Submission Guidelines

Please note, due to a high volume of requests, we are closed for reviews for the foreseeable future, thank you

Submission Guidelines For Authors Requesting A Review

Review Policy

If I accept your book for review, I will be totally honest in my appraisal. Books are evaluated in the following areas:

  • the plot is well structured, well paced, conceptually sound and engaging.
  • the characters are well developed and their dialogue and interactions with others are believable.
  • the book is not excessively wordy, particularly, no rambling descriptions, dumps of information, unnecessary repetition or irrelevant scenes.
  • changes in the point of view of the writing are clear; specifically, when in third person close POV, no confusing quick jumps from the thoughts of one character to another and back again – usually referred to as head-hopping. This is not to be confused with correctly written omniscient POV which has one POV, that of the omniscient narrator.
  • the writing is immediate and engaging. This means that, where applicable, the story is generally shown rather than told, and the writing is active rather than passive, eg doesn’t overuse forms of the verb, ‘to be’.  (This includes overuse of ‘was’ ‘were’ and ‘ing’ words–which are passive in nature, and should be used sparingly).
  • the grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct for the author’s country of origin. (I accept a maximum of 5-7 proof errors in a full length novel, more than that and the author will be asked to reproof the book.)  In this situation I will always offer you a second chance at review.

As an approved reviewer, I am trained to assess craftsmanship rather than personal opinion.  This holds whether your book finds its way to me via Awesome Indies, The Review Board, or you contact me directly.

As well as offering reviews to authors who approach me directly, I also review for both Awesome Indies and The Review Board.

I publish all my reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and on my website.  As of March 2014, reviews rated at 1 or 2 stars will NOT be posted. If the author wishes I am more than happy to offer private feedback.

I do my best to provide a fair review based  on my understanding of good criteria and the standards of mainstream publishing, and though it may not always appear that way, I do aim to be helpful. However, I will not enter into any discussion on the results of your review. Click here for helpful articles on handling rejection. This one on when negative reviews are kind may be particularly helpful.

I have been the victim of revenge reviews in the past, so please ensure you can handle any review in a professional manner before applying to me to read your book.  I will not be bullied into leaving a better review than a book deserves, just as I won’t be bribed into leaving a good review regardless of merit.  I will always offer an honest appraisal of any book I read.  Period.

Requesting a Review

I will do my best to offer you a review, but cannot guarantee a review, and no time frame can be given for the review.

Books are read and reviewed on a first come, first served basis.


The rating system

1 star – unacceptable craftsmanship. It will include some, but not necessarily all, of the following: unacceptable number of copy- editing errors, poor plot, shallow characters, info dumps, structural defects, clumsy expression, grammatical errors etc. It should never have been published in this state. (I won’t finish reading a book like this.)

2 stars – substandard craftsmanship. The faults may simply be fewer in number than those in the first category, or they may be more subtle in nature, eg all expositional or passive writing (eg over-use of variations of the ‘to be’ verb), major point of view confusion (eg chronic head-hopping), major plot holes, limited character development, clumsy expression, too many copy-editing mistakes etc. Or it may simply be a major structural problem , very poor pacing and/or excessive scenes.

3 stars – worth buying. A three star book will generally have no major structural defects, though it could have minor ones and may have pacing issues. The prose may need some improvement but the story has sufficient good qualities for them not to be a major issue. For example it may, or may not, have minor P.O.V. problems, mild plot holes or passive writing. Alternatively, it may be well crafted but lack imagination or originality or have excellent prose but a poor plot.

4 stars – a well-crafted and enjoyable book, or an exceptionally well-crafted book that didn’t inspire me enough to add one more star.

5  stars – an exceptionally well-crafted and enjoyable book, or a well-crafted book that had that extra spark that really excites.

How to Submit

If, after reading through the above, you feel your book meets the submission criteria, then please contact me via:  In the email title please write ‘Review Request’.  In the body of the email, please give me your (author) name, the name of the book, the approximate length of the book, who has done the editing and proof reading (including if this has been done by yourself), a link to your book where I can find a blurb and sample download.

I will always respond to EVERY email that I receive, stating as a  minimum ‘Request Received’, however I cannot guarantee a time frame for acceptance onto my review list, nor how soon I can then proceed to review your book.  Please appreciate that I am very busy, and that I will always get back to you, eventually – so please do not keep on sending me emails if you haven’t heard back from me in a week or two.  Only resend if I haven’t acknowledged your request as received.  If for some reason your emails don’t seem to be getting through, then please use the contact form here.  As a fellow author, I really do appreciate how difficult it can be to obtain honest reviews, so I will always do my utmost to accommodate your review needs.

I also offer various editing, proof reading and other manuscript services for those authors/writers who are interested.  Check out my Notes tab for further information, or click here.

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