Book Reviews

Searching for Fire is my first book I wrote. Sometimes I feel like quite the rookie trying to navigate all the ins and outs of the publishing world. There are a few things I learned that I wished I knew before starting the process.

One thing to consider is the importance of professional reviews. You must have professional reviews to even be considered for most physical bookstores or libraries. In addition, I was not aware until this week that several professional review companies require you to submit your manuscript prior to publication for a review. Dang….missed that. The good news is that there are other professional review opportunities and I’ll list them briefly here:

Clarion and BlueInk offer a 2-for-1 review package at $695.

Kirkus offers a review as well at $425.

Midwest Book Review will set you up with a reviewer. You email Midwest Book Review and they send you the reviewer name. You send 2 copies of the book to the reviewer and the fee is about $50.

The Washington Post says that they do book reviews as well. Just mail them a copy of the book with a cover letter. also does book reviews and requires a copy of the book and a cover letter as well.

I also spoke to my sister who works at a library and she recommended The Library Journal but you must submit your manuscript for this one prior to publication unless your book falls into a short list of book types such as a graphic novel.

One other unique area to consider submitting a book for review………..this one was suggested to me again by my sister at the library………….send a letter and book copy to O magazine or even Reese Witherspoon’s new book club, Hello Sunshine. These websites are hugely successful and a good recommendation from either one would be a major boost to any author’s aspirations.


Author: J. Speer

I like to write. I have 5 books currently on Amazon, mostly fiction. I try to write positive and uplifting children's stories, expressive poetry for women, and interesting articles about personal growth, alternative medicine, and spirituality. My stories are often about diverse people but with human connection in mind through inner perspective. I love my characters especially the ones from my first book, Searching for Fire. I moved recently to Vermont. I live in the North Country region near Lake Willoughby, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. My heart will always be with Kansas but I love travel and meeting new people with diverse perspectives on life. I have found Vermonters to have many admirable qualities like stoicism and a love and stewardship of nature. My hobbies are writing, gardening, outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, and hiking. I am an amateur herbalist. Many years ago, an alternative medicine doctor cured me of a respiratory illness by teaching me about vitamins and for that, I owe her a debt of gratitude. I recently bought a Jeep Wrangler that fits my personality and love for adventure. Associated with the military in my younger years, I have lived in Israel, Germany, and Virginia as well - all of which I loved in different ways. I thoroughly believe in the military spouse phrase, "bloom where you are planted" and endeavor to carry a positive optimism wherever I roam. Most days are good but admittedly I get down sometimes. I am prone to sadness or severe cynicism at times, so I turn to music as my consolation and source of expression or inspiration. My favorite songs currently are "How Deep is Your Love" by the Beegees, "La Vie en Rose", "A Million Dreams" or maybe Karen Carpenter singing "Close to You" or Elton John singing "Your Song." I also like "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" by Starship or "I'll Stand by You" by The Pretenders. "Faithfully" by Journey always reminds me of rollerskating with friends in the 1980s. My favorite quotes are from the Velveteen Rabbit, Steve Jobs, and this one..."To the caterpillar it was the end of the world, but to the butterfly it was merely a beautiful beginning." Or there is the quote from Peter Pan teaching Wendy..."What if I fall? But, oh my darling, what if you fly?" I also believe in being a pearl - graceful on the outside but full of grit and gratitude on the inside. My favorite women of the Bible are Ruth, Hannah, and Hagar. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Cheers, friend.

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