review policy

book review policy

Update for 2017: I’ve been unable to complete any reviews for a few months now due to real life intervention in my plans. I can no longer promise 2-4 books a month for reviewing, but will still try to get through the books you send me, when I get a chance. Please note I will prioritize books with a minimum of reviews on Amazon.

In the spirit of giving as well as receiving, I want to help fellow self-publishers out with one of the hardest parts of a marketing plan, namely getting honest reviews. Starting February 2015 I will pick between two and four Indie (self-published) books a month to read and write a 150-250 word review for.

I will post my review in my blog here, as well as on amazon.com and two other sites of your choice (Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, etc.)

My preferred genres are Mystery/Thriller/Suspense and Science Fiction (but not really Fantasy/World Building). Associated sub-genres are fine, as are romantic or paranormal elements. No erotica please.

To get your book considered do the following:

  1. Sign up for my email newsletter. This is so you’ll be notified of my review choices for any particular month. Also, I ask that you consider my requests for reviews of my own books favorably — I have the same issues you do getting honest reviews.
  2. Send the following information to writercywyss -at- gmail.com:
    • The title of your book.
    • The genre of your book.
    • A brief, three-paragraph summary of your book.

Each month I’ll randomly pick between two and four of the submissions to review. If you don’t get picked during a particular month, hang in there. The dice might be more friendly the next month!

Note that I’ll work on a five-star basis, as usual. Five stars means I loved it and highly recommend it, four stars means I liked it a lot but there may have been a reservation or two I had. For three stars or fewer, the culprit is usually in the mechanics (for example if the book has multiple typos, grammar errors, that type of thing). I’m not here to rip my fellow authors up, so if I will give your book three or fewer stars, I’ll contact the author directly and not post my reviews. All that means is that in its current form, I can’t publicly recommend the book.

Once I post your review please “like” it, especially on Amazon where you can click “yes” my review was helpful to you. This increases my status a little as a reviewer which also in turn increases your exposure.

Please note that due to the volume of requests I can guarantee neither a certain turnaround time nor a review. I’ll do my best to get to you in the order the random number generator takes me.

This is new for me and I’m sure it will take me a bit to work out all the bugs so bear with me please. Thanks!

Last updated: April 2015

31 Responses to review policy

  1. David Bennett Laing says:

    Nice idea! I have 4 titles on amazon.com, all ebooks. Usually, when I review another author’s book, I submit my review to him (and my star rating) for his comments before posting it. Would you be amenable to doing that, too, if you were to review one of my books? Tx. I’ve subscribed to your newsletter, BTW, and I look forward to it.

  2. Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

    Thanks, David. Sure, I will submit my review to the author and they can decide if they would like it publicly posted.

  3. Jenifer Ruff says:

    Hi. I saw your post in Goodreads and checked out your website. I think I would enjoy your shorts and you might enjoy one of my books, Everett and Rothaker, dark psychological suspense, and quick reads. I would love to exchange reviews. I don’t have a blog but I will post on amazon, goodreads, and any other site you prefer. I’m happy to buy yours at .99, I’ll send you an e-file of mine if you’re interested. Please check them out on amazon under Jenifer Ruff, or my website Jenruff.com.

    Thanks!
    Jenifer Ruff

  4. Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

    Hi Jenifer,

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t mean this to be a review swap service, but please consider signing up for the newsletter then sending your book info to me at writercywyss -at- gmail -dot- com and entering the drawing. (I’ll do at least 2 a month and probably several more, it really depends on how it goes.) Of course I don’t want to discourage you from buying and/or reviewing my book, naturally, but there is no obligation to review me for being in my review drawing. If you do want to review one of my books I’m happy to send a free copy.

  5. Hi Cy,
    I have written 70 e-guides for tourism in Italy and would like more feedback. Will be happy to send you any of my e-guides for you to review.
    Could you be interested in tourist guides to Italy?
    More info is at my site http://enricomassetti.com/tourist-e-g… Write to me at enricomassetti@msn.com to ask an ebook to review.

  6. Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

    Hi Enrico,

    Sure, why not, it would be fun to look at a travel guide. If there’s one you want me to look at please submit it as per the instructions above and I’ll be happy to add it to the drawing list. Keep in mind that travel guides aren’t my forte though so you might not get as good of a review as someone who knows what they’re doing.

  7. Chandrakant Mhatre says:

    Hi Cy,
    i have self-pubbed an English translation of Tukaram, one of the greatest poets from India as ONE HUNDRED POEMS OF TUKARAM! Would you like to take a look at it and, if possible, review it?

    Thanks
    chandrakant mhatre

  8. Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

    Hi Chandrakant,

    I’m not really the best person to review poetry, but sure if you want to add it to the drawing queue, go ahead. When I pick it I’ll give it a shot.

  9. Hi! I would love a review of my humorous cozy mystery, “The Serenity Stone Murder.”
    Margaret and Louise, two middle-aged church ladies and best friends, drive from their small northern Ontario town to Thunder Bay to attend a women’s retreat. Things gets off to a rocky start, when the luxury hotel they had booked informs them of their “no-pets” policy. (Louise has neglected to tell them she was bringing her dog Vincent along.) They are forced to spend the night in a seedy room above an establishment by the name of “Bubbles.”
    Their weekend becomes more interesting the next day, when the body of the casino manager is discovered next door to the church where their retreat is held. After listening to the buzz about the deceased, Louise becomes intrigued with the idea of doing some sleuthing, much to Margaret’s chagrin. They learn that there has been a longstanding feud between the casino manager and the church’s gardener. In fact, the casino manager seems to have made a great many enemies, including his wife and numerous girlfriends, as well as certain shady business partners.
    Margaret and Louise’s search takes them all over Thunder Bay and the surrounding countryside. As sleuths, they may be more reminiscent of Inspector Clouseau than Miss Marple, but in the end, they discover that the murderer is the last person anyone would have expected.

  10. Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

    Hi Marianne,

    Sounds like a fun read. Please submit it as per the policy above and I’ll enter your name in the monthly drawings.

    Thanks,
    Cy

  11. Nanci McGraw says:

    Would you like to read and review this? You’ll be glad I asked.

    GENRE: Mystery/thriller/sci-fi/humorous ///Yes, all that!///
    [Adventure located in San Diego, CA ]

    ANIMAL FUTURE, #1 in series, a creative collaboration by my husband and oldest son, Robert and Darrin McGraw.
    What it’s about:
    In this funny, quirky, action-filled thriller, a female cop, a well-dressed chimpanzee, and a wise-cracking spy are on the run from shadowy assassins armed with machine guns, drones, missiles, and two-inch fangs. Since the mysterious Elevation of animal intelligence, San Diego has been flooded with immigrant animals and society has changed. Officer Autumn Winn wants to leave the Tactical Assault squad and become an expert on her Vietnamese heritage. But first she has to prove she’s not guilty of murdering her partner. To do that, she has to rescue the kidnapped wife of the chimpanzee tailor, Mr. Brian.

    In the process she is forced to cooperate with Mack Davis, a good-looking but smart-mouthed operative who is trying to stay alive long enough to retrieve his digital wristband with its vital data, and also to discover the secret of a jade figurine from Singapore.
    As they race to find Brian’s wife, the trio must navigate a colorful landscape of characters including comical ferrets; a wealthy human socialite; a chimpanzee paramilitary commander; and Urizen, the deranged king of underground intelligence in Southern California….( enough for starters…)

    ///Proud wife and mom and I’m the “marketing department”… ha, quite a learning curve! On Amazon you can read 7 chapters for free —->
    http://bookshow.me/B00PZL40WS
    We’re smiling about the reviews! …and then come back, let’s talk. If you are up for something fresh and creative to the max, then here’s my email: nanci@nanci.org

    — What reviewers say —
    — It’s a winner. You won’t be disappointed. …… didn’t get anything read in my other books until after finishing this one…I give it five stars and can’t wait for the sequel. — amazon.com

    – BEST. BOOK. EVER. … Forget about writing until you’ve read ANIMAL FUTURE … [The McGraws] crack me up. – http://www.marianallen.com/2015/02/best-book-ever-animal-future/

    –ANIMAL FUTURE is freakin’ AMAZING!… it was even better than I expected. — amazon.com

    –There’s action, drama, secrets, mystery and adventure. … parts that made me laugh and others made me think…. I couldn’t put it down. http://melsshelves.blogspot.com/2015/02/book-review-animal-future-by-robert-and.html

    –…a fun and unique adventure…but with a bit of tongue-in-cheek . …Readers of SF, mystery, or thrillers will enjoy this yarn, and no matter what your age, it will leave you with a smile. Highly recommended. — amazon.com

    –..very cleverly plotted … written with humor and imagination. — amazon.com

    ====================’Nuff for Now from Nanci============

  12. Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

    Hi Nanci,

    Sounds interesting. Please submit as per the policy above and I’d be happy to enter it in the monthly drawings.

    Thanks,
    Cy

  13. louange says:

    I would love it if my book was reviewed as well, and would like to read others’ work as well and review and recommend to others w b at I have read…my book is called the hunter’s rifle. It tells a love story between a young boy in desperate search for his mother who has been taken by a group of African rebels…for him to recover her he will need the help of one of the rebels left behind

  14. Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

    Hi Louange,

    Sounds like a gripping book. Please submit as per the instructions above and I’ll enter it in the monthly drawings.

    Thanks!
    Cy

  15. Kenneth Michaels says:

    Hi Cy,
    I’m in the last stages of self-publishing. I see that it sometimes takes you one to two months to review and since I don’t plan on publishing until June that would be perfect.

    Title: The Gay Detective
    Nick and Norm in Chicago (lst in series)
    Genre: Noir Thriller
    Book Cover: /Users/kennethmichaels/Desktop/Book Covers & banner/GayDetective_LO_Res_2.23 5.png
    Synopsis:
    When Nick Scott premiers his TV talk show, The Gay Detective, he is worried about its outcome. His first guest, a well-known author, banters with sexual innuendoes throughout the interview. The excitement of the show’s high ratings is short-lived when his guest is found murdered the next morning. Nick vows to go on with the show but as his shows continue, so do the murders of his guests.

    Nick, also with the Chicago police department, is teamed with straight Detective Norm Malone. This Odd Couple, often at odds professionally and personally, adds comic elements to this thriller as they hunt this heinous serial killer, aka The Grim Reaper.

    As the story comes to an exciting conclusion, Nick and Norm, trapped on the roof of The New York Plaza Hotel, battle The Grim Reaper for their lives. The Gay Detective is a testimonial that opposites can learn to work and even come to like each despite preferences, a lesson for our society where differences often trump unity. It’s a step in fighting homophobia.

    Final Final Gay Detective.docx040915.docx

    • Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

      Hi Kenneth,

      I love your premise and would be happy to add your book to the monthly drawings. Please submit as per the instructions above 🙂

      Thanks,
      Cy

  16. Douglas Wallis says:

    I don’t know if this is where I should leave my details but here goes:-

    Title ………..Just Recompense
    Gendre……..(thats the difficult one) Dark Humour?
    Description…….
    Basil Ackroyd, the scheming English mayor of a small French town in the midi, thinks his life has returned to normal after a disastrous brush with criminal plotting by corrupt administrators and police.
    But his brief moment of calm is shattered by the appearance of an someone from his murky past who completely out of character offers to repay a long standing debt.
    The chance to profit from this improbable offer is too tempting to Basil and he becomes embroiled in the inevitable consequences of his avarice.

    Is this correct?
    Douglas

    • Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

      Hi Douglas,

      Thanks for your submission. As indicated above, please email the details to writercywyss -at- gmail -dot- com (replacing the -at- with “@” and the -dot- with “.” and no spaces). Then I’ll add “Just Recompense” to the monthly review drawings.

      –Cy

  17. Pingback: Just trying to keep track off all the resources I use to get the word out. | Riley Amos Westbook

  18. Hello, CY

    Now, this is a very laudable initiative, I think I’ll copy it, authors should support each other. I have subscribed to your newsletter and have sent you my book details.

    Keep on the good work!

  19. Pam Crompton says:

    Hello Cy,

    I’d love you to do a review of my novel Masquerade. It’s a time-travel thriller with a touch of romance. Basically it is what happens when a feisty modern-day woman finds herself in the past and has to deal with things like débutante balls and arranged marriages.

    Back-page blurb:
    Roz Reid is looking for love in the wrong century. Disenchanted with the men she meets in this century, costume designer Roz discovers a gateway back to a time when she believes men were more romantic.
    She masquerades as a woman of that time, but frequent use of the portal between timelines could cause the two eras to collide and trap her in a period she didn’t choose. Worse, a killer also knows of the passage and he is stalking Roz in both centuries.

    Thanks for considering me.
    Pam

  20. AlixeTiir says:

    Based on the genres you listed, I’d have to say that you only review fiction books. Is there someone you can recommend for reviews of nonfiction?

    Thanks.

  21. Hi, Cy! I saw your discussion on Goodreads and I thought I’d let you know I’m looking for reviews for my book The Brede Chronicles, Book One a sci-fi adventure/romance (low tech and world building) on the dark side. Here’s the short blurb from my publisher (First Realm Publishing):
    Half-human Alekzander Brede is a law unto himself…or so he thinks. Elektra Tate, the street orphan who loves him has other ideas. When she betrays him for no apparent reason, he vows to punish her one way or another.

    Their story begins in New Cairo, Egypt Earth in 2107 AD when Elektra Tate, orphaned by her family and kept barely alive by the residents of Garbage City, sees Alekzander Brede, half-human mercenary and immediately worships him. Unfortunately, he doesn’t return the emotion and views her as obnoxious and pesky.

    Their relationship grows by fits and starts and in their one time sexual encounter (no graphic sex) and when she betrays him for no good reason he can decipher he decides he will get revenge one way or another.

    Five years later, believing her dead, Brede discovers the real reason behind her behavior in getting he and his lover out of the deadly situation she has put them in and decides to find out if she’s even still alive.

    What he finds is another complication that will spin both their lives in orbit around each other and people from their past. When terrible trauma strikes them both who will survive is a matter not quite by chance.

    That’s the basic storyline and it is on the dark side with quite a bit of swearing but no graphic sex but some violence. I also have various formats in Kindle, MOBI, pdf and possibly print but those are in another state and it may take a while of get hold of so if you would like an e-book just let me know and I’ll send it out asap.
    Thanks so very much Cy, it’s very kind and generous of you!

    • Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

      Hello P.I.,

      The Brede Chronicles sounds fun. Please submit as per the instructions above and I’ll be happy to add it to the review drawings.

      Thanks,
      Cy

  22. H.C. Maree says:

    Hi Cy
    Thank you for a generous offer. I hope I’m not putting a spanner in the works, but I thought I should just tell you about an experience I had with another author about swapping reviews. Amazon does not publish reciprocal reviews. Only one of our reviews was published, although Goodreads courteously published both. Hope this helps.

    • Cy Wyss Cy Wyss says:

      Hello H.C.,

      Thanks for your comment. This is not supposed to be about reciprocal reviews. I guess I’m hoping people will like my newsletter and perhaps buy a book at some point. Even if not, I’ll still review what I get. For me, it’s somewhere to start!

  23. Do you ONLY review self-published authors?

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