Advice re reviews

What do I review?

I primarily review speculative friction ie science fiction, fantasy and horror. But historical fiction and crime fiction can also interest me.

While I do read non-fiction I am less-likely to review it.

Sorry but romance does nothing for me and you are wasting you time sending it to me.

Dragons have been done to death so I am not likely to review yet another story about or featuring dragons.Advice to

Advice to self-publishers

I am an author and have also self-published so I am well aware of some of the traps too many people fall into with self-publishing. Before sending it out to people like me to review, ask yourself some important questions:

  • have you had other people read it and give you feedback and by that I don’t just have your Mother skim through it and say ‘that’s nice dear’
  • have you had it proofread to get rid of all the niggling little typos and hiccups that can sneak in
  • is it really the best possible thing you can do or did you just finish writing, slap it together and self-publish straight away?
  • are you being realistic about your work’s potential? There are huge numbers of books being published all the time – no matter how good a book may be, not everyone is going to like it

What if you don’t like my review?

Chill. Any review is merely my opinion of the work I have just read. I try to be constructive but it certainly isn’t my job to help with editing or critiquing your work. If I write a negative review this is not a personal attack on the author as such but a reflection on the work given to me to review.

How do you get reviewed?

Ask a reviewer if they will. Places like can point you in the direction of reviewing blogs. If the reviewer says they don’t review particular genres etc then don’t waste either your time or theirs unless you have a REALLY good reason for doing so (and insisting you’re the next Stephen King etc doesn’t justify). When you send some info about the book you want reviewed then make it enough to make a reviewer want to read the book. If I would have to go searching for more info then I’m not going to bother. Don’t try to convince a reviewer that you are the Next Big Thing. Sell us the book, not the author. Please do not be offended if your book is not picked up by a particular reviewer. We get sent far more requests to review than we have time available to actually read and review. Again, it comes back to ‘selling’ your book to us by making us want to read it. A good synopsis helps.

What do I get out of it?

Nothing in a material sense. If it is an e-book then I don’t even have something to put on the bookshelf, just a collection of artfully arranged electrons. I do not get paid for reviewing. I do it because I love books and reading.

Want to seriously piss me off? Then offer to pay me to write positive reviews. In my opinion only charlatans and idiots try to buy positive reviews. I DO NOT and I WILL NOT write reviews to order.

What happens if I do review your book?

I post a review here at wordsbyross, email you a link and also release links in my Facebook (Ross Hamilton and Words by Ross) and Twitter feeds.

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