Book Preview is a new publication, under the editorship of David Elliott, offering “thorough and uncompromising” verdicts on key books two to three months ahead of publication, reviewing about a hundred (half of them fiction) in each issue. The expertise of more than 50 reviewers has been assembled from amongst “book trade professionals” whose independence and impartiality of judgement might therefore be questionnable. Be that as it may it is unfortunate that reviewers' identities have not been disclosed and that reviews are unsigned. The publisher is Book Preview Ltd, 10 Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4PH, but J. Whitaker and Sons Ltd, 12 Dyott Street, London WC1A 1DF has taken on the marketing and distribution, a possible indication of reliability, but clearly the guide's success will depend to some extent on which publishers, and how many, co‐operate by sending review copies. It must be seen substantially to cover the market. The subscription cost for ten issues is £98 in the UK from either of the addresses quoted above. A specimen copy will be sent on request. The reviews in the copy I have seen run from 250 to 500 words and disclose the plots or content in much the same way as would a publisher's blurb. There is, however, addition of a definite opinion from someone who has read the book and is neither its author nor publisher. How far it is worth the subscription price to have this previewed opinion on a total of 1,000 books each year and its possible help in book selection is for each librarian to judge.
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