Review policy, affiliate links, and other boring stuff…
What makes a book beautiful? Certainly not just the words – you could get that on any old kindle or ipad or trashy ole paperback. Instead, this blog pays homage to those books we love to touch, hold, caress… Maybe they have specially crafted covers, stunning illustrations, clever paper engineering, illustrated endpapers, gorgeous slip covers, ribbon bookmarks — anything that sets a book apart from the masses and simply brings extra joy to its readers.
Because of this, any book featured on the blog is by definition at least a 4 star production and there is a lot to love about it. But be warned – all my reviews are critical and honest – if parts of the book are a little skimpy in production values (rubbishy glued binding, pop-ups that are too fragile to actually use, etc) I will note that in the review as well. I collect beautiful books, but I read them all too (I know, I know, instantly reducing their value, but as if I would ever part with them anyway) – all my books still have to maintain their function for the reader while I celebrate their special form.
Genres I read:
I have a vast collection of books (more than 7000. Ulp!) and this means that I have fairly eclectic tastes. Some of my special passions are children’s and young adult books, paper engineering, Arthurian literature, paranormal and urban fantasy, mythology & folklore, and popular science. I also enjoy cozy mysteries, contemporary fiction, fairy tales, science fiction, romance, cookbooks, humour, graphic novels and poetry. (Yes, I read fast! And a lot!) But I appreciate beautiful books of any genre. Most of my books are in English, but I read a smattering of French and German as well. I am a current member of The Folio Society and lapsed subscriber to Easton Press.
A note to authors, agents and publishers:
Any book I review here I love enough to fork out my own hard-earned cash for, but I would of course be happy (actually, my bank account manager has just asked me to clarify here that in fact I would be delighted) to accept review copies. Books received as a gift or for review would always be noted as such on the blog.
If you have written or produced a beautiful book, I would love to review it or spread the word about it in any way possible. I lovelovelove books — I put a lot of effort into reading, appreciating, photographing and describing them so that I can share the books I love with everyone else. I would also be happy to consider participating in author interviews, blog tours, and host contests if time permits.
I will only accept books that I’m more than 90% sure will qualify as ‘beautiful books’ to ensure that they will be featured on the blog. This means that they have to be special publications in some way (so please don’t suggest an ebook or a mass market paperback). I don’t have anything nice to say about your book then I won’t say anything at all. If this were to happen for a book I had accepted (and it hasn’t yet), I would still feature it in some way, either in a contest or other type of spotlight.
Review books will be added to the blog as a priority (typically within a few weeks of receipt). I prefer to have isbns available before I post the review, because of course for a beautiful book, the ability to track down the actual edition is just as important as the rest of the information I provide. But annoyingly, lots of small presses (and large presses – yes Folio Society and Easton Press, I am glaring in your general direction) do not have them at all, so I can work with that as well.
I also post summaries of my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and LibraryThing, and am happy to consider other avenues if you have some to suggest. I use Australian spelling, so sorry international readers, you’ll just have to struggle through somehow.
A note to anyone interested in making suggestions:
Okay, so you’re not an author or a publisher, but you would like to suggest a book for me to review? Absolutely! I would love to hear about books you love! If you’re reading this blog, you are clearly a book-lover like me and I value your opinions. However, I am limited in my book purchasing power by such outrageous evils as mortgage, electricity and family food bills, so please don’t suggest anything I probably won’t be able to afford. I will be sure to want it anyway, and that will just make me sad.
Sometimes the links to books in my posts are affiliate links – this means that I get a couple of cents in referrer fees from your purchase if you buy directly from my link (which apparently nobody does, so it appears I will not be retiring bloated and rich from my blog, drat) – this does not affect the amount you pay. I have affiliate accounts with The Book Depository (US) and The Book Depository (UK) sites (and these guys ROCK since they have free shipping to anywhere in the world – and if you live in Australia like I do this is a massive deal) as well as Amazon.com.
For suggestions or review copies, please email email@example.com.