Shelf Unbound


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Shelf Unbound



Purpose, objective, or mission: “Shelf Unbound book review magazine […] features the best of small press and independent books.”1

Target audience: “Avid readers.”2

Publisher: Shelf Media Group.3

Peer reviewed? No.4

Type: Civilian publication.

Medium: Online Magazine.5

Content: Book reviews and author interviews.6

Frequency of publication: Bimonthly.7

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: From the submission guidelines: “At this time, we are only accepting courtesy essays and reviews for publication.”8

Submission and review process: “If you would like to submit an indie book review or essay for consideration (up to 1,500 words), e-mail the text to edit [at] Please indicate in your e-mail that you are making a courtesy submission and identify the blog or website address you would like the published piece to be linked to, if appropriate.”9

Editorial tone: Informal and engaging.

Style guide used: None specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Shelf Unbound publishes book reviews and author interviews in the fiction/non-fiction field. As such, this publication does not apply directly to LIS authors but it may be a fun way to gain some publication experience. This publication may appeal to those wishing to write book reviews on books that interest them, or who want to flex their readers’ advisory skills.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: According to the website, this online magazine is distributed to more than 125,000 readers in 70 countries.10

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: Based in the United States but distributed globally via online subscriptions and website. American English and content appears to be geared towards a US audience.

Reader characteristics: As this site is directed towards small and indie publishers, books and authors selected will come from these publishers.

According to the 2012 media kit, readers of Shelf Unbound are:

  • 75% are between the ages of 31 and 65
  • 96% describe themselves as regular or fanatic readers
  • 60% have annual household income over $50,000
  • 17% have annual household income over $100,000
  • 48 % have purchased and/or read a book they discovered in Shelf Unbound
  • 30% are in book clubs
  • 85% have recommended Shelf Unbound to a friend or say they are likely to do so.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: None can be assumed.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Avid readers are always searching for the next good book and tend to read on a variety of subjects. This site appears to be a fun place in which to explore indie books on just about any topic.

Last updated: October 24, 2018


Show 10 footnotes

  1. “2016 Media Kit,”, accessed November 14, 2016,
  2. 2016 Media Kit.”
  3. 2016 Media Kit.”
  4. “About,”, accessed November 14, 2016,
  5. “Subscribe,”, accessed November 14, 2016,
  6. About.”
  7. 2016 Media Kit.”
  8. “Submission Guidelines,”, accessed November 14, 2016,
  9. Submission Guidelines.”
  10. About.”
Comments are closed.