Review Policy

So you want me to review your book? Before asking, please consider the following.

Firstly, there are more SF&F books published each year than any sane person can read in that time. Actually there are more good SF&F books published in a year than any sane person can read in that time.

Second, I don’t get paid for writing book reviews. I run three separate businesses — an energy economics consultancy, a publishing company and an ebook store. This takes up an awful lot of my time.

Now I do love reading, but I have a choice about which books I read, and unless your work is already known to me, or it is being highly recommended by people whose views I trust, the chances of my reading your book are very small indeed.

“But wait”, you say, “I’ll send you my book for free! Surely that is worth something?” Well, no. I don’t get sent anywhere near the number of free books that I did when I was running Emerald City, but I do get quite a few. Some I get from publishers and authors, but I only accept them from people I know and trust. I’ve had some bad experiences with people who expect to get a favorable review in return for a free book.

Also, I’m on NetGalley, where I can request books I want rather than get sent ones I may not want. And I run a bookstore, which is just full of interesting books that I might choose to read. So no, offering me a free book doesn’t help.

From the above you can conclude that your book has a better chance of being read if your publisher has put it on NetGalley, or if it is sold through my bookstore.

Here are a few things that will reduce its chance of being read:

  1. If you send it to me uninvited (because what would you do with an email attachment from someone you don’t know?).
  2. If you try to shame me into reading it by asking for a review in a public forum.
  3. If you have entered into an exclusive publish & sell deal with someone like Kindle Direct (because those people are trying to put independent publishing companies and bookstores like mine out of business).
  4. If you try to get advertising for your book on my blog by posting it as a comment.
  5. If you send me email full of spelling and grammatical mistakes.
  6. If the book is only available as a PDF (which is a very useful format for many things, but not, IMHO, for reading books).

I have highlighted point 2 above because clearly some people are incapable of reading it. If you persist in trying to get a review by posting a comment to this page, despite my asking you not to, your comment will be deleted. I have an email address. You can find it here.

Finally, one thing I absolutely will not do is give writing advice. That’s something you should be getting from a professional writing tutor. If you think you can cut corners by asking for free advice from someone who has never had fiction published professionally then you are Doing Writing Wrong.

2 Responses to Review Policy

  1. Totally agree with all your points here. Just wrote a similar theme on Good Reads about reviewing friends books (Honestly). But also wanted to thank you for earlier reviewing our ‘f2m:the boy within’ . This August, the documentary on reactions to this co-written YA novel about ‘coming of age’ and transitioning gender was made by Kailash Studio and it was screened a fortnight ago at the Shepparton ‘Out in the Open’ festival in regional Australia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>