I've recently been flooded with a lot of questions about reviews. Rather than throwing out random answers, I decided I needed to document the questions and their answers/ This way I can be as concise and provide consistent answers.
I review serial works, occasionally novels and anything else that strikes my fancy. The title, Kindle and Coffee means you can assume that the majority of what I review will be digital material. From Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Vella, Kobo, Nook and more; if it's digital, I'll review it.
My husband, Mr Wizard, and I are full time travelers and live an RV. This means we don’t have room or the weight allowance for physical books. Someday I’ll have the space for a library again, but for now, if it's not digital, it won't cross my plate.
Because of this, I’ll never post a review for something you can’t find online at the time of the posting. Should something happen and the reviewed work get taken down, the review will remind as well as any information I’ve provided to link readers to the author. The only exception to this is situations where an author or contributor to a digital work request that their review be removed from our site.
The majority of my reviews will be from Kindle Vella. This doesn’t mean that I won’t consider or review work from other platforms. As an example, I have a review for Project Infinity by Kayla Knue, is a long running serial on Tapas.
The only request we make is that a serial work is not gated by an author or their contributors personal Patreon, Ko-fi or similar service. While episodes of a serial or digital work may require micro transactions or full purchase to read, the intention is that they're available wide spread. This provides a potential reader the opportunity preview work. Unfortunately, personal support services like the ones mentioned do not allow for this.
While the genres I write in tend to lean towards horror, thriller, suspense and those adjacent, it doesn’t mean I’m only reviewing them.
I have some amazing reviews scheduled for other genres. When it comes down to it, I’m simply a sucker for amazing stories that draw you in.
There’s nothing like being fully immersed in a story, especially horror, and scaring the crap out of yourself by doing something normal like taking your dog out for a walk.
There’s also nothing like finding yourself so involved that you can’t help but imagine what happens next or how characters would react in other settings. Both are signs of amazing story telling. This is the kind of thing I'm looking for when I review.
No. Authors shouldn’t have to pay for honest and genuine reviews of their work. Some will offer advanced readers copies in trade. In my case, I’d love for authors and their readers to check out my own work and that of other’s I’ve reviewed. They can check out The Explorers at ReadTheExplorers.com.
Would I turn down the occasional, small amazon gift card to purchase more tokens? Definitely not! I go through a lot of tokens as I’m an avid and voracious reader. That said, I'd prefer that other authors took the time to scroll through existing episodes of The Explorers and smashing that thumbs up button.
Someday, Amazon will allow us to gift tokens to others. If I had my way, when asking for other reviewers input, I would be able to offer them tokens directly for their time.
It has been recommended that I set up a Ko-fi account. We're considering it.
I write reviews for several reasons. The most important one is that I love reading and want to encourage authors to keep writing. Posting well rounded, and sometimes entertaining reviews, means that other readers have the opportunity to learn a little more about the work and author. In doing so, potential readers may be more likely to read an author’s story.
I get to share my opinion and draw attention to up and coming authors. I may even gain a few readers out of the process, but more importantly, I get to read a lot of amazing stories. AND in some cases, I get the opportunity to assist an author in improving their craft.
I will never post an unfavorable review.
Yes, there will be times when what I'm reading isn't something that I particularly enjoy. There is a difference between not enjoying something well written, and not enjoying something because it is riddled with spelling, grammatical and syntax errors OR horrific plot holes. This doesn't meant that I expect to find perfection. My own work has been read through by a developmental editor and a copy editor. Things still slip through the cracks and I still physically face palm when I find them.
Under normal circumstances, I’ll be posting reviews weekly. I do my best to have reviews written a week ahead of their posting. This way if something happens, there will still be a review.
If something prevents me from posting, or say… I go on vacation and take a week off… I’ll do my best to ensure that there’s a review written by someone. If posting a review isn't feasible, for example in order to migrate a website or unexpected illness, I’ll still make sure followers know what to expect.
Read as, that while under normal circumstances I'm ahead of the posting schedule, if something comes up, adjustments to that schedule are made to stay ahead of it.
My opinion is simply one of many. Sometimes I have a resource in my back pocket who is better versed on a topic that I would love to share with the author and their readers. For example, my developmental editor is a known reviewer for all things zombie related. Because of his expertise, I asked him to throw in on a review of Chew by Naomi Ault.
No. I tend to read for reviews 2 – 3 weeks out. If I have something on my review schedule that doesn’t pan out quality wise, I write a quick critique and send it to the author.
I said above that I will not post unfavorable reviews. For reasons that are important, I want to make sure I hammer this thought home.
I never want to discourage a new writer from writing when spell check, proof reading or correcting their autocorrect could fix things.
I also don’t want an author held to a bad review over grammar, punctuation, plot holes larger than the state of Alaska, or contradicting themselves when this can be fixed. I’ve done this three times already and those authors are still on the back burner in case their stories can be revisited in the future.
Once I tell you something is in my coffee mug, it’s on and that review is being written or in some cases has already been complete pending responses from from the author or contributors to a work.
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