Review/interview policy

What I review

I cover picture, middle-reader and young-adult books. I also review books that aren’t necessarily written for younger readers but cross the age barrier.

What you can expect from my reviews

Prior to starting Cracking the Cover I professionally reviewed books for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. My reviews for Cracking the Cover are much the same. I pride myself on professionalism and believe every book deserves the same sort of treatment.

While I try to approach each book with a blank slate, reviewing is subjective. My thoughts and feelings about the book read will be reflected in my reviews.

My goal is to help other readers decide if a book is a good fit for them. The only way to do that is to be honest.

I like nothing better than sharing a good book with other fans of reading, but that does not mean every book I read will receive a favorable review. Even the best of books have parts that can be improved upon. I try to offer constructive criticism rather than ripping a book to shreds.

Reviews include cover art, a synopsis and my impressions of the book or novel. I believe that in reviewing a book, I should be able to tell you what it’s about in my own words, therefore all summaries and synopses are my own work. Unless otherwise noted, I read every book in its entirety. Publication details (name, author, publisher, publication date, cover price and recommended age group) are included at the top of each review.

Reviews and links to reviews are posted on Cracking the Cover, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter and Amazon.

Am I accepting review copies?

I am somewhat selective about accepting review requests. Special consideration will be made for publicists/third parties that I have worked with before; authors I have worked with before; and if the title was one I was planning on requesting.

While I try to respond to each individual review request, that is not always possible.
I check my junk/spam folders regularly to catch any emails that may be delivered there by mistake. I do not mind getting mass emails, I know that sending an individual email to each blogger can be time consuming.

Series: I will not read a series out of sequence. If you have a review request that is part of a series I have not read, I do ask that you provide a copy of each of it’s predecessors. This will allow for a more effective review.

E-books: I can accept e-books for review, although hard copies will take precedence.

Self-published books: I am NOT accepting self-published books at this time.

When I accept a book to review it does not guarantee that the novel will be read or that I will post a review.

Books that I personally request have precedence over all other titles. Second precedence will go to those novels that were accepted via a review request/pitch.

Unsolicited books will mostly likely go on the back burner and will be reviewed depending on my reading schedule and interest.

If I have no interested in reading the title, it will be donated to my library or to a charter school in need of books.

How long will it take for a review?

I generally read two to three middle-reader/YA books each week, filling in with picture books in between.

I try to read the review titles that I receive in a timely manner, but I do have time constraints. If the book is an ARC, I will try to review the book in the month surrounding its release date, in most cases before the book is released or shortly after.

Interviews/Guest Posts/Blog Tours

I am happy to host authors for an interview, guest post or a stop on a blog tour.

I prefer phone interviews, as it is easier to ask follow-up questions and gauge nuances. I realize this is not always possible and am happy to do email interviews as well.

As long as I have in-depth answers to my questions, I treat each interview as if it were an interview for a newspaper, doing a complete write-up with a link to an edited transcript of our conversation. See example of phone interview. Example of email interview. If answers are short, I will post the interview as a quick Q&A. See example.

Prior to interviews, I do request that a copy of the author’s novel be sent with ample time to read before the phone interview or questions for email interview need to be submitted.

If I am not familiar with the author’s work, I do require the option to read the title before I will agree to an interview or a guest post.

Giveaways

I’m happy to host a giveaway, although I would prefer to be familiar with the author and his/her work.

*Almost all of the books I receive for review are provided by the publisher or the author. I do not accept/receive monetary compensation for my reviews.

Contact information: jessica(at)crackingthecover(dot)com