Review Policy

Inkyblack/Stringchronicity has been around for…ye ghods…well over 15 years now. In that time, I’ve gone from writing “I had toast, it was crunchy”-style blogs to more structured slices of life and reviews of books, patterns, yarn, and other various things as they find their way into my grubby little hands.

Amazingly, even after 15+ years, this blog is a very quiet space. You’d think I’d be accepting every little strand of fibre and scrap of paper to use, read and review. I would love to, but there’s just not enough time in the day.

Readers of this blog are, therefore, totally at my mercy and whim.

Welcome to my whimsy!

What format(s) do I accept?

I’ll accept ARCs, finished copies, ebooks/galleys. For ebook, I prefer .epub format for my Kobo over PDF. Otherwise, I do have an iPad and the Kindle app. Audiobooks are great, but turnaround time on reviews goes way down when the book is 5+ hours long.

What adult genres will I read?

Non-fiction:

🍰 Cooking
– Media Tie In (ie: Warcraft Cookbook)
– Low-Carb or related
– Baking
βœ‚ Crafting
– Textile Arts (Knitting, Crochet, Spinning)
– Cross-Stitch & other Needlepoint/Hand-Sewing
– Historical Garment Re-Creation (Sewing, Knitting)
– Fine Arts (drawing, painting, sculpting, physical media & digital design)
🎼 Music
– Biography
– Songbooks (Voice/Piano/Guitar, SATB, Flute, Saxophone)
– History
πŸ” True Crime (very picky)
🌈 New Age

Fiction:

πŸ¦„ Fantasy (skews literary rather than pulp)
πŸ‘½ Science Fiction (skews literary rather than pulp)
πŸ‘» Horror / Suspense
πŸ•΅ Mysteries & Thrillers
πŸ’— Romance (Subgenres listed, but I can be picky)
– Regency
– Historical
– Paranormal
– Contemporary

βœ” I prefer inclusive books with diversity and GLBTQ2S+ characters.
βœ” Enthusiastic consent is key.
βœ” Preference given to OwnVoices in regard to books set outside Western (white) culture. I am a white middle-aged (yikes!) Canadian woman and hence a cultural dumbarse. I’m trying to do better.

I prefer to read books in order. I will read a book mid-series if previous books are provided so I can catch up.

I am not a good fit for Young Adult, Middle Grade or Children’s books. I’m not the target demographic, and there are no young people in my household to educate me on current trends. The last time I was a young adult was in the late 80’s / early 90’s and full of all the apathy Generation X has to offer.

I’m not into:

🚫 Body Horror
🚫 Abuse/Violence to women (Fiction)
🚫 Military SF
🚫 Westerns
🚫 Mob/Mafia/Gang
🚫 Lad Lit
🚫 Religious themes

I am not a good fit for Literary Fiction. Yes, I’m a heathen. I fully admit it. Besides, we need to keep something sacred for my Sister-in-Law to send us for Yule, in hopes we’ll change our pagan genre-reading ways. In many respects, she’s the hero we need. πŸ˜‰

I realize that on occasion I may review books that fall into these categories. Please let me discover these rare gems on my own.

Book Ratings:

My thought processes for book reviews run similar to the following breakdown. Like your 11th Grade Math teacher, I’m not all that flexible when it comes to changing my scores.

DNF: Didn’t finish. I lost interest, or couldn’t make heads or tails of what I was reading and stopped.
0.5: I struggled my way through this book and am probably wondering why. Half-steps really just boost the base number.
1: I finished the book. It didn’t hurt me. It was meh.
2: It was okay. It wasn’t totally thrilling. I probably list any concerns/issues I had with the book.
3: Hey, I liked this!
4: Oh, this was good. I mean really good. I mean I really liked it.
5: Take all my stars, balls of yarn, hearts…whatever I’ve decided I’m using as a graphical depiction of “take my money PLEASE!”. I may use exclamation points. And animated .gifs.

Sometimes I re-post to Goodreads. I often intend to crosspost to Amazon or Kobo, but am easily distracted by shiny things.

For everything else:

When it comes to yarn, patterns, wine, and other things, I generally just state my opinions. The 0-5 chart in the book section can be used as a guide if I’m assigning ranks, but otherwise I just go with the flow.

Expectations and Timelines:

If you have a book or string-related product that you would like me to review, please feel free to contact me and see whether our interests align.

If I refuse your request, please don’t take offence. It is possible that I am not the right fit for your work. Also, I often get busy and need to scale back my workload. I’m not always able to complete every book or project I am sent, but I do make an attempt.

I try to complete reviews for my projects in a timely fashion, and will let you know when it is scheduled to post. If the book is an ARC, I will time my review to go live a few weeks before release. I will follow a similar guideline as regards craft-related reviews. If you would like me to post my opinions on another related website (Goodreads, Amazon, etc), please let me know and I will accommodate.

Above all, please remember that reviews are for the reader or consumer’s information and enjoyment and are not a personal attack on the author, publisher, or producer. It is not always pleasant to receive a review we feel does not meet our expectations. Please bear in mind that it is often stressful and disappointing to give less-than-pleasant reviews.

I can promise you that I will always be honest with my opinions and, as per my scoring guidelines, a rating of 3 or higher means that I actively enjoyed your work. If I have issues with your product, I will attempt to address those issues in a manner that is constructive.

Edited on 13-November 2019 to clarify a whole buttload of issues. I will likely do so again in the future. When I do, I will attempt to remember to update this note. This is a constantly changing work-in-progress, folks πŸ™‚