Why I can’t review your book.

An aside


I get so many queries I have to address this publicly.

I won’t consider reviewing or promoting self-published books at this time, though I’m sure some of you have written knock it out of the park novels, nonfiction, poetry, etc. No doubt I’m missing incredible writing but I am, as do we all, facing a finite life.

The great thing about self-publishing is anyone can write and publish a book. The abomination about self-publishing is anyone can write and publish a book. The big houses with overworked, highly skilled and moderately paid (never enough, in my opinion) editors still turn out a lot of pure crap, mostly to please the masses. Self-published books don’t have the benefit of either overworked, highly skilled and moderately paid editors who’ve made it to the head of the pack to smooth and improve prose, nor graphic artists to design appealing covers and fonts and such.

I come in only once books have been through these steps and then only when I can take on new projects. For the foreseeable future, all I can handle are professionally published books I can review in professional publications. I’m also working on my own stuff.

Keep writing, keep honing, keep submitting. If nothing else, writing a full-length novel is an accomplishment in itself. It’s more than 90% of aspiring writers ever do. Hell, I haven’t managed to do it yet.

Promote the hell out of yourself. Pitch bloggers who review self-published books. Take copies to local indie shops willing to buy a copy or two and give it a chance. When you hit it big you can write and tell me I missed out. I can take it.

I can’t review your self-published book but I’m flattered you asked. I truly am.


3 thoughts on “Why I can’t review your book.

  1. I quibble with only one thing: some self-published books do indeed have benefit of highly skilled editors, who are paid or donate their time because they believe in the project. Our book had two paid, and one excellent unpaid. Fair disclosure, after having an editor and self-publishing, our book was then picked up by a “real” publisher, which may or may not have happened. What I do know is that, from then on, my experience in PR took it a great deal further than the publisher ever intended on lifting a finger toward….But, yes, I understand. Like music, the internet has empowered and overwhelmed.


  2. Hi, Sarah. Certainly, there are exceptions but the bulk of books I’ve agreed to read have been unedited, or attempted by editors who didn’t appear practiced in their craft. It’s a matter of time vs. volume of queries and I find I just can’t read it all. I know I’ll miss out on some gold, though.


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