Gary S. Roen Book Critic Welcomes Books to Review

  Gary S. Roen, Nationally Syndicated Book Critic Welcomes Books to Review

Roen is a book reviewer with 47 years of experience in the publishing world. He began by working for a family-owned publishing company. He is an author of several books, including Cats Cats and More CatsJourneySlotski’s World, The Forgotten Father Coping with Grief, and Look at Me World. He writes short stories of science fiction that are receiving very positive feedback. He is always working on some new writing pieces and having fun with them. He has spoken at author and science fiction groups and conventions. He teaches authors as a consultant.

Be Professional Always: Roen’s General Advice for Working with Publishers and Reviewers

What is essential for authors to know when corresponding with publishers and reviewers?

How should a press person, an agent, bookseller, or anyone else you contact your book, no matter what genre, be approached? Roen states that often the writer does not treat this as a business and is too casual in email. He says several blunders can have an author’s email tossed into delete. Let’s say this is an article, book, or book review you are pitching to an editor, so use their name and their title. Then proceed with the body of your message. It amazes him that people do not take a second or two more to do this carefully. Writing is a profession that warrants that it be treated as such.

Each book shared with the press should also have press a release included. Contact information or a letter from someone representing the title introducing the media to someone affiliated with the sent material is required.

Self-published Books Should Appear Professional

Roen has witnessed many well-done self-published titles that were hard to tell if they were professional or not. Unfortunately, recently, others submitted to him he has deemed not worthy of his time because of their poor presentation.

Let’s begin with the cover. It has to grab your attention front, side and back. One book had a title almost the same color as the background, making it difficult to read. The side binding had no identification and was just black and, on the back, a confusing picture. It is annoying for any press person to have to figure out the price of the book if one is not displayed.

On the copyright page, the year of the work should be listed. Sometimes a book has no about the author page. There may be no contact information. People forget the press person has to have some way to let the person know there has been attention for the work in question. Be sure to include front and back matter pages if self-publishing.

What to Do When Asking Gary Roen for a Book Review (Please follow directions)

Roen does welcome authors to connect and submit books for his free reviews. He accepts all genres from publishers, authors, and PR firms. Meeting authors at events like Fandom Kissimmee, Oasis, and Necronomicon Science Fiction conventions, or library events to promote reading and authors are a few of the things he enjoys. He prefers not to review romance or religious books. He reviews most but not all of the books he receives. There may be a time lag, so be patient, and also realize he writes for newspapers and magazines. He does not review books on Amazon due to their continually changing rules.

Please do not go to Roen’s house and hand him a book. That gets an instant rejection. Surprisingly people have done so. Contact him and ask where to send a book for review. 

One particular thing to know if contacting Roen for a book review is that he loves the smell of a new book. Only hardcopies, meaning paperback or hardcover books, will do. He does not read on e-readers, so no PDFs or eBooks at all. They do not pass the new book “sniff” test! 

Where Are Some of Your Book Reviews Published?

“My reviews have been running for a long time in different publications throughout the nation, that includes, bUnike Magazine, Lake Legal NewsHernando StarVeterans Voice and Bivouac Magazine to name a few.”

Why Do You Review Books?

“I love reading and fell into it many years ago when I was on WPRK in Winter Park, Florida. I did the show with Patty Flanigan of WDBO. To expand the listenership, we branched out to include print as a way to promote the show. Later we dissolved everything, but I kept doing print reviews that have continued to this day.”

He may be contacted through Twitter at @bearbeatle or LinkedIn accounts or 

Gary Roen’s books may be found at:


Barnes and Noble

Thank you for reading, and we hope you find many reviewers for your books!

Carolyn Wilhelm, Wise Owl Factory

Gary S. Roen, Nationally Syndicated Book Critic Welcomes Books to Review




Karen Cioffi said...

Carolyn, this is such useful information for all authors. I'm going to take advantage of it and see if he will review my middle grade fantasy, Walking Through Walls. Thank you for sharing!

Jams and Books said...

Thank you for reading!

Terry Whalin said...


Thank you for this important information about book reviews and how to reach Gary Roen. People are reading reviews and making buying decisions every day. With thousands of new books entering the market every day, reviews are important to readers --and writers.


deborah lyn said...

Thanks Carolyn for excellent points of how book reviews really do matter.
Gary Roen's tips / conditions for taking on review projects are insightful.

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