Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Greetings fellow consumers, bibliophiles, librarians, publishers, authors' representatives and publicists, health food retailers, book buyers and distributors, and all those whose interest, passion or business (maybe all three) includes health-related books!

Why would one even want help navigating the choppy (sometimes muddy) waters of books that fall in the very general area of health--this includes the health of the body and of the environment (and sometimes of society and its institutions)?

Precisely because health-related books are so important: readers and customers rely on these books to improve their lives, enrich their perspectives, optimize their health and help fend off disease (as part of a larger program of proper eating and exercise), and to improve the health of the planet.

Where does Health Books Navigator come in, then?

Well, I am a published health book author, a former health book editor for such houses as Plenum/Human Sciences Press and Appleton & Lange/Prentice Hall, the former longtime editor-in-chief of Better Nutrition magazine (from 1995 to 2002) and now the editor of an anti-aging medical journal.

A former managing editor of the American Journal of Surgery and the American Journal of Medicine, I'm a health journalist who's been published in a variety of consumer health and natural products industry trade magazines since 2002, and am on the boards of both Citizens for Health and the Natural Health Research Institute (NHRI).

A current member in good standing of the National Book Critics Circle, I was also a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly from 1993 through 1998 (for the Forecasts review section). I have been a member of the Horror Writers Association and helped develop the writers guidebook, Writing Horror for Writer's Digest Books. I am also a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

How Publishers Weekly approaches books is how I and my fellow reviewers will, as well. We will selectively review only those books which we believe are, at minimum, good and noteworthy (and perhaps much better even than that)--meaning that if we don't review a certain book it is because it either did not cross our desks, was not new and noteworthy enough from our perspective or it did not approach health from an especially progressive or enlightened viewpoint. Translation: we will not waste your time (our ours) "trashing" books.

So there you have it--we're off to an exciting start!
Publishers, authors' publicists and representatives: please put me on your lists of reviewers to whom advance copies of books and requests for comment are sent. Please mail advance and/or review copies to:
James J. Gormley
Health Books Navigator
c/o PCE, Inc.
377 Park Avenue
6th Floor
New York, NY 10016

James J. Gormley

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