Submission Guidelines

Authors/Writers who are eligible:

-You must have *something* published (recently or pending):  Books or novellas. I see no point in endorsing you if my viewers don’t have anywhere to go buy/read your stuff.  It would be nice if you were promoting something specific (new book in exciting series, first book publication, book now available in paperback after an initial eBook run, things of that nature).   If you are an author who hasn’t published anything in 5 years and nothing is pending, I am unlikely to endorse you as the Monthly Gem.

-I have a preference for Indie authors (ebook only, self-published, small press authors etc), Newly publish authors (indie or traditional), or any other form of non-traditionalist will do.  I will consider traditionalists too, just because I don’t want to be exclusive.

-I will not endorse anyone until I read some of their works first.  It can be a book or novella.  Not sure about short stories and graphic novels/comic books…I will have to consider these on a case by case bases.  I have issues with them.

-Whatever you want me to read needs to be print/publish-ready (I will ignore a few typos, but if it is riddled with mistakes and there are major lapses in logic to the story, I will decline to promote it.  Ex. I once read a book where the main hero’s name changed halfway through it.  Bad editing.  Have your friends proof it, hire a professional copy editor, but please do whatever you need to do, so I can read it without getting a headache.

What to Submit for consideration:

1. Name (or your pen name)

2. Author Bio

3. Author Situation.  Ex. I’m an Indie Author with my first eBook pending publication and I want your opinion and endorsement as the Monthly Gem to help launch the book.

4. Title of work you are promoting and would like me to read: book/novella.  (If its a series, I have a preference for the 1st book, even if its not the one you’re promoting.  I might read both, if I like it.  Even if I read just Book 1 and like it, I will promote the unread series, by saying something like.  Book 1 is AWESOME, check out the series, Book 3 is dropping soon!))

5. Genre of Work  (See below for genre guidelines.)

6. Word Count/# of Pages

7. eBook Format Only but don’t send the full text copy with the initial query.  (I would like to accept hard-copy works, but I prefer not to give out my address.  I’m toying with the idea of a P.O. Box.  If I do go that route, I will announce at that time that I am accepting hard-copy submissions.)

8. Descriptive Blurb/Synopsis (If you send a synopsis, don’t include spoilers.  I want to read it as any reader would read it. I will enjoy it better that way and then I can say tons of positive things about it.)

9. Links to:

  • Your website/blog
  • Online sites where the book/novella is available for purchase.
  • Chapter 1/Excerpts  (if this is available thru one of the other two links, ignore this)

**Please review the genre guidelines below before you send in your request/submission.
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Outcome Scenarios:

***NEW POLICY***   Effective May 2017:  Due to an influx of requests that do not adhere to my submission guidelines and some passive aggressive responses to declined reviews I will no longer reply to review requests that I decline to review.  Therefore, if you request a review and you do not received a reply, that means your book was decline.  (I would love to be able to provide my reasoning for declining and advice where I feel it is helpful, but a few bad apples have ruined this feature so I must protect myself.)

If I accept your review request, these are the outcome scenarios…

-If I read your work and it is written well, and I like it, I will posted a review at the first of the month after I have finished reading it.  I will try to e-mail you when the post is up.   (See Monthly Gem Example).

-Books that I like but I feel are not quite up to my standards for the Monthly Gem will still be reviewed but will appear as “My Latest Read” and generally will consist of mixed reactions… not all good, but not all bad either.  Occasionally, if there is nothing likable about a book there will be a negative review…but not nasty.

*Policy Change*  I’m Ok with doing 2 Gems a month…or no Gems a month if nothing I read lives up to its hype.

Note:  Promo can also be posted on Amazon and Goodreads if your book/novella is posted on these sites.  I will not post negative reviews.  If I decline to promo your book/novella after I had accepted it for review I will tell you and no one else.  (This is usually do to structural or content issues, lack of proofreading, where the book is not necessarily bad, but needs fixing/reworking/editing…etc.)

***NEW Addition***   Rating System   ***NEW Addition***

So just for giggles I have decided to implement a rating system to go along with my reviews.  The important thing is still the content of the review, but since I do post on Amazon and GoodReads (which has ratings that I used) I figured it might be fun to create my own system (which will of course mimic whatever rating I grant on Amazon/GoodReads).  So here goes…

Genres I like and will endorse:

Romance & most of its sub-genres  (no erotica, no same-sex tales, no threesomes, nothing offensive, racist, sexist, or otherwise profane.  I sense that you know where the line is so I will stop here.)  Just FYI, paranormal and Gothic are my favs, but I do Rom-coms, chick-lit, Rom-suspense, etc.

Mystery/Suspense (No courtroom dramas and nothing too graphic folks, I don’t want to have nightmares) I like hard-boiled detectives like Phillip Marlowe, Crime Noir especially if there’s a sexy Femme Fatale or a Girl Friday involved, murder mysteries or serial killers are always good, Gentlemen Thief stories, things of this line. 

Fantasy/Sci-fi  (no ghosts, ghost stories or haunted houses! I just don’t like them.)  Pretty much any other kinda critter is cool with me, if you write a good story about it. Would also be nice if there was a 2ndary romance somewhere in there.

Action/Adventure (sorry, no westerns, just not my thing.)  Anything else and I will consider it.  (Ok, I’m a softy, if you have a western novel, and there’s a romance it in, I’ll consider it.  It better be good though!)

Comedy/Black Comedy (Nothing offensive.  Also, I don’t like comedy based on bodily functions.)  I like, dark comedy, sarcasm, dry humor (aka Fox Mulder), intellectual humor, British humor (aka Bridget Jones), satire, spoof (but nothing too silly, ex. Wayans Bros., Will Ferrell).

Speculative/Genre-bending Utopian/Dystopian, Superhero/Heroine, Mythology/Gods/Goddess, supernatural things that are beyond the normal Fantasy/sci-fi or paranormal.  This genre I will consider on a case-by-case basis because I like weird, but not TOO weird.  Ex. “White Trash Zombies Gone Wild”…eh, no.  (Yes, this is a real book!)

Thrillers (but no horror, folks, I don’t want nightmares!  Also not a fan of conspiracy theory, political espionage, and military themed anything.)  Psychological thrillers, Crime thrillers, Disaster/end-of-world thrillers are cool with me.

Urban Fiction/Street Lit  – Gangsters, survivalists, dystopian are all ok.  (A word: I have a threshold for the profanity that I will take.  I don’t mind some if its dictated by situation and personality of the character but none of this every other word is the F-bomb nonsense.)  If your novel/story steps over the line, I will decline to promote it.

Christian Fiction – (As long as there’s a story being told.  No Sermons, folks!)  It can even be a story based on biblical characters  Ex. “Jewel of Persia” is a re-imagining of the story of Esther (read it, loved it!),  I read a similar book about Rahab, liked it as well.  However, I will not read a religious diatribe disguised as Christian Fiction.

1st Person Narrative POV – This is a pet peeve of mine.  I just don’t like this point of view.  I do occasionally read them, just because 1st person is so popular now until its a little hard to avoid.  But please know that this will make me less likely to want to read and review a book.  However, I make a point of considering them on a case-by-case basis.  I generally read a sampling of the first chapter or two to see its something that I wouldn’t mind reading.  Some I read, others I decline.  One thing I can say for sure…if its the sort of 1st person where the character is self-aware and talking directly to the reader….eh, no.  This is in the same category as those movies where the actor/actress suddenly turns and starts talking to the camera.  Deal-breaker.

***What I will not read or endorse, so don’t ask***

Non-fiction of any sort documentaries, memoirs, biographies, true crimes… (Hell-to-the-No!)

LGBT of any sort.  I won’t read it so don’t ask.  (The answer’s always no.)

Anything racist, sexist, offensive, that promotes hate or is riddled with unnecessary profanity.  (Don’t even!)

Political Propaganda books or Politically-themed anything.  This includes conspiracy theory, political espionage, and military themed books.  (No exceptions)

Horror (Sorry, I’m a scary cat.  Nothing against the genre, but my nerves can’t take it.)  I like dark, but not straight horror.  If unsure, send it anyway and I’ll let you know.

Erotica If its kinkier than Fifty Shades of Grey…(Forgetaboutit.)

Children’s Books, Picture Books, Middle-School fodder, you know what I mean.  Note:  Young Adult books are fine (I really liked Divergent/Insurgent, and the Twilight Series, etc.)