Review Policy

If you’re here, I want to thank you for your interest in my reviews- and, possibly, in having me review your book.

If you’re interested in sending me a book for review, I will gladly consider your request; I welcome all review requests and will consider reviewing books from virtually any genre- including but not limited to (but especially):

Fiction

High Fantasy; Historical Fiction / Romance; Religious Fiction (including Christian); Paranormal and Supernatural; Science Fiction; Dystopian / Utopian / Apocalyptic.

Non-Fiction

Historical Nonbiographical (especially concerning Pre-Christian, Victorian, Elizabethan, or Midcenturian history); Household Management (Organization, Cleaning, and similar topics); Cooking (including Cookbooks); Hobbies and Crafts (especially Sewing, Embroidery, and similar topics); Etiquette and Manners;  Self Help and How-To; Outdoors (including Gardening, Farming and Self-Sustainability, and Conservation); Alternative Medicines and Therapies (especially Herbalism); Religion (including Christian, but especially Irish Polytheistic Faith); non-Wiccan Magical / Occult Studies.

All I ask is that you please read the following information to make it easier on the both of us.  [Last edited on 11.10.17]


What you need to know first

All of my books are ones which were purchased for me, ones which I bought myself, had gifted to me, or rented from local libraries, or are DARCs that I received from NetGalley and Email requests for reviews.

In the case of NetGalley and email requests, or any circumstance wherein I receive a free book (or other compensation) for the review, all posts reviewing them will be clearly labeled as [Sponsored] and will fully address any compensation that I received for the review. There will be no exceptions to this rule under any circumstances; to make an exception would be to violate FCC Guidelines.

At this moment I am not accepting print books for review; I will only accept digital copies in either .PDF or .MOBI formats that are compatible with the first generation Kindle Fire (.PDF is preferred).

Due to my request volume to time ratio, I don’t have a lot of time to spend responding to every email that I receive requesting a review. As a result, I will only respond to review requests that I have decided to accept; if you do not hear back from me in a timely fashion (within a week), then please assume that I’m respectfully declining your request.

There is only one situation where you can expect an automatic denial, with or without a response: Offers for book tours or guest content; all content on my blog is 100% written, photographed, and edited by me and I want to keep it that way. As a result, any and all requests for book tours or guest writers will automatically be denied. I do not not accept these types of requests under any circumstance.

I will make every effort to post reviews for books that I accept. However, I cannot guarantee reviews for all of the books that I receive. As a result, your book may get a review in only one place, it may get a combination review, or it may get none at all. In the same vein, I’m also incredibly picky about which books actually get featured slots on my blog. Additionally, I also reserve the right not to post a review should I feel uncomfortable doing so for any reason.

Please see the Where I review section of this page for more information.

Because of the way in which I review books and the nature of the books I usually review, I have a lower turnover rate than most. As a result, it may take a variable amount of time than most are accustomed to, to receive my review if your book is accepted.

Please see the When Can I Expect My Review section of this page for more information.


Where I review

All book reviews have the potential to appear in three spaces: Here at A Sweet and Delicate Thing, on Goodreads, or on Amazon; occasionally they may also appear on Barnes & Nobles, but this is incredibly rare for me.

I make a concentrated effort to post all book reviews to Goodreads at bare minimum, regardless of genre. An Amazon review, however, is not guaranteed; whether or not a review appears there depends on whether or not a listing is published at the time of my review, and whether or not I remember to do so at any time.

As stated, however, I’m incredibly picky about which reviews appear here on my blog. In order to appear here, the topic of the book must be relevant to the topic of the space I’ve created. As a result, blog reviews are relegated strictly to the realm of non-fiction and must be relevant to the subjects listed above for that category. I make no exceptions to this, and have a staunch policy against reviewing fiction or unrelated non-fiction on my blog.

I also reserve the right not to post a review for other reasons, even if a review is normally guaranteed for books of its nature. Reasons for this include racism, sexism, or other problematic content, a lack of understanding about the subject matter, and other reasons which I may or may not disclose should I choose not to publish a review.


How I Review

I am an artist by trade, an academic by hobby and necessity, and a critic at heart. As a result, I look at several elements in order to review a book- some of which you may not be accustomed to seeing from other reviewers.

First is accuracy: Does the author presents any information as fact? If they do, have they quoted or otherwise named their sources for that “fact”? Did they provide a bibliography? What is the validity and acceptability of the sources they name? Did they name any of the “studies” by name? Did they quote an authority or expert? Has the author exhibited an accurate understanding of the material they quote? Is this information valid and correct? Is the information up to date according to the most recent understanding of and data available on the subject? Is there any information which conflicts with the information the book presents as fact?

Second is formatting: Does the content flow in a cohesive manner that is easy for the reader to navigate? Does the organization of the content make sense- whether in regards to narrative flow or relevancy to surrounding material, etc? Do chapter names accurately reflect their contents? Is the index, bibliography, or additional information sections easy to read and navigate- and do they follow standard format / source protocols? Does any of the formatting in the book impede the reader’s ability to understand or otherwise focus on the material? Are there any changes that could be made to improve the formatting of the book?

Third is design: Does the exterior design make it easy to recognize as a book within its category? Does the exterior design relate to or otherwise reflect its title, subject, and content? Does the interior design approach reflect other books within its category? Is the design aesthetically pleasing- or is it boisterous, noisy, or overdone? Does it work as intended- or does it draw attention away from the content it’s meant to support? Were there any design mistakes or faux pas made? Are the images of high quality and skill? Are the images relevant to the content? Do the colors work well with one another? Does the design impede the reader’s ability to read or otherwise understand its content? Are there any changes that could be made to improve the artistic design of the book?

Fourth is readability: Is it well written- using proper grammar, spelling, etc? Does the book employ an accurate us of language? Is it clear and easy to understand- or is it difficult to read? Do topics appear in a natural, well flowing manner- or does it bounce from topic to topic with no cohesion? Is it easy to identify the topic of any given section? What is the tone of the book? Does the author use humor? If so, how well did they employ that humor?

Next is content: Is the content interesting? Is it relevant to its category and genre? How well does it execute the idea it’s created around? Does the book cover its topic thoroughly? Are there any areas that should be expanded upon to provide more information? Does it provide substantial worth- or is it a superfluous and ultimately unnecessary publication? Does its size and content accurately reflect its cost and value?

Last is enjoyability: How enjoyable did I find this book to read? Who would I recommend this book for, or who would this book most likely appeal to? How is this book most suitable to use?

In some cases the criteria greatly impacts the rating, in others it doesn’t. Most commonly, the criteria affects it at varying rates and to various degrees depending on a number of factors. Still, it’s important to know what I review based on in order to determine if your book is a good fit for me.


When Can I Expect My Review?

Currently I have an ever growing stack of books that I want to read. I have to balance this between my normal blogging schedule, side projects, and the normal duties of a stay at home wife. I’m also very much a mood reader- I don’t just have to have the time, I also have to be in the mood in order to read. Likewise, as you can probably tell from my review criteria, I take a mode academic and practical approach to books; I don’t just review content. I review every aspect.

Unfortunately, as a result of these factors, it’s important to note that I often have a lower turnover rate than many may be accustomed to; I will try my very best to read and review your book in a timely manner, but it’s simply not always doable. It may take anywhere between 1 week and 6 months for your review to appear in any of the areas I traditionally leave my reviews- though I do make an exception for NetGalley books, which I try to get out within 3 months of receiving. In all cases that a full review will take some time, however, I will at least try to remember to update my GoodReads status of the book and add a placeholder that states a full review of the material is pending.

If you don’t see your review immediately, I ask that you be patient… And if you need a review immediately (or as fast as possible), then I’m probably not the best person to contact.


What Happens if I Didn’t Enjoy Your Book?

There is an ever present possibly that I won’t enjoy your book. In all cases, my review will be absolutely clear of that; I’m not a person who minces words. If I don’t like your book I will say so, and I may not always be nice about it.

Before contacting me for any sort of review it’s important that you realize that I will not, on moral principle, write a glowing review of it just because you sent me something for free (or even paid me, in the rare instances that may happen); all of my reviews are my honest opinions- and I do my level best to give as realistic, practical, and ultimately true review as possible. This is something that remains true regardless of the source of the book.

Furthermore, I stand by all of my reviews and I will not honor any requests for review revisions- i.e. changing a negative review into a positive one. In fact, attempting to get me to do so (especially in a rude, harsh, or otherwise negative manner) will ultimately result in changing any review to a negative one on principle. The only exception to this rule is the result of honest, respectful, mutual conversation between myself and an author, where information is clarified or expanded upon in such a way that it is shown I did not fully understand an area which I had previously given a book negative points on. In such cases I will gladly amend reviews to reflect a better or more nuanced understanding of the book’s content.

I value discussion between reviewers and authors concerning their reviews, but I do not accept (nor tolerate) childish behavior which seeks to delegitimize a review or attack a reviewer. Nor do I accept (or tolerate) authors who choose to employ negative and unprofessional tactics to get a reviewer to change their review. More than that, I fully believe that the ways in which Authors respond to or otherwise handle reviews matters and is, ultimately, something that should be reflected within reviews when necessary. And it may seem ridiculous to say that, but sadly this sort of behavior has happened in the past.

Please understand that I spent valuable time reading your book, and I feel like I reserve the right to talk about that experience even if it was negative. Ergo, by sending a review request you are acknowledging that a review may be negative. If you’re not comfortable with the fact that a negative review could be written, then I am definitely not a good fit for you.


Where Should I Send My Request?

Any and all review requests should be fielded to therosewoodhearth (at) gmail (dot) com

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