I am occasionally open to reviewing indie novels and book-related products on my blog and on GoodReads. My current goal is to read and review one independently published novel per month, so my editorial calendar will fill up fast. Because I am very busy, I will only read books that look like something I would normally choose to read for entertainment or self-edification. If it’s not “my thing,” I’m not going to read it. Don’t take it personally if I choose not to. Instead, go find other book reviewers who are into what you’ve written. I recommend the Indie Reviewers list.
Books I like
I have been spending a lot of time reading novels in the same genres in which I write as well as books that I feel inform me on areas I often explore through my own writing. These include, but may not be fully limited to, the following:
- YA/NA novels that address real-life topics and treat young adults like human beings with human needs and emotions. Dark novels are cool if they’re realistic. I enjoy books about the real-world struggles of teens and young adults. I understand that these struggles often include topics like sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. I’m not one to censor real life, so hit me with it.
- Dystopian novels that explore what our world might come to if we continue to head in our current direction. (I LOVE stuff like The Handmaid’s Tale.)
- Feminist memoir from authors like Roxane Gay and funny memoirs from authors like Tina Fey and Jenny Lawson.
- Adult fiction that explores themes of domestic violence and the general oppression of women and children in western society.
- Fantasy like Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon series or Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind, only not quite so long. I wish I had more time for epic fantasy at the moment, but I just don’t. I would love to ‘find’ an author who is capable of writing a great, focused fantasy in 50,000-75,000 words. If this is you, let me see what you have!
Books I won’t read
- Christian (unless it’s something like Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal)
- Gory Horror
- Brainless ‘chick lit’ like Bridget Jones’ Diary. ‘Chick lit’ (I detest that term, by the way) is fine, but don’t send me any brainless bullshit that feeds into oppressive gender stereotypes.
- Overly fantastic fantasy full of fairies and gnomes and crap like that. Example: The Dresden Files. Not a fan. Magic realism is cool, but some folks take it way too far for my taste. I’m not dogging you if you’re into that genre, but just don’t send it to me to read because I won’t enjoy it.
- Erotica: I don’t mind it, but I’m not up for reviewing it on my blog. As with the other genres listed in this section, there are other people who focus on this, and you should take your writing to them.
- Etc.: most non-fiction, self-help books, biographies of old white men who embody their epoch, and generally anything else that you think I will abhor based on what you have read here thus far.
- I don’t need trigger warnings, as life itself is often a trigger. If your synopsis adequately describes your text, I will be duly warned.
- I don’t care what your characters’ gender identity or sexual preference is as long as you provide me with a good story.
My reviews will be posted here on my blog with a cross-posting to GoodReads and additional sites upon request. I will also share links to my blog post reviews on my social media pages.
I can usually tell if a book is horribly written within the first couple of sentences, and I’m not going to waste my time trudging through anything that hasn’t been properly critiqued, beta read, edited, and proofread. I want to help other indie authors, but I will only work with indie authors who approach their work in a professional manner. If your query is full of typos and grammatical errors, I won’t even bother to respond to you. If you have any doubts as to whether you are a professional, then don’t bother with me, as I will probably strip you of your delicate illusions and maybe also piss you off.
I only write honest reviews. If I cannot, in good conscience, give you at least three stars, then I will not write a review at all. I might mark the book as “read” on GoodReads, but that’s it. Three stars means it’s average. Four stars means it’s pretty good. I reserve five stars for stellar reads, which are rare. A five-star book fulfills all of the promises made in the synopsis and the first chapter. For most of you, the best you can hope for from me is a four. I’m picky and difficult to please, but if you manage to get a five from me, I will rave about your book and tell everyone I know to read it. If I am compelled to recommend your book to others, I will also add it to my Amazon store (link to come) .
I spend most of my waking hours staring at screens, so I prefer to read paper books whenever possible to give my eyes a rest. I can read ePub or .mobi on my desktop if that’s all you can provide. However, I will probably get to your book faster if I have a paper copy in hand.
How to submit
If you are still with me after reading all of this, then please complete my contact form and include the following information:
- The first line of your message should read as follows: “Book Review Request: Your Book Title Here”
- Author’s name and brief (2-4 sentences) bio
- Book synopsis
- Links to book on GoodReads, Amazon, etc.
- Links to your author website, Twitter, etc.
Depending on the number of requests I receive, I may not be able to respond to all. If I am interested in reading your book, I will shoot you an email and request to see your first chapter. If it still seems like something I will like, I will ask for the full book. If you’re sending a hard copy, I will provide you with a PO Box (USA) to send it to. Otherwise, you may email me a digital file.
Thanks, and good luck!