Reviews are the commodity with which all self-publishing authors trade on. It makes our world go round and we depend heavily upon it to give us credibility and an SEO spot in the jungle that is Amazon.
Finding reviewers who are willing to review children’s picture books is like stumbling across a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! As they are becoming lesser by the numbers, it is harder to request for one’s book to be accepted. It is even harder to find reviewers who are willing to accept unsolicited submissions. These reviewers are also getting inundated with requests as their pile of books increases quicker than they can read.
There are however, a few out there that are still active in the reviewing game. I thank them every day for existing and providing this ever so important service to us. Here are three of my favourite blogs that specialise in reviewing children’s picture books and that are currently accepting requests and /or submissions.
THE PICTURE BOOK REVIEW
With over 85,000 views on her blog, Tiffa runs a comprehensive review site. A SAHM, Tiffa reads to her two sons so frequently, she got rid of their television and have since enjoyed literally thousands of books together. The site also features favourites and top ten lists and she also blogs a summary of books she has read. This is usually followed through with a full book review if she deems it worthy.
Some of the links and images in the posts are AMAZON AFFILIATE links and others are INDIEBOUND AFFILIATE links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. This goes to fund my family’s picture book habit. It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.
As of January 1, 2015: I happily accept picture books for review. If we love the book, I’ll write a review about it. I accept physical copies only — ARCs, galleys, etc. are fine — it just needs to be something I can sit down and read with my family.
Music to our ears Tiffa!
BONNIE FERRANTE – BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
Bonnie is a retired grade school teacher of thirty-three years, teacher librarian and a traditionally published writer. She currently focusses on reviewing picture books and she has a great love of reading to/with children and writing for children.
Bonnie’s reviews are opinionated, backed up by comprehensive details about the book. She has no qualms in giving a low rating review and will post it on her blog. I admire her courage when most prefer not to post bad reviews. She is however not brutal and reviews are written professionally offering helpful criticism. Although she mentions she won’t post a review that is under 3 thumbs up, I have seen a 2 thumbs up review on her blog!
Here is her rating system:
5 thumbs up – Fabulous
4 thumbs up – Very Good
3 thumbs up – Okay
2 thumbs up – Needs Work
1 thumb up – Yuk!
Review Policy (part thereof):
• If you submit a paperback copy, it will be reviewed first. Ask for my postal address.
• Or send a copy of the book in the body of the email. I will not open attachments. Send to b.ferrante at tbaytel dot net. Please put “request for review” in the subject line
• If you do not send a paperback copy of your book, I will still accept a pdf or mobi copy, but it will go to the bottom of the list.
• NOTE: You must be a follower to submit.
Included with this is a list of questions that needs to accompany the submission. Make sure to follow all her instructions precisely. Check it out here.
CHILDREN’S ILLUSTRATED PICTURE EBOOK REVIEW
Valerie Harmon is a writer, English teacher, play director, and editor. She is the author of the wantstobe children’s book series of which her first six books have hit NUMBER 1 BEST SELLER in category on Amazon Kindle. She maintains a blog whereby she reviews picture eBooks. She believes that illustrated eBooks are a niche and is now a reality however they can be hit and miss in terms of quality. It is her aim to highlight the best children’s picture e-books and do her part to lift the quality within the niche.
This is the rating system she uses:
5 Stars – The best book she’s read in a long time.
4 Stars – A great read, but not the best she’s read in a long time.
3 Stars – A decent book. She’d recommend it but there were a few flaws (storyline issues, distracting typos, average illustrations).
2 stars and under – She does not write reviews under 3 stars.
She rates specifically on illustrations, cover and storyline with a total score rating.
1) Valerie will ONLY review fully-illustrated children’s picture e-books. PLEASE do not ask her to review books from any other genre.
2) Please submit following these submission guidelines:
• In the subject line of your email type: Children’s Book Review
• Attach your book to the email in .mobi or .pdf format. Or link to it for free on Amazon.
• Within the email make a formal review request by asking Valerie to review the children’s picture e-book and add a list of links to the website, GoodReads book and author/illustrator pages, Amazon book and author/illustrator pages, and Facebook page (for your book/author, not personal). Add a one paragraph biography about the author and illustrator.
• Submit it to valjeanh [at] gmail [dot]com, and then wait. Depending on Valerie’s backlog, it may take a week or two (or more).
3) These are Valerie’s rules of reviewing;
• She is under no obligation to review your book.
• She reviews it for free. In exchange for the e-book, she gives a fair and honest review, and will not be paid for it.
• She will NOT review a book that she feels rates below a 3. Please remember literature is subjective. Valerie will rate the book according to her opinion. If she can’t get into it, believes the book needs work, and/or is not eligible for a 3-star rating or higher, she is not required to write a review.You may agree or disagree, but remember, in submitting your book you are asking for her opinion.
• Valerie might review the book, if it’s 3 stars or more, on this blog. If she REALLY likes it, she may also review it on Amazon, The Kindle Book Review, GoodReads and Facebook. But she is not committed to so–it depends on how enthusiastic she feels about your book, and how much time she has.
• If your book is about farting or burping, Valerie is not interested in reading it or reviewing it.
Good luck fellow children’s picture book self-publishers! Let’s support them in any way we can as they provide a wonderful service in this highly competitive market.