The New York Times Book Review
is a weekly paper-magazine supplement
A supplement is a publication that has a role secondary to that of another preceding or concurrent publication.A follow-on publication complements its predecessor, either by bringing it up-to-date , or by otherwise enhancing the predecessor's coverage of a particular topic or subject matter, as in...
to The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...
in which current non-fiction and fiction books are reviewed. It is one of the most influential and widely read book review
A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. A book review could be a primary source opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review. It is often carried out in periodicals, as school work, or on the internet. Reviews are also often...
publications in the industry. The offices are located near Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...
in New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
. Sam Tanenhaus
Sam Tanenhaus is an American historian, biographer, and journalist.-Biography:Tanenhaus received his B.A. in English from Grinnell College in 1977 and a M.A. in English Literature from Yale University in 1978. He is currently the editor of The New York Times Book Review and Week in Review...
has been the Senior Editor since the spring of 2004.
The New York Times has published a book review section since October 10, 1896
The year 1896 in literature involved some significant new books.-Events:* Final volume of Theodore Roosevelt's The Winning of the West....
- "We begin today the publication of a Supplement which contains reviews of new books .. and other interesting matter .. associated with news of the day." (October 10, 1896)
The target audience is an intelligent, general-interest adult reader. The Times publishes two versions each week, one with a cover price sold via subscription, bookstores and newsstands; the other with no cover price included as an insert in each Sunday edition of the Times (the copies are otherwise identical).
Each week the NYTBR receives 750 to 1000 books from authors and publishers in the mail of which 20 to 30 are chosen for review. The selection process is based on finding books that are important and notable, as well as discovering new authors whose books stand above the crowd. Self published books are generally not reviewed as a matter of policy. Books not selected for review are stored in a "discard room" and then sold. , Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest book retailer in the United States, operating mainly through its Barnes & Noble Booksellers chain of bookstores headquartered at 122 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District in Manhattan in New York City. Barnes & Noble also operated the chain of small B. Dalton...
arrived about once a month to purchase the contents of the discard room, and the proceeds are then donated by NYTBR to charities. Books that are actually reviewed are usually donated to the reviewer.
There are two types of reviewers, those in-house on staff, and those commissioned by the NYTBR to do the review. For outside reviewers, they are assigned an in-house "preview editor" who works with them in creating the final review. Most reviews are done by outside reviewers. Other duties on staff include a number of Senior Editors and a Chief Editor; a team of Copy Editors; a Letter Pages Editor who reads letters to the editor; columnists who write weekly columns, such as the "Paperback Row" column; a Production Editor; a web and Internet publishing division; and other jobs.
In addition to the magazine there is an Internet site that offers additional content, including audio interviews with authors, called the "Book Review Podcast".
The book review publishes each week the widely cited and influential New York Times Best Seller list, which is created by the editors of the Times "News Surveys" department.
Each year, around the beginning of December, a "100 Notable Books of the Year" is published. It contains fiction and non-fiction, 50 of each. The list has prestige among publishers with book jackets usually mention being chosen. From the list of 100, 10 books are award the "Best Books of the Year", 5 each of fiction and non-fiction. Other year-end lists include the Best Illustrated Children’s Books, in which 10 books are chosen by a panel of judges.
Effect on book sales
In 2010, Stanford professors Alan Sorenson and Jonah Berger published a study examining the effect on book sales from positive or negative reviews in the New York Times Book Review. They found all books benefited from positive reviews while popular or well known authors were negatively impacted by negative reviews. Lesser-known authors benefited from negative reviews, in other words bad publicity actually boosted book sales.
- The New York Times Book Review, home page.
- The New York Times, October 10, 1896. Inaugural book review issue (announced on page 4, column 1)
- Interviews with senior editors and writers at the NYTBR, by Michael Orbach, The Knight News, Issue date: 2/8/07 Section: Knight Life
- "Are 'The New York Times' Book Reviews Fair?", Tell Me More
Tell Me More is a National Public Radio daytime interview show hosted by journalist Michel Martin. Tell Me More was first introduced in a novel way; it was made available online in December 2006 through an "open piloting" program called "Rough Cuts." Martin and the show's producers provided a...
, National Public Radio, August 20, 2010
- "Secret Workings Of ‘Times’ Book Review Exposed!", Choir, Feb 24, 2007