Please take the time to read the following information to prevent any misunderstandings or misconceptions. My email address is BFish [dot] Reads [at] gmail [dot] com.
Pitches: I'm open to receiving pitches from publishers, publicists, and authors. Please be aware that I find more than a few pitches in my e-mail inbox every week. I cannot take the time to answer each one. I will contact you if the book looks like a good match for me. If I don't respond, please feel free to pitch another book, you never know what will strike me as interesting. One great way to get a book featured on my blog is to send me a catalog and let me select the books I know I want to read. Authors: Unless we have an established relationship, I will not accept pitches via Twitter. Please read this policy and then send me an email.
Unsolicited books: I am very open to getting unsolicited ARCs, early finished copies, unabridged audiobooks, and backlist books in my mailbox. There is no guarantee that these will be reviewed, but if they catch my interest, I will read and review them. If they do not interest me, I will pass them on to someone who will read them.
Book formats: Because I am a full-time freelance book editor, I much prefer an early copy of a finished book so I do not get distracted by copyediting issues. I do, however, gladly accept and review ARCs. I am addicted to audiobooks and am pleased to accept unabridged audiobooks for review. I can review on tape, CD, or digital download (for MP3, not iPod). I can accept e-books for review if they are compatible with a 2nd-generation Nook e-reader, but because it's on its last legs, I prefer print galleys or finished books. I love to review backlist books—if a new edition is coming out or the author is about to publish a new book, I would be happy to review from your backlist to produce some buzz. Note that I also review my own books and library books.
Restrictions: I do not accept self-published books--in any guise.
Genres: I'm an eclectic reader, but I don't read and review everything. For an idea of what types of books I've reviewed on Beth Fish Reads, click the "reviews" tab at the top of this post.
⇒ Will not read for review: Politics, self-help, trade health or fitness, horror, erotica, explicitly religious, science fiction, business, marketing
⇒ Will likely turn down, but can be pitched: Inspirational memoirs, romance, non-literary chick-lit, war books
⇒ Will definitely consider: Literary memoirs, biography (political and not), autobiography, short stories, thrillers, crafts books, new editions of classics, picture books, first readers, early readers
⇒ Will generally accept: Literary fiction, contemporary fiction, young adult, middle readers, fantasy (any type), historical fiction (any place, any time), mob stories, graphic novels, graphic nonfiction, coming-of-age stories, mysteries (any type), paranormal, cookbooks, foodie books (any type), outdoor writing
Timing: If you would like me to participate in a book blog tour or hit a particular post date, I will work with you to meet that deadline. Otherwise I will post reviews to suit my own schedule. If I receive an ARC or an early release of a finished book, I will try to post the review within a month of the release date. If I receive an already published book, I will do my best to review it in a timely manner. However, owing to my family life, my full-time job, and the amount of review requests I receive, it could take several months before I review your particular book. Even if I tell you I will post in a specific month, that is no guarantee that I will meet that deadline. I will, however, meet blog tour dates.
What happens to the book when I'm finished? I do not sell my review copies or ARCs. I may pass them on to another person to read or I may host a giveaway on my blog, unless I'm aware of objections to this.
Book exposure: Each book I read may receive several points of exposure on my blog. The book may be the specific focus of a teaser, spotlight, and/or must-read list as well as the subject of a full or mini review. The links to all reviews and spotlight posts are tweeted on Twitter. If required or asked to post a review on a commercial site, I post on Powell's website. Reviews and posts are also featured around the Internet; see the buttons in the sidebar and the footer for some of these sites. See also Freelance work, later in this policy.
Nature of reviews: I write my own summary of the book and then my honest assessment of it. My reviews are in no way affected by the source of the book (bought, borrowed, or review copy) or my relationship with the author, publicist, marketing person, or publisher. I always feature an image of the book cover. Depending on the type of book, I may explore themes, writing style, plot, or character development as well as my thoughts about the work in general. For audiobooks, I also review the narrator and production, and for graphic novels, I discuss the artwork. In addition, I provide links for buying the book through Indiebound, Powell's, and The Book Depository; the links in my posts lead to affiliate programs (you buy, I get a small percent). When I remember, I supply a link to the author's website or blog, and sometimes I link to other reviews. To get a feel for my reviews, click the review tab at the top of this post, and start reading.
Rating system: I use traditional U.S. school grades for my ratings, because they make sense to me. A+, A, and A− are books that I believe to have some exceptional merit in terms of writing style, character development, theme, or other aspect. Sometimes an A is awarded because the book was simply a delight to read. If the book is an audiobook, the A rating may come from the excellent production or narration. B+, B, and B− are books that are above average. These books are well worth the read and are definitely recommended. C+, C, and C− are given to average books. Such a book may have been a good read but not particularly special. Or it may be a great book but just not for me. D books are reviewed as "abandoned" and are given a mini review (click on the label "Unfinished Book"). F books are not reviewed at all because I will not have read enough to write any kind of assessment. For more information on D and F books, see "What if I can't finish the book?"
Review schedule: I post between one and four full reviews a week, depending on my reading time and book length. I may post up to two spotlight memes each week (usually Tuesdays for print and Thursdays for audio). I devote Fridays to Imprint Friday, a feature I use to spotlight and review a book from a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. Current Featured Imprints are Algonquin Books, Amy Einhorn Books, Ecco Books, and Harper Perennial. I review food and cooking books on Saturdays as part of my very popular Weekend Cooking feature. Some books are treated to mini reviews.
Review extras: I am open to participating in blog tours, hosting giveaways, and hosting guest posts from authors.
What if I can't finish the book? If I read enough of the book to get a good feel for it, I will post a mini review. For an example, see my review of Deadly Nightshade. I explain why the book did not click with me, and I make an attempt to find at least one positive blog review as a counterpoint to my assessment. If I can't get past the first chapter, I do not post any kind of review. I may host a giveaway so someone else can take a shot at the book.
Why are there so few C books? I have a good sense of what books will appeal to me, and I rarely pick up a "meh" book. Most books will fall into the A and B categories because I am a good judge of my reading tastes. If a book doesn't appeal to me, I'm more likely to abandon it (D book) than to finish it (C book).
Where else to find Beth Fish: Library Thing, StumbleUpon, Twitter, and Tumblr. Ihave a minor presence on Facebook and Pinterest. See also the buttons and badges in my sidebar and footer. I am also a member of the National Book Critics Circle, on the Book Club Advisory Board for Simon & Schuster, and a professional freelance book reviewer (see Freelance work, later in this policy). I sat on a panel at BEA 2009, at the Baltimore Book Festival 2010, and at the Book Blogger Convention 2011 & 2012. I was a member of the nomination board for the Quill Awards (2005, 2006) and the voting board for the Quill Awards (2007). I have been a judge for the Nerds Heart YA book tournament (2010, 2011) and the Independent Literary Awards (2011). I'm a featured blogger for the SheKnows Book Club and a member of the She Reads Blog Network.
Freelance work: I have been a full-time professional freelance book editor since 1984. I am also a freelance book reviewer and journalist, covering a wide variety of topics and genres for both print and online venues. When I pitch feature and review articles for publication elsewhere, priority is given to books, ARCs, and audiobooks that I already have in hand. I have not been compensated for any post that appears on this blog.
Compensation / FTC: I receive no compensation for any review or feature that appears on this blog. I am a member of three affiliate programs: Indiebound, Powell's, and The Book Depository (some older posts are also linked to Amazon), and there are a handful of ads listed under "Support This Blog." Starting in October 2009, a statement revealing this affiliation will appear on all appropriate posts. If the post footer indicates that the book source is a review copy, this means the book was sent to me by an author, publishing company, or publicist either solicited, unsolicited, or by request. Please see "Nature of reviews" (this page) for my statement indicating that the source of the book in no way whatsoever affects my opinion.
What do I hope to get, besides the chance to read a book? When I post a review of a book, I hope the author, publicist, and/or publisher will promote my review by posting a link on Twitter and/or on their own blog or website.
Copyright issues: All content (text and photos) is my own (unless otherwise noted), and I hold the copyright thereto. If you would like to use any of my material in print or on another site, you must contact me and obtain my permission first. Unauthorized use of my copyrighted text or photos will not be tolerated. Short quotations that are within the bounds of copyright restrictions can be used on book jackets and other promotional material as well as on book blogs, provided full credit (and link, when appropriate) is given. Please attribute all quotations to "Beth Fish Reads"—when possible, please include the URL to the review.
Contact: Click on white envelope icon in my sidebar. My email address is BFish [dot] Reads [at] gmail [dot] com.