I have always enjoyed the reviews in newspapers and was even known to write a few for a couple of Dallas newspapers. Of course, that was back in the day when reviews were really reviews with a bit of critical analysis. Not what some people call a review on online book retail sites. I don't want someone to just tell me "This book was wonderful and you should read it." I want to know why he or she thought it was wonderful. What was compelling about the writing, the characters, and the plot?
Those were the questions that reviewers answered in the newspaper reviews. Unfortunately many of the newspapers have cut back on reviews, and even more unfortunately many of the newspapers have ceased publication. However, the The New York Times is still in business and every author I know would love to be reviewed there. A few have made it, but among my circle of close writing friends most of us are still waiting.
Trade magazines such as Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal also evaluate the writing and are well-respected in the industry. The websites for both publications carry some of the same reviews that are in the magazines, so that is a good source for finding new books to read.
As an author, getting your book reviewed there carries some bragging rights, so let me take a moment to do some humble bragging - is that an oxymoron? I do believe it is. Anyway, I am thrilled that both publications have given the first two books in my Seasons Mystery Series, Open Season and Stalking Season, strong reviews. I also want to brag on one of my sons who has written reviews for Library Journal. No, he did not review my books. He only reviews history books and biographies. Just want to make sure you know there was no nepotism involved. (smile)
Another place that authors would love to be featured is National Public Radio (NPR). On air there are reviews, author interviews, and interesting commentaries about the latest fiction and nonfiction books. I always enjoy listening to the shows when I can tune in to them. (NPR reception is spotty out here in the boonies) But I recently discovered the online presence for them. There you can find lists of the best-selling books in hardback, paperback, and electronic, as well as the interviews and commentary.