PLEASE NOTE: I am not a book reviewer. I am a web designer who works with authors. Please don’t send me requests to review your book as I’ll have to turn them down.
Anyone who has written a book will tell you that it can be nearly impossible to get a “holy grail” review (ie: Oprah or the NYT), but when you’re self publishing, especially when it’s your first book, how do you get started? You know you want to add book reviews or blurbs to your author website, but where do you even begin?
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of book publishing, or just starting out — represented by a big publishing house or representing yourself — here are some great resources for getting your book reviewed.
Luckily, there are lots of great websites out there dedicated to reviewing books (and occasionally author interviews) & you’re just an email away from submitting your book for their consideration.
NOTE: I’ve started a new regular feature on the blog called “Ask a Reviewer” where some of the editors of the blogs/journals/podcasts mentioned here tell us what their biggest do’s and don’ts are when it comes to getting your book reviewed.
This is a short list of what’s available, and certainly not a comprehensive list, but here are some great sites to help get you started:
- Arm Chair Interviews – book reviews, author interviews & awards
- Best Books Reviewed – book reviews & online book club
- Blog Critics – book reviews, reader comments & news
- Blogging Authors – book synopsis fed to news sites
- Book Ideas – book reviews
- Book Reporter – book reviews, awards, news, contests, blog, book clubs & featured authors
- Book Slut – book reviews, author interviews & related articles
- Compulsive Reader – book reviews, news, & author interviews
- Dear Reader – book reviews, book clubs, blog, library services, forum
- Meta Psychology – book reviews & blog
- Midwest Book Review -book reviews & resources
- Mostly Fiction – fiction book reviews & author interviews
- My Shelf – book reviews & author interviews
- New Pages – book reviews, blog, news, information & guides for publishers, booksellers & literary journalists
- Once Written – book reviews, author interviews, contests, & discussion forum
- Small Press Reviews – book reviews of books from small and independent presses
I’ve also created another list of review blogs in my post about long term book promotion.
Be sure to follow their submission guidelines, and target the ones that you think will benefit you the most (eg: it’s your niche audience).
If you are interviewed or featured on a blog, be sure to offer a free book as a giveaway to their visitors! Then blog/tweet/facebook a link to it with a thank you – that way both you and the blog owner get a benefit.
And don’t confine yourself to the written word, often your book can be featured in a podcast – here are a series of podcasts related to book reviews & here’s another one! And here’s a site that is a compilation of podcast directories you can search through, or, use to find places to list your own podcast for free. If you’re not finding what you want in the aggregators, here’s a list of specific book review podcasts:
- Fascinating Authors
- ABC Book Reviews
- Foreward Thinking (business & motivational)
- Just One More Book (kids)
- Science Fiction Book Review Podcast
If you are interviewed on a podcast, be sure to offer a free book as a giveaway to listeners.
And don’t forget about your local public radio station(s) – they love to support local talent, so get in touch and ask about book reviews.
In addition to the above-mentioned websites/blogs, both libraries and bookstore buyers also base ordering decisions on the following journals:
- American Library Association
- Book Page
- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
- Choice – academic libraries
- ForeWord Magazine – independently published
- The Horn Book – children’s and young adult titles
- Kirkus Reviews
- Library Journal
- Publisher’s Weekly – must be in book stores
- School Library Journal – children’s and young adult titles
- Science Books & Films – science-based books
Libdex – Check this comprehensive list for even more available journals.
Make sure when you get a review that you include a short snippet of it on your website, link to the full version, and ask the reviewer to link back to your site in the review. Many times book websites tend to have a page that compiles all reviews together on one page, and that can sometimes be useful for the press, but most “ordinary” people don’t often visit those pages — you’re better off sprinkling key review snippets throughout your site. If you want to compile all reviews and make them available to the press, then create a PDF document and make it available for download on your website’s Press page.
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Kate McMillan creates websites for authors, small businesses & nonprofit organizations that are clean, easy-to-use, and goal-oriented so that her clients have a successful platform to support what they love to do.
With more than a decade of experience, Kate not only creates beautiful, easy-to-use, fresh designs, but also helps you make strategic decisions about your whole web presence, soup to nuts.
If you're interested in talking with Kate about your project, get in touch with her to schedule a chat.