To avoid anyone having to go over to the Review Policy page on my blog, the below text is everything that appears on said page. Do you have any specific do’s and dont’s when it comes to authors sending to you?
Swords & Spectres Review Policy
It’s been a good few years now since I updated my review policy, so I thought it was about time I did so. I have, in the past year, received so many poorly thought out review requests that I thought giving a crystal clear list of what you should and shouldn’t do was in order.
As a writer myself, I hate seeing authors shoot themselves in the foot by making their approach an unappealing one. Reviews are the best way to show people just how good your book is. Do not make the mistake of pushing potential reviewers away by throwing a bad review request e-mail their way. I’m not saying the following do’s and don’ts will work with every blogger. But, if you are requesting a review from me, I’ll have a way more enjoyable time than I have been this past year or so.
What I Accept:
- Fantasy (Although I am currently suffering through a bit of a fantasy reading slump)
- Science Fiction
- Historical Fiction (War/action-based. I am not int interested in romance/period dramas)
I prefer the darker aspects of reading (grim dark, battles etc …) so please keep this in mind when requesting a review.
I do read a variety of other genres such as thrillers, steam punk & the odd non-fiction but I only read those that I have sought out. So I would rather you did not send me review request for these genres. Only those bullet-pointed. If I have read, reviewed and enjoyed your work before, then feel free to offer me some other genres I read as if I like your writing style, chances are I will enjoy other such genres.
Information I want in your query e-mail:
- Title/series title
- Word Count
- Target audience
- When you would like/expect a review by
- Formats you offer your review copy in (Personally, I only accept Mobi, physical or Audible)
What you SHOULD NOT DO in your query e-mail:
- Do not make your e-mail too wordy. I have lost count of the amount of times someone has gone to the darkest depths of a thesaurus in order to look impressive and appear to have a large vocabulary. If your e-mail is too wordy and reads in a way that no human would actually talk, I will assume your writing skills are just as hard-going and refuse. So please just talk normally. I’m a real person, talk to me like you would one of your friends. I get that you want to sound official and not offend a potential reviewer, but by trying to look like you know every word in the English language, you are hurting your chances with every reviewer you send to.
- Don’t try to impress me with your name value or how many ‘best sellers’ you have, or your previous Amazon sales ranks. I am a massive fan of Stephen King. He has huge name value and some cracking sales figures. I still think some of his books sound boring and I won’t read them. If you try to sell me the product based on you rather than the book, I’ll assume the book doesn’t have much going for it and refuse.
- Do not start your e-mail out with, or include in any way, shape or form, such phrases as: ‘This is the best book you’ll read this year.’ ‘My book really is the best of it’s kind.’ ‘I honestly think my writing is way better than the other authors you read’. I have had a good number of authors send me requests with just such phrases (and far worse). If you put something like that in your e-mail, read it back and think ‘how will this look from the point of view of someone that isn’t me’. I get it, I’m a writer, too. You spend months and months, sometimes years, slaving over your manuscript and by the time it’s finished it’s probably closer to you than your own kids. Nobody will feel as passionate about your work as you do, so such phrases as those listed above simply come off as cocky, combative and downright embarrassing. I have no problem refusing most of the authors that I have in the past as, 99% of the time I know that other reviewers will love what they are offering and jump for it. But, for these people, I seriously pity them as they are making it so hard for themselves in an industry that really hard enough already.
- Do not be disrespectful if I refuse your novel. I have never had an author be disrespectful and I thank every single one of you for being so understanding when I have said I am bogged down with work, or too far behind on my reading, or in a reading slump. I really hate letting other writers down and having people understand and be cordial about it means a lot. It also has the added bonus of you not getting a bad reputation amongst reviewers. Book bloggers talk to each other. Remember that. A lot of us are friends (some in real life, others via the internet) and I can assure you that we would rather stand by one another than by a rude author.
What I Will Not Accept (under any circumstance, even if it falls in my approved genres):
- Young Adult/Middle grade
Please do not think that I simply do not read these genres because I ‘haven’t come across the one to change my mind on the subject’. That is not the case. I can guarantee you that your book certainly is not ‘the book’ to suddenly make me start reading these genres. If you sneak it into my accepted review copies by lying and saying it is not the above genres, your final review will not be a good one.