SUBMITTING YOUR WORK TO ME/BOOK REVIEWS/PROOFREADING, ETC.

Submissions for Book Reviews from Authors

I don’t charge for my book reviews for publishers. I also don’t pay for the books you want me to review. I think that’s a fair trade. Trust me, I’ve gotten some pretty bad books over the years where I felt, after reading them, I should get paid. My general rule is, if I like the book, I provide an honest review. If I sorta like it, I’ll try to leave a fair review.  It may not be for me, that doesn’t mean it’s written terribly.

There are many things that I look for. Here are some:

  • cover presentation, design and overall legibility.  Does it make sense and coordinates to the general theme of the book. Is it a pretty trap? Artwork quality, originality (I’ve run across several covers being reused for books from different publishing houses.
  • Initial hook. Did it grab my attention? Did it want me to read on?
  • First Chapter Intros. Did I meet the characters and clearly learn who the Protagonist was, what their goals were and was I intrigued by their character?
  • Pacing. How fast or slow did the story unfold. Did it come across from being jerky and halting?  What POV was used. Was POV clear and precise? Did it come across properly grammar wise?
  • Typos. How well was the book edited. Was it put together sloppily?
  • Plot. Effective Twists? Smooth flowing plot points? Were there holes? Confusion?
  • Conflict.  Did the author build tension adequately showing the reader struggles and hurtles, preparing the Character for the climax of the story?
  • Goals. Were the Character’s goals met? Any unfinished business?
  • Was the reveal predictable? Was it shocking?
  • How did the author end the story. Was the resolution done well enough to wrap up all loose ends up.
  • If a series, was the reader prepared properly for the next section of the story.  Was the ending abrupt and unclear to the next stage of the story. Did it feel like anything was missing?
  • If a fantasy book, was the world developed, created adequately? World-building is crucial to fantasy books, was this world something the reader had no trouble envisioning? If magic was a factor, was the magic system clear and realistic. Were levels used and outlined properly? The results of magic use, did they make sense?
  • If fantasy book, was there a social structure, a political structure, language unique to the story, was it confusing, set up and used to the benefit of the story or did all or some get in the way?
  • If a fantasy book series, was there an ending that set up the next book.  Did this ending leave too many unfinished questions for the reader after finishing the first book, that the first book should have answered.
  • If a fantasy, was every page used to benefit the story or was filler introduced?  How many pages could have been left out or reworded/reduced to make the fantasy story pace faster?
  • If a trilogy, was the second book necessary or did it seem like filler?
  • If a duology, could the book have been a standalone without being huge in page count? Did each book serve a distinctive purpose?
  • If a series, was the main plot carried through each book or did it change without benefiting the Protagonist’s goals?  Was the genre carried throughout?
  • If a children’s picture book, are there enough illustrations? Were the illustrations complimentary to the story?  Was the proper page number used? What type of illustrations were used? Were the illustrations pleasing to the eye, did they use bright and bold colours/designs.  Was humor used? Was each word used critical to the story, or was there too many?
  • If an early reader or chapter book, was there any illustrations used? Did the story flow nicely and easily using age appropriate wording and reading levels. Was there a complete plot, humor, action or concepts appealing to this age level.
  • If a middle-grade reader, was there a definitive age targeted? Was it for older middle-graders or younger? Did it follow all the necessary requirements for this readership?

There’s so much more for each category of books I’m sent to review that I look for.  I didn’t even touch science fiction or historical fiction, another two I absolutely love to review, but I think you get the point.

I get a lot of requests for reviews, so be patient.  Publishers, feel free to send me a reminder if you have an upcoming book release date and I’ve had the book/PDF for a while. I can let you know if I’ve read it or not and if I plan on providing a review.  Otherwise, stay tuned…

I’ve been cutting back on my ebook reads.  This format is just not my favorite.  I like to get a print copy so I can take my pencil and stickies to it, formulate potential author interview questions and flag areas I loved/hated.  With an eBook, this is possible, but so much work and I love having the book in hand.   Sometimes, to say you either loved it or hated it, is an impossible feat without in depth set of reasons/explanations.  And, I like to explain my position. I know it’s cheaper for publishing books, but I think, and this is just my opinion… I feel if there’s a finished product a print copy, it forces the author/publisher to produce a good final copy that is accountable, rather than an assembly line ‘feel’ of a digital book.  I don’t know, call me old school, but holding a printed copy of an author’s hard work justifies the effort and all the work I’m about to do for free.

Smashing out book after eBook without a real final copy to show for the work daunts the quality for me, reduces the effort behind the work for me and makes me feel different about the book.  My evaluations and opinions/thoughts also seem more valued too, because there’s more at stake.

Ya, ya, the work is the same.

 

Genres I Review:

Picture books

Early Readers

Chapter books

Middle-graders, Tweens

Young Adult books –  paranormal, science fiction, contemporary, chick lit, some non fiction, fantasy (under 500 pages*), thrillers, mysteries, adventures, supernatural, historical romance. No westerns, no horror, please. I won’t review sequel books if I haven’t read the first. Feel free to send both. I’m open to anything else within the Young Adult category not listed here, just email me with query.

New Age – paranormal, science fiction, contemporary, chick lit, some non fiction, fantasy (under 500 pages*), thrillers, mysteries, adventures, supernatural.

I will read some romance if the whole premise is not just about romance. No westerns, no horror, please.

I won’t review sequel books if I haven’t read the first. I’m open to anything else not listed here, just email me with query.

Adult Fiction: Fantasy, science fiction, supernatural thrillers, thrillers, suspence, paranormal, mystery, contemporary, chick-lit, historical, historical romance, literary and some cross-overs, ie: fantasy science fiction

Adult Nonfiction: Historical, memoirs, autobiography, biography, political

What to Send

I want to help authors as much as I can, so this is how I handle reviews.

Electronic PDFs when I request them. Please don’t assume and send it anyway. I don’t do the kindle thing as said before, unless I see a book I want to review and must have, and that’s the only way I can get it<< this is rare.

I have a family and they come first, so always govern your time and scheduling especially with book release dates. Let me know if you have a very particular time you want the review posted by.

How to Get Me To Review

 

Email:

awritersconnection@msn.com

or

janet.slipak@gmail.ca

WHAT TO SEND:

  • cover letter introducing yourself, include any links to author sites you have or where I can view some of your work if there’s any.
  • inside the body of the email, include:
    • synopsis (two pages the most)
    • your bio
    • first three chapters of book (I’ll ask for more later)
    • include a contact email if different from the one used.

Authors are always welcomed to send me an email asking me questions or wanting to connect to my social media, websites, etc.

Please DON’T:

  • send full manuscripts in the initial contact. Wait to hear back from me after receiving the above.
  • I do not get paid to review full books. DON’T assume by sending me the above I’ve agreed to review your book. If you’ve caught my attention, I will ask for the full manuscript. Avoid disappointment by ensuring you’ve read what types of genre I read.
  • Don’t assume that I’ll review the book you’ve attached to the email without as much as a howdy do. My time is plotted and planned weekly. There’s a list of books waiting for reviews and I commit to review as much as I can as planned.
  • Don’t send attachments. I won’t open them and I’ll delete your email.
  •  Don’t be upset if I won’t do a review. It doesn’t mean I hated the idea, I just don’t think I’d do it justice because it’s not a good fit for me.

There are other reviewers out there that review only certain genres, ask one of them if they have a process for reviewing. I do not do referrals. Do your research, you’ll find a good fit.

Publishers/Agents

I’m always open to an email from Publishers/Agents wondering if I’d be interested in reviewing a book.  Send your email requests to: janet.slipak@gmail.ca and I’ll get back to right away. Or, if you’ve read the above and see I review the type of genres you’d like to send my way, send to my attention at:

mailing address:

238 Westside Road, Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada, L3K 5K9

Technical Books: millwrighting, machining, plumbing, how-to’s, home repairs

Send to the above address to the attention of:

Paul Slipak

 

Author Interviews

I’m a certified freelance writer and do author interviews selectively.

If a publisher or agent interested in my interviewing a client, please contact me with your inquiry.

Interviews require a copy of the author’s book to read first so I can prepare my notes and questions. I do not do “standard ten questions.”

I ask questions about many things:

  • author background
  • what started the author writing
  • other work
  • about the book in detail
  • future plans etc.

 

I only do so many a year.  Each author is featured on my blog site and throughout my social media.

What I Need:

  • bio
  • photo
  • press releases
  • marketing information/plans
  • excerpt if available
  • links to prominant sites to help with publicity
  • and whatever else you think I might be able to do to help promote your author and his/her book.

There are examples of my work on my blog under “Author Interviews.”  This is a lot of work and I do this for free, (or for a bookmark). <wink, wink>

SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS:

Submissions for Editing/Detailed Review of Manuscripts

NOTE: I charge for this service.

What I don’t charge for is the initial read.  This consists of:

  • cover letter
  • bio
  • brief synopsis
  • first five consecutive chapters

This is received via email. All parts MUST be included, and be placed within the body of the email. As attachments will result in your email being deleted.

Once I’ve conducted the initial read, I will contact you to let you know if your work is something I’d agree to edit and provide a detail review of. If I like your work:

  1. First, I confirm my interest via email.
  2. Next, I provide what I charge to edit and review (this review generates a detailed summary).
  3. Once you accept #2, I provide a one page contract that must be physically signed and faxed or mailed to me.  I will provide an address for this, or fax number at this point, not before.
  4. I require a deposit, the amount to be discussed and outlined in the contract prior to commencing work. Payment is to be received via Paypal ONLY. If you send a check, the check must clear before work commences. This usually takes 10 days.
  5. Once in receipt of the signed contract showing you agree to my terms and payment has been received and processed, I will then request your full manuscript and discuss further details/provide further suggestions, etc.
  6. We begin to work together.

I suggest you edit your manuscript twice yourself before sending it to me to save on costs.  I will provide proofreading, copy editing and line editing services as requested, all for a fee, all stipulated in the contract according to your needs and requests of my services. Ie. If you wish me to just proofread, then that is all I will do. If you wish me to proofread and conduct line editing, than that is all I will do.  My summary letter will provide suggestions on marketing yourself, what the next step could be, etc on top of a rundown of your book/ideas, and my thoughts. A flat rate is charged for this.

Fees are not discussed until after the initial read in completed and I’ve contacted you with interest to go further.  I will not charge for the intial read as long as you send me what I require. An initial read is not just reviewing a synopsis, I need the whole package as stipulated above.

Again, although I do not charge for this initial read to determine if I want the job. Once I’m in receipt of the entire manuscript, signed and returned contract and payment, only then our contract begins.

Publishers, just email me if you require a freelance proofreader for my simple flat rate.

My email: awritersconnection@msn.com

or

janet.slipak@gmail.ca
Use wisely! 🙂