Book Reviews by RainHand

ne of the original functions of RainHand Books was to help promote the work of new, self-published, and/or independent authors via the offer of free book reviews. Since that time life has become a bit more complex for me, and though I am no longer actively advertising this service, I still believe in the value of helping the community. So, if you've written a work of original fiction, need a little help getting some reads/reviews, and find yourself here, please feel free to reach out and we'll talk about it! Below are a few simple guidelines that will hopefully address some any initial questions about the process.

To submit a work to RainHand, just send an email to RainHand Books. Please include the following in your message:

  • Your contact information. All I really need is your name or nom de plume, and an email address to get back to you.
  • A brief synopsis of your work. This need not be excessively complicated. Just give me some idea what kind of story I'm going to be reading. Something like 'an adventure story featuring a down-on-her-luck girl who gets swept up in a web of intrigue in a cyberpunk city of the future' will do.
  • Where your work can be found. In other words, where others would go to purchase or write their own product reviews of your book. I currently post my reviews here, on Goodreads, and on Amazon.
  • A copy of your work. Because I need to be able to read it, of course! .pdf is my preferred format, but I can work with you on .epub, .mobi, and so forth. (Please note that if you only have a Kindle copy available, you'll need to 'gift' or otherwise provide some sort of means by which to share it with me.) You don't have to include this in your initial communication if you're just testing my interest. We can work it out later.

Please note the following when submitting a work for me to review:

  • I do this all for free. What do I get out of it? Well, content for my blog and neat stuff to read, of course. You get a book review, which for the purposes of your exposure I will post at, as well as RainHand's Facebook page and my personal Goodreads account. You may also get likes and follows on social media from me, depending on where you do your social media business and if I have an account there. I do not require likes/follows in return, but am very much grateful if you're willing to provide them. I do all of these things by default, so if for some reason you do not want me to post your review in one or more of the aforementioned places, or do not want a follow/like/etc from me, you'll need to let me know that ahead of time.
  • I will, at all times, provide an honest review, and I do not accept any incentive to do otherwise. Please understand that I am serious about this. There have been times in the past where people have approached me for a review and been dissatsified with my honesty. By the same token, I have been praised for staying true to the 'honest review' tagline that is so commonly seen these days. I like to think I judge on the side of leniency and frame my work from a point of constructive/encouraging criticism, but I don't do mindless high (or low) ratings without substance. Check my previous reviews for examples.
  • The primary reason I stopped actively advertising a review service is my own fault--my brainspace and daily circumstance would get cluttered with so many other things that reviews were taking what was, in my opinion, an unacceptably long time to complete. When somebody comes to me asking for a review and I agree to it, I'm bound to produce it, and I feel bad if I keep them on the hook forever. Now that I've condensed this service I expect that I will have a greater ability to speed it up, but it could be a month or three before there are results.
  • I accept only works of original fiction from adult authors. I'll accept just about any genre - I'll even read erotica, but if you have a particularly explicit or fetishy story for me to read, let's talk about it some before sending it on over. As you might expect, I reserve the right to refuse to do a review for any reason. As you also might expect, I will only review stories that you, or whomever you represent, wrote. If AI wrote it, you did not.

Review format:

My reviews are typically designed to minimize spoilers wherever reasonably possible, and so I usually avoid such tenants as restating the plot of the work before getting into the review, or offering specifics about what happened in a given scene - this in the hopes that readers who have yet to enjoy the work can get some opinions on it before they hit that big green 'go' button. Of course this is not always possible, and so I handle the format of my reviews on a case-by-case basis. Every work is unique, after all. I have no specific format beyond that, aside from the belief that every work, everywhere, both has value and is not perfect. There's always some good in everything, and there's always something that can be improved upon. Touching upon both, I believe, is the essence of a well-rounded book review. Remember also that the purpose of a book review is neither to glorify the work, nor the author. It is to assist the community of readers in finding their next good read.

With regards to 'star' ratings (on a scale of one to five), I very rarely if ever hand out a single star - earning that would take a book that hasn't had basic editing done (I am a reviewer of works ready for publication, not an editor), is libelous/a manifesto, or is such a straight-up trainwreck mess that I'd probably refuse to read in the first place, much less review. Two stars typically go to a work that has promise but in need of some help, while a decently-presented tale is likely to earn at least three. A good book gets a four. Wow me, and you get a five. I typically hand out threes and fours, with occasional fives, less occasional twos, and just about never ones. These are general guidelines, and of course will vary from work to work.

Once again, thank you for considering RainHand Books!