Saturday, August 1, 2009

Review Policy

[updated 1/19/10]

Thank you for your interest in Steph Su Reads! Due to my crowded school and review schedule, I am currently accepting a limited number of books for review. I am interested in all sorts of MG/YA literary fiction, particularly those in the dystopian/speculative, sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal, or realistic/"issues" genre. I am currently looking for more books featuring people of color, so if you're the author of one of those books, by all means, email me please. I will consider accepting adult fiction or romance if it contains crossover appeal, and nonfiction if the topic is something I am interested in. Just ask!

I am NOT too interested in thriller, horror, or books dealing with privileged, ditzy, or, uh, witchy teenagers in ritzy worlds (see: A-List, Gossip Girl, Private, The Clique, etc.). Please be aware of that when offering your book for review. On the other hand, the greatest compliment you authors can pay me is by emailing me, so I'd be glad to hear from you either way!

Note to self-published authors: Please email me a short summary of your novel, along with any other pertinent information, such as the book's website, others' reviews, etc. It would be greatly appreciated if you could also provide the first chapter or so for my reference. Thank you!

Note to e-Book distributors: I am not currently accepting e-books at this time.

If for some reason I don't feel that I am the best person to review your book, I will try my best to provide you with the contacts of bloggers I respect and admire who I believe will be a better fit for your book.

Please email me at stephxsu at gmail dot com.

Review Timing

I am an Honors student at a very academically intense college, and so my time to read non-school-related books is limited. I am currently pretty backed up on reviews and I apologize if I haven't gotten around to reviewing your book yet. I try to only accept requests of books I'm genuinely interested in, so that I can provide the highest quality review and give your book the time and attention it deserves. This means that I prefer to read books when I'm in the mood to read that particular type of book, so as to have the best chance of enjoyment for all parties. If this delay of review is not okay with you, please let me know, and we will try to work something out.

If, however, I find that I am not compatible with a proffered book (I try not to let it happen, but occasionally it does, sorry!), I will do my best to pass it on to someone who will do a better job at reviewing it.

Anatomy of a Review

I write a two- to three-paragraph summary of the plot, then spend several paragraphs for the actual review. What I focus on differs by book; I find that I tend to focus more on the aspects of the novel that jumped out to me (e.g. the author's strengths or particular aspects that didn't work for me). I try to write honest reviews, with constructive criticism if necessary; I will almost always be able to find something good to praise.

I rate books on a 5-point scale, with half-points given. I also have 5-point scales for three categories I most consider when contemplating the quality of a book: writing (how well the author conveys his/her intention), characters (dimensionality, believability, interestingness), and plot (pacing, predictability). Occasionally I have a "Want more?" line where I allow myself to gush or fangirl if, er, I'm inclined to do so. (Teehee.)

Note: The ratings I give to my three categories do not necessarily add up perfectly to the overall rating. This is because I believe that reviews are subjective; each reviewer has some genres that he or she prefers more than others, and similar factors will influence one's review. I try to rate books according to how well it stands up to similar or same-genre books. And you know what they say about apples and oranges...

Interviews, Giveaways, and Others

I am more than happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. My general policy for these things is that, unless it's part of a blog tour or something organized by an outside party, I would prefer to consider doing an interview, guest post, or giveaway only AFTER I review your book. As this is my blog and represents my opinions and mine alone, I reserve the right to choose which books, authors, and publishers I will support via interviews and giveaways. It's not fair for anyone if I allow myself to do false advertising, and so I hope you understand that it is (for the most part--there are, after all, exceptions)  nothing personal if I choose not to participate in something.

Any other questions? Just leave a comment or email me. Thank you!

EMAIL: stephxsu at gmail dot com


  1. I love what you call Anatomy of a review : )

  2. Dang. You've reminded me that I need to update my review policy. I've been putting it off. LOL.

    You're so nice to recommend other bloggers when you don't think you are the best person to review a book. :o)

  3. I like your detailed book review policy. great job. I just updated my policy.

  4. dang Steph, you put my policy to shame ;P


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