I somehow missed this last week when I was home with the kid. Fortunately, my buddy Frank brought it to my attention: in exchange for a 50% pay cut, Publishers Weekly reviewers now have their names printed in the issues where their reviews appear (“The Reviewers Come in from the Cold,” by Leon Neyfakh, New York Observer). A little Googling, a little e-mailing, and a few incomplete bios emerge (one of them is a prominent book blogger).
There’s a little debate in the comments about what constitutes good credentials for a reviewer–I’d argue that it’s nothing more than the ability to read quickly, write clearly, and have an interesting and defensible opinion, book after book after book after book, while caring little for financial rewards–but clearly some people are startled to learn that the position of book reviewer does not come with a litter and footmen.
For my part, I’m proud to have my name attached to the reviews I write and to have a transparent professional affiliation.
(Full disclosure: a PW reviewer hates my books. They’re certainly entitled to their opinion, whoever they are. And who knows? There may be two of them!)