In terms of rating any book, a reviewer has to divide responsibility for points made about the publication between the author and the press.
The author is responsible for the level of success shown in each poem as well as the collection, or the level of success in each story of the text of the book. At the same time, the response of the reviewer should be an honest reaction to the text. It is the author who must convince the reader that they have achieved their goal.
Over-arching the author responsibility is the press’s responsibility for editorial guidance, choice of font and paper, and the general layout of the book itself. There are times when the appearance of the physical book detracts from the text, ruining the author’s attempts to communicate their message. The choice of font, the layout of the book, the cover design – all of these can appear juvenile and detract from the effect of the book.
It is my belief, as an author and a publisher, that when a book or chapbook becomes a published title both the author and the press hold responsibility for their part in the creation of the title, just as they share responsibility for promotion of the book itself. This is true whether it is a book of poetry, fiction, a young person’s novel or a picture book for children.