It’s more or less compulsory for publishers to send review copies of forthcoming books to the major reviewers like Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. Indie presses like Lake Street Press, publisher of Alchemy’s Daughter, realize it’s quite unlikely that their books will be among the very few chosen for review. The reason for this is that the reviews are generally assigned to books from one of the five big NY publishing houses (such as Random House, Simon & Schuster) with large advertising budgets and publicity machines. But with a wish and a prayer, little presses hope for miracles and send them off anyway.
So when I learned that Kirkus Reviews was publishing a review of Alchemy’s Daughter, you might say I was ecstatic. Perhaps it’s vanity, but after working on a book for years and years (over a decade in this case), I admit the validation feels pretty good. And I have to wonder if Kirkus is jumping on the indie bandwagon. I hope so. Like other mom and pop businesses, small presses employ local talent, keep more profits within the community, and offer a more diverse and interesting shopping experience. It’s a good thing to buy vegetables from your local farmer’s market and to buy books from your local press.
Here’s what Kirkus has to say about Alchemy’s Daughter by Chicago’s own Lake Street Press:
When a headstrong, intellectually curious 17-year-old living in 1344 San Gimignano, Italy, becomes a midwife’s apprentice, she embarks on a harrowing journey to discover her true vocation…
Read the rest of the Kirkus review right here.
Buy Alchemy’s Daughter on Amazon and support one of Chicago’s indie presses on Amazon here.