Review Policy

I’m an author, which also means I am a voracious reader.

My deepest apologies, but I am suspending my reviews for all books not submitted through Awesome Indies in order to embark into a new endeavor – technical writing. I will continue to work on my current list and I will announce future opening of my reviews on this blog.

This site is dedicated to reviews of other authors’ independent books I have read. My main site is . My bio, books, and my experiences as a self-published author can be found there.

Please read all the rules! I can not handle the volume of emails from people not reading the rules. If you read them all, you will know how to get me to review your book!

I will be honest. I do not accept payment for reviews, however I do accept copies for review. I now review mostly through Awesome Indies, a site where industry professionals evaluate independent/self-published books against specific criteria for quality fiction & deemed to be of the same quality of craftsmanship as books published by mainstream publishing houses

My rating system conforms to the Awesome Indies ratings and review structure. Only four- and five-star books appear on the site.

If you’re wondering if your book is Indie, here’s the definition:

An Indie publisher is independent of the traditional publishing model. This includes self-publishers, independent presses with the author as sole owner or in shared ownership, and any publishing company where the author retains copyright. It does not include independent publishers of the traditional model (small publishers) who pay royalties in return for rights.

If your book is an independent book, please visit here to see how to get it onto the Awesome Indies’ review lists:

If I have reviewed your previous books, I will accept email requests from you. I remember you!

If your book is traditionally published I will still consider it. (I will no longer respond to email review requests for independent books. I get one EVERY DAY despite my clear policy.)

The words “Published Book Request: [title]” in the subject of your email so I know you read my rules.

In the body:


Author name

Publisher (This company must appear in Amazon under “Publisher” and be an actual publishing company, not your cute fake one. I will check.)


Any special dates requested for review such as release or blog tour

***If you do not include these items, I will not consider your book. If your book is not traditionally published, I will not accept review requests via email. If I haven’t reviewed for you before or see the words in quotes in the subject I will delete without reading.

Once accepted:

I will put your book on my List of Upcoming Reviews. The books I choose from the Awesome Indies

The star-rating system:

1 star – unacceptable craftsmanship. It will include some, but not necessarily all, of the following; unacceptable number of copy- editing errors, poor plot, shallow characters, info dumps, structural defects, clumsy expression, grammatical errors etc. It should never have been published in this state. (We won’t finish reading a book like this.)

2 stars – substandard craftsmanship. The faults may be simply less in number than those in the first category, or they may be more subtle in nature, eg all expositional or passive writing (eg over-use of variations of the ‘to be’ verb), major point of view confusion (eg chronic head-hopping), major plot holes, limited character development, clumsy expression, too many copy-editing mistakes etc.

3 stars – worth buying. A three star book will have no major structural defects, but could have pacing issues. The writing may need some minor improvement but the story has sufficient good qualities for them not to be a major issue. For example it may, or may not, have minor P.O.V problems, mild plot holes or passive writing. Alternatively, it may be well crafted but lack imagination or originality.

4 stars – a well-crafted and enjoyable book, or an exceptionally well-crafted book that didn’t inspire us enough to add one more star.

5  stars – an exceptionally well-crafted and enjoyable book, or a well-crafted book that had that extra spark that really excites us

I will email a preview of my review before posting for approval. I’ll also post a blog entry for my reviews on this review site when I do the review. I will also promote the review on I will post to Amazon and Goodreads, and also other sites if you ask.

If my review of your book is two stars or less, I will tell you why via email and promote it on the “Not My Cup of Coffee” page instead of  posting a review. You will get the opportunity to encourage your fans to tell me why I’m wrong not to love your book! I will also accept your book again at a later date if you choose to revise or re-edit your book.

***I am now offering a Beta Reading Service to help you with a more in-depth look at your book! See my Author Services page on my author blog for more details***

FTC Guidelines
In compliance with recently updated FTC Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials, etc., please be advised that I do not, by virtue of my reviews “endorse” or provide “testimonals” via its reviews. My reviews are unbiased and objective synopses and critiques of books I have read. While the majority of the books I receive are provided free of charge by various authors or publishers, I also acquire a number of my books via the library or self-purchase.

11 thoughts on “Review Policy

  1. Pingback: My Self Publishing Adventure – Episode Six – The Importance of Book Reviews « DL Morrese

  2. Pingback: A list of indie book reviewers « DL Morrese

  3. Pingback: Attention: New review policy « Compulsively Writing Reviews

  4. Hi Kate, I just left a request for a review but was unable to view your List of Upcoming Reviews (the link didn’t work for me). Would you please let me know how long your list is? If you are currently over-booked (no pun intended!), I will try another Awesome Indies reviewer.

    Susan Y.

    • I have more than a hundred on my list now. I do have and opening in my September event reads if you can wait for that. I expect I should be able to get to it early on in September if you like.

  5. Pingback: More Changes | Compulsively Writing Reviews

  6. I wonder if I may be so bold as to recommend for your review the new Austen-inspired book, Follies Past: a Prequel to Pride and Prejudice by Melanie Kerr. It has been getting exceptional reviews on Amazon ( and you can read
    the first chapter, the blurb and a bit about the author on the website: There are also three enticing, film-style trailers that can be seen at that same website or on Youtube.
    Essentially, the book is based on the story of Darcy, Wickham and Georgiana, as described in Darcy’s letter to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. It is intertwined with an original and sweet love story of the author’s own invention and is written in the style and the language of Jane Austen’s own works.
    Reading it really feels like discovering a long-lost Austen manuscript.
    Please feel free to email me at if you would like any more information, or to let me know if you decide you might like to review it so that I can send you a copy, in your choice of eBook or paperback or both.
    Mark Castillo
    Petticoat Press

  7. Pingback: Business, Business: Author Resources | Wind Eggs

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