Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


May 1, 2023
Frequently asked questions about submitting your BookLife project for consideration for a Publishers Weekly review.

What books are eligible for review?

Any book published by an individual creator that is available, or about to be available, for purchase in the United States is eligible for review.

Do you accept E-books?

Yes. We review books in all formats.  However, in order for us to review your e-book, you must provide us with a free copy. You can upload a .pdf or .epub version; or you can provide a link to any other version as long you provide us the password or DRM code to access it for free. There should be no sign in required for the download even if it’s free. For example a free Kindle edition will not work because it requires Amazon sign in. If we cannot access your book for free, your book will not be reviewed. 

Do I have to pay anything for my book to be considered for review?

No. There is no fee of any kind associated with BookLife registration or with submitting a book for review.

How do I submit my book for review consideration?

Once you register with BookLife, you’ll be able to submit your book for review consideration using BookLife’s submission tool.

Can I buy a review?

No. All books are considered solely on merit.

Can I submit more than one book for review?


How does the reviewing process work?

PW’s reviews staff considers a number of factors when deciding whether or not to review a book. Quality of writing, production value, originality of ideas, platform and expertise of the author, and a book’s overall uniqueness are some of what an editor takes into account. Editors use the same criteria for evaluating BookLife entries that they have always used for considering books from major publishers. To increase your chances of receiving a review, we encourage you to use our self-evaluations before submitting your book.

Why are BookLIfe review submissions handled differently than submissions from traditional publishers?

BookLife was built ground-up with individual author-publishers in mind, and is designed to address the needs of submitting titles on a smaller scale than what most traditional publishers require.

How long does it take for my book to be reviewed?

Depending on the volume of submissions, it can take 12 weeks, but often it takes longer. You will receive emails with status updates as your book moves through the review process.

I don’t have an ISBN or ASIN. Can I still submit my book for review consideration?

No. You must have an ISBN or an ASIN to be considered for review. If you don't have an ISBN, you can learn more about how to get one here.

After I submit my book, may I change the information I submitted?

No.  When you submit your book for PW review consideration, the BookLife system sends a copy of your book's information to PW's review system.  Once that transmission takes place, no changes can be made to the information in the PW review system.  You can continue to update and change information on your book's BookLife Project page, but none of that information will be reflected in the PW review system.

Can I submit my entire series?

BookLife recommends you register one title at a time (and in chronological order), thus allowing PW's editors to assess each book in your series independent of subsequent volumes.

If my book is reviewed, where does the review appear?

PW book reviews appear in the pages of Publishers Weekly, on, and on many major bookselling sites, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Apple iBookstore, and Google Play Books. BookLife reviews will also be reprinted in PW’s monthly PW Select supplement.

If my book is reviewed and I don’t like the review, can the review be retracted?

No. PW’s reviews are widely syndicated, and once published cannot be retracted. We encourage you to take advantage of BookLife’s many free resources to make sure your book is as great as it can be before you submit it for review consideration.

My book's submission status indicates it was selected for review, but no review has been published. Is my book still being reviewed?

The review process for BookLife books -- from the time a book is selected for review until the review's publication in the magazine -- can take 12 weeks or longer. When the review of your book is published, we will notify you via email with a link to the online version of your review. However, being selected for a review is no guarantee of one. There is a chance that unforeseen circumstances could result in the termination of a review.

My book has already been considered for review by Publishers Weekly. Can I submit my book again?

No. If you’ve submitted your book for review and it was declined, then you cannot submit it again. Doing so may result in the book being removed from BookLife. The best way to increase your odds for review is to make sure it is up to professional standards.

My publisher submitted my book for review. Can I also submit it independently via BookLife?

BookLife was built to assist individual author-publishers in submitting their books to PW for review. If your publisher has already submitted your book for review, do not submit it again via BookLife. Doing so may result in your book being removed from consideration.

Does PW review art books?

Yes. Please submit the physical copies of art/photography books, unless the book is only sold in e-book format.

Does PW review reference books?

PW generally does not review reference books. Reference books are intended primarily for consultation rather than for consecutive reading. Examples of reference books we typically don't review: The Encyclopedia of Hockey by Bobby Gretzkey, Great Hikes in Hudson Valley, NY by Ona Outdoors.

What Happens to Physical Galleys After When PW Is Done with Them?  Can PW Return Them to Authors?

We cannot return physical galleys after the submission process is completed.  Galleys are donated to Housing Works for adult books and Lisa's Libraries for Children's books.