I first posted my Lucky 13 book review rules and policies on July 31, 2009. I am now reposting them with a few revisions and applicable updates.
The Lucky 13 Rules
1. I am interested in receiving review copies on most subjects but especially biographies and memoirs; music; poetry; sports; science fiction; business books; nonfiction survery books; inspirational books (but not directly tied to religion); popular fiction; crime dramas; mysteries and suspense thrillers; family novels; Young Adult (YA) novels; children’s books and stories involving animals.
2. I am not interested in vampire or zombie books; conspiracy theory books; political tracts; books promoting racism or hatred; books laden with philosophy or religion (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 rippers or old-fashioned romance) books.
4. Whenever possible, I like to receive early stage review copies – paper bound galleys or ARCs, even if they are subject to final review, editing and corrections. 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 readers.
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 editing by someone in the world!
8. Send an e-mail to me at Josephsreviews@gmail.com if you want to know if I’d like a copy of your book. My receipt of your book does not equate with an automatic positive review (I simply 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. Also, please do not send me follow-up e-mails asking when I will be reading/reviewing your book.
9. Some authors want me to not only review their book but to include a link to their website, or their Twitter account 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. (I have nothing against technology, it’s simply a matter of eye strain.)
11. I love audiobooks on CDs, so if your book is available in this format and you or your publisher can supply me with an audiobook copy, it’s a big plus.
12. Publishers, if you send me a book, please do include a P. R. sheet with some background information on the book and the contact information for the assigned in-house publicist or contact P. R. staff person. If I post a review, I will be sure to let the contact know when it is posted.
13. New authors – especially of nonfiction 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: Some self-published books are reviewed on this site, although they remain the exception to the rule.