If only everyone who wrote poems bought them too. But here I want to make a different plea - if only people who read small-press publications (especially poetry) reviewed them too. By "review" I include little write-ups in a blog as well as printed articles.
Even if only a few per cent of people put their reviews online, the reader/writer balance would change, and small-press publications would receive more attention. On-line magazines tend not to have a reviews section, and the paper-based literary magazines that do print reviews (Acumen, for example) don't put them online.
When I put write-ups online nowadays I try to add links to online reviews. It's disappointing how few there are, even for publications by bigger presses (e.g. Bloodaxe). And quite often the personal reviews are full of praise. Some bloggers do take this side of things seriously, writing about books they don't like as well as those they do, using "review" as a blog keyword so that the reviews can easily be found. And there are review sites where a small group of people post reviews. Here's a list of sites worth a look if you want to find reviews of UK small-press pamphlets and books - contributions welcomed
- Litrefs reviews (my site)
- Sphinx (poetry pamphlets)
- David Hebblethwaite
- Adrian Slatcher
- Jim Murdoch
- Frances Spurrier
- The Short Review (short story collections)
- Sabotage pamphlet reviews
- Stride Magazine
- Horizon Review
- Poetry Matters
Charles E. May's recent blog post on why he didn't review Valerie Trueblood's book makes interesting reading.