Requesting a review
If you would like me to review your book, please contact me at email@example.com.
If I agree to review your book, I will request a free review e-book, and attempt to review within 4 weeks of agreeing to do so. Usually a refusal to review your book will be based on me being too busy, or the book not fitting in with my vision of what I want on my site, for example if it is not fantasy or related to writing or publishing etc. In the case that I am busy I may save your details and let you know at a time when I am less busy. Generally I prefer to review books within 3 months of their release, as these are the books most in need of reviews.
I will always contact you shortly after the review I write of your book goes live.
If I find that the review I might give your book will be lower than 5/10, I may, upon my own discretion, decide to contact you prior to publishing my review or not publish my review at all. I don’t want to be down on people who have worked hard on something, and I don’t want to contribute to harming their reputations before they’ve had much of a chance to improve. I’m nice like that. This will, however, vary; authors who have previously published several books should know better, so in those cases I may just go ahead and post it anyway without contacting the author.
If there are points about my review you disagree with, such as factual errors, please contact me privately to raise your concerns. I may then – at my sole discretion – reword elements of my review. I will not remove or rewrite my review, nor change the rating by more than 1 in either direction.
Before requesting a review, you might want to look at my blog post about requesting reviews.
What I review
I review fantasy books and books about writing advice. Subgenres I enjoy include grimdark, musketpunk, epic, sword and sorcery, low fantasy, historic fantasy and similar.
I do not review paranormal or urban fantasy, or romance/fantasy hybrids. I tend not to review YA.
I am happy to review both traditionally published and self-published works.
I reserve the right to not review stories which haven’t been suitably proofread.
How I rate books
On this website, I rate books (and films, TV shows, etc) out of 10. I feel this allows me to differentiate between books better than a 5 star review system. But I also review books elsewhere on the internet, where a 5 star system might be in place – like Goodreads or Amazon. This is how I see it:
- 10/10 – perfect. No faults. Plot, characterisation, language, flow and depth are all spot on. They work together well, combining to produce a story which I devoured quickly and eagerly. Unreserved recommendation. Five stars.
- 9/10 – close to perfect. As above, but perhaps with one or two minor flaws – misuse of a word, part of a scene not working, a side character underdeveloped for the role they play etc, but otherwise a story I read eagerly. Strong recommendation. Five stars.
- 7 or 8/10 – strong story. Some minor flaws or weaknesses. Overall very enjoyable. Recommended. Four stars.
- 5 or 6/10 – fairly good. Enjoyable moments, some strong elements but some weaker bits in there too. Might be generally enjoyable, but with poor pacing or characterisation, or fail to establish suspension of disbelief. Might also be a strong story with a lot of errors like spelling and grammar, homophones etc. Three stars.
- 3 or 4/10 – weak. Probably has one fairly strong element – prose, plot or characters – while the others are weak. It might be poorly edited, lack focus, or feature bland characters. Not recommended. Two stars.
- 1 or 2/10 – awful. If I’m going to give a story a score of 1 or 2, I might not have even finished reading it. What I did read may have had bad written English or be unedited or very poorly edited. It probably had bland, archetypal or obvious author-insert or author-wish-fulfillment characters, a predictable plot and bad pacing. It might also have featured writing which is either far too vague, far too confusing and wandering, or which describes actions, settings and characters in far too much detail. Recommended to avoid. One star.
Note: for books at lower ratings, if I can tell from the sample that it’s going to be rated low I probably won’t even bother. For movies I’ll probably watch it anyway, with a little help from some alcohol, because studios and directors should know better.