One of the primary functions of RainHand Books is to help promote the work of new, self-published, and/or independent authors. If you've written a work of original fiction and are interested in having it reviewed by RainHand, this page explains the relatively simple application process. Let me start by saying thank you for choosing RainHand! I hope we can enter into a successful partnership to promote your work.
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 for one. Also, I get neat stuff to read! You get a book review, which for the purposes of your exposure I will post at RainHandBooks.com/net, as well as RainHand's Facebook page, Twitter, and my personal Goodreads account. You also get a Twitter follow from me, and (if you have them) a facebook page like and a Goodreads follow. 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, or tweet from me, you'll need to let me know that ahead of time. I do not require likes/follows in return, but I'm very much grateful if you're willing to provide them.
- I will, at all times, provide an honest review, and I do not accept any incentive to do otherwise.
- I review books as a labor of love in my available free time. That said, please give me some time to read your book and compose a decent review for it. I ask for a minimum of 2-4 weeks for a full-length novel from the time I receive the work - possibly longer depending on how long the book is. Some have taken less than two weeks in the past. Others have taken more than four. It depends entirely upon my existing backlog, and whatever else might be getting in my way in the course of daily life. If you haven't heard from me in around three weeks or so, please feel free to drop me a friendly reminder.
- At this point in time, 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.
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 of a story that I'd probably refuse to read the whole thing in the first place, much less review it. 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. Most reasonably well-prepared and executed works should expect a three or a four. These are general guidelines, and of course will vary from work to work.