Home > the rules > What I Will And Won’t Do, And What I Expect From You

What I Will And Won’t Do, And What I Expect From You

August 12, 2008

I will read every book submitted to me so long as it’s good enough (as detailed in my previous posts).

I will not lower my standards because readers consider them unfair: for books to measure up here, and in the commercial world, everything about them has to be good. That includes details like spelling.

I will not enter into any discussion about whether I’m right or wrong. We’re trying to find the best self-published books, not the ones with the most vociferous authors.

I will not make fun of the writers whose work I don’t finish, nor will I allow commenters to do so. I will not hesitate to delete comments which I consider inappropriate or rude.

While I will not tolerate rudeness of any kind, I will encourage debate. So long as comments remain respectful they can be robust, but never rude.

I’d appreciate it if you could let me know of any other boundaries I should impose here: for example, how many mistakes do you think I should allow before I stop reading? Should some errors be considered more heinous than others? And what should cause an instant stop?

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Categories: the rules
  1. August 12, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    If you haven’t done so already, go to PODBRAM and read the article, How to Strip-Search a Book. I have explained my entire review process in detail, from start to finish, as the editor of PODBRAM. I do not ask my team reviewers to go to such lengths, but this is the methodology I set out for the site when I founded it. One of the best things about PODBRAM is that we offer such a wide variety of free, legitimate reviews. Check it out. You might get a few ideas. Thank you.

  2. August 14, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Floyd, I’ll go and have a look. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. August 14, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    I was just reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and caught a “ones” that should have obviously been a “one’s”. Which I say to note that most books, self-published or not, have errors.I’d say ten, but then again, I also believe in the fluid nature of language. An well trained editor would have marked up Shakespeare’s manuscripts like mad, considering the spelling and mechanic changes the Bard made in his works.

  4. August 15, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Are you interested in non-fiction? I have written a layman’s reference guide to psychiatric medication, intended primarily for patients, and (to my surprise) popular with mental-health professionals as well.I would be happy to send you a copy. (You can preview it on my Web site, for an advance taste.)

  5. August 15, 2008 at 2:43 am

    I thought Blogger would link my name to the URL, but it didn’t. Here is the URL: http://www.mentalmeds.org.

  6. August 15, 2008 at 9:57 am

    I’ve self-published a fantasy novel as a fund-raiser for a hospital in Ethiopia. All profits are given to the Rotary club to manage, and the 2000 copies sold in the last year or so have raised over $30000. It’s been an exciting project to date, and of course I’m always looking for ways to extend its reach and boost sales. With this in mind, I’ll be happy to send you a copy to review. Information about my project plus the first 7 chapters of the book can be found at http://www.smithysbook.com

  7. August 15, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    will entrekin – as someone who also admires the fluidity – not to mention the unique capacity for re-invention – of the English language, I have to take a stand against laissez-faire. We all make mistakes and, yes, many novels published by conventional publishers, who should know better, contain spelling and punctuation errors. mainly because copy-editing is a dying art. However, self and vanity-published novels are usually littered with them.Just because the rules evolve over the years and Shakespeare’s spelling is not how we do it now, there is no excuse for incorrect spelling, punctuation, grammar and mistakes such as the one I found recently in self-published novel – the ship set sail with a full compliment of sailors.

  8. August 15, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    How is progress coming on the mailing address? I’m ready to accept your challenge. I’ve edited through four drafts, proofread with a fine-toothed comb, and finally feel ready to let my “baby” go out to meet the world. I’m excited about this opportunity to see if my work can meet your standards – and I, for one, am glad they are high.

  9. August 15, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    This blog looks like a fascinating idea and I will definitely be checking back to see your reviews when they start to appear. Good luck with the project.

  10. August 16, 2008 at 7:16 am

    I’m still waiting for the Post Office to supply me with a PO Box number: for obvious reasons, I don’t want to put my home address on the blog for all to see.I’ll let you all know as soon as that’s done, but meanwhile thank you all for your interest. It’s good to know that this wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

  11. August 17, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    I wasn’t advocating laissez-faire, Sally. I was just noting that grammar and punctuation are agreements, and dictionaries are simply the most recent log of the words we use. While ‘compliment’ v. ‘complement’ is fairly easy to determine, ‘nauseous’ v. ‘nauseated’ is no longer.

  12. September 15, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    If you want to submit a book to me you can now email me at “hprw at tesco dot net”, putting “The Self-Publishing Review” in the subject field, and I’ll send you an address to submit to.

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