What we do

Reviews are the lifeblood of publicity. This section just covers print reviews, in magazines/newspapers/journals.

One or two reviews are unlikely to make any difference to sales, but cumulatively they can add up, increasing your profile. Last year we offered 5,500 copies, and had 1,500 print reviews.

The number of print books we send out, and digital review copies

We haven’t put a limit on review copies in the past, but with “professional” reviews becoming less important than reader reviews and feedback, online reviews now more important than print, we have had to cap the number of print copies being sent out for review at 15. We do not have a limit on digital review copies, PDF or EPUB (please note that the EPUB will not be available until a few weeks before publication date; you will find it in the ebook section of your Production page, see below).


The default will be a EPUB, even if you add a request for a hard copy. We realise the offices of national press, TV stations etc. tend to want printed copies, and we do send printed books, if the media themselves ask, but we never send on spec. To all other contacts we will send a PDF and will offer them the option of a hard copy or EPUB if they prefer. More on how to send out digital review copies below.

Who we send them to

To anyone who requests one. We do not send them “blind,” as a rule. Apart from:

Which trade journals will my book be submitted to?

We submit qualifying titles for review to the trade journals Publishers Weekly & Booklife, Library Journal, School Library Journal, American Libraries Association’s Booklist and Kirkus Reviews in the USA and The Bookseller in the UK.

Publishers Weekly: all new titles. Titles with other contracts are submitted to PW’s sister review journal for indie publishers, Booklife.

Library Journal: new academic titles or ones for mainstream general libraries for US readers – adult.

Booklist( American Libraries Assoc): new academic titles or ones for mainstream general libraries for US readers of all ages.

Kirkus Reviews: new adult hardcover or original trade-paperback fiction, general-audience nonfiction and children’s and young adult books suited to US readers.

The Bookseller: all new titles are submitted for featuring in the Preview sections of this UK trade magazine.

If you see that your title has been submitted for review in a particular trade journal, please follow the guidelines on the Contact page for the journal to follow its progress.

This article posted back in 2011 has some good points: http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2011/04/how-to-get-your-book-reviewed-by-avoiding-book-reviewers/.

Novelist Florence Osmund also makes some good points on reviewing http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2015/09/florence-osmund/

What you can do

Reviews are important but how to get them is a question most authors ask. It does depend on genre and on the individual author and their standing in their market.

Starting from scratch is scary, and a first port of call is you own community, your friends, family and colleagues.

Sending review copies to individuals

If there are key individuals whose approval of the book you think could make a difference to sales, it makes more sense to send them the manuscript earlier and ask if they can provide an endorsement. We can then use it on the book or in the marketing material.

If you are starting this from scratch, then your task is a hard one. But if you are planning on a writing career, then it is an important part of your own marketing.

Finally, keep your own spreadsheet of reviewers, identifying your ideal reader, by genre is important.

Reviewing another Crystal Peake title

Every author and user of our system can access a review copy of every title:

Tips for reviewing in general

Here are some more tips from the Huffington Post.