review policy

I mainly find books I want to review and request them online. Or I buy them. Or I get them from the library. Or I get them at conferences. That’s awesome. Sometimes I also do blog tours with giveaways, and that’s fun. But at any rate, I’m a bibliophile and a librarian, so I tend to be pretty in-the-know about what’s coming out, and also, I don’t only read what’s new.

That said, if you think I would really like a book, feel free to get in touch with me and see if I want to review it. Keep in mind a few things:

  • I don’t really write straightforward “reviews” à la review journals or “book blogs.” I write about books when I am moved to write about them, and that is generally in order to explore or analyze thematic elements or interesting issues, not just tell you if something is good or not. So please tell me about a book if you think it has something to do with my interests, not just because it’s a book. I know about books. I know a lot about books. And there are a lot of books. That’s not enough reason to read all of them.
  • I mostly read children’s and young adult literature because that’s where my heart and my degrees lie. I read adult fiction mostly if it has to do with youngish people. I read adult nonfiction when it’s graphic memoirs, science, or food, mostly.
  • I don’t review self-published books. I have been asked multiple times to revise this policy, and I’ve learned more things and reassessed my thoughts on self publishing in general, but since I am one single person doing this for free and who already works two jobs and freelances at other stuff, I don’t have time to sift through things right now. So I will not be reviewing self-published books in the foreseeable future. You are not an exception. It is really annoying when you say, “Okay, Hannah, I completely understand, but will you make an exception?” and that literally has happened to me, verbatim. It’s rude.
  • I really care a lot about racial and ethnic diversity, socioeconomic diversity, sex positivity, feminism, quirk theory, social outsiders, and body image. If your book is about an upper middle class, ablebodied, cisgendered, hetero WASP girl whose problems revolve around finding a date to prom, endlessly moralizing about sex, and fighting with her best friend, with whom she shares qualities like flowing auburn hair and skin prone to sunburns, I probably don’t care. Not sorry.
  • I make every effort to read and review books that I am given, because it’s really nice that people think I am worth giving books to. But I simply can’t read everything, even when I want to read it, and I also can’t guarantee that I will have a lot to say about a book, so sometimes I won’t be able to post about it other than on my roundup of books coming in and out of my house each month. In other words, review copies are not contracts, but I also try not to acquire massive amounts of books without the intention of looking them over and reading them, but sometimes I do that mostly to see if I want to buy them at work, not to review them here.
  • I do participate in blog tours, but I’m selective about them, and I do require that I get a copy of the book so that I can read it first. I’m not interested in having guest posts here. I’m not interested in doing interviews. I do, however, like writing guest posts and doing interviews for other places, so if you’d like me to write for your blog or publication, or if you’d like me to speak on your panel or at your conference, let’s talk. But this site has my name on it because it’s all me.

I really hope you’re still reading, because

  • if you address your pitch to someone other than Hannah, I’ll delete your request without reading more of it. If you want me to read your book, I assume that means you want me to read the book, which means you’ve read blog posts of mine and my bio page, and you know that while I publish under my full name, the name I am actually CALLED by people is Hannah.
  • repeatedly sending unsolicited messages to someone about how great your book is and how you know I will just love it without providing any context to your message and thereby making it clear that you are sending your pitch to everyone under the sun and not tailoring it to the potential reviewer is SPAM. Not only will I delete it, but if I keep receiving your form letter over and over again (this has happened), I will write back and tear you a new one because you deserve it.
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