No Free Ride / Review Policy

June 2019

When I started this blog almost a year ago, I set out to support Indie publishing. I think I’ve been true to that aim and my original No Free Ride policy. I also refused to set up a review policy at that stage, not wanting to limit myself and the types of books I review and talk about.

Both of these things feel like they are actually starting to limit what I want to achieve at this stage. So I’m making a change, but hoping to stay true to the spirit of what this blog is about.

Crime and horror fiction are my passions in reading, they are the books I usually look forward to most across the year and are the biggest chunk of what I read. They are not by any stretch the only things I read (am occasionally prone to nostalgia, I have some Redwall books recently added to my TBR), but I don’t review every title I read either. With this in mind, I will be primarily focussing on these two genres on my blog. This is not a hard and fast rule though, and if a story or narrative supports increasing representation for groups still largely marginalised in our literary culture, I am open to other genres. Outside of crime and horror though, this element of representation will be key in convincing me to read a book with the view to a blog post.

No Free Ride remains. My original policy was described as:

I intend to continue to pay for books. This is the only way that money makes it in to authors and publisher’s pockets and allows them to keep on doing what they do, and keeps all of us in good reading company whilst they are at it. That’s why I will not be accepting free books of any kind to review. I am happy for any publisher or writer that thinks I might be interested to get in touch, I am happy to receive advance copies too. I will though be insisting on paying for anything I accept. You all have PayPal accounts right? This does mean though that I won’t necessarily be able to accept everything I’m offered if this blog goes well. Please don’t be offended if I say no.

The purpose of my setting up this blog is to support indie publishing; I don’t feel that accepting free books for review achieves that end. It also allows me to retain my independence.

However I am making a change to it. I will now accept advance reading copies for review, e-books only if I’m not paying for it at that stage. This will hopefully support those authors trying to get some reviews out there, and allows me to accept more titles than previously for consideration as I am removing the constraints on my back pocket. Please be aware though that with this change, sending me an e-book does not guarantee a review.

I remain completely committed to supporting indie publishing though and I commit that I will not publish a review of a book I am not willing to buy with my own money. Therefore, even if I have been in receipt of a free copy to support a review I guarantee that I will buy an e-book or paperback copy of EVERY book I publish a review for, if possible prior to publishing my review.

Also, just to be clear. A free advance copy is NOT a condition of my writing a review. The vast majority of books I review I have bought as they appealed to me as a reader. I would anticipate that to largely continue.

If you would like to get in touch with me around supporting a review / guest post / Q&A please do so via Twitter @ThatMattKeyes

And bear in mind, that after all is said and done this blog is a hobby for me. I am not a professional reviewer and have no ambition in that vein. If I do decline an offer of a book, or decline to review after reading a book I will do so politely and expect to be treated in the same way.