Tradtionally Published or Self-Published? How to Get Reviewed in Publishers Weekly

4 Tips for indie authors to increase chances for a review

By Carl Pritzkat is vice president of business development for PWxyz

Important developments at Publishers Weekly (PW) have made it easier than ever to submit your book for review consideration.

We've made big changes at PW in the last few weeks to make it easier for books, both traditionally and self-published, to be submitted for review consideration.

First off, for indie authors who self-publish, we've launched, which lets indie authors submit their books for PW review consideration for FREE.

Let me say that again in case it wasn't clear: it is completely FREE for any author to submit their book for PW review consideration via

Why are we doing this, you may ask? Because our core audience—librarians, booksellers and the publishing industry—want us to tell them what's good in self-publishing, the same way we've been doing for traditionally-published books for the last 142 years.

We've also created a powerful new tool for traditional publishers called GalleyTracker, which makes it easier for publishers of any size to submit their books for PW review consideration.

Besides streamlining the review process, GalleyTracker also lets publishers see the review status for each of their books, something people have been requesting for a long time.

What's the difference between and GalleyTracker? They both use the same software, the same editors and the same reviewers, and reviews submitted via both systems end up in the same place in Publishers Weekly and get syndicated to folks like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Google. (Self-pub reviews are also recapped monthly in the PW Select print supplement.) The difference is that is optimized for individual authors; GalleyTracker is optimized for publishers submitting multiple titles from multiple authors.

Tips for BookLife Review Submission for Indie Authors

Submitting your self-published book for Publishers Weekly review consideration is free. As with traditionally published books submitted for consideration, not all self-published books submitted are reviewed, so BookLife has set up some self-evaluations to help indie authors assess how ready their books are to be considered:

In addition, here are some tips for indie authors to consider before they submit their books for PW review via BookLife:

1. Copyediting and Proofreading: Typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings will not help your book stand out from the many submissions we receive.

2. Character Development: If your characters are underdeveloped and their motivations and actions unrealistic, readers will be less likely to engage with them—and you will be less likely to get reviewed.

3. Plotting: If the plot of your book is confusing, needlessly elaborate, and/or strains credulity, it will not help your chances of getting reviewed.

4. Dialogue: Stilted, unrealistic dialogue doesn't serve your characters or your readers—and it certainly won't help you get a review.

For more information about submitting self-published titles for PW review consideration, visit our guidelines page:

Self-Pub Marketing Opportunity from PW and Smith Publicity - Special Offer

In addition to offering free submission for PW review consideration, PW offers indie authors its PW Select marketing program, which promotes self-published books to PW's audience of booksellers, librarians, publishers, agents, film scouts, and industry insiders.

Normally $149, PW and Smith Publicity are offering a special price of $139 (use promo code "SMITH" when submitting your PW Select order) which includes:

  • listing of your book including four-color-cover artwork, write-up and on-sale information in a special section of PW's print and online editions
  • a listing in Publishers Weekly's announcements database powered by Edelweiss
  • feature placement for one month on
  • social media promotion on BookLife’s Facebook and Twitter platforms
  • six month subscription to Publishers Weekly's digital edition
  • one year digital subscription to Publishers Weekly's PW Select monthly supplement
  • a free copy of the Publishers Weekly print issue in which your listing appears

It's a great, cost-effective way to promote your book to the publishing industry. For more information and to sign up, visit our PW Select page:

And don't forget to use promo code "SMITH" when submitting your PW Select order so you can get the special price.

Carl Pritzkat is vice president of business development for PWxyz, the company that owns Publishers Weekly and BookLife. Pritzkat oversees new business, digital strategy and product development for PWxyz and serves as president of BookLife, PWxyz's site dedicated to indie authors. Prior to PWxyz, Pritzkat co-founded interactive media company Mediapolis, Inc., where he oversaw projects for The New York Times, Viacom, NPR, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Volvo and others. He also ran ECM Records for Bertelsmann. He has a degree in music from UCLA.

17 Responses

  1. You mention that the software, editors and so on are the same for both Booklife and Galleytracker but to explain the difference you state that one is optimized for self-pub and the other optimized for traditional publication. That's not an explanation. In what way are they optimized? Being able to track a reviews status would be good for self-pub authors too. Why not publish specific features for both sites in a side-by-side list ?
  2. I'm impressed with this offering and will indeed take advantage of it. I love to write; marketing – not so much!
  3. I have had 2 books published by Tate Publishing, can I still submit them for review? Would I have to do so as a self publisher since Tate does not put in for reviews?
  4. Wow, this is great news. Kudos to PW for creating an affordable way for authors to spread the word about their books. I'm looking forward to exploring BookLife. Thanks again! -G.G. Silverman, author of the forthcoming comedic YA horror novel, VEGAN TEENAGE ZOMBIE HUNTRESS
  5. Smith Publicity
    Thanks for reading! I am sorry I cannot answer your question but the author of the article, Carl might be able to. His email address is,
  6. Smith Publicity
    Thanks for reading!
  7. Smith Publicity
    Thanks for reading! I am sorry I cannot answer your question but the author of the article, Carl might be able to. His email address is,
  8. Smith Publicity
    Thanks for reading! We love the service too!
  9. Thank you for this article. I took advantage of the promo code. Thanks!
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