Apparently they charge a fee for reviewing ebooks but not print books. From their website:
The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. Our reviews (with the sole exception of reading fees for ebooks) are free of charge. We do not request remuneration from authors or publishers for our reviews of traditional print books, music CDs, and DVDs, in order to avoid any conflict of interest issues.-------------------
All of our services and resources, including our book review magazines and Advice for Writers/Publishers articles, are provided free of charge to writers, publishers, and the general public.
From their submissions page: http://www.midwestbookreview.com/get_rev.htm
The Midwest Book Review gives priority consideration to small publishers, self-published authors, academic presses, and specialty publishers.-------------------
Reviewing print books is always free of charge. We do not accept ebook submissions directly, but we can put ebook authors/publishers in contact with reviewers who may choose to review their ebook for a $50 reading fee.
So they don't review ebooks themselves, but refer them to other reviewers. Like a $50 finders fee or something.
I was curious about them, as a reader not a writer, because I've seen their reviews mentioned on blogs etc. as proof of the merit of the books.
So - back to my question - are their reviews not to be taken seriously? It's hard for small press books to get reviewed by the big dogs, no? So where else?