I wanted to do a book review for a journal. I enquired the editor whether a book review for the journal is commissioned by the editor or anyone can write. He answered anyone can write and included the following in the mail.

We normally invite authors to do the review of the book that we receive at the office.

Could you name the book you want to review?

Best wishes

I am highly confused by what he meant 'the book that we receive at the office'. This is a Taylor and Francis journal.

  • 3
    The journal gets sent free copies of new books by the publishers, based on the content of the journal. If you want to review one of those, you suggest yourself. The problem seems to be knowing just which books they may have received...
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 13:52
  • @JonCuster: Thanks for the prompt reply. Ya, I don't know how to find out the books the journal might have received. Any suggestion on how to figure it out?
    – Coventry
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 13:54
  • 1
    If you know the topics of the journal, and follow announcements (or get sent them) of new books from publishers of those topics, chances are you could hit on a few fairly easily.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 13:56
  • @Anyon: I checked. The journal does not have books received section.
    – Coventry
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


To me, the statement:

We normally invite authors to do the review of the book that we receive at the office.

sounds like a commissioned review, in the sense that the journal/editor is inviting relevant authors to review a particular book when they receive it (presumably promotional copies distributed by the publisher to generate interest in purchase).

I'd interpret this as saying that receiving unsolicited submissions of reviews is not the typical way they do things, even if the email did say it happens.

That said, the text you quoted is not grammatical, so it's likely the email was either written hastily or by someone who is not a native English writer, so it may not be fruitful to closely analyze every particular statement for deep meaning.

You could ask for clarification, but it probably makes more sense to just follow the directions given to you: if you want to review a book, let the editor know which book it is you'd like to review. They'll go from there and let you know if they're interested or not.


One way to do book marketing is to send books (or more commonly, catalogues, since sending books is expensive) to journals and ask them if they want to review it. This is probably what the editor is referring to, and "the office" is his or her office at their institution (as opposed to the local Taylor and Francis office).

You could ask them for an electronic catalogue, the name(s) of the publisher they are in contact with (and you will search the publisher's website yourself), or you can just name the book you want to review and see if they have it.

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