Top Author FAQs about Book Reviews & Awards—An Author’s Guide to the Process

texty logo2 (2)

At Elsevier, we take the promotion of your book seriously, always looking for new ways to enhance sales and get the word out about the valuable contributions you make. We also know the power of third-party endorsements and actively seek out publicity generating book reviews and award nominations from a variety of industry recognized sources.  To help you understand how the process works, and to make sure you know how we approach this valuable marketing tactic, we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the submission process for book reviews and award nominations.

Eight Frequently Asked Questions: What You Need to Know

  1. How many award submissions have you sent for my book?

We have a very active awards program in place that grows each year.  In recent years, our books have won numerous awards, including the highest honor from the American Publishers Awards, the PROSE R.R. Hawkins Award, along with critical acclaim in other PROSE Award categories; awards and honors from the American Library Association’s Choice Outstanding Academic Titles; the Text and Academic Author Associations’ TEXTY awards;  and the British Medical Association’s prestigious Medical Book Awards;  and have been named to various “best of” lists, such as the Intel Recommended Reading List, and many more.

Finding the right submission opportunities for your book is tantamount to success, so we actively search for new opportunities to further increase the number of publishing and industry-specific book awards we consider. Our editorial and marketing teams work closely together to research new avenues, but we also encourage any suggestions you may have regarding book awards that are specific to your industry.

  1. Has my book won any awards or received any book reviews?

All book awards and review quotes are typically promoted on the book product details page within one month of receipt.  Searching for your book on is usually the fastest way to verify.  In addition, we also send an email to our authors to share this great news after the information has been published online.

  1. How do I recommend award submission opportunities or book reviewers for my book?

If you have questions or suggestions about book awards in your field, simply contact your editor, or email suggestions to

Learn more about how a book is selected for an award nomination…

  1. How many book review requests have you sent for my book?

We thoroughly develop targeted media lists to ensure that all appropriate journals and magazines receive information on all new books that are based on areas of interest by subject, audience, etc. We use our media database tool and the information you provide us in the marketing author questionnaire to develop a topic specific, comprehensive list of media contacts. Each media contact is offered a complimentary ebook or print copy for review purposes, and if they agree, our team fulfills those requests as quickly as possible. However, the number of review requests can vary greatly by book, and there is no guarantee they will actually complete a review or do so in a timely manner.

  1. Why hasn’t a requested book reviewer reviewed my book yet?

There are usually a few common reasons why a book hasn’t been reviewed:

  • After looking at the book more thoroughly, the reviewer realized the book’s content wasn’t the right fit for their audience or enough of their audience.
  • Limited reviewer time and prioritization of something else.
  • They plan to, but are in no hurry. Reviews can sometimes be received up to a year after publication.
  • For second or third editions, etc. some reviewers never, or only rarely, provide reviews. This is why it’s important to identify how the new edition is substantially different than the first, with specific examples provided.
  1. How long does an average book review process take?

We publicize your book to targeted international media in a variety of ways using a three steps process, with approximate timelines for each. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Book is Published and Elsevier Notifies Reviewers

Targeted media and potential reviewers are typically sent background information on the book, along with an offer of a complimentary ebook within the first few months after publication. We also provide cover images, book chapters for excerpting, and the offer of an author interview upon request.

Step 2: Reviewers Request Review Copy, Review Book, and Publish Review

The majority of reviewers typically request a review copy within the first two weeks after they’ve been notified, with a small percentage requesting a copy within the first month.

The average time it takes reviewers to review and publish a book review varies. We often see published reviews in three to nine months, but this all depends on the publication type (journal, magazine, etc.), and source (online vs. print).

Step 3: Elsevier Re-promotes Review and Notifies Author

Once we receive a book review, we use it in multiple ways. First, the publicity team hand selects a quote from each review that is included in our marketing feeds, ensuring the review augments the book’s catalog page, whether on the Elsevier site or other bookseller sites. The review quote is typically visible online within a month of receipt. Elsevier authors then receive an email notification regarding the new review.

Potential purchasers can then read what others are saying about the book, thus encouraging a purchase. These books are also more discoverable for potential buyers searching the web for books on a certain topic.  Next, reviews are distributed to everyone in our business as they become available, including the editorial and sales and marketing departments. The publicity team ensures everyone is aware of book reviews, features, and awards that our books receive.

  1. Why does my new edition book have a previous/old edition book review on its online page?

We promote previous edition reviews on all new books. Since all of our books are promoted online in advance of their publication date, and since there can be delays in new book reviews, this ensures maximum discoverability from the moment the book is announced.

Connect with us on social media and stay up to date on new articles