I will not accept payment in currency for providing a review whether that be cash, Paypal, direct debit or credit card. I do not like the idea of a review being bought. To me it is only valuable if it is freely given.
To be subject to review on this site, the following conditions need to be met.
What are the requirements?
- The author needs to understand and respect the statement in bold italics at the top of this page.
- The book needs to be published independently, or through a small or token publisher. I will determine what is small or token on a case by case basis.
- The book needs to have been published in electronic form and needs to be published without geographic restrictions. Being in Australia, I am constantly disadvantaged by geographic restrictions and I will do nothing to support the ongoing practice.
- The book needs to be fiction. It can be a novella or a novel of at least 15,000 words. Anthologies of short-stories are acceptable as long as the anthology itself is above the 15,000 word minimum and the work is intended to be published as a single volume. At this time, I do not review non-fiction, poetry or pictorial fiction (think comics and graphic novels).
- Although I like to remain somewhat open on genre, I prefer to review science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery and literary. Less successful genres will be erotica, paranormal romance and romance. More information on my thoughts on genre at the bottom of this page.
How should a review request be submitted?
Please use the following email address for all requests:
Supply the following details:
- Subject heading needs to start with the words: Review Request
- The email needs to contain a link to where I can read a decent blurb of the book and download a sample in a Kindle-compatible format (except PDF which I will not accept). Please do not attach the complete book to the email at this time. I will ask for the book if/when I’m ready to read it.
- Notification of price and places where the book can be purchased. I will mention this at the foot of the review with the disclaimer that the information is current at the time of the review only. I will also publish a link to the book’s Goodreads page if one exists.
- Optionally a link to a personal blog/website can be given. If I agree to the review I’m happy to post a link to your personal page.
- Have an email address I can actually reply to.
Quickest way to get a rejection/non-reply:
- Attach marketing or promotional material of any kind to the email.
- Offer compensation for the review.
- Send reminders or otherwise hassle me about whether or when a review will be completed
- Ask me to review a corrected copy or ask me to take down a review based on a corrected/revised edition being available. When submitting a book for review, this edition and no other will be reviewed.
Will I know if a review request has been accepted or rejected?
If I have decided to review a particular book, I will endeavour to make contact with the author through the return email address given during submission. I keep a schedule a few months in advance (you can check that here) and beyond that I will have a “to be reviewed” pile. Please understand that a reply may not be forthcoming immediately and I may not be able to give a concrete indication of when the review might take place at this point.
When I am ready to read the book, I will attempt to contact the author and it is at this time that I will ask for a full DRM-free copy of the book in question by return email – I will specify what format it will need to be at this time, although it will most certainly be .epub or .mobi.
Please note that I will consider the book supplied to be the property of the author. I will not consider the book a gift or payment and once the book is read and the review written, I will delete the attachment and any copy I have on my device(s) unless otherwise agreed with the author.
Finally, I will notify the author once the review is posted. At the same time I will attach a list of errors I’ve found with the book (if I’ve noted them down).
If you have not received an acceptance email within 2 months, it is likely that I’ve decided not to review the book submitted. I can’t guarantee to write rejection emails for all submissions, but I can state that a decision not to review cannot necessarily be construed as an accusation of lack of quality of the work submitted. There is nothing stopping the author from requesting a review for future works.
Please do not resubmit a previously submitted work. I will maintain details of submissions in a personal database so the details will not be lost. Resubmitting works is probably the quickest way for me to decide to blacklist an author completely.
What if I’ve corrected errors that you’ve highlighted?
Note: I will not edit/proof-read your book per se. However, any errors that I do notice, I will highlight. I will forward these on to the author once I’ve finished the book and review.
It’s not practical for me to read a book again to see that errors are corrected and I will stand by the review I’ve written for the version that was originally supplied. I will not change the assessment, nor will I remove the review. It’s important to understand this beforehand to avoid any disappointment. Please ensure that the version of the book you provide is the version you want reviewed on my site.
However, if I’ve felt it necessary to point out in the review that there were errors in the book and I’ve since received notification from the author that the errors identified have been corrected, I will be happy to post a dated and generic addendum to the review to inform readers that an updated revision has been released and that the author believes all errors provided by myself have been addressed.
More on Genres
What genres don’t you like?
This is a hard one. While I don’t want to discriminate against a particular genre, realistically there are a couple of genres that I find I don’t appreciate as much.
Erotica: I don’t dismiss this genre regardless of the level of pornagraphic content. Additionally, I refuse to be offended by even the most explicit narrative. However, I would find such works difficult to review in any satisfactory way. I will always consider items that are known to have some erotic content, but when that content provides the entire context, there’s not much left to do other than describe the success of sexual encounters. I would generally not choose not to do this.
Paranormal Romance: I apologise to all that I have reservations about this particular sub-genre of fiction. I love werewolves and vampires and other things that go bump in the night. However, I generally choose not to read about ancient vampires that accessorise with angsty teenage girls (or boys). I don’t think this sub-genre of fantasy invalid at all, it just doesn’t appeal to me. That said, if I felt particularly interested in the story, I might put aside my reservations.
Romance: OK – we’re beginning to see a pattern here. Actually, I will read a romance book if I’m interested in the premise. However, I’m more likely to read a romance if it’s somehow flawed or disastrous in conclusion. I can tend towards the dark and lost/betrayed love is usually of more interest to me.
What are your preferred genres?
Yes, I certainly have preferences. I will go outside of these quite readily if the story sounds like a good one but I guess I’m more likely to pick a book in these genres than in others.
Science Fiction: I will happily read cyberpunk, some space opera and speculative future/near-future stories. Hard science fiction is also good, but I prefer not to turn an enjoyable pursuit into an intellectual struggle if I can help it, so some stories may not have their intended impact.
Fantasy: Although I find less inclination to sample Tolkien derivatives (dwarves, elves and dragons etc..), I will tend to read a blurb to see if a story interests me enough to read it despite any apparent prejudices. I will usually enjoy steam punk and similar sub-genres. I still enjoy plenty of magic though – especially if I sense the concept of magic is used in a way I haven’t read before.
Horror: I’m a bit of a horror buff. I love reading about the darker side of humanity, evil forces and the odd creature horror if written really well. If I can feel the chill, or if I manage to become scared, this will usually reflect positively in any review. The traditional vampire, werewolf, zombie stories may not be as effective for me as stories which try to tackle these subjects in a refreshing way – whatever that means.
Mystery: I don’t tend to lean towards detective/police stories as such. However, I do like books that move inexorably towards a revelation, an act or secret that is revealed – not necessarily of a murder or crime, but perhaps of a pivotal event that substantially changes a character’s life. Procedurals are unlikely to make a dent on me, but a flawed and damaged character that reveals a killer using his/her own inadequacies is more likely to pique my interest.
Literary: Regardless of what you might think of such an ostentatious term to describe a genre, I still find this a fitting label somehow for a type of story that I like to read. I’m not going to invite debate further by describing what I think the characteristics of this genre is.
GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans-gender): I don’t tend to go out of my way to read stories in this genre. However, I find that I can quite often make more powerful connections with gay characters in particular and although I already have a soft spot for coming-of-age stories in general, the effect is usually more potent if the coming-of-age tale involves a gay protagonist.
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