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James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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Reviewer Information (Become a Reviewer!)

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer reviewer for the Midwest Book Review! We accept reviews of books, audiobooks, ebooks, music CDs, and movies on DVD. Reviews of titles from all genres are welcome, and the publication date of the title doesn't matter. We also accept interviews of authors.

However, The Midwest Book Review does not accept any content created by generative AI (artificial intelligence). All volunteer reviews must be written by human volunteers!

Please note that The Midwest Book Review cannot pay volunteer reviewers, and cannot provide review copies to volunteers.

All of our volunteer reviewers are independent individuals who retain copyright and full ownership of their own reviews. All reviews submitted to the Midwest Book Review are nonexclusive; volunteers may have them posted, printed, or aired in any other review venue. A few of our volunteers have landed their own columns in local papers!

All reviews must be submitted in the body an email. We do not accept attached files. Please include the word REVIEW in the email's subject line.

Volunteer reviews are run in the monthly Reviewer's Bookwatch. As of August 2019, every volunteer reviewer has their own bylined column, even if they only submit one review for the entire month.

The MBR Bookwatch is reserved exclusively for volunteer Senior Reviewers, who have been with us for many years. All our other review magazines are written in-house.

The deadline for volunteer review submissions is midnight on the 25th day of any given month. Reviews submitted on the 26th to the 31st may be held for one extra month before they are run, at our sole discretion.

When volunteers have their review(s) published, we send them an email notification sometime during the first week of the publication month. If a volunteer review is rejected (the most common reason for rejection is sending us a review as an attached file!), we email the rejected submission back to them.

We prefer the following guidelines for review submissions

About the book:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Publisher's website (if possible)
  • 13-digit ISBN number (a 10-digit ISBN is accepted if necessary)
  • List Price (a.k.a. "cover price"), in U.S. Dollars if possible. Please do not give a book's discounted price on Amazon or anywhere else, because "sale" prices are subject to frequent change, unlike the cover price. is a great resource for ISBN numbers and list price information. If you have searched both Amazon and the publisher's website and cannot find ISBN or list price information, please write "No ISBN" for the ISBN number, or $TBA in place of the price.

About you:

  • Your name

  • Your e-mail address (optional, but needed to notify you when your review is run)

  • Your website URL (optional, but we'll gladly list it next to your name in your byline)

Some suggestions for those who are unsure of how to write a review or who would like to hone their reviewer skills:

  • Why did you select this particular book for review? Perhaps it relates to your work, hobby, avocation, education, a particular area of personal interest, your own expertise, or just for fun.

  • How well does the author write, use language, illustrate his/her points, develop characters, exhibit clarity of instruction, aptness of examples, innovative story line, etc. Use a brief quotation from the book itself to illustrate your observations, opinions, and comments. When doing poetry reviews include a poem. Cookbook reviews should always feature a recipe, etc.

  • Who is the book for? A scholarly audience, the non-specialist general reader, devotees of the genre, or other specialized audience? What age range, or economic or political orientation, etc.?

  • Does the book succeed in what the author is trying to accomplish? Does it entertain, instruct, persuade, inform, train, teach, alarm, etc.? Do you have suggestions for the author's next time around in print?

  • What is the author's background? What other titles has the author written?

  • What other related or relevant titles might interest a reader?

  • Length should be as long or as short as you feel is necessary to say what should be said.

  • Above all else, have a good time putting your thoughts and opinions down in print. The best reviews are those that you yourself would like to listen to while driving along in your car or chatting with a friend over lunch.

So take a book you've read, a DVD you've watched, a CD of music you've enjoyed, or an audiobook you've listened to, and give reviewing a try!

Welcome to our circle of volunteers! I look forward to your review efforts!

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review