I do pretty regular book reviews on Tuesdays. In addition to this blog, reviews are posted on Amazon.com and Goodreads. No money is ever charged for reviews. I will contact any author and privately provide feedback to authors rather than blasting them openly if a book deserves a negative review; I feel strongly that the review section of a writer’s sale outlet is an inappropriate place for harsh criticism/feedback.
Yes, I review Indie books, in addition to traditionally published books. Also, I will absolutely judge your book by its cover. While it won’t likely be talked about in a review, if it was a poorly put-together afterthought or no attention was given to it I will probably decline it with the assumption that your writing/editing was also haphazard (reading requires an investment of time by readers and I don’t like investing it poorly–covers are indicators of the value of the time your asking me to commit.)
You are asking me to invest several hours to read your book. Please take a few minutes to read this list–especially the “What I don’t review” section. It will save us both some heartbreak later.
Because of digital fatigue (and personal preference,) I will probably request a paperback copy if I agree to review a book. I might not respond to a request if I am declining (if you haven’t heard from me within two weeks it’s a good guess I have declined.) Remember that you are opting into my mailing list by sending your request.
Things I hate:
Make sure you have avoided the following in your book in order to get a great review–
Passive voice verbs (especially overuse of the word “was.”) Boring intros/prologues. Too much profanity (if you have such a limited vocabulary that must resort to frequent vulgarities then you probably aren’t ready to write a book.) Passive voicing (I REALLY hate it). As-you-know-Bob and info dumping. Tired tropes and copy-cats (I love things that are homages, I hate when it’s just a rip off.) Passive voice. I don’t particularly care for 1st person POV either… and nothing on this list prohibits it from a query–but I’ve seen abuses in these areas, so try to work on it. If your writing falls into these any areas I may email you a harsh critique–but I rarely post poor reviews (unless you start cursing at me or troll me.)
What I require when requesting a review:
1. Give me all your book details, including amazon and goodreads links, your book’s cover image, and tell me why I am going to enjoy it.
2. Tell me what format you can give it to me in. I prefer .mobi files for my kindle (I don’t do PDF anymore–it reads clunky on my devices), paperback, or Audible. Free Audible codes will typically go on the top of my list since I can listen during commutes.
3. I want to know what POV your book is written in.
4. Email me your pitch @gmail.com (authorchristopherdschmitz). Please note that I cannot review every book, but I do try to do a 2-3 each month. When you pitch me you understand that you will be put on my occasional mailing list. You will receive a confirmation email after pitching me to this effect. It sometimes takes a week or so to respond to messages.
5. Submitting authors/agents ought to follow my profiles on Facebook, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Twitter. While not hard and fast requirements for me to read your book, it will absolutely increase your odds of me picking your book. We all play favorites and this helps increase those odds.
Genres I review:
Horror (but not gore for the sake of gore)
YA/NA (but have a good hook)
Paranormal (please note that egregious abuses or excessive/deliberate inaccuracies of traditional angeology/demonology will tick me off; I consider myself quite well versed in this area and hold degrees in this area. No outright blasphemy please.)
werewolf/vampire (but make it good/original)
I will consider–
Nonfiction (pretty limited focus–you should research me before submitting)
Mainstream fiction (I am VERY selective)
Zombie (again, don’t be a rip-off of anything else)
Novella/Novellette (but aim for my novel preferences)
I do not review–
Romance (I don’t even care for too much romance in my genre fiction–if it’s more overt than Han and Leia in the Star Wars films I’m going to find it distasteful)
1st person POV books that haven’t been professionally edited
Books that prominently feature homosexuality
Books that trash faith (satire is fine, however, but understand it’s a thin line)
Overtly political books (especially contemporary bi-partisan western sermons with agendas)
Nonfiction/self-help. This includes all eastern thought/karma/spiritual healing pagan/new age motivational and religious (including Christian) how-to/steps to a better you and any type of fitness guide. I get many queries. Its a hard pass from me.