Tuesday 5 February 2013


Reviews on children’s 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. 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 sales.

Many librarians go by the ‘rule of 3.’ They will only purchase a book from the many listed in publishers’ catalogues 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 endless. 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 coup.

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, on a flier or on your website is an extra endorsement for your book
As an author, reading reviews of children’s 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 book’s 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 book’s publication date.
There are numerous magazines which review children’s book. Here some of the top ones:

BUZZ WORDS (THE LATEST BUZZ ON CHILDREN’S BOOKS) www.buzzwordsmagazine.com                                                                            This fortnightly online magazine publishes more reviews annually of children’s books than any other Australian publication. It has a voluntary reviewing staff, mostly freelance writers and children’s book authors.                      
Vicki Stanton, Compiler/Editor                                                                                           

Aussiereviews (http://www.aussiereviews.com) is an independently run, not for profit website which reviews Australian books of all genres, with a special focus on children’s and young adult titles. Reviews are written with a wide audience in mind, but many of its hits come from education-related hosts, suggesting that they are regularly read by educators and students. At present the site is averaging about 500 hits per day

The online website does review most books received, but stresses that receipt of a book does not guarantee a review – most reviews are written by the one reviewer, and so it is not possible to read and review every book published in a year. They are more likely to review a book if they first receive an email from the publisher (rather than the author) in the form of a media release, with details of how it can request a review copy. This allows it to select those titles it is most interested in. This contact between publisher and reviewer also removes the personal contact between reviewer and author which can make impartiality difficult. Review requests can be emailed to webmaster@aussiereviews.com


The official journal of the CBCA is a periodical called Reading Time. Published quarterly, its brief is to review all books for children and young adults published in Australia, many from New Zealand, as well as any other high quality international publications.
Dr John Cohen
PO Box 4062
Ashmont NSW 2650

Subtitled Talking about Books for Children, this magazine is available by subscription and is published five times a year. It has an online subject guide to children’s literature called The Source.
Rayma Turton
Email proprietor, James Turton: james@magpies.net.au
PO Box 7128
Leura NSW 2780
THE READING STACK                                                                                      The Reading Stack is an on-line book review magazine distributed monthly to a free subscriber based mailing list. Review titles can be sent to The Reading Stack, PO Box 142, Bulli NSW 2516. Because we have limited space and we only print reviews for books we recommend, we cannot guarantee a review. Review copies are donated to local schools and libraries but return can be arranged if sufficient postage is included. For further information email thereadingstack@people.net.au or visit the website www.thereadingstack.com
This is ‘the’ industry magazine subscribed to by most booksellers and publishers, and many others, including authors. It has a quarterly supplement JUNIOR BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER which has a wide readership.
Matthia Dempsey
PO Box 101
Port Melbourne Vic 3207

Pam Macintyre
PO Box 4286
The University of Melbourne,
Parkville  Vic  3052

Dr Gloria Latham
RMIT School of Education
Building 220,
Level 3, Room 02
Bundoora Vic  3083

The magazine for book lovers
Rowena Cseh
22 Booth Street
Balmain NSW 2041

Peter Rose
PO Box 2320
Richmond South Vic 3121

Ken Merrigan
Editor 'Education Age'
GPO Box 257C
Melbourne 3001

Tania McCartney
15 Nugent Close
NSW 2619

Don’t forget also to submit your review copy to the Education Editors of major newspapers, such as Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Canberra Times, Newcastle Herald and West Australian. 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 newspaper. You might also consider submitting copies of your book to writers’ centres around Australia for review in their newsletters.
AMAZON.COM:                                                                                             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 catalogue, correct information on your book’s page, and enhance your book’s detail page in many ways. You will also find the mailing address to submit information, as well as how to submit through the Internet.

Dianne (Di) Bates is the author of over 100 books, mostly for young people. Her website is www.enterprisingwords.com

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