Review & Interview Policies

Updated: 1 January 2011

The Nuts and Bolts

  1. We read every book send to us.
  2. We do not guarantee a review.
  3. We read children’s and young adult books (infant to age 13).
  4. We do not accept manuscripts or galleys. We will consider finished eBooks for middle grade and YA ONLY on a case-by-case basis.
  5. We do not accept self-published books for review (read below for how we define self-published).
  6. We do not host giveaways.
  7. We consider all requests for interviews from authors, illustrators, publishers, and publicists here and on our website.
  8. We love to talk about books, literacy, and reading.
  9. We do not participate in blog tours to promote individual books or authors.

The Rationale

Before going on, it is worth your time to read Erin’s recommendations in this blog post on the Peachtree Publishers blog. She has excellent points on why you need to read this page to the end. Fellow bloggers, you may find Erin’s post about writing a review policy helpful, too. Here’s that post. You might also check out this article at the Book Publicity Blog. I’ve bookmarked it, but it is more useful shared!

We always want to learn about new books (or books that are new to us) and enjoy filling the Reading Tub with books that parents will love to share with their kids … especially undiscovered treasures.  Our goal is to promote reading, so literary quality and audience appeal are very important.

Most of the books reviewed at the Reading Tub website or on this blog came from the library or our personal collections; were submitted by a volunteer reviewer (who likely got it from the library); or were an unsolicited donation from an author, publisher, or publicist. We very rarely request books from an author or publisher – less than 10% each year. [Less than 5% in 2010]

The Reading Tub, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity. We are a 100% volunteer organization that encourages families to read together and gets books to readers-in-need: kids who don’t have books at home or students failing reading benchmarks for their grade. Book reviews help us introduce books, but promoting authors isn’t one of our goals. We accepting books primarily to get books to at-risk readers. When we finish reading the book, we place it with a sister public charity that works directly with readers-in-need or through one of our community programs, such as Use Your ABCs.

We believe that authors and publishers are in the best position to decide if donating a title to the Reading Tub is a good fit for their book.  We review books for children from infant through 13. Our audience is parents, teachers, librarians … essentially any adult interested in encouraging reading and helping a child become a lifelong reader.  Because we place the book with a family or in a classroom, our readers must be able to hold your book.  We require a copy suitable for review (market, review, or advance reader copy).  We do not accept unbound galleys.

  • We will accept a PDF or e-book version of a middle grade or young-adult book as long as we ALSO receive a hard copy (market, review, or ARC). This will allow us to do more with technology for those who have computer tools, but not leave out those who don’t.  We still will not accept PDF or other electronic versions of picture books.
  • We will accept audio books.
  • The book must be at least nine months old. Our review model doesn’t work well with books that are getting buzz. Our books are read WITH and/or BY the audience. That takes more time. Authors and publishers of brand-new books want reviewers to build or add to the buzz. Authors and publishers with older books understand the long-term value of reviews that come a little later.
  • We will no longer accept middle grade or young adult fantasy. Our reviewers are crying “uncle,” and we’ve barely made a dent the shelves bulging with teen fantasy adventure. We need to mix it up a little more for the reviewers.
  • We will no longer accept self-published books. This includes authors who created their publishing company to publish only their own works. I really agonized over this, because we have found some wonderful, enjoyable stories among authors who self publish. That said, we are using the public library more and more to tackle review requests. Our reviewers are located all over the country and books aren’t cheap to ship or have shipped back to us so we can get them to readers in need. Self-published books – and even titles from smaller presses – aren’t on library shelves and are otherwise difficult to place after we read them because of quality (typos, grammar) and niche topics. If your self-published book is in five library SYSTEMS, then we will consider reviewing it.

We read every book donated to us, but we do not guarantee a review. All of our profiles are done by kids and adults together (either as a family, in a classroom, library, etc.), and their comments influence whether/not we publish a review. We believe every book has at least one positive quality. That said, our goal is helping kids learn to read, and audience interest and quality (i.e., grammar and spelling, binding) are primary considerations. We have published reviews that don’t recommend that you borrow or buy a book, but they are not a significant part of the book bag.

As much as we love sharing books with kids and introducing our audience to new titles, we do not sponsor or host giveaways. Why? Books are expensive to ship. We want them going to the at-risk read people who need them. Two, our review model doesn’t offer the “quick turnaround” that publishers, publicists, and authors want for these types of events.

We have a program for conducting author interviews, and we will also consider guest posts on substantive literacy-related topics (not a book pitch).

When we accept a book, it is logged in our queue by title, audience, and keyword. Our process matches the book with an audience who is interested in the topic/theme. This means that it may take several months to a year to place a book for review. We do not have a set timetable, but we will contact the requester if we decide not to review your book or after we publish a review, whichever is appropriate.

If you decide to send a book to the Reading Tub, Inc. it is a donation to a public charity. Because we do not guarantee a service, the value of the book and the postage can be tax deductible.  If we review the book, we have provided a service in exchange for the book and the donation is no longer tax deductible.  If the book is not reviewed, it is tax deductible. When we finish reading a book, we donate it to a nonprofit organization.

Many of the books on the Reading Tub website are linked with a bookseller, including Amazon, Barefoot Books, and Tapestry Books. The links are provided for the purpose of offering you access to additional information about a book.

Neither the receipt of books – including those we request – nor the affiliate compensation will influence the content, topics, or posts on this blog or on our website.  All revenue generated from sales through affiliate venues is used strictly to keep the website and blog subscription free. We roll the funds back into operational costs: (i.e., hosting fees, website upgrades). These affiliate relationships also minimize the need to request donations via fundraising campaigns.

I am not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics as it relates to the Reading Tub, the Reading Tub website, Share a Story-Shape a Future, or this blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely those of the blog owner. We do not endorse products or services to ensure that there is no conflict of interest or risk our status as a public charity.

If you have any questions about our policy or would like more information, please visit the website or contact Terry at thereadingtub [at] gmail [dot] com.