As of 01/18 I’ve made some changes to my review system. I’m adding this page to give readers and authors an idea of what to expect from me. The thing about this blogging gig is that once the review requests start pouring in (and boy, do they ever), you start to realize that your dumb little blog with the silly drinks actually carries a fair bit of responsibility, both to your readers who might spend their money and time as a result of your words, and to authors you wish to help rather than hurt. Whereas before I’d write a few rambling paragraphs of thoughts about the book followed by a drink pairing (the fun bit), in order to write better reviews I’m changing my focus and tidying up my format.
- 8.0 – 10 (5 Stars)= fantastic, will definitely read again, will highly recommend.
- 6.0 – 7.9 (4 Stars) = very good, likely to read again, will recommend.
- 4.0 – 5.9 (3 Stars) = good, has some issues, but enjoyable overall and worth a look.
- 3.9 and below = Not connecting with it, dislike it or major issues. Will not review.
Re: “I received an ARC/Free Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.”
I don’t write this in my reviews, ever. I understand the transparency thing, but honestly I find it tedious to read these words in a review and to me it doesn’t matter. Half the time when I’m offered a free copy of a book via review request, I find that I have already bought it and just haven’t gotten to it yet. A book being free or not won’t change my perception of it.
In short, all of my reviews are honest. Feel free to assume that anything I review is an ARC or a free copy, I don’t mind. The review would be the same either way.
Why my reviews are generally positive:
This is where my desire to be responsible to both the reader and the author kicks in. I started blogging to draw attention to books that I enjoy, not to warn people away from ‘bad’ ones. If I read a book and feel that I’m not connecting with it and couldn’t award it at least three stars or a 4/10 score (meaning that I liked it), I don’t review it. In these instances, if I’m reading the novel as a review request from an author or their representative, I’ll reach out and let them know that it’s not working out – I will not offer critique (unless asked) or judgment. This isn’t a “your book isn’t good enough for my blog” message, it’s an “I didn’t get into this blogging thing to put out negative reviews and potentially hurt the sales of indie and self-published authors” message. You guys have it hard enough. Just because I couldn’t connect with it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have an audience. I do my best to nudge each book towards the audience who I think will get the most out of it, but on a personal level I have to step away from books I can’t enjoy so that this hobby doesn’t start feeling like a job.
The kind of books I do/don’t typically enjoy:
I have a fairly wide range of things I enjoy, but I tend to lean more towards fantasy than sci-fi and I’m a real sucker for character driven epic fantasy. I also typically dig fantasy of manners, comedic fantasy and I dabble in grimdark, which for me can be hit or miss. I’m not a big fan of horror (I’m squeamish), new weird and dystopian but that doesn’t mean not ever – if you look at my reviews you’ll see novels in those subgenres that received high praise. I value character development and worldbuilding very highly, and I’m less enamored of books full of action/battle scenes than some reviewers.
If your book contains a lot of graphic violence, rape, animal abuse, etc. I won’t mark you down for it but I will warn readers who may wish to avoid it. Some folks don’t want to read that stuff for perfectly legitimate reasons and it’s only fair to give them a heads-up.
On updating old reviews to fit the new review/score system:
I’m not going to rule it out entirely, but at the moment I have no plans to do so. My focus right now is on pushing out new content, and going back to redo all the previous reviews would take too much time away from that.
I am happy to accept .mobi files, paperbacks and audiobooks for review. I generally have one print book and one audiobook on the go at all times, so audiobook requests in particular help me get through my list much faster. 🙂
If you have questions or you would like to submit a request, I can be reached via the Contact Wol page, which contains an updated status as to whether or not I am currently accepting requests.