Thoughts on Review Policy Changes

from Flying Buttress Blog

As I've spent more time in the book blogging community, I have found the need to amend my review policy as circumstances changed and I learned more (<- was a noob).

At the beginning, I had more time (school is a soul, I mean time sucking monster) so I could have a really short turnaround time on reviewing books (there were also fewer requests). My turnaround time is now in the 4-5 week range and is only looking to get longer. (<- optimism right there)

Other changes I've needed to make include specifically stating which genres I absolutely won't read because it does no good for any of the parties involved if I waste time reading a book I know I have a high chance of hating and adding information on what I will participate in (and under what circumstances). I've also been adding some information as to what exceptions I am willing to make although I don't think anyone has taken advantage of the loopholes therein yet. (<- is how a law system 10 miles high of paper started)

I've been thinking about my no self-published policy lately because I had a request that came in from a self-published author which specifically noted that I don't take self-pub requests but that this manuscript had been through a professional editor, was short, and fit one of the main genres I enjoy reading. I accepted this request mostly because this author had actually taken the time to read my policy, noted that they had, and addressed my underlying concern that there was no professional editing (the fact that it was short and in a genre I enjoy reading helped too).

In light of this, I'm considering amending my policy with an addendum about how a self-published book could in fact be considered for review instead of outright rejected, but considering the number of self-pub requests I receive despite stating that I won't accept them... I think this might be a useless exercise on my part.(I think the OCD part of me wouldn't mind the completeness though >.>)

What do you guys think? amend? don't amend? Also, do you guys find yourselves changing your policy often (when, why)?

10 comments: Jump to Comment Form

I throw my old policy out the window and started fresh. I was like you, new to the blogging world when I made my first one and my second really helps getting requests from people writing in genres I just didn't want to review. I still get some, from people who don't read my review policy, but I figure it is their fault when they get a rejection.

I also had to do a little side note since I'm getting married. My return rate is also really long. Hey! I've got a wedding going on soon! Can you guess which one I would be more worried about? So those that ask me to get them a review in a week get rejected. I can't do it. Even if I didn't have other books waiting for review.

The part on self published is a good idea to help you weed out the ones that you have no interest in reading. It's hard to read a book where it hasn't gone through editing.

The more specific you make your policy, the happier you will be with the review requests you receive (well, for those that actually read it).


i accept self pubs from tours sometimes if I read an excerpt. Or, with prior knowledge of the writer's work or with a referral from another blogger , friend, writer, etc.

If someone obviously hasnt read my policy I refer them back to it and ask them to submit after if they fit the criteria.

Good topic too talk about. There are some bad reasons good books don't get published and there are many many good reasons books don't get published. Not every artist is going to hang in the Louvre, and there are few Amanda Hockings out there. I just don't have the time it takes to find the proverbial needle n a haystack. Who the hell put needles in a hay stack anyway?


Another thing I do is refer them to book tours like book blogging bitches which used to do free tours and may still.


Interesting questions. I don't have a review policy at all--I work at a bookstore and simply ask for all of the books I am interested in reading and reviewing. But I think in your case it's good to have a fairly strict review policy in place and then make shrewd decisions about exceptions, like the self-published book you decided to read. After all, just because it's self-published doesn't mean it's crap, and VICE VERSA. Too many publishers are diluting their frontlists with crap, sadly.


I always accept Self Pubbed if I like the story. I've only found one book I didn't like of them. Some of my new favourite reads are by Self Pubbed Authors... why do you think they aren't worth your time? :/


@Coma Some (quite enough for it to be a problem) self-published authors don't have other people edit their work before publishing it, and I think having someone else (preferably multiple people professional editors) look at your work and make comments before publication makes a huge difference. The problem is that there is no filtering process for who has taken that sort of time and who hasn't before the story hits my inbox. Reviewing is not my job; it's a hobby so I don't want the hassle of me being that filter.

Besides, the post is about under what conditions I might accept a self-published work for review so it's not that I don't think they are worth my time, but rather how to give those which might be worth my time a chance.


@Aimee Congratulations soon ^.^

@Steph you state the whether to review self-published works dilemma beautifully.


I'm going to have to change mine. I used to be open to more genres but with the requests pilng up and the wait up to 5 weeks until I get to read/review I have to start elminating things.
I accept self published right now because I think there's a bit of unfair stigma towards them these days and I like to give everyone a fair shot but I have to be honest and say most are not "i loved it" for me. I may have to re-adress that issue at some point too.


4-5 weeks?! You're awesome. I have in my policy that it could take up to 3-4 months, and it often does take me that long! I figure major publishers often state you should request ARCs 3-4 months before publication and they tend to prefer reviews posted around publication month, so I guess saying 3-4 months for review reasonable. *shrug*

I added an update to my review policy after a recent...incident. It's a disclaimer that by sending me a review request the requester agrees to the terms I have set out in my review policy unless they specifically request otherwise in their initial e-mail.

Of course, a situation like the one that sparked my addendum occurred because my review policy clearly was not read, so I'm not sure how helpful that added part will be.

In regard to your question about self-published books, I guess it depends on how many emails you want to get. I think if you say you may make an exception, then you might get everyone emailing you hoping they'll be the exception.


If a self-published book had been through a professional editor, I'd consider reading it too.


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