Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

8 Ways to Boost Your Chances of Getting Your Review Request Approved

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Kimber here. Her Crankiness can’t come to the blog right now. That’s cuz she’s neck-deep in Mom Book Cranky. And we’re out of cookies ‘n cream ice cream. Lemme explain a bit more on the book front.

Back when Mom was young and foolish – about 20 minutes ago – we took pretty much any request for a book review and ran with it. Hindsight being 20/20, as they say, we learned a few things in the process. Like:

  • Not all requests for book reviews are created equal.
  • Our time is limited. So is our attention. We don’t have the time to plow through a book that wouldn’t pass third grade muster. Or spell check.

We get tons of requests for book reviews. From authors. Publicists. Publishers. Feline fans. (Nobody’s perfect.) We love reading good books by gifted writers. And doing honest book reviews. But…

Three to Five

… we don’t have time for and even less patience with lousy, sloppy writing or tedious, sub-standard work requiring a lifetime supply of No Doze.

It doesn’t take us long to determine whether or not we want to keep reading your manuscript. Depending on the length of the book and its chapters, Mom typically gives a book three to five chapters to prove itself. Show some class. Professionalism. Talent. If your book is still lacking after that, out it goes! To the Big Kitty Litter Box in the Sky.

We just don’t have time to read stuff that belongs on the bottom of a bird cage. Especially when we have truckloads of better stuff in the pipeline.

New Policy

If your book doesn’t pass muster as described above, we’ll pass on reviewing it. If you’ve provided accurate contact information, we’ll let you know if we decide to decline.

That being said, author, here are 8 easy ways to increase your chances of getting your book review request accepted:

  1. Read and re-read your book out loud before sending it our way and asking for a review. This will help you catch any typos or spelling errors. (You wouldn’t believe how many ARCs we get riddled with both. For example, one book described the downward trajectory of a plane as a “decent.” On page one. It was all downhill from there.)
  2. Get yourself a professional editor if at all possible. If that’s not possible, have a few close, trusted book savvy friends or family members read your manuscript before sending it our way. This will help catch some of those pesky errors, too.
  3. Spell. Check.
  4. Learn how to paragraph. (Very few of us can pull off William Wordsworth, Part II.)
  5. Kindly number your pages. It’s not that hard, okay?
  6. It helps if you actually have a story to tell.
  7. It also helps if you have an actual point.
  8. It still also helps if you have a clear beginning, middle, and end to your story instead of endless nattering on and hopping down irrelevant rabbit holes.


Now if I can just remember where I stashed the ice cream. Hmmmm…

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