Publishers Weekly is a civilian publication that highlights new books on the market and news from the publishing world. A combination of reviews and interviews, Publishers Weekly is an essential magazine for any LIS professional in charge of collection management and development. Publishers Weekly has been a staple of the publishing world since 1872, providing prepublication book reviews for publishers, librarians, and booksellers alike.
I use Publishers Weekly on an almost daily basis in my work at the local public library, where one of my responsibilities is to purchase books for the general fiction and the Spanish fiction collections. These are some of the things I’m looking for when I consult this publication:
A firm opinion: If you’re reviewing a book, I want to know how you really feel about it. My limited budget depends on you being clear and honest about the merits of a novel.
A concise writing style: My time is almost as limited as my budget. If an article rambles on for pages without ever getting to a point, I’m more than likely to skip it.
Something to make me want to keep reading: Whether I’m looking at a book review or an article, I’m usually looking for the one sentence that tells me it will be worth reading more. In articles, I need a teaser at the very top of the page that draws me in and makes me want to read more. In a book review, I’m looking for a one-sentence opinion that will make it worth my while to read the rest of the review. Don’t take this personally; it is all about time. I often have so many things to do in a day that reading an article is a luxury. A good teaser will tell me if it is worth my time to keep reading.
Have I stressed you out yet? Don’t be. Just remember your audience. Librarians (at least, all the ones I know who work in public libraries) have a lot going on. If you keep in mind what they are looking for, you won’t have any problems writing a piece that will be beneficial to the library community.