhile insights into just how big a push a house is going to put behind a given title, and thus how impossible it might be to ignore…but what’s your take? We’ll run responses in a future item.