Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Updated List of Nonfiction Book Reviewers

Where do you send copies of adult nonfiction books for review? (Many of these places also review fiction.) I decided to blog this process to save other authors time, since these reviewers change policies, consolidate, and otherwise change over time. Old lists may be dated.

Why send books out to these reviewers?

1) You can use the review in your online press information and various other places.

2) Some submit their reviews to other review sites, giving you links and recommendations from many other sites. (Example: Dead Trees Review sends the review to 17 review sites, including Amazon.com.)

3) Since many of these people review many books and put their reviews on Amazon, Amazon ranks them highly as reviewers. (For example: one prides himself on being a top 500 Amazon reviewer. This not only means that he's reviewed a lot of books, but additionally that many people checked that his reviews were helpful.) I assume that if a top Amazon reviewer positively reviewed my book, that this would figure into how highly Amazon would rank my book in a search.

Three months prior to publication, I sent galleys to each of these reviewers after reading each of their sites to make sure I knew what each expected (e.g., some want two copies, some want them sent to a specific person, some tell how to contact them to make sure they received copies). I got this list by comparing recommendations from books such as Kremer's 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, and Bowerman's The Well-Fed Self-Publisher. Unfortunately for small publishers and self-publishers, from what I read, these tend to review only books by major publishers. But the payoff can be so great, I went ahead and sent galleys.

Booklist (American Library Association)
ForeWord Magazine
Kirkus Reviews
Library Journal
Publishers Weekly
SLJ Book Review (School Library Journal)
New York Times
LA Times

After publication, I'm e-mailing the following review companies to see if they will review my book. Basically, I went through the list of "Other Reviewers" at MidWest Book Review, which claimed to list the best of the reviewers (140 of them). It took a couple of weeks to visit each site, see what kinds of reviews they did, and narrow it down to about 25 reviewers appropriate for my book. Each site tells how to submit.

I took a list of 140 reviewers and culled it down to 25 worth submitting to. Another list of 32 reviewers yielded me only two potential reviewers.

I eliminated those reviewers who:
  • reviewed only fiction
  • were apparently no longer in business
  • would only review for money
  • wouldn't review American books
  • reviewed only books by major publishers
Reviewers appropriate for my book (a nonfiction book from a small publisher in the USA)
Good lists of links to reviewers

http://www.midwestbookreview.com/links/othr_rev.htm - Midwest Book Review's list of other reviewers. This is the list of 140 reviewers that I culled from.

http://www.aldaily.com/#bookreviews - Links to Big-time reviewers like the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/tela/ - Big-time newspapers that review books.

http://www.newpages.com/NPGuides/reviews.htm - List of reviewers from Newpages.

http://www.dirk-wyle.com/newsl.htm - Short list of one reviewer's favorite review sites.

Wikipedia Book Review Magazines

Niche Book Reviewers

If your book falls in an area that may attract its own reviewers, search that in Google. For example, if your book is distinctively Christian, search "Christian Book Reviews" in Google to find many reviewers of Christian books. Similarly, some sites/publications may review only financial books or regional books. So search the topic of your book for book reviewers, such as "financial book reviews" or "scientific book reviews."

Other ideas on getting book reviews? Please comment below!