Infrequently Asked Questions

  1. Do you actually read all those books?
    How do you manage that?
  2. How did you start writing reviews?
  3. What are your qualifications?
  4. Do you get paid to do this?
  5. Can I advertise on this site?
  6. How do you decide what to review?
  7. Where else are your reviews published? How popular are they?
  8. What are other good book review sites?
  9. What's with the layout? Why are there no images?
  10. Who has helped you do this?
  11. Do you have a privacy policy?
  12. Do you have a guestbook?

  1. Do you actually read all those books? How do you manage that?

    Unless otherwise stated, my reviews are based on a full reading of the work in question. Reviews of encyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference works are based on selective reading and general use, usually over a period of a year or more; reviews of periodicals are based on at least a year's issues.

    I have chosen to work part-time (20 hours a week) so I have more time for other activities, reading and reviewing among them. I watch almost no television and listen to little music.

  2. How did you start writing reviews?

    I've written a brief history of ten years writing book reviews.

  3. What are your qualifications?

    None. Well, no formal ones that are relevant to most of my reading - I have an BSc (hons) in computer science, with mathematics and physics majors. More about me can be found on my home page.

  4. Do you get paid to do this?

    I won't be giving up my day job anytime soon, but income from my web sites covers my hosting costs and my book buying.

    • I sell books as an associate of Amazon - if you buy books through that page, or the links in my reviews, I get a commission. I'm also an affilate of The Book Depository.
    • Some of my reviews have appeared in print, but only rarely for a fee. If you'd like to reprint any of them, please get in touch.
    • I make a tiny amount of money selling unwanted review copies.
    • I accept

    I would be interested in site sponsorship offers from publishers, booksellers, magazines, or other book-related organisations.

  5. Can I advertise on this site?

    If you have some really spectacular proposal I might be open to it, but I haven't run advertising on this site and am not really keen on the idea.

  6. How do you decide what to review?

    My motivations for writing reviews are various and what I read depends very much on what grabs my fancy when browsing bookshops or publishers' catalogues. I do like being able to obtain review copies of books from (some) publishers, but I only read and review the books that I want to.

  7. Where else are your reviews published? How popular are your reviews? What awards has this site received?

    As well as being published on this web site, my reviews are posted to appropriate mailing lists and Usenet newsgroups; a few have appeared in print journals. An RSS headline feed is available at http://dannyreviews.com/rss.xml

    In 2002 this site saw 2.4 million page views by perhaps 900 000 people (excluding robots and other automated accesses as far as is possible). My two mailing lists have about 1300 subscribers between them.

    My reviews are archived by the National Library of Australia as part of Pandora.

  8. What are other good book review sites?

    I maintain a separate page of book review sites and sources.

  9. What's with the layout? Why are there no images?

    I design web sites to communicate as effectively as possible, not to look glitzy, and on a site like this text is much more important than images. The complete omission of images was an accident originally, but is now deliberate - a demonstration that an effective image-free site is possible.

    If you have any suggestions for improving the usability or effectiveness of this site, please let me know.

    My reviews were distributed by ftp and email before they were ever available on the web and the email versions are still the "base", with the web versions and indices generated from them by Python scripts. (These are pretty ugly and have lots of stuff hard-coded, but if you want it I will send you the source code; I am an ardent free software advocate.) The key to this is the the machine-readable bibliographic information at the end of each review, in slightly modified "refer" format.

  10. Who has helped you do this?

    Many people have contributed to my book reviews and this web site over the years. Notable design and layout advice has come from settext guru Ian Feldman and hypertext expert Jorn Barger, a fellow proponent of "content-centred web design". Mark Lauer has corrected (too) many spelling and grammar mistakes. And my most reliable intellectual critic has been Cameron Laird, who has a knack for suggesting small but effective additions.

  11. Do you have a privacy policy?

    This site doesn't use cookies or images. I collect standard server logs, but use them only to track trends and find interesting referring pages.

  12. Do you have a guestbook?

    I don't have a guestbook on this site, but you email is always welcome and you can leave public comments on my Facebook page Danny Yee's Book Reviews or via Twitter.