Policies

REVISED, July 2020

I welcome review requests from authors and publishers, but with several caveats: no electronic submissions, please, and no self-published books, in any format. I love adult historical fiction, as defined below and within broad limits, but unfortunately, adult means no YA or MG.

There’s nothing worse than struggling through a book and trying to write it up. Nobody wins. I see a lot of publishers’ catalog entries for historical fiction, probably between six hundred and a thousand a year, and I publish fifty reviews. Many titles come from the library, some from publishers directly, but I choose only those that Publishers Weekly has recommended. PW‘s not infallible, but I trust no other prepub reviewer. Too many publicists or authors throw sales figures, blurbs, or track record of best-sellers at me instead, as if any independent-minded reviewer cared about those.

So please, read these paragraphs carefully, only offer me what I’m looking for, and we’ll both be rewarded.

I’m looking for novels that describe settings, events, and conditions at least fifty years old, up to and including the late Sixties and the Vietnam War. I avoid sagas and won’t touch any story that mixes past and anything more recent than fifty years. I’m happy with a love story, but not what the industry calls romances. I lean strongly toward character-driven storytelling, and the style must be realistic: no fantasy, paranormal, magical realism, or alternate history. I welcome historical thrillers of a literary type–think Helen Dunmore, David Liss, Alan Furst, Robert Harris.

Rarely, I’ll review history. The subject may be any period at least twenty-five years old, from any angle–social, diplomatic, military, you name it–dealing with any place on earth. No biographies, though.

As for the pitch itself, if you want an answer, please don’t make me hunt for the information I need (premise/brief synopsis, publisher, pub date, Publishers Weekly review). After all, you’re trying to persuade me that your book is worth my time, so if I have to click a link that may or may not lead to what I need, I’m already at a disadvantage.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from you.

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