Book Review Guidelines 2020

And so here we are – 2020. It’s a long way off from 2012, when I first started this blog, and I’ve come into contact with some really fabulous people. Most of the time this site has been going I’ve done book reviews, and at one point I stopped, picking up again with other ideas and topics I wanted to talk about or delve into. To be honest, I still want to do this, but it’s kind of hard to stay away from the stories. This, of course, has happened before, and I periodically opened up to accept a few reviews. When I started contemplating things again this time, I decided to do shake it up a bit. Some aspects will stay the same, though, because the goal is to make it easier for all involved.

A little background: I’ve got a degree in English I totally loved working for. I had really fantastic professors and still have a lot of the books, stories and poetry we read for my various lit courses. A few I recall off the top are: Reading in the Dark (Seamus Deane); The Real Charlotte (Ross & Somerville); “The Fisherman and His Soul” (Oscar Wilde); In the Time of the Butterflies (Julia Alvarez); “My Kinsman, Major Molineaux” (Nathaniel Hawthorne); The Odyssey (Homer); A Very Long Engagement (Sebastian Japrisot); Paula (Isabel Allende); The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka); “Le Belle Dame sans Merci” (John Keats); “Child’s Play” (Ichiyo Higuchi); The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy); Doctor Faustus (Christopher Marlowe); Liars’ Club (Mary Karr); “Notes from Underground” (Fyodor Dostoevsky) aaaaaand one novel set in 1800s American Southwest by a female author, which at one point contains a direct quotation from The Metamorphosis—that I have been unable to remember or identify for years. (I really want to read it again.)

As a child and teen I was enamored of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Crystal Cave and anything by Lewis Carroll. These days I still read all that, plus memoir, ghost stories, historical fiction, various non-fiction, time travel and lots of indie books.

So here’s how I’m opening up the works ~

While I used to ask that authors shoot me an email to see if I’ll do a review, I decided to just do away with that. Since I have a lot more on my plate than I used to (at least it feels that way—it could be that some things were just replaced with others), I’ve given myself permission to respond with very brief emails or not at all. If you receive a brief email from me, please do not take it personally; it is sheer necessity. The “not at all” category used to be something like authors sending me e-copies of their books without asking if I would review them.

To be honest, these authors were onto something, even though I’d always said, “Don’t email me your books; I’ll delete them.” But they had a good idea because lots of stories looked quite intriguing and I thought, “Actually, this could be pretty efficient.” So I sort of took this idea like a piece of clay, rolled it around a bit and created my own shape to it. Out of this and past experiences, I developed these guidelines:

  • If you are interested in a review, just go ahead and send me your book. Please note the following caveats:
    • I only accept hard copies. Extended electronic reading gives me a headache and I’m done with it, so paperback or hardback are fine. I will provide my address below.
    • I do not guarantee I will review your book once I read it. Unless I become inundated, I will start every book I receive. If I finish and decide to write a review, I will let you know, so please be sure to provide your email address.
  • I work really hard on my reviews and aim to make them quality pieces. Because these entries really are joint efforts—you write the book and I do the review—I have an expectation that we don’t fall into a one-sided association here. Indeed, you wrote the book, and so you should get the kudos and income from it, and my goodness I hope you make heaps of dough! (I don’t say that sarcastically; I know it’s fashionable to demonize success these days.) However, for the blog part, I’ll be posting my reviews to Amazon, Goodreads and linking on Twitter (possibly one or two more). So I’m bringing into the mix that part of the deal is that you help promote the review and link to it and the blog—and please, not just as a one-off. Doing this makes it a win-win situation and is a very small way to help a blogger to help authors, especially indie authors, whose marketing departments often need frequent infusions of caffeine. Seriously, though, the more viewers any given book blog gets, there more people are going to be seeing your book(s!) reviewed, and the better chance this level of exposure advances to a higher one.
  • I work full time and am currently engaged with a few of my own projects. I am carving out very specific time to spend on reading books for the blog, but I’m just one person with a family who takes priority. I don’t mind if someone sends an email with a What’s up? (so long as it does not become excessive), but please do not be rude to me. I’m not going to put up with it.
  • If you would like to do a giveaway, by all means please let me know; I’d love to host it. Authors outside the United States can, at least in my experience, order from Amazon.com (as opposed to Amazon UK, etc.) to send books Stateside, rather than having them ship overseas.
  • Please check back here periodically, as there may be updates or additions to the guidelines.

Be sure to have a peek at my sidebar periodically as it changes to reflect the rotation of reads. I also keep a widget full of blogs I follow – which needs a thorough dusting, to be honest – so check it out when you swing by to see if I’ve cleaned up or added more. For updates on this and other items, go ahead and click that button!  (Upper right on main page or tab at bottom right.) You’ll get a notification–just one, so you won’t be inundated–to let you know there’s something new for you to check out.

You can contact me at scully_dc AT yahoo DOT com; I can also be found at Goodreads.

And, as promised, my mailing address:

Before the Second Sleep Book Reviews
Attn: Lisl
1601 West Northern Lights Boulevard 90032
Anchorage, Alaska 99509 United States

Glad to have you here and I hope each one of you is finding something marvelous in this crazy, mixed-up world.

~Lisl~
2020-9-17

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11 thoughts on “Book Review Guidelines 2020

    1. Hi, Martha, we’ve spoken since you wrote, but I wanted to say a big thanks for stopping by. We’ll be seeing each other soon again! 🙂

  1. That was a great review! (“After The Sucker Punch,” by Lorraine Devon Wilke.) I’d rather write an entire book than review a book, (or write a synopsis, for that matter). Anyway, that’s it. Great review. I’m off to find out if I can get you to review my memoir, Loveyoubye.

    1. Hello! I know it’s ben awhile but I want to still respond here also for the sake of other readers. You already know, but for others~~I shall indeed be reading and reviewing _Loveyoubye_.

      Quick story, peeps: The day I received it in the mail I had to go to the tax office and so while waiting began to read—ended up reading five chapters in one go. Really looking forward to getting back to it!

      1. Oh and how rude of me! Thanks so much for your kind words about the review. 🙂 Feel free to drop by anytime 😀

  2. Hi Lisl, thanks so much for finding my humble blog and introducing yourself to me. I am having a good look around here as we “speak” and loved the whispers in the ears of eternity. I am sure your other posts will also captivate me. xxx

    1. Hello! I’m glad you made it over, and thanks for your kind words and taking the time to comment. 🙂 I have a feeling we’ll “see” each other more as I love to read your thoughts on what’s going on in the world and your space in it–it’s sort of like being included in a conversation. I’m glad you are liking what you’re seeing here, and hope you’ll comment more because I really love to learn what people are enjoying the most. Looking forward to more of your wonderful posts ~LIsl~

  3. Pingback: Update: Happy New Home | before the second sleep

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