I’ve been writing book reviews since January of 2010. They used to be published at A Cineaste’s Bookshelf. You can still view all past reviews there, but those posts have been transferred to this site as well.
I do my best to read and review as many books as possible. Still, I have a very demanding day job so here are some guidelines to how I manage this blog.
Cold requests (from me): If I requested the book, I have every intention to read and review it. I do NOT request books just to pad my library — I only request books that I am truly interested in. I do my utmost to post my reviews within 21 days (either side) of the release date. If for some reason I am unable or unwilling to review it, I will let the assigned publicist know.
Unsolicited books: Who doesn’t love getting books in the mail? I will consider reading and reviewing these, if interested. They will likely be “second-tier” to other books I have committed to already.
Pitches: Feel free to e-mail me about forthcoming books. I answer as many as I can and will certainly be in touch if I am interested.
Formats: I am happy to read ARCs or other early drafts as well as final versions. New releases, backlists and classics are all acceptable. Sorry, I do not listen to audiobooks in any format. I do own an iPad and have the Kindle app and iBooks app. I am on NetGalley as mwgerard. I still love to have a real book in my hands, however and may request an ARC as a follow-up to any early draft of e-version with strange technical glitches.
When finished with a book, I may use in a giveaway, forward to a fellow reader, or donate to a school or library. Please alert me to any restrictions when sending a review copy.
Genres: I do my best to be open-minded, but there are just so many books to be read!
Genres I prefer reading and reviewing are:
(auto)biography, literary fiction, classic literature, mystery, crime, travel, history, short stories, movie tie-ins, and VERY occasionally some young adult
Genres I will generally not read and review:
romance, poetry, horror (body horror, slasher, etc.), self-help, politics, health, marketing, business, technology, “chick-lit,” fantasy
So I read the book… now what?
I will post a review on this blog. It will include a cover image as well as other images that I find applicable. My review will consist of very little summary, and focus instead on the themes, ideas and style of the book. My post always includes the book’s information (size, page count, ISBN) as well as links to author websites (if applicable).
My ultimate goal with any review is to give MY readers information so THEY can decide if they might like it. I will point out strengths and weaknesses, and I will be honest. I encourage comments. I do not, however, trash any author. Again, I am only trying to get the word out about books, reading and the literary world.
Once the post is live, I will begin promoting it. I post it to my Tumblr, my personal Facebook and I am on Twitter at @mwgerard. I am on Goodreads and also link back to my reviews. I also send a direct link to the publicist assigned to the title (if I know who it is). In return, I hope that the publicist quotes my review on their site, the author’s site, or other outlet; or posts a link to my review via Twitter.
Occasionally my freelance work appears in other publications You can view my work here.
I am happy to host giveaways. I prefer to collect the winner’s information, then forward that to the publicist and thus cut out the “middleman.” I enjoy posting author interviews as well.
Let the reading begin!