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Getting Your Children's Book Reviewed
by Kathryn Lay
Reviews on childrens hardback picture books and
novels are important for many reasons but one of the most important is that it
gets your books noticed by school and public librarians. Hardback book sales are
not limited to libraries, but they are often the backbone that prepares the way
for purchases by children and parents, as well as future paperback
Many librarians go by the rule of 3. They will
only purchase a book from the many listed in publishers catalogs if they have
been reviewed at least three times. When your books are purchased for libraries,
the possibilities for school and library visits (and more sales) are
It is less important that the reviews are
positive or negative, more important that your book has been reviewed. A Starred
review or special mention beyond the basic listing of your book is even a bigger
Book reviews give your book an advantage to
perspective parent buyers. If you are planning to promote your book through
school programs and book signings, placing positive comments in reviews into
your promotion packet or on a flier is an extra endorsement for your
As an author, reading reviews of childrens
books is helpful even before your book is sold and published. It is a way to
find out what is liked, what is needed, or what is overdone. It is also a good
way to gain ideas for writing a short review of your book in your cover
letter, as well as a jacket blurb if you are asked to provide one.
Since most print review publications print their
reviews the quarter or month of a books publication, your book must be sent to
the reviewer ahead of time. Some review sources must be done through your
publisher, while others will accept books from authors. Check websites or call
for information well ahead of your books publication date.
There are many formats for childrens book
reviews. Here are 8 of the top ones:
This review magazine from the American Library
Association is a guide for school and public libraries. Nearly 4000 childrens
books are reviewed yearly. Booklist also includes articles on authors
and some detailed book reviews or essays. A star with the review indicates that
the work is considered outstanding in its genre by the reviewer.
THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE AND THE HORN BOOK
Magazine - Bimonthly. The Hornbook
Magazine is filled with reviews of the newest books, articles, and columns
about books. 400 books are reviewed annually. Check the web site for information
about how to send your books for review.
Guide The Guide is published in the Spring and
Fall, the two most important times for childrens book publishing. It provides
short, critical annotations of all hardcover trade childrens and young adult
books published in the
U.S. within a six-month period.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: http://www.bookwire.com/slj
Since 1954, The School Library Journal is one of
the top print resources for librarians who work with children and young adults.
Books reviewed by the School Library Journal must be readily available from
Check the website for detailed information on
how your publisher can get your book reviewed with SLJ.
The online mega-bookstore has become an
important tool for writers and publishers. Not only can book reviews from print
review magazines be placed on the site with your book, but readers can also
review and rate your book.For information on how to put your reviews on your
site, go to the Help menu at Amazon.com. From there click Send Email. In that
menu go to Author & Publisher Services. Here you can list your book in the
Amazon.com catalog, correct information on your books page, and enhance your
books detail page in many ways.
You will also find the mailing address to submit
information, as well as how to submit through the Internet.
BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDRENS
One of the leading childrens book review
journals for school and public librarians. The Bulletin tries to review books
one month before publication date. The reviews may include stars. They also
give Blue Ribbon awards. The online version keeps archives of reviews,
features, and awards.
At the online site, click Review Guidelines for
information on getting your book reviewed.
Kirkus is published semi-monthly and
reviews approximately 4500 books a year. It is an important and respected review
source for books.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: http://www.publishersweekly.com/
Publishers Weekly provides two large
issues in the Spring and Fall devoted to the new childrens books offered that
season. The issue is sectioned according to publishers who provide book cover
photos and information on their new books. A forecast of future books for the
next season is given, as well as more in-depth reviews on some of the books
listed that season.
Look at Forecast Submission Guidelines on
CHILDRENS LITERATURE: http://www.childrenslit.com/news.htm
Monthly newsletter with 50 or more reviews of
recent childrens books. Receives 3000 books annually. Each month is grouped in
themes. A list of the 2000 themes can be found on the website.
And, dont forget your local reviewers. Local
newspapers and magazines can help you promote the word about your book,
especially in your area. Many times a review may be picked up by another
© Copyright 2003, Kathryn Lay
Kathryn Lay is the author of 26 books for children, over 2000 articles, essays and stories for children and adults and the book from AWOC.COM Publishing, The Organized Writer is a Selling Writer. Check out her website at www.kathrynlay.com and email through firstname.lastname@example.org
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