Submission Guidelines






Chicago Book Review is dedicated to reviewing books published in Chicago and the Midwest, written by authors based in the area, and/or written about or set in Chicagoland. We review all genres, but books without a Chicago or Midwestern connection will not be considered, so, really, don’t bother sending us something without a Chicago connection unless you want to share free books for no good reason.

We welcome appropriate books and prefer those that have published or will publish +/- three months (e.g., April 2015 will feature books published roughly between January 2015 and July 2015), although some exceptions may be made, at our discretion. Reviews—positive or negative—are never guaranteed, so know and understand that any books submitted to CBR may or may not be read or reviewed.

We accept newly published finished books, bound galleys, advance reader copies, galleys, and PDFs. We’re also on NetGalley.

All submissions must include the following information:

– Chicago connection
– Title
– Author
– U.S. list price
– Publisher and imprint
– Publication format
– Number of pages in the finished book
– 13-digit ISBN
– Month of publication

Mail materials to:

Chicago Book Review
PO Box 808
Glen Ellyn, IL 60138-0808

Any and all materials submitted for review become the property of Chicago Book Review and; materials will not be returned. COD and/or postage-due packages will be declined and returned to senders. Reviews—positive or negative—are never guaranteed.

Special Note to Self-Published Authors

Please do not send your self-published book for review; any books received after May 10, 2014, will be donated unread.

Chicago Book Review accepts self-published titles for review (except for right now—see above). But we believe that “self-published” should not be a synonym for “unprofessional.” So, be sure to read the guidelines above. Send us your edited, published book along with all the information requested above, ideally in a prepared sell sheet or press release. Hand-written notes on lined school paper or scrawled on index cards and shoved into the book  … probably not a good idea.


4 responses to “Submission Guidelines

  1. Pingback: CBR Offers 5 Tips for Self-Published Authors | Chicago Book Review

  2. Kim

    By not accepting self published books from local published authors, all Chicago Book Review is doing is helping line the pockets of the big publishing houses, rather than help local authors move past the “self published” stigma. I have read books published by big houses and they were awful, much like I’ve read self published titles that were wonderful. Why would anyone send you a book to merely scoff at and disregard as trite because of the logo or lack there of? Your site is a joke, it should be “Big House Review” since you have taken the “Chicago” out of the mix.

    Liked by 1 person

    • chicagobookreview


      Thanks for your feedback. We’re sorry you feel that our “site is a joke,” but our goal isn’t necessarily to help local authors move past the “self-published stigma.” If you actually read our reviews, you’ll see that Chicago Book Review is reviewing books from indie houses from Chicago and the Midwest, including Allium Press, Lake Street Press, Northwestern University Press, Twelve Winters Press, and numerous other local publishers, including Agate Publishing and Sourcebooks, which is the largest woman-owned indie publisher in the country. We’re reviewing local authors who have worked with a variety of publishers, large and small. All of this is in keeping with our mission to highlight the books coming from local publishers and local houses. If you are, indeed, looking for someone to review your self-published title, you might check out Kirkus Reviews, Midwest Book Review, Digital Book Today, etc. In addition, a number of area libraries are featuring books self-published authors, including Glen Ellyn Public Library. Also, check out Chicago Self-Publishing, a local group that offers all sorts of networking and insights for helping self-published authors. Good luck!


  3. I assume you don’t understand how insulting your guidelines are to self-published authors (local or not). My books are professionally edited, well-regarded, award-winning. Self-publishing is not a synonym for unprofessional. But publicly denigrating self-published authors is definitely unprofessional.

    Yes, there are badly written, badly edited self-published books out there. There are also badly written, badly edited traditionally published books out there. I know. I’ve been sent copies to review on Broadway World’s website and could not believe how bad they were. I’ve even said as much in reviews.

    Perhaps it would be more accurate if your name reflected your philosophy: Chicago Review of Traditionally-Published Books.

    Liked by 1 person

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