Due to the volume of submissions we receive, Kirkus cannot review every book submitted. Our editors decide which books to slate for review or feature coverage first by referring to the submission guidelines detailed above and then by trying to predict which books will generate the most interest among our readers.
Kirkus’ editors take great pride in their coverage of books released by small and independent publishing houses. Each year, notable independent houses are included in our Best Books of the Year feature, and we routinely give coverage to publishers outside of the “big five.”
Please note that all self-published books must go through the Kirkus Indie program to get reviewed. In order for a book to be considered for traditional review (following the submission guidelines described above), it must be published under an imprint that publishes multiple authors, and the authors must have zero financial responsibility for the book’s publication (note: this does not include marketing).
Kirkus Reviews magazine is published on the 1st and 15th of every month. In addition, we publish the following supplements:
BEA Guide - May 15th
Fall Preview - August 15th
Best Books of the Year:
Fiction - November 15th
Kids’ Books - November 15th
Nonfiction Books - December 1st
Teen Books - December 1st
Indie Books - December 15th
Book Apps - December 15th
Please note that due to the volume of emails and phone calls we receive, we do not reply to inquiries regarding whether or not a particular book was slated for review or feature coverage.
Founded in 1933, Kirkus has been an authoritative voice in book discovery for 80 years. We review more than 8,000 books per year and distribute our reviews through Kirkus Reviews magazine and online through kirkus.com and our weekly email newsletter.
While Kirkus Reviews magazine is distributed to a targeted industry readership of librarians, booksellers and publishing professionals, our website audience is dominated by consumers actively searching for books to buy, and our email newsletter subscriber base is made up of both industry buyers and consumers.
Kirkus’ most popular publisher promotions are custom contests, which we promote on our website, via email, on Facebook and Google and through our book blogger network. Consumers simply enter an email address for a chance to win one of 10 free (often autographed) copies of book. Kirkus handles the promotion, contest rules and all email acquisition. As part of the campaign, we turn over the email addresses acquired in the contest to you for use in future book promotions. (All email addresses are 100% opt-in.)
Kirkus only selects editors who have worked on books published by the top publishers in the United States. We define the “top publishers” as the major five (Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and HarperCollins), award-winning independent presses, such as Graywolf, Kensington and Abrams, or otherwise notable genre publishers, such as Harlequin. If an editor’s portfolio meets our discriminating standards, he or she is invited to complete a test, which we use to evaluate skill level.
Because Kirkus’ reputation was built on our unparalleled ability to assess literary merit, we select only the most qualified editors to join our team. Further, to assure the highest quality product and service, a senior-level editor at Kirkus reviews all work before returning the final product to the publisher.
All Kirkus book editors follow the guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style. In addition, we refer to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Kirkus' editorial team specializes in copyediting and proofreading; however, we customize our offerings for publishers to meet your needs. To discuss our full capabilities and explore how we can help fill any gaps in your workflow or capacity, contact us.
Due to the volume of business we bring our editors, Kirkus is able to offer extremely competitive pricing to our customers. Most services are charged on a per-word basis, and fees vary according to scope and volume. Please contact us for a quote.
Delivery timelines depend on the scope of service and word count, but generally run between 15 and 20 business days (roughly 3-4 weeks) for copyediting and proofreading.