Review & Submission Policies
Policy updated as of August 2021
PLEASE NOTE: Effective 1 November 2016
We are not accepting books for review.
Yes, it is disappointing. We L-O-V-E to discover new books and authors. Our volunteer families read EVERY book we receive, and more than 300 new titles land on our doorstep every year. We don’t ask for these books, they come to us automatically from authors and publishers with whom we have worked over the last decade. Thank you for your understanding.
Submission and Partner Policies
Have an article you want to submit? We will not accept ANY articles that (a) link to for-profit websites; (b) are faux blogs of for-profit websites; or (c) not written by someone with the authority to speak on the topics of education, literacy, and reading. Including lists of resources about a subject is not the same as expertise. See also #10 below. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Want us to link to your product or service? We will not consider nor accept ANY products that (a) do not have a “forever free” option; or (b) do not have a direct correlation to building literacy skills. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Submission Policy: Short & Sweet
- We read every book sent to us.
- We love talking about books, literacy, and reading.
- We do not guarantee a review nor do we attempt to meet requester deadlines.
- We read children’s and young adult books (infant to age 13).
- We do not accept manuscripts or galleys. We will consider finished eBooks for middle grade and YA ONLY (case-by-case basis).
- We do not accept self- or independently published books that are not available in at least 5 public library systems.
- We do not charge for reviews.
- Our goal is literacy, not book promotion. We do not share book launch news nor host giveaways, author interviews, or blog tours for new books.
- We do not participate in blog tours.
- We do not accept advertising or ”guest” blog posts that (a) do not relate directly to literacy; (b) link to for-profit websites; and/or (c) double as product promotion.
Last but not least, if you want us to review your book, do NOT include everyone else’s reviews in your pitch. If you want us to read it, then give us the opportunity to offer our own opinion. It’s a sign of respect.
The Reading Tub is a 501(c)(3) for family literacy. Reading is a public commodity. We do not believe that anyone should have to pay extra to build, or help others build, those skills.
We walk the talk.
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 grades. Book reviews help us introduce books to readers and their families, but promoting authors isn’t our mission.
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.
Our review model is different.
Our goal is to promote reading, so literary quality and audience appeal are very important. Our process takes time. Parents and caregivers need to read with children, so the books we receive are shared with the target audience.
Most of the books reviewed on the Reading Tub website 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 do not request books for review.
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 do not accept PDF or other electronic versions of picture books or books with illustrated content. This includes 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 audiobooks on a case-by-case basis.
- The book must be on the market for at least nine months OR you must be willing to wait longer than a few months for a review. 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 are patient enough to wait for reviews to 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.
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 to help 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 into 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. Should we review your 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.
All revenue generated from sales through affiliate venues is used strictly to keep the website free. Every penny. We roll the funds back into operational costs: hosting fees, website upgrades. By maintaining these affiliate relationships the Reading Tub
- gives donors the confidence of knowing their contribution directly supports family literacy; and
- minimizes the need to request donations via fundraising campaigns.
Neither the unsolicited receipt of books from authors, publishers, and publicists nor the affiliate compensation influence the content, topics, or posts on this website.
I am not compensated for providing opinions 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 our social media channels. The views and opinions expressed are those of the person reading the book or writing the blog article. 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 contact Terry.Doherty [at] thereadingtub [dot] org.