My Review Policy

Please note, my review schedule is currently full and unfortunately due to personal health issues I’m not accepting any review (or other) requests for the foreseeable future.

Please respect this policy, I do not appreciate emails starting I’ve read your review policy but … sorry but they go straight into the bin.

When I set up this review blog I never considered a review policy as most of my books were self-selected. However as the blog has grown and social media contacts have spread, it seems the time has come to put a more formal arrangement in place. I apologise if it sounds a bit “terms and conditions” but it has become a necessity.

As a member of NetGalley I am in the lucky position of being able to select my own choice of review material. For this reason I tend to have a fairly full review schedule mapped out  3 to 4 months in advance.

My reading is not restricted to mainstream publishers and I try to support independent publishers and self published authors where I can. But, and sorry, there has to be a but, because I work and do this for ‘fun’. Unsolicited requests are likely to be unsuccessful unless I’ve previously published a review for you, or you come personally recommended by other authors or bloggers I know. In addition your work needs to meet my reading genre criteria (see below)

My reading genres

Reading should be fun and as I do this for no recompense I will limit my reading to genres/subjects that I enjoy  (a free book is not free if I have to spend a minimum of 4-5 hours reading it, before  reviewing  it and submitting it to social media and review sites).

I prefer reading crime thrillers/police procedurals and some psychological thrillers. I’m not fond of reading books featuring domestic or child abuse, gangland crime, trafficking (drugs or people) and gratuitous/voyeuristic sex & violence is not my thing. A quick scan down my author review list will give you an idea of my preferences. I’m not particularly prim and proper I just have my own preferences.

I enjoy some historical fiction it depends on period and subject and I’m happy with intelligent chick-lit/rom-com’s that involve realistic and ideally ‘older’ characters. I’m not a “Sex and the City” or  a London centric sex, shoes and shopping kind of reader. I enjoy good contemporary/women’s fiction and unpretentious literary fiction. I find I’m drawn to intelligent, but quirky novels that explore human nature/characteristics.

I don’t review non-fiction, short stories or the following genres:-erotica, cosy mysteries, children or YA, sci-fi /fantasy, vampires, werewolves or zombies, horror, supernatural, religious or dystopian.

My reviews

I started reviewing seriously in Feb 2014 when I joined NetGalley.  At the time I posted reviews to Goodreads and Amazon. I started this blog in November 2015 to give a more personal outlet for my reviews and other posts. As a minimum I post reviews to Amazon (UK & USA), Goodreads, and this blog. Links are also posted via Twitter (@JillsBookCafe) and Facebook ( back to this blog. I’m considered a ‘Top Reviewer’ by Amazon and am currently lurking around 1,087 in their top 10,000 listing.

I initially used a 5 star system purely because that was standard on Goodreads/Amazon, though I possibly interpreted the grades slightly differently. Since Sept 2017 I have opted to drop the stars. As my 4 star might be someone else’s 3 or 5, they are very subjective.  Here is my basic rating system, for those reviews holding stars.

1 star – poor and probably never finished

2 star – Just OK

3 star – a good read

4 star – a very good read

5 star – an exceptional read that really stands out (I don’t hand these out easily or it devalues the system)

Given that I normally choose and am fairly selective about what I read, by default my ratings tend normally to be 3 *s or above. I do occasionally get it wrong though and choose something  that just doesn’t suit.

I’m auto approved on NetGalley  by a number of publishers including Bookouture,  Legend Press and Penguin UK-Michael Joseph.  I’m also proud to have been awarded their Top Reviewer Badge.

You may notice my reviews link to Amazon, this is purely because I use Amazon for ebook purchases they are not affiliated links and I receive no remuneration from these.

Contacting me.

If you are requesting a review, please provide some background detail to the book and ideally links to Amazon or your website so that I can assess whether  I think it’s something I’d like. (I will assume you’ve done me the basic courtesy of reading my review policy and reading genre criteria).

I read ebooks via a Kindle but I’m always happy to receive hard/paper copies

If I accept your book, I’ll agree a likely time frame and will endeavour as far as possible to meet it and I’ll let you know when the review has been posted.  My review will be my honest opinion of the book, as I’m reviewing for readers as well as promoting authors.