Wednesday 19 May 2010


I often get asked about my prolific reading and reviewing habits. This is my disclaimer. I read over 100 books each and every year. Reading is one of my favourite pastimes and I wish I did not need to sleep so I could read even more than I do. I have been publishing reviews in newspapers and magazines for over 5 years now, and have over 200 published reviews across seven different publications. I receive about two thirds of the books I read free, either from publishers, authors, marketing types or contests. It in no way affects my reviews. I am asked why I have so many positive reviews. I am blessed with a plethora of books to read, and if I am really not enjoying something it usually gets put aside. If I don't finish it within a year, I then give up on it. I once believed I had to finish every book I started. I have since come to the conclusion that life is too short to read bad books. However I freely admit, to loosely quote Robert A. Heinlien: 'One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.' My bad book might be your favourite. Thankfully, we can all find books we love if we read, read often and read deeply.

Before you pitch your book to me for a review, here are some things to consider. First I am a Christian and take my faith seriously. If you ask me to review a book about supposed real visits from beyond the grave, I'm probably not going to like it. Know your audience. Do not just ask me to review your book because you saw me on Amazon or Chapters, or you found my blog, and just want a review. Check out what I read, and what I love. If then you think I would like to review your book, pitch it to me. Do not pull a bait and switch, have a description you think will make me interested in the book but does not match the real book. (See beyond the grave above.)

Also, to authors and marketing types out there, do not contact reviewers and ask for a review or a book or product and offer to send a review copy. Then when you send the review copy include a letter that states: "Also, let me know the details as to method of payment, or a donation etc. Whatever you like. When and how I may expect the review, and if you enter your book reviews with online bookstores." If you want me to buy your book to review, send me info on the book and where to buy. Also, the other questions are information you should have before you send out the review copy.

That being said, if I love a book, I will do everything I can to promote it. I post my reviews on,, and I will tweet about it, spread the word in forums and discussion online, and in person. If I do not like a book I usually do not finish it, and do not bother reviewing it unless it is so bad I feel I need to warn people, or if the author or publisher is really pushing for a review. So if you want an honest opinion and a fair review do not hesitate to contact me; if the book looks interesting I will give it a go.

(Most of my ARC's and review copies end up with Family and Children's Services, my Dad and Stepmom are foster parents an I pass along a lot that my Stepmom reads with them. I also donate them to the FACS Library or Foster Parent Association garage sale. I tend to only keep about one out of every hundred books I read, and usually only if I plan on rereading the book again.)

No comments: