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The Submission Mission: IDEA #1 FOR SUMMER
Contributor
Written by
Anna Leahy
July 2011
Contributor
Written by
Anna Leahy
July 2011

Idea #1 for Summer: BOOK REVIEWS

One way to get some publications under your belt while you’re finishing your novel or waiting for the responses to your poems from journals is to write book reviews. Here are some of the advantages:

  • If you review a book, you have to read it. That keeps you engaged with what’s being published right now and, therefore, allows you to understand the literary context your own creative work is entering.
  • If you’re going to read a newly published or forthcoming book anyway, why not get a publication out of that reading time?
  • Reviews allow you to “meet” other writers through their work and to “meet” readers who listen to what you have to say. Sometimes, this meeting will lead to email exchanges, Facebook friendships, or other connections.
  • Reviews are short, often just 500 words. That’s just a couple of double-spaced pages. It’s not easy, but it really doesn’t take that long to write a good book review. The more reviews you write, the less time the writing takes. (Of course, there’s the reading time.)
  • Reviews are often easier to place than stories or poems, and responses from book review editors are often quicker (and sometimes lead to requests for more reviews).

During the live chat, several possible venues for book reviews were mentioned. Here’s a list of ten places that publish book reviews, but there are plenty more. (The links are live, but I thought you might want to see the urls.) Feel free to add suggestions in the comments.

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Comments
  • Anna Leahy

    Tania, yes, if you're doing reading diaries anyway, why not see if a couple might become more formal publications? Blogging is important, but it's not either/or. Keep us posted if you pursue your idea.

  • Great practical list--thanks Anna.

    I had started doing some informal "reading diaries" of books by the women attending the retreat I'll be going to this summer and posting them to my She Writes blog and Feral Mom, Feral Writer where I otherwise blog; I see that I could stand to stretch my thinking a little and consider querying and placing those reviews (revising them with an eye towards formal review).

  • Anna Leahy

    Monette, join us next time! This group is generating a lot of encouragement and specific strategies.

  • Sure wish I had attended this session!  I think submitting is the hardest thing to do right.  I am hoping to put together a submission session for writers in my area, so am glad to pick up all the tips I can find.