Chicago Sun-Times book critic David Montgomery explains why he doesn't review self-published books.
is not sufficiently high for the books to be given serious
consideration. This is not to say that all self-published fiction is
bad. The law of probability alone would indicate that at least some of
it must be readable. But the vast majority of it is not.
There are many reasons for this (e.g., self-published fiction has no
third-party vetting, most of it is not professionally edited, much of
it was already rejected by agents/editors for a variety of reason), but
the bottom line is that most self-published fiction just isn't very
He's right, and although he's only speaking for himself, he might as well be talking for the majority mainstream magazine and newspaper book reviewers out there.
Inexplicably, I keep getting emails from publicists and vanity presses to review their self-published authors….even though a) I am not a book reviewer and b) I am a harsh critic of self-publishing in general and vanity presses in particular.