Please read this page in its entirety before contacting me about reviews.
Update 11/28/16: Added some important notes about book reviews at the bottom of the page.
Update 6/7/16: At this time I'm not accepting unsolicited self-published books for review unless it's from an author with whom I've expressed interest in the past. This is subject to change in the future.
I'm especially interested in books published by small/independent presses.
Whether I ask for an ARC or an author solicits me, the bottom line is I have to love a book to blog about it. I don't post negative reviews, so that means I won't write about books I don't like.
If you'd like me to consider featuring your book on Off the Beaten Shelf, let's make sure we're a good fit:
- I'm open to many genres, though my favorites are historical fiction (especially WWI and WWII era), historical fiction romance (if it has a feminist bent), dystopian fiction, really weird/gross/science-type nonfiction, and most anything with art heists and Nazis. I'm also really into essays right now. (Think Bad Feminist, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, and any short, thoughtful piece that blends feminism and pop culture.)
- Drop me a line on my Contact page. Be sure to include the book jacket synopsis and the first chapter or first 15 pages of the book so I can make an informed decision on whether we're a good fit. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to put "Book Review Request" in the subject line so I don't miss it.
- If I determine we're a good fit, I'll send you my address so you can send me a copy of your book if you prefer to send a physical copy. Alternatively, I can read PDFs, iBooks compatible ebooks, or Adobe Digital Reader compatible ebooks. PDFs and ebooks can be sent to my email address, email@example.com.
- I will review self-published books, but only those that have a clear narrative arc and have had a professional editor edit them.
- I'll accept books from anywhere, though I give preference to indie publishers who are stretching the boundaries of genre and champion works that are artistically superb, but that traditional publishers might not be willing to take a chance on.
Please note that I reserve the right to decline to read, review, or do author interviews for any book. In being true to myself and the Off the Beaten Shelf brand, I cannot in good faith feature a book I don't wholeheartedly believe in. I want to recommend books to my readers that I thoroughly enjoyed reading myself.
I read widely, so I'm interested in a multitude of genres. However, I will not accept books from the following genres:
- Religion (though spirituality is fine)
- Christian fiction
- Investing/Stock Market/Finance
- Anything that has a veiled political agenda or is unkind to historically marginalized people
I am most likely to accept books in the following genres:
- Historical fiction (especially WWI and WWII era)
- Hispanic/Latin American fiction
- Poetry (non-rhyming)
- Feminist/cultural essays
- Nonfiction with a particularly unique or riveting story (think Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
- General fiction that has an action/adventure component
I'm a proponent of diversity in books and showcasing voices from historically marginalized people. I am more likely to review books by women, people of color, and books in translation.
A few very important notes:
- If you want me to promote your book but are unwilling to send me a free copy of it, this isn't the place for you. I can't review something I haven't read.
- I only review whole, complete books. I will not review a single essay or a handful of chapters.
- If I have agreed to review your book, do not send me a guest post, essay, book excerpt, etc. that you do not want posted online. Obviously I'm not going to post your book online, but it's common practice to share the first chapter or an excerpt of the book for purposes of promotion---namely to encourage those who liked the segment they read to buy the book. If you are opposed to this, you should not send me supplemental materials beyond the review copy, cover photo, and purchasing information.
- If I agree to review your book and you send me partial pieces (essays, book excerpts, etc.) in addition to the review copy, I will assume these are fine to use as promotional materials. If I post these materials, the items will NOT be removed from my blog because it messes up my editorial calendar (and I'll know you didn't read my review policy). No exceptions.
If you have any questions, direct them to me via my Contact page. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!