UPDATE: Submissions to my Halloween Review Spree are closed now until further notice, as my rosters are full. All other submissions are partially closed. In other words, if you have a book you'd like me to review, you may still query, but there's less of a chance I will accept it. I'm more interested in participating in blog tours and exploring other review options while I focus on my own novels and job hunting. I've changed my policy, and more changes may be coming to my review site in regard to what content I post and the review system I have in place. Ratings haven't changed, but the services I offer and my review style have. I will return with further updates as soon as possible.
Policy updated 6/29/2021
Welcome to my review site!
Thank you for visiting. If you are interested in my review services, please read on. If you are interested in contacting me for other reasons, please visit my "Contact Me" page, where I have links to my email and social media listed.
My public reviews and private critiques are offered free of charge, but I do require a free review copy. I no longer offer in-depth reviews, but I do provide quite a bit of feedback in my free reviews and private critiques. A copy of my old policy can be found here. The terms found there for in-depth reviews/full-service reviews still apply to those who purchased them in the past. Otherwise, please only regard the new policy that follows.
Please read the terms and Q/A below for more information on all services offered. You can check back with this page from time to time because I'm still growing and things will change. If you have any questions or concerns not covered by the information here, please feel free to contact me.
In the following guidelines and terms, “you” and “your” refer to whoever is interested in using my services.
1. Please send a sample and a brief summary of your book to my email so I can decide whether I truly want to read it or not. Also let me know what genre it is and what its word or page count is, as well as what services you are seeking. Please don't send me your book unless I agree to read and review it.
2. Files I accept are EPUB, MOBI, PDF, and Word. I may be
open to receiving print versions, but digital files are faster, cheaper, and
easier to share. I am open to reviewing audiobooks, as well. I can also request your book or audiobook on NetGalley or Edelweiss+ if you prefer.
3. I usually prefer to review books that are 70,000 words or fewer, and I don't usually take on assignments longer than 100,000 words. If you have a book that is a little longer than my word count preferences but it matches my genre preferences, I may still accept it, but be warned that I won't be able to review it as quickly as I do shorter books.
4. My preferred genres are fantasy, sci-fi, horror, mystery, and thriller (in Children's, Young Adult, and Adult alike), but I also occasionally enjoy other subgenres of genre fiction, as well as mainstream and literary fiction. For nonfiction, I tend to enjoy memoirs. That said, I have books in just about every genre that I like, so feel free to run yours by me even if you're not sure if it matches up with my preferred genres.
5. If your story has excessive gore, graphic descriptions of torture and/or assault of any kind, or themes of domestic violence, please give me a trigger warning when you contact me. I am a firm believer in trigger warnings. If you request I read and review any book with such graphic content in it without warning me about it, it will affect your rating. If I know it's coming, I can better prepare for it, meaning it won't affect my enjoyment of the story as much. If I don't know it's coming, it will throw me off, make me very angry, and taint the rest of the story for me.
6. If you want me to include any pictures, including cover images or author photos, which will help the review look more professional and engaging, please send them to me through my email. JPEG is best. See term 10 below.
1. I request a free copy of your book/manuscript for all my services. It's best to provide me with the latest version of your work, the version you intend to publish or have already published. Otherwise, my review will apply only to the outdated version, which isn't fair to you or readers.
2. If your manuscript has excessive errors within it, your score will be lower. I do not give five stars to books that have excessive errors unless they are very minor/easily overlooked AND the story itself is exceptional to the point of causing me physical pain if I have to stop reading it. You should make sure the manuscript is edited well before submitting it to me. If you are looking for someone to only proofread your manuscript, see the info on editing I provide in my Q/A below.
3. I will not share the files you send me with any third parties. All files you send me will be used only to perform the services we both agree are to be rendered. I do all I can to keep the files, my devices, and my sites secure. That said, I'm not liable (and you agree to hold me not liable) for any damages or theft incurred from anything beyond my control, including if anyone happens to hack my devices (phone, laptop, etc.), sites (www.kaylacreviews.com and www.kaylacookauthor.com), social media, or email, or if any problems occur with the postal service or someone stealing my mail (in the event you send me a hard copy of your work). Once they're in my possession, they're for my eyes only, unless you give me permission to share such copies with someone else.
4. I only provide honest reviews. They may be positive, negative, or a mix of both. For this reason, I'm very selective about the books I review. If I feel I won't enjoy a book for whatever reason, even if that reason is just that I'm not interested in the genre at the time, I won't accept it. Furthermore, I can choose not to finish reading or reviewing any book at any time, for any reason. Ultimately, it's up to me whether I review a book or not and where I post that review. Because I'm so selective about what books I review, I haven't yet left a review book uncompleted, but it may happen if life gets in the way or if I'm simply not enjoying the story at all, etc.
I will not honor requests to alter any review in any way to make it more
positive or to change my rating. If I unintentionally add a spoiler, however,
you may request that I make the reference more vague so it doesn't ruin the
story for potential readers. I always try to keep all reviews spoiler-free. The
only other times I will alter the content of a review are to fix any mistakes I may have
missed during the editing process. If you earn fewer
than 4 stars, I'll allow you to read my review before I post it. You may request that
I don't post the review if you feel it's harmful to you, and you can request I
take down my review of your work any time, even after I publish it. While I won't change a review's content except as described above, I may change how the review is presented. For example, if I receive new images the author wants added, I may rearrange the whole post to fit them in it or make it look more aesthetically pleasing, without altering the composition of the review itself. I consider trigger warnings, any informational blurbs below reviews, author bios, and summaries to be separate from the actual reviews they complement.
6. I own all rights to my work. Anyone may share links to my reviews using the sharing features on my site. You may share links to my review on your pages (or you can ask me to), but the work is still my own and I have the right to share it on my social media, on my blog, and on any other sites of my own. If you require any other uses of the review, such as in your book or in independent posts on your site or social media, you may discuss them with me. I'll allow you to use the review and any part of it (like cutting quotes from it) so long as you don't alter the meaning of my words in any way and so long as you properly attribute the review to me (Kayla C. Reviews). This includes quotes from my review that you use in your editorial reviews section. Other sites where my reviews (or a portion of or link to the full reviews) may appear are Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, Twitter, BookBub, LibraryThing, Litsy, and/or LinkedIn. If this is a problem, let me know. If you'd like me to share the review or a part of the review on your site in a comment, let me know.
7. As stated in term 4, whether or not I leave
a Goodreads, BookBub, Audible, or Amazon review is entirely up to me. All reviews are
voluntary on my part. That said, if I haven't spent at least $50 on Amazon in
the past 12 months, I will no longer be able to leave reviews on Amazon. Amazon
may also decide to delete my reviews if their terms change. So, know that you
may or may not receive an Amazon review, and if I provide one, it could be
deleted at any time and that's beyond my control. You may prefer to use my review in your Amazon editorial reviews section. Any reviews can be shared in that section. To learn more about the editorial reviews section, please visit this link to Jane Friedman's site. As for Audible reviews, I will only be able to provide them for authors who send me an Audible gift to redeem. (Audible only allows people to review the audiobooks they've purchased or redeemed through the site or app.)
8. Due to FTC (Federal Trade Commission) Endorsement Guidelines, I will add a disclaimer to each public review. The disclaimer will basically state that I received a free copy of your book for review purposes and that all opinions in my review are my own and are honest and unbiased. A disclaimer will also appear in my Goodreads, Amazon, and Medium reviews. I believe in respecting my readers by providing full transparency. If this is not alright with you, I cannot review your book.
9. My reviews and critiques are free because I complete
them only in my free time. I won’t make time for them as I did for my paid
reviews. I usually finish reading and reviewing books within one or two weeks,
but sometimes events occur that I have no control over and the process takes
longer. I won't guarantee a time period for reviews or critiques to be
completed, but if you have a deadline, inform me of it. If I won't be able to meet
the deadline you request, I'll let you know so you can decide whether you still
want me to review your work or not.
10. Only send me images you own the rights to. If you don't own the rights to share an image with me, either get consent from the rights owner or don't send me anything. You sending me an image implies that you have the right to do so and that you also give me the right to share it on this site to complement the review I create for you. I won't use it for any other purpose without your consent. You can request at any time that I remove the image should you wish me to.
11. Private critiques are offered for free and are meant to be constructive. No part of my services is meant to be demeaning or hurtful, but I will be honest with you about what I think of your work, just in a respectful way. If you can't take criticism, don't work with me. I strive to be as compassionate and respectful as I can be in all aspects of my work and interactions, but I'm not liable for any hurt feelings or wounded egos.
12. I do not guarantee your satisfaction with any of my services, nor do I guarantee that my services will help you sell more books or boost your ratings. However, if you are unsatisfied with any of my work, please contact me so I can find a way to resolve whatever problems arise in regard to the services I complete for you, with my terms in mind.
13. I reserve the right to update, change, or discontinue any of these guidelines, terms, and my services (including my fees), at any time. If you are interested in my services and contact me about them, I will assume you have read, understand, and agree to the terms for whatever service(s) you request, such that they become a contract between us.
To request a review, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my social media pages and message me. They are available on my "ContactMe" page. Or you can leave a comment below (or anywhere else on the blog).
Do I need reviews?
This question doesn't really have a straight answer. It varies by person. Most people agree that reviews do help with sales. A big reason for this is because the more times your book is mentioned online, the more search engines will take notice. Even if you receive a bad review, it will help search engines notice your book. Reviews get people talking about books. They help with exposure, and they make your book and sites look more credible. At the same time, some authors claim they hardly have any reviews but their books sell like crazy. A few authors claim they have dozens of reviews but it didn't boost their sales at all. Others swear by reviews. There are a lot of factors that go into how well your book sells. Reviews are just one factor. How well you market your book, how popular your subject matter is, how eye-catching your cover looks, how engaging your site is, and so many other considerations impact sales. If you're on the fence about it, I'd suggest going with free review services first, but keep in mind that reviews won't be as helpful if you don't make them more visible. Reviewers should share their reviews, but you also should pitch in with the promotion to get the most out of it.
Are there other review options that are free?
Yes, there are, and I encourage you to check them out. Please visit my Book Services Directory to find more services. Most independent reviewers I’ve come across will review your book for free. You can also find free review opportunities yourself by simply typing "book bloggers who review for free," "free book reviewers," or something similar into the search engine. Or you could consider exchanging reviews with other authors. In other words, review someone's book in exchange for them reviewing yours. Not all authors will be open to this, but some are. Depending on where you want reviews posted, however, this may go against some sites' terms, so be careful where you post reviews obtained in such a way.
Keep in mind that I'm not endorsing any service other than my own.
Editing is so expensive. Is it really necessary?
I feel that it is. Quality editing may help get you a better rating from my service and others, and it helps improve your readers' experience. It's very hard for us to edit our own work. This blog post of mine discusses editing and some ways you can improve your work without hiring an editor, but I still recommend finding an editor: The Importance of Editing.
Will you edit my work?
While I've edited my own work for
roughly ten years now and have received praise for my editing abilities from
seasoned editors and clients, I have less than two years of experience in
providing editorial services for clients. I've studied (and continue to study)
the Chicago Manual of Style, but I haven't ever had experience working under
the constant supervision of other editors to hone my skills. For this reason,
you may wish to find a more seasoned editor who's more familiar with editorial
best practices (beware editors who lie about their experience, though; this blog post of mine
might help you in finding a good editor). However, if your book has
already gone through all the stages
of editing, I can give it another look to clean up anything that was missed.
Very few books are completely free of errors. While I have some basic knowledge of British English and New Zealand English rules, I've only studied American English, so keep that in mind. You may contact me to further
discuss the project if you want, but this service is currently closed. See the terms below for my proofreading service. Veterans receive a 30% discount.
Additional terms specific to my proofreading service:
1. I charge $0.004/word for each manuscript. For example, if you have a manuscript of 50,000 words, I'd charge $200. I require half the payment before beginning my work and the other half after my work is completed. While I'll do my best, I don't guarantee I'll catch every error, and I don't guarantee your satisfaction with my work.
2. I won't be held to a deadline, but if the work is under 70K words, I should be able to finish proofreading it well within two months (I prefer to overshoot estimates).
3. I reserve the right to not complete any project I don't want to, for any reason. I will only refund your money if I end up not completing the project, otherwise all sales are final. If you refuse to let me finish the project for whatever reason, I will keep the first half of the payment that I've already received, but I won't request the final half.
4. I reserve the right to alter these terms at any time.
To see a list of other editors, please visit my Book Services Directory.