Review & Interview Policies

Updated: September 2015

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- or independently published books that are not available in at least 5 public library systems. 
  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 (see also #6 above).

The Rationale

The Reading Tub is a 501(c)(3) for family literacy.
Our review model is different.
We walk our talk.

Parents and caregivers need to read with children,
so the books we receive are read with the target audience.

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; just 1% in 2014]

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 accept 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.

Acceptable Formats and Genres

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 skilled, successful and 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 still will not accept PDF or other electronic versions of picture books. That includes picture book Apps.
  • We will consider 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 will accept audio books on a case-by-case basis.
  • The book must be on the market at least nine months. Our review model doesn’t work well with books that are getting buzz “now.” Our books are matched to audience interests and reading level. Making that match takes time. Authors and publishers patient enough to wait for reviews enjoy the “second life” that comes with reviews that come a little later.
  • We no longer accept middle grade or young adult fantasy. Our reviewers are still crying “uncle” after the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games effects. We need to mix it up a little more for the reviewers.
  • We will only accept independently published and self-published books if they are (a) widely available; and (b) in at least five (5) library systems.  I really agonized over this, because we have found some wonderful, enjoyable stories among authors who self and independently 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. When books aren’t on library shelves and/or cannot be placed with readers because of quality (typos, grammar) and niche topics, we cannot accomplish our primary mission.

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.

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.

Alternative to a Review

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).

Official Notices


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

  • minimize the need to request donations via fundraising campaigns;
  • give donors the confidence of knowing their contribution directly supports family literacy.

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.