Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Reading, Reviewing & Rating Policy

Despite having my blog for six months now, I never included what my policy on reading, reviewing and rating is. I now decided that it’s about time I did that so all my readers, any authors and publishers and all audience interested in my blog can have a point of reference.

Even though I do not generally limit myself to one genre only, there are certain books I prefer reading. If you are a publisher and would like me to review books published by your company, please consider the following so there are no mishaps and the risk of a negative review is significantly reduced.

Genres I prefer:
1. Historical Fiction, apart from the early 20th century including WWI & WWII.
2. Horror Fiction
3. Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, apart from legal thrillers.
4. Fantasy Fiction
5. Classics
6. Memoirs

Genres I tend to read less often:
1. Chick Lit
2. Romance Fiction
3. Young Adult
4. Non-Fiction
5. Biographies/Autobiographies
6. Urban Fantasy

Genres I definitely will not read:
1. Cookbooks
2. Art & Craft books
3. Diet/Weight loss books
4. Business books

There are many genres I did not mention, only the most important to point out. If you would like me to review a book published by your company, please contact me first with a description. If I receive books without prior notice and if I do not like them, I will post a negative review (if needed) without a courtesy of notifying a publisher who did not have the courtesy to give me a choice first.
Last but not least, simply because a writer is well known and his/her books are bestsellers, it does not guarantee my positive review. Rarely am I influenced by opinions of others and I consider myself nonconformist, therefore it may happen that I dislike books appreciated by the majority and enjoy books that others don’t.

Because I try to request books written only in the genre I prefer, I mostly like the books I read/review. Sometimes it does happen that I am either completely dismayed by a book or dislike parts of it. If I review books purchased by me, I post reviews in all honesty (negative or positive) as I do not feel obligated otherwise. If I review ARC’s, galleys and review copies sent to me by publishers, I remain honest in my posts, however, I give publishers the courtesy of choosing whether they want a negative review up on my blog or not. This particular part concerns only the books that in my opinion should never be published and I have nothing positive to say about them. I always post reviews of books which did not satisfy my intellectual tastes but may still be considered good reads for someone with different preferences and I can find positive sides to it. As far as the timeline goes, I need 2-3 months from the time I receive a review copy to read/review it. I love reading, I enjoy blogging and I appreciate the opportunity to work side by side with publishers and authors towards their success. Most importantly, reading and blogging, while treated very seriously and with utmost respect, are my enjoyable leisurely activities. I do not want it to become a job I dread with deadlines I can’t possibly meet. If you require a book to be read/reviewed immediately or within days of having received it, I am not your best choice.

This issue has been quite controversial of late. That’s why I decided to mention what my policy on it is. I do not rate books on my blog. I try to make my reviews clear enough for my readers to know what my feelings about a book are. It is my hope that my reviews are never vague and do not confound potential readers and my blog’s visitors. With that in mind, I believe that to give a rating on top of a review is redundant.

With sincere regards to all,