My Rating System
EDIT: as of November 12, 2017, star ratings will no longer apply or be utilized. See this post for details.
The following rating system applies to books, movies, or anything else you might find on this site. I don’t use 1/2 stars. It’s too wishy-washy. I say pick a star and commit! 1/2 stars do not exist here.
★★★★★ = Loved it! I consider it an honor to have found this book. I learned something of a great or profound nature, enjoyed it immensely, and/or took away something from it that will leave a long and lasting impression. Odds are good I’ll talk about it to anyone who’ll listen.
★★★★☆ = Really liked it. Depending on the genre, this was either a lot of fun, highly engaging, or otherwise very informative.
★★★☆☆ = Liked it. It had potential that it didn’t fully utilize, but all in all, an enjoyable experience.
★★☆☆☆ = Average. Just average. Really average. Meh. Nothing of note one way or another, or the good and the bad are so polarizing as to cancel out one another.
★☆☆☆☆ = Hated it to the point of loathing. It’s abysmal. I can’t tell you not to read it, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re into self-torture or are easily amused by incredibly bad things. Your choice, of course. Your choice.
Every now and again, an author will discover my site and ask me to review their book. Under most circumstances, I’m happy to do so within certain guidelines and understandings. I’m posting them here to keep things fair and consistent. If you have any questions or concerns about this, feel free to contact me.
Please understand, as much as I love to read, I am slow about it, sometimes painfully so due to the dense nature of some of the nonfiction I read. I wish it were otherwise. I also have a great many side projects in the works and endeavor to have a life on occasion. For these reasons and more, most of the reviews on this site are audiobooks as I can listen at my day job and on the commute.
If I agree to read your book for review, understand that I will carve out the necessary time to do so, but not to exclusion. Also, any pre-ordered and highly-anticipated Star Wars or Star Trek books will take instant priority the moment they’re released. Nothing personal. Odds are these will have an audio release, thus rendering this situation moot. Beyond that, I honor such requests on a first come / first served basis.
Dear friends who submit their work get bumped to the front of the line but may expect no preferential treatment on reviews. If anything, I know what to expect from you now. 0.o
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In order to help me to determine my level of interest and possible amount of time I’ll need to read your work, please include the following when submitting your request:
— title and genre of your book
— a summary or publishing blurb
— estimated page count and/or word count
— any additional spoiler-free information you’d like to add
— why you think I’ll like it / should be the one to review it
— a link to your book on Goodreads, if applicable (so I can find it)
If your book has yet to be published and you’d like reviews to be timed in conjunction with a release date, let me know as many details as possible. Help me to help you.
If I agree to review your book, I ask for ebooks to be in Kindle’s MOBI format or EPUB. Any other format will need to be converted first. If you want to send me a good old fashioned paper book, you are awesome, but I won’t hold my breath that’ll happen much in the digital age.
I can read PDFs on my desktop computer, but this severely limits the time I can dedicate to them. Kindle won’t read PDF, and they’re pretty much impossible for me to see to read on my smartphone as they don’t scale well to be readable and manageable at the same time. MOBI or EPUB format is just easier for me.
Along with your book, I also ask for the following:
— a link to your website, if applicable (so I can link to you in the review)
— cover art for the book (so I can post it in the review)
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What you can expect from me in return:
Any review I write will be as fair and balanced as possible, and it will be honest. If I feel a work is worth gushing over, I will probably do so. I rarely feel the need to eviscerate a work, preferring instead to offer constructive criticism, which you are naturally free to ignore as you see fit. Destructive reviews of rage exorcism have been known to happen in the case of a hopelessly pretentious piece of postmodernist nonsense or a Dark Side inducing Star Wars novel. In either case, I seriously doubt this will apply to your work, so you have little to worry about on this front.
Because I understand how important reviews are to independent and/or new authors, I will withhold negative reviews until I have contacted the author directly to explain my reasons. In some cases, I may not finish reading such a book as my time is precious, and too many quality books await. Whether I finish or not, at this point it will be author’s choice whether or not I post that review.
Anything earning positive marks will be posted per agreement. I will contact the author accordingly with the link to the review.
Reviews will be posted exclusively on this site. As I state on my About Me page, I do not have accounts with most of the popular social media outlets. The primary reason, beyond a simple lack of time or a lack of interest in being manipulated by such platforms for purposes of their marketing, is that most of those sites operate under the misbegotten notion that my reviews become their intellectual property upon posting. I respectfully — and adamantly — disagree. I no longer have a profile on Goodreads, and I do not post reviews anywhere else. Authors (or anyone else) are, of course, invited to link to a review here if it is useful to do so, however and wherever they see fit.
I read because I enjoy reading. I want and expect to be educated and/or entertained by everything I read. If I agree to read your work, it’s because I want to read your work.
I am not your employee. Marketing is not my problem. Stroking your ego is not my job. A lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
Death before dishonor. Nothing before coffee.
Nothing above this line is negotiable.
This particular line of text has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Feel free to skip over it if you want to.
But you didn’t skip over it, did you? *grin*
Last but not least, please read some of the other reviews I’ve posted on this site — especially those in your chosen genre — if you haven’t already. I want you to feel comfortable in your decision to have me review your work.
If you think this is too long to read, remember: you’re asking me to read your novel. Again, if you have any questions or concerns about any of this, feel free to contact me.
I never take for granted how much love and work goes into writing a book, but I do expect an author to have gone through the process of rewriting, editing, and polishing for final presentation before passing it along for review. Whether or not you feel this is fair and acceptable to you, I wish you all the best in your endeavors.
Thank you for your consideration.