Reviewer Basics 101: Transcript from Jan 6 Chat

Editor Kiera:

Hello! Our next chat, Reviewing Basics 101, will be held right here on Wednesday, January 6 at 2:30pm ET. See you soon!


Editor Kiera: Hi everyone! We’ll be starting in just a few minutes. In the meantime, feel free to say hi, introduce yourself, and tell us where you’re from.

Miriam DesHarnais: Hello! I’m Miriam, a new reviewer from Towson University in Baltimore.

Editor Mahnaz: hi miriam! so glad to see you!

Miriam DesHarnais: Hi Mahnaz!


Heather Campbell: Hi! I’m Heather. I’m in Palmer Lake, CO. I’ll be in and out of the discussion, because I’m currently feeding my kids lunch.

Martha: Hi. I’m Martha from El Paso, Texas.

Leah: Leah Krippner from Rockford, Illinois

Editor Kiera: Lol, Heather.

Editor Mahnaz: hi guys!

Editor Mahnaz: it’s great to see you

Swils: Sarah, reviewer from Geauga County Public Library system in Ohio

Lisa: I’m Lisa from Columbia,SC

Miriam DesHarnais: Hi all! Is this chat text only or audio too?


Editor Kiera: Just text, Miriam. We sometimes do Google Hangouts, but they are a bit more complicated. This is very old-school tech.

Miriam DesHarnais: cool, thank you

Marybeth Kozikowski: Hi, I’m Marybeth, a children’s librarian from New York State.

Sarah: switched to my first name, same Ohio librarian!

Editor Mahnaz: hi Sarah!

Editor Mahnaz: (again)

Brenda: Hi there, Brenda checking in from Closter, NJ. I work in a 5 – 8 grade middle school.

Sarah: Ha!

Editor Kiera: Alright! Welcome everyone. Thank you so much for coming to this chat. Today’s topic is “Reviewer Basics 101.” Mahnaz Dar, our nonfiction editor, and I are here to answer all your reviewing questions…or at least as many as we can answer in under an hour.

Lisa N: Lisa Nabel from Dayton Metro Library

Editor Kiera: Before I start prattling away, I’d like to just open the floor for any of your questions.

Martha: How are the books that we are sent chosen for us to review?

Lisa: Yes, and how can we expand on our current genre?


Editor Kiera: Great question, Martha. So each editor has a specialty. Mahnaz assigns all the nonfic, I do middle grade and Professional reading, Shelley does YA, and Luann does picture books and easy readers. So that’s the first stage–each individual editor looks at the pile of incoming books and decides what to send out for reviews.

Editor Kiera: Then, we look at our gigantic Google spreadsheet which lists every reviewer and the books they like to review

Melissa Kazan: librarian at Horace Mann School in Bronx, NY. What do we do if an author contacts us about a review? I’ve given a few negative ones…

Editor Kiera: That information about what you like to review came from your original application–or records kept by my predecessor, Trev Jones.

Editor Mahnaz: Hi Lisa, it’s very easy to do that! If you’d like to expand what you’ve been reviewing, just email any one of us. We’ll let the relevant editor know you’re ready for a change and you will start receiving some different titles.

Leah: To what do degree to editors “go soft” on a known author—avoiding negative comments even when the current work is mediocre?

Caitlin: Hello I am Caitlin a YA librarian from Brooklyn

Brenda: Wow, Melissa, did the author actually contact you?

Editor Mahnaz: Melissa Kazan, it’s not appropriate for an author to directly contact a reviewer. In that case you should immediately email one of us and we will deal with it right away.

Melissa Kazan: Thankfully, no, but I’m always a little worried one will.

Editor Kiera: Finally, the job of each editor is to try to match up the right book with the right reviewer–kind of like doing Reader’s Advisory.

Melissa Kazan: Thanks, Mahnaz. Good to know.

Marybeth Kozikowski: Melissa, i also received a note from an author just a few weeks ago (first time that ever happened in 3+ years of reviewing) but fortunately SLJ starred the book and she liked the review.

Editor Mahnaz: FYI, our email addresses are: Mahnaz: Kiera: kparrott@mediasourceinc.​com Shelley:​ and Luann​ and our editorial assistant Briana is​m

Editor Kiera: Leah: good question. I’d say we do our best to remain objective—even if a particular author/illustrator has a soft spot in our hearts. We advise our reviewers to do the same. Just because someone’s last 10 books were starred reviews and wonderful, doesn’t *necessarily* mean everything they do will come up roses.

Melissa Kazan: Just to clarify, I’ve never been contacted by an author I’ve reviewed.

Marybeth Kozikowski: Sorry, I misread.

Martha: Sometimes I check other review sources to see if they felt the same as I did.

Editor Kiera: RE: Authors contacting you (for good or for ill): always contact your editor. Especially in the case of any negative reactions from an author or publisher. We advise not to respond, tell us, and we will intervene. If necessary, we will even send them a cease and desist letter. But it usually doesn’t come to that!

Miriam DesHarnais: good to know!

Marybeth Kozikowski: Should I send SLJ a copy of the note? It was only positive.

Leah: Did the note include cash?

Melissa Kazan: Yes – it’s good to know that SLJ will intervene if necessary

Miriam DesHarnais: if we know of a book that we can’t review, but we think SLJ may be interested in reviewing, should we just send the title info along to the editors?

Editor Kiera: Hi Marybeth! In the case of compliments from an author, it’s less necessary. Unless they keep contacting you again and again or send you gifts or something weird like that.

Marybeth Kozikowski: Sorry no cash but thenice words were worth their weigfht in god.

Editor Kiera: If it’s just a nice note saying thank you, I think that’s fine.

Marybeth Kozikowski: uh, gold.

Editor Kiera: LoL

Editor Mahnaz: Miriam, yes, absolutely. If we don’t already know about it, we’d love to get that info!

Miriam DesHarnais: cool, thanks

Editor Kiera: Aww, that’s very sweet Marybeth. No need to contact us on those nice interactions unless you feel weird about it.

Melissa Kazan: Do all books submitted to SLJ for review by publishers actually get reviewed?

Ashley: I have a question about the grade level recommendation at the beginning of the reviews: is this a recommendation from us (the reviewers) or does SLJ supply it? What if I recommend an age group for the book but the editor thinks the book is appropriate for a different age group?

Editor Kiera: Now, if a reviewer has a close, personal relationship with an author…you SHOULD let us know that! We would not want you to review their book–conflict of interest.

Leah: How do you decide not to publish a review?

Marybeth Kozikowski: No the experience was great. I read the note to my college-age son who snarkily said something about “hyperbole”.

Editor Mahnaz: hi Ashley, we ask that our reviewers supply the grade range. We have a helpful link that can assist with doing so:… Sometimes we may disagree, and an editor might contact you to ask if maybe a book is actually for an older or younger audience than you had intended.

Editor Kiera: Melissa: It’s a common misconception that SLJ reviews every single book published (or sent to us.) I’d say we review approximately 80-90% of eligible titles that are sent to us. But there is a percentage of materials that, though within the time frame, etc., we still choose to pass up for review.

Ashley: Okay, thanks. I’ll reference that link for my next review.

Editor Kiera: Usually it’s because we think the quality so poor that it doesn’t *even* warrant a bad review.

Editor Mahnaz: Marybeth–heh

Jennie: I still think assigning grade levels is often the hardest part of writing the review.

Ashley: If I receive a book that is so bad that it doesn’t warrant a review, can I contact my editor about it?

Editor Kiera: Leah: We very rarely decide to *not* publish a review that has already been written by a reviewer. But occasionally, something goes wacky on the tech end and we “lose” a review and discover it a few months later. In that case, if it’s so old, we might just skip it. Another case is if we strongly disagree with a reviewer.

Caitlin: Good question Ashley

Editor Kiera: So if a reviewer loves a book that the editors have very strong feelings about, we might have to go another way.

Melissa Kazan: Do the SLJ editors read all of the books that the reviewers read?

Brenda: So, if you disagree with the reviewer, does a conversation about that happen?

Leah: Brenda—yes

Editor Kiera: Ashley: You can always contact your editor–even if it’s to say “this is awful, I don’t want to review it.” But keep in mind that in most cases, the editor has decided that the book in question should be reviewed for some reason…even if that editor knows the review is going to be critical. Sometimes our readers need to know that certain books are bad.

Editor Kiera: We help provide as much guidance on what *not* to buy, as what to buy.

Ashley: That makes sense.

Editor Kiera: So it’s tricky….really, horrendously awful? Maybe it doesn’t need a review. Just run-of-the-mill bad, it probably will be published.

Ashley: It’s so much harder to write a bad review than a good one.

Ashley: Especially for a horrendously bad book.

Marybeth Kozikowski: Agreed, its’ so much harder to write a negative critical review, I agonize over those.

Editor Kiera: Ah, speaking of writing a bad review:…

Miriam DesHarnais: So in terms of grade level, in addition to what’s in the blog post, we should consider whom we could imagine ourselves giving this to based on our experience as librarians?

Ashley: I used that!

Editor Kiera: A little post I wrote a few months back with some guidance on that process

Miriam DesHarnais: very helpful

Sarah: as a public librarian, I rely on the VERDICT and appreciate the bottom line – is the title a must have or an additional purchase?

Editor Mahnaz: Melissa, we ensure that editor(s) on staff have read the top titles and books that we starred. Anything we star has been read by us. But for the other books, we tend to just skim–especially if they are long YA novels. So it’s safe to say we have a handle on the top and noteworthy titles each year, but it would be impossible to read every last book.

Editor Kiera: So glad it helped!

Caitlin: Thank you for that link!

Brenda: Yes, Ashley. One book I read a few months ago got me so mad, I wrote a rather snarky review and submitted it without my customary wait 24 hours. Thankfully, the editors rewrote it more appropriately.

Melissa Kazan: Good to know.

Editor Kiera: Thanks, Sarah! Yes–the Verdict statement is sort of a new feature to SLJ. We just started adding them around this time last year. They’ve been a huge hit and so many SLJ readers have contacted me to say how much they appreciate them.

Ashley: Brenda, I had trouble getting through a book at all – it took me all month to finish it, that’s how bad it was.

Editor Kiera: Should any new reviewers need guidance on crafting those Verdicts, check out this post:…

Caitlin: How often do people make Star Reviews of books. I have been doing reviews for a couple of months, but don’t yet think a book is worthy of a star review, even if I really like the book.

Marybeth Kozikowski: A 24-hr wait period is always good for me, positive or negative. I like to return to what I wrote with a detached eye.

Melissa Kazan: The verdicts are awesome

Sarah: literary merit or not – will it Circ? the bane of public librarianship – stats!

Brenda: Ashley, !! Dying to know!!

Marybeth Kozikowski: Me tii

Marybeth Kozikowski: Me too

Sarah: I also appreciate read alikes – If they liked____ this is a must purchase

Editor Kiera: Caitlin: Great question! In a nutshell, nominating a book for a star is totally up to you. But even if you don’t check that little star box, if you give a book a glowing review, the editors will read it no matter what.

Editor Kiera: For more on the Stars process, check out this post:…

Caitlin: Okay, great. Thanks Kiera. I will take a look at that link.

Editor Mahnaz: Sarah-yes, agreed! Read alikes are so useful, especially when it comes to NF where it’s good to know if a topic has already gotten a good treatment before.

Sarah: I have my staff read those tips for providing better RA service to the public

Jennie: Caitlin– I’ve been an SLJ for about 6 years, and have recommended maybe 5 books for stars. And one that I didn’t recommend for a start (and regretted a week later) that the editors luckily caught and starred for me.

Editor Kiera: Sarah, I love that you’re using Verdict as RA support. That’s really neat.

Sarah: haven’t starred a book yet either

Caitlin: Oh thanks Jennie. Yeah I have read a couple books that I really liked, but I still didn’t give them stars, so I was wondering like how often people do give stars. Haha.

Marybeth Kozikowski: Yes it’s very helpful in ordering PBooks to know if it’s suitable for storytimes (large format,etc) v. one on one reading

Caitlin: These links are great btw. Thank you!

Editor Kiera: For real newbies who are just starting to write professional reviews for us (welcome! we love that you’re on the team!), I’d recommend reading as many professional reviews as you can–to get a feel for the flavor, rhythm, and style of this kind of writing.

Editor Mahnaz: One thing that we wanted to note for those who are new to reviewing is to note that reviews are a bit more formal than blog posts and the like. It’s never a good idea to use first person (“I thought, I liked this book…”) in a book review or to talk about why this book is a good fit for your collection. The review is going to be read by lots of librarians, so we try to keep them somewhat uniform in tone.

Editor Mahnaz: We definitely want to know your opinions! But instead of saying, “I like that the book does xyz” just say, “The book does a great job of…”

Miriam DesHarnais: good to know

Editor Kiera: No every single review *must* follow the exact same pattern….but there is a general flow and pattern to almost any review. Here’s the Anatomy of an SLJ review:…

Editor Kiera: When you’re just starting out, I find it’s helpful to follow that pattern. But once you’ve been doing it a while, you’ll get a feel for it and won’t need to stick to a precise “formula.”

Caitlin: AH thank you. I always have a hard time figuring out a good way to say I liked/disliked without actually using those words.

Melissa Kazan: There has been such an increase in the number of YA/middle grade books published in the last 15 years or so; have you noticed if the quality has been watered down at all?

Brenda: I think MG has been outstanding in the last two or three years.

Brenda: So much so that I’m not keeping up with YA as much as I have in the past.

Editor Mahnaz: Agreed, Brenda, there has been some really super MG–and some bks that tackle really tough subjects in great ways. THE NEST is one of my all-time MG faves!

Editor Kiera: Melissa: Hmm. I’d say there’s been an increase overall in the number of materials published for kids and teens. This year saw record numbers of picture books, too! It’s been incredible–I laugh heartily when people talk about the “death of print.” What?! In terms of quality, it ebbs and flows.

Brenda: Non-fiction has also been outstanding as well.

Editor Kiera: The big publishers need to produce a lot of “marketable” stuff in order to fund the more creative, beautiful, innovative works.

Editor Mahnaz: So true, Brenda, re: nonfic.

Editor Kiera: So you see a real mix coming from some of these houses.

Editor Mahnaz: And some books that highlight individuals we either haven’t heard of or that look at them from all new perspectives.

Editor Mahnaz: There’s a lot to be excited about

Melissa Kazan: I agree that there have in the past been some really great books and that continues to be the case; but I feel like there’s been an increase in the not-so-great stuff.

Editor Kiera: Agree on the quality of some of the nonfiction and middle grade–and picture books. I’d say I’m seeing slightly more “meh” books in the YA arena.

Marybeth Kozikowski: Do you think there is enough emphasis on quality beginning readers? Have you seen any difference in these books in the last few years?

Editor Kiera: There are a lot of publishers, who, in the wake of Hunger Games et al, wanted to be the NEXT BIG THING. So they started throwing a lot of money at publishing YA series very quickly. Which is never a formula for quality literature!

Brenda: Oh my, The Nest! I still get the willies.

Leah: With the explosion of self-published works, how does SLJ decide which are worth a serious look?

Marybeth Kozikowski: The Nest was fabulous.

Editor Kiera: Marybeth: There is not a lot of good easy readers out there, to be honest. We see a lot of just so-so works in this areas.

Editor Kiera: *area

Editor Mahnaz: Me too, Brenda! me too!

Marybeth Kozikowski: That’s a shame considering it’s such an important transition that kids need to make independently, quality books would help them master learning to read.

Sarah: Easy Readers RA is the most challenging because every publisher levels things differently

Editor Mahnaz: yes, agreed, marybeth.

Editor Kiera: Leah: On self-pub titles, we treat them the same way we treat materials from a traditional publisher. That is, if we think it has *some* merit or interest to *some* librarian somewhere, then we would send it out for review (if the author gets it to us in the time frame we require.) But realistically, most of the self-pub titles I’m seeing don’t even rise to that level. So most don’t get reviewed.

Editor Mahnaz: And yes, that’ strue about leveling, sarah. we always ask our reviewers to make their choices independent of what the publisher has recommended.

Brenda: Sometimes I worry about being a bit of an outlier. Sometimes, I read a bunch of starred reviews for a book, then when I read the book and think, “meh,” I’m glad it wasn’t assigned to me to review!

Sarah: we level them independently in our system as well

Editor Kiera: Marybeth/Sarah: Agree 100%. Other than a few tried and true series that we all know and love, the easy reader/beginning reader market is wanting.

Miriam DesHarnais: so maybe good to consider if you get a really good one – may be star material

Editor Kiera: To be fair, they are incredibly hard to write.

Editor Mahnaz: Brenda, that’s a common concern! We have that same one ourselves. Sometimes we don’t star or “best” a book that everyone else is loving. To some degree, a review is subjective. And we may even disagree among ourselves, we editors.

Editor Kiera: Yep–there are several books this year that EVERY OTHER JOURNAL starred. Every one loves. It’s on a bunch of mock lists. But we didn’t star it. Sigh. It happens. We do our best.

Ashley: What is the general code of conduct for sharing a book with others before we review it? For example, I wanted to make sure that I was not going crazy when I hated a book that I was sent to review, so I shared some snippets with students of mine.

Brenda: Haha, Kiera, I know one of them <winks>​

Ashley: I guess I’m asking, can I get feedback from others? Just to make sure I’m not crazy?

Editor Kiera: Brenda: yes you do. Lol

Marybeth Kozikowski: I’ve done it and it was very helpful. My coworker Megan McGinnis (here with me) also does it.

Editor Kiera: Ashley: That’s absolutely fine. As long as you don’t go on Twitter and say something like “Hey, SLJ gave me this awful book to review called XYZ. Do you hate it as much as I do?”

Brenda: I think it’s good to “test drive” with your patrons.

Editor Kiera: But sharing with your peers, reading it aloud to real kids, etc. is encourged.

Melissa Kazan: Did Brenda review one of the ones that didn’t get a star?

Editor Mahnaz: It can be esp helpful to read something aloud with picture books to see if the bk does work best in groups or for one on one sharing.

Brenda: My kids are thrilled to read the arcs I get at conferences and from SLJ.

Ashley: Yeah, no slamming the books on social media – that seems like bad form all the way.

Editor Mahnaz: Agreed, Ashley! It’s definitely bad form.

Editor Kiera: If I’m remembering correctly, I think Brenda loved a book, recommended it for a star, and I (being a dummy) didn’t agree. But that book will probably wind up winning the Newbery. So shame on me.

Miriam DesHarnais: sometimes i’ll reconsider my initial judgement of a book after reading Amazon or goodreads reviews by people who saw things differently- is that also kosher to do, so long as I’m primarily trusting my gut?

Miriam DesHarnais: now i wanna know what book it was

Brenda: You were not a dummy! I wavered long and hard about it. But when all those stars starting coming…

Marybeth Kozikowski: If I look at others’ reviews of a book it’s only after I’ve finished writing my review (Megan agrees)

Editor Mahnaz: That’s a good idea, Marybeth. I try to do the same thing when I’m writing–just to avoid being swayed too much.

Editor Kiera: Miriam: That’s interesting. I’d say whatever method works for you–as long as, like you say, you’re following your own gut. My personal method is to take some rough notes on a book, decide sort of what I want to say about it, write a first draft, and then check to see if anyone else has reviewed it. Sometimes it just confirms what I was going to say, sometimes it does make me go back and look at aspects of it again.

Miriam DesHarnais: probably a good idea to also avoid any unintentional plagiarism too

Brenda: Often there are no reviews to check though. We get them pretty early.

Editor Mahnaz: Agreed, Miriam! It’s easy to accidentally “lift” copy you’ve read. That’s a good practice.

Editor Kiera: That’s true–we’ve been working really hard on our end of things to get the galleys out to you folks earlier.

Marybeth Kozikowski: Will SLJ ever use e-galleys for reviewing?

Editor Kiera: Kirkus usually beats us…but we are gaining on them! A few times this year we had our reviews out way earlier than Kirkus. I was like a proud mama.

Melissa Kazan: I’m petrified of plagiarizing, so I never read what someone else has written until after I hit “submit.”

Sarah: I look at every source I can find, but only after I have read the material for an honest first reaction to it as a reader, then I analyze it as a librarian or educator

Editor Kiera: Marybeth: YES! It’s complicated. But we do some e-galley assigning here and there. Mahnaz almost does all of Series Made Simple using e-galleys. But until our IT department can make it a more seamless process (maybe partnering with someone like NetGalley, for instance), it’s still a bit of a clunky process.

Melissa Kazan: And when I do read other reviews that have been published, I usually feel like mine is the harshest.

Editor Kiera: BUT! I should mention that any SLJ reviewer can get special privileges on NetGalley. Just shoot me an email and I’ll send your info to my contact there.

Leah: I did an e-galley for review. Sort of a glaring headache.

Editor Mahnaz: Leah, e-galleys can be tough!

Melissa Kazan: Agree with Leah. Hard to go back to look at certain passages with an e-galley.

Editor Kiera: Melissa: I think as long as your review cites examples and/or if very clear about the “WHY”, then that’s okay. If a book isn’t working or fails on a number of levels, it’s important that we point that out–clearly–in our review.

Editor Mahnaz: Some reviewers really don’t like them. I have a reviewer who does craft bks and likes to have them bks by her as she tries out the activities. For her e galleys don’t work, so I do get her physical copies. It’s a process!

lcrandall: I still love print. I love to dogear pages and mark up the galley.

Marybeth Kozikowski: As great as egalleys are, it’s kind of nice to be able to write my comments direclty on the pages of an ARC

Editor Mahnaz: Yes, there’s something special about physical bks. Esp w/ picture books.

Brenda: I find that when I read online, I don’t read as carefully.

Melissa Kazan: Gotta run. Thank you Kiera and Mahnaz! Hope to see you at Midwinter!

Editor Kiera: Thanks, Melissa!

Editor Mahnaz: Bye Melissa! thanks for attending


Jennie: I like reading egalleys, but I find the physcial book sitting on my desk is a better reminder to get my review done!

Brenda: Jennie, yes!

Editor Mahnaz: So true, Jennie

Leah: True that.

Editor Kiera: Yes–this is part of why I haven’t gotten fully aboard the e-galley reviewing train. I’d love to save $$ and time on shipping, but paper galleys are just so much easier and more efficient in many ways.

Editor Kiera: But I use them a lot personally. For example, many graphic novel publishers cannot afford to print galleys. So they send us digital copies.

Editor Kiera: I’m reviewing one about pigeons this week. I’d prefer to have the pages in my hands, but the quality of the illustrations onscreen is actually wonderful. Incredibly crisp.

Caitlin: I have to head out too. Thank you everyone for the tips and links!

Editor Mahnaz: Thanks, Caitlin! have a good one

Editor Kiera: Thanks, Caitlin!

Caitlin: You too! Thank you!

Sarah: I have newer staff, some who do not have an MLIS so I let them look at galleys and share my impressions with them and let them know how and why I am evaluating something…all information literacy that they can then pass on to students

Editor Mahnaz: That’s great, Sarah! such a good example of professional development!

Editor Kiera: So this might be old news for some of you, but in case you haven’t seen it, you might want to check out a series on the SLJ site about evaluation criteria for different kinds of books:…

Martha: Will you ever let us know if our reviews are not up to par? I worry about not getting across what I want to say about the book. Though you guys do a great job of cleaning up my messes!

Editor Kiera: Martha: We’d never put it as such. But…if we got in a review that we though needed some work or deep revisions, we’d just reach out to you and talk about it. And often that doesn’t mean that people are not “good” reviewers. ALL of us–myself included–need help writing and saying what we want to say. Even editors get edited!

Editor Mahnaz: One of the best ways to get better and improve as a reviewer is to read! Reading the magazine gives you a great idea of what we are looking for and gives you a sense of that “reviewer language” that may seem tricky at first.

Editor Mahnaz: Before I wrote my first review, I read tons and tons and tons of reviews to get a sense of what the editors really wanted, what was important, what they looked for.

Editor Kiera: Good point, Mahnaz. Often when I’m editing, what I’m mostly doing is getting reviews to “flow” a bit more. So the bones are strong–the sentences and what they are saying is solid. I just finesse it to get it to sound more like “an SLJ review.”

Martha: Do we have access to SLJ online?

Leah: SLJ has altered its expectations on word count—it used to be reviews could run long or short and that the book drove the length. Where are we with that?

BreeB joined the chat 10 minutes ago

Minerva: Before we close, where can we find last chat we had? There were some good discussions on that one.

Minerva: And will this one be archived too?

Sarah: I agree that the language of reviews is different that that in blogs…I used to teach freshman writing at Case Western and tried to convey that to the students, there are different levels of language for different audiences…remember you are advising librarians on purchasing with public money, that’s always my bottom line

Brenda: Who’s going to Boston for Midwinter?

Editor Kiera: Martha: Do you mean Book Verdict? Where the reviews are archived on If so, yes. If you are a print subscriber, you automatically get access. If not, I can send you a password.

Editor Kiera: Leah: On Word Count, the average review is 250 words. But some wind up being 150, others go to about 300 (but usually not longer than that.)

Sarah: not this year

Brenda: Can you send me instructions for book Verdict too? I’m a print subscriber but missed instructions on how to gain access online

Editor Kiera: Minerva: Here’s a link to the last chat about Nonfiction:…

Editor Kiera: And yes–this one will be archived on the site, too

Minerva: Thanks!

lcrandall: I would love online access to the full text of reviews. I no longer am working professionally and the price tag is a little steep for my budget

Sarah: the non fic chat was so useful for my last review – these are great, thanks Kiera and Mahnaz! Reviewer Central is awesome

Editor Kiera: Sure–anyone interested in Book Verdict access, can you shoot me a quick email reminder? I’ll find the instructions to send to you.

Brenda: Will do, thanks

Editor Mahnaz: glad we could be of help, sarah! we love talking to our reviewers

lcrandall: Yes, thank you.

Editor Kiera: Just email me a kparrott@mediasourceinc.​com and I’ll hook you up!

Brenda: Thanks for another great chat Kiera and Mahnaz. Bye!

Editor Kiera: Thanks so much for coming! this was a blast.

Kim: Thank you, got some great tips to help with reviewing!

Minerva: Great discussion!

Sarah: Thank you!

lcrandall: Thank you very much for this chat. It was informative and I really liked the links.

Marybeth Kozikowski: Megan and I have to sign off as well. Thank you, Kiera and Mahna, these chats are always so informative.

Editor Kiera: I’ll archive the chat later this week on the reviewer site. The date and time for the next chat will be included in the next newsletter.

Minerva: Until next chat. Bye Everyone!


Editor Kiera: And…anyone who’s going to Boston for Midwinter, stop by the SLJ booth (#2002). I’ll be there on Monday morning, right after the YMA press conference.

Editor Kiera: Take care everyone!