Some book review bloggers with more experience than I have strongly suggested posting a set of book review policies, so here are my Lucky 13 rules. Fair warning!
1. I am interested in receiving review copies on most subjects but especially biographies and memoirs; music; poetry; sports; business books; inspirational stories (but not directly tied to religion); popular fiction; crime dramas; Young Adult (YA) novels; children’s books and stories involving animals. In fact, I’m a sucker for true animal stories!
2. I am not interested in science fiction; vampire or zombie books; conspiracy theory books; political tracts; books laden with philosophy (been there, done that); overly simplistic self-help books (of which there are many); or books in which the author says the same thing on every page!
3. If the reference to popular fiction was too vague, let me be clear: yes, I will and have read “chick lit” (distinct from bodice ripers or old fashioned romance) books.
4. Whenever possible, I like to receive early stage review copies – paperbound galleys or ARCS, even if they are subject to final review, corrections and editing. No one wants to write the last review of a new book.
5. Yes, I do want to review books that are being re-released in paperback – especially in trade paperback form. In this economy, paperbacks are often the only books on the radar screen of economy-minded consumers.
6. I finish around 80 percent of the books I start, but if I can’t finish it – meaning that attempting to do so is more painful than dental work – I’m not writing the review.
7. I’m a speed reader but it nevertheless takes me forever to read pages that have not been edited by someone in the world!
8. Send an e-mail to me at email@example.com if you want to know if I’d like a copy of your book; but my receipt of your book does not equate to an automatic positive review (I just try to be honest) nor a guarantee that I can or will finish it. Again, I cannot guarantee that I will post a review of your book because you have sent it to me. I have a full-time job and a part-time one and family obligations, and these must take priority in my scheduling. Please do not send me e-mails asking when I will be reading/reviewing your book.
9. Some authors want me to not only review their book but to also include a link to their website, or their Twitter or other online address. Sorry, I don’t do that. Readers who have seen my review(s) and are interested in more information on an author can do a Google search.
10. I do not read/review digital or e-books or pdf files.
11. I love audio books on CD, so if your book is available in this format and you or your publisher or publicist can supply me with an audio book copy it’s a big plus.
12. Publishers, if you send me a book, please do include a P.R. sheet with some basic information on the book and the contact information for the assigned in-house publicist or contract P.R. staff person. If I post a review, I will make sure to let the contact know when it is posted.
13. New authors – especially of non-fiction or self-published books – please have an experienced editor vet your work before submitting it for review.
That’s it. Good reading to all!
Note: I will not be reviewing any self-published books between now and August 2, 2011.
Photo: flickr (electriclibrarian)