Philip P. Ide

Author, programmer, science enthusiast, half-wit.
Life is sweet. Have you tasted it lately?

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Rules on Reviewing

First off, you should know I only have a limited amount of time, so I can't review a hundred novels at once. Sorry, but that's basic physics for you. If I agree to review your novel, you may have to wait a while for me to get around to it, and then I'll need time to read it. I only review hard copies.

Please note that I have a preference for science fiction. If I get multiple requests and only one of them is science fiction, guess which one I'll choose.


  1. If it's traditionally published, I'll probably buy it (if I'm not broke at the time - feel free to offer a free copy anyway ;-))
  2. If it is self-published, or through a publisher that uses print-on-demand, you'll have to send it to me. Sorry, I live on a tight budget and I'm reluctant to risk my money on something that doesn't look like it's gone through the filters of an agent, publisher and editor.
  3. If it is self-published, make sure the grammar is up to publishing standard, it is spell-checked and you're not making lots of common noob errors
  4. I rarely review collections or anthologies
  5. You must request a review - they don't happen automagically (although sometimes, magic does happen)
  6. If I think my comments would harm your career, I won't publish them. If you have a thick skin, you can get a personal copy (but I probably never finished it - I don't continue to read something I'm not enjoying).
  7. Don't get pushy if you begin to sense inertia. If I agreed to do it, I'll get around to it as soon as I can. I'll email you to let you know when it's done, and usually will tell you when I begin your novel.
  8. I don't do Romance, Erotica or Romantica. A romantic element is fine, but not if it is the main thrust of the story.
  9. Put your email address in the body of the comment so I don't have to rummage around the disk looking for it (trust me, nobody else will ever see it)

Once a review has been completed, I'll post it in the review section of this blog, on my FB page and on Amazon.

To request a review, simply fill out the comment form below. Only I will see it. Don't forget to leave a real email address in the body of the message or it'll be difficult to talk to you (the message system hides the address in the email input). Mention the title and the genre, and where it is available from (e.g. Amazon, Lulu, iTunes etc). There's no need to put a link to the book on these sites.

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Michael cClarkeMichael cClarke, 2019/11/10 19:21
I enjoyed your post about reviews. It straight forward and to the point. I am self publishing on KDP and I think that they are sensitive to freebie copies. I have paid for a few rounds of editing although I’m sure there are rough edges still there. Have you done any reviews of KDP authors and did you have a way to get a free copy? I have two novels that are in the process of cover artwork development at this time but pretty much ready to go.
Phil IdePhil Ide, 2019/11/11 10:11
They don't like giving away freebies, especially in hard-copy, so this is a price the author has to absorb. I live on a shoestring budget - if I need a new mouse for my computer, I have to go without a loaf of bread. About half of the books I read are self- or indie-published via KDP, Lulu etc. Some I buy. I might have seen some good reviews of it, or the blurb may have caught my attention. Chris Morton, for example, had no idea I was reading his story, and neither has the author of the book I'm currently reading. KDP hard-copy books though, are expensive, so if you want a review, and think I'll recommend your story to readers, then you'll have to send me a copy. Traditionally published stories are cheaper and come with certain guarantees of quality.

As for the 'rough edges', I expect them to be there - it's par for the course with the self-publishing industry. The real question is: "are there so many problems it gets in the way of the story?" Paying attention to the art and the craft is important - character and story arcs, structure (story and scene), plot-holes and inconsistencies, cause and effect trajectories, holistic world-building etc. Problems in your story drag the reader out of their immersion, but in a great story well told, they'll forgive the odd hiccup and dive right back in.

Of course, it's a financial risk to you because I might not think your story is worth recommending. If I do, you definitely get something out of it. You might want to check out my article on self-publishing traps first (I've added a link to it in the text on this page).
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blog/aardvaark/rules_on_reviewing.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/14 00:08 by

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