Editors on Reviewing: SubTerrain

Editor: Brian Kaufman

Pay: $50 for a single-title review

Approach to reviewing, as per Brian Kauffman, Editor:

Reviews aren’t usually assigned, but there are exceptions. If we have a particular theme issue that certain books tie into, for example, or we know that a reviewer is the perfect match for a title that comes in, we’ll sometimes go ahead and assign the reviews ahead of time. Otherwise, it’s a very organic process. Reviewers come in and peruse the selection of available titles and select ones that interest them. With our more experienced/longtime reviewers, they often know what’s coming and can request a specific book and we’ll set it aside for them.

Many of our reviewers are members of SubTerrain’s editorial collective, but we welcome pitches or expressions of interest from any and all writers. SubTerrain has often given interns and practicum students their first publication credit through a review. Good writing, a curious mind, and a certain amount of reliability in terms of deadlines are the only considerations—gender and/or race aren’t really on our radar in terms of choosing reviewers. We do try to pay attention to gender parity in terms of the books being reviewed, but we don’t usually track it in a formal sense. Another thing that’s important to us is ensuring that plenty of our reviews are of titles from small, independent presses.

We do pay our reviewers—it’s usually $50, unless it’s a larger feature review or an omnibus. We think it’s important, even if the sum isn’t huge, to pay all of our contributors. It’s a sign of good faith, of the belief that the work they do deserves remuneration, and of just general decency.

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