Books and CDs reviewed on our site may have been provided by the author, publisher, or record label for evaluation purposes. Our reviews reflect our own opinions only, and we don’t guarantee that we will review submitted works. Please see our disclosures page and the information below for more details.
We’re not currently accepting any e-books for review – just print.
Thanks for your understanding!
Have you written a review?
If you’d like to submit a review of a nonfiction, fiction, or poetry book, please click here.
Want us to review your book?
In a nutshell, we review non-fiction books relating to literature and the arts.
We review books on these topics:
- the Beat Generation
- literary criticism, history and biography
- rock, folk, blues & jazz music biography/history
- art, photography & film
- 1960s-70s counterculture
- book collecting
We are not currently accepting fiction, poetry, or memoir for review.
How to submit your book for possible review:
Before sending your book, please read the policies below.
Then, email Denise (Empty Mirror’s editor), to see if we have an interest in reviewing your book.
[Tip: Read our article, “How to write an excellent book review query”.]
How we work:
1. We like paper.
Our strong preference is for printed books.
On rare occasion we accept (short) e-books, however they usually take much longer for us to read and review than printed books.
There is a Kindle over in the corner of our office gathering dust.
2. No guarantees.
While we do review most books received, please note that our acceptance of a review copy doesn’t guarantee a review.
(Most books we receive are reviewed, but every now and again we get a book we just don’t feel moved to, or don’t know how to, review.)
Please note that books sent to us cannot be returned.
3. It’s not immediate.
We usually have just one reviewer (Denise) and at least a small review backlog. (Usually it’s not so small.) That means that we’re unable to guarantee a review on or by a certain date. It could be – and often is – several months. (That said, if you have a preference for the timing, do let us know & we’ll see if we can accommodate that.)
After we receive your book, please don’t send a flurry of emails asking about the status of the review. It takes time. Reading books and writing reviews is time-consuming and remember, we’re not getting paid for this; reviews are written on personal free time. We’ll let you know if/when the review is eventually posted!
4. It’s free.
We never accept payment for reviews – just the book itself.
5. We’re honest.
Reviews typically focus on what we liked about the book, but if there’s something about it that that really bugs us, we’ll mention that too. However, if we strongly dislike a book, we’re less likely to publish a review at all.
We prefer to publish reviews of books we’d recommend to our readers – even if they have some flaws.
6. We’re social.
After we publish our review, we’ll let you know where it’s posted on our site. And, we usually share our reviews via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
7. We’ll encourage sales.
At the end of the review, we usually link to the book’s on Amazon, or another site where it’s available for purchase.
8. Size really doesn’t matter.
We review books from major publishers, small presses and self-published authors, too. We’re just looking for good work to tell our readers about, no matter who published it.
9. We review on other sites, too.
We also occasionally contribute reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, and LibraryThing. (Denise is one of the top few thousand reviewers on Amazon.) These reviews are usually shorter than the ones posted here.
Music & film reviews
Though we mostly review books, we do sometimes review music & films. CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays are preferred over digital formats.
What about non-media items?
We’re glad to consider reviews of non-media items such as electronics, computer gear, and household items. These may be published here, on Amazon and/or other sites as appropriate. We’ll also tweet them to over 14,000 Twitter followers.
How to send us items for review
We receive more review requests than we can accommodate.
If you’d like to send us books, music, or other items for review, please email us first, to see if we currently have the resources and interest to read and possibly review it. If we’re interested we’ll give you our mailing address.
Please note that items sent to us cannot be returned.
We’ve written some articles about reviewing. These include: