Book Review Guidelines

We at Redeemed Reader love books–and book lovers!  When some of those book lovers write their own books, we’re presented with a dilemma.  Much as we would like to encourage authors (where do books come from, after all?), we’re very limited in what we can accept for review.  There are several reasons for this:

First, our time is limited.  All of us are full-time wives, mothers, servants of our local churches, and homeschoolers or employees.  Redeemed Reader is a labor of love for us, and we give it all the time we can spare, which includes reading new books published by traditional publishers.  We would like to be able to at least skim all the books that readers offer to us, but it’s simply impossible.

Second, space on our website is limited.  We find plenty to write about with new books from the “big five” secular book publishers, as well as quality titles from Christian houses like Tyndale, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, etc.  In addition, we review new takes on old classics and promote old classics that deserve a new audience. 

Third, most of our readers operate on a limited budget, meaning that if they’d like to read a title we reviewed, they’ll find it at their local library or request it through inter-library loan.  Books that are published by very small companies, or on-demand, subsidy, or online publishers (e.g., ExLibris, CreateSpace) will be more difficult for our readers to access. 

Finally, writing a book, especially a novel, is not as easy as it seems!  It takes a combination of storytelling chops and literary skill to make a novel stand out from the crowd, yet the ease of self-publishing these days encourages many authors to publish before they’ve adequately honed those skills.  (Janie, for example, wrote and rewrote four fiction manuscripts for twenty-five years, none of which were accepted for publication, before hitting the sweet spot with her fifth novel.)  While admitting the rare case of genius, for most of us it takes a lot of time—years–and dedicated, won’t-give-up effort to develop literary excellence.  Frankly, some of the fiction offered to us for review could use a lot more thought and editing. 

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE EMAILING

If you would like to submit an original work for our review, we request that you follow these guidelines:

1. We prefer to review books that have been professionally edited.  We also find it helps to submit your book for critique, more than once, to readers other than immediate family and friends.

2. If you have done the above, and you would like us to review your published work, please send an email to the address below with:

  • The title of the book and the intended audience
  • What sets your book apart from others with a similar theme/setting/storyline (be brief!)

3.  If at all possible, include the first 500 words of your book.  Please paste it in the email, rather than attaching a file that we could lose or misplace.

4.  It would also help to determine the person or persons most likely to be interested in your work, and send your request to them.  In general, Megan likes picture books and anything her boys would like, Betsy has a particular interest in early readers, nonfiction, and middle grade, Emily is always looking for good read-alouds, nonfiction for teens, and wholesome but well-written books for girls, Janie reviews middle grade through young adult. 

WHERE SHOULD I SEND MY INQUIRY?

Please send all review requests to Hayley, Redeemedreader’s executive assistant, at hayleyschoeppler@gmail.com.  Whatever the outcome of your submission, we hope you’ll continue to be part of the book conversation here at Redeemedreader!  And in the meantime, we ask you to join with us in praying that the Lord would give us all wisdom and grace as we wait on Him to “confirm the work of our hands.”