Review guidelines

As of May 6 I’m reviewing again. Being listed as Kindle Book Review’s first contact–and as their only nonfiction contact–certainly has its advantages. But after declining several New Age books and two consecutive success/wealth building books, I realize it’s time to be a little more specific with what authors should expect.

I have previously reviewed fiction: Love by Lucille Redmond was unbelievable, as was Woody Guthrie’s novel House of Earth. That said, I do not believe a relatively obscure fiction writer should offer reviews to another. There is too much temptation for review swapping: cooperatively, in the form of positive reviews, or punitively, in the form of negative ones. Ultimately neither of those would do us any favors, so please, do not submit fiction of any type.

Given the opening paragraph, hopefully you are already discouraged from offering texts on New Age, success, self-help or investing. I have very specific, long-established views on the subjects of economics and cosmology, and they are not likely to change. It would be unfair to subject you to my biases. Please do not contact me for reviews on these subjects.

Politics or current events?  Maybe.  Is it well-researched and well-considered?  Or does it offer the reader little more than a glass of Kool-Aid?

Ultimately you should know a reviewer’s tastes before submitting anything, so by all means feel free to follow and interact with me on Twitter.  That’s more than some authors are willing, so here are the links to all of my nonfiction reviews, per category: music (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), history (1, 2 and 3), science, philosophy and biography (1, 2). Aside from Lucille Redmond’s anthology of short stories, my favorite of these books was Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev: “If anything the pages turn too quickly, the story is too familiar.” Morrison forms a deep emotional attachment between reader and subject within the first few pages of the book.

A caveat: typographical errors and its/it’s mistakes are significant turn offs.  The well-written argument does not require huge font, red font, SHOUTING, slammer arrays!!!, or other visual delights to get its point across.  Clever interior page design is great, but if want a fourth or fifth star, the narrative needs to be content edited, copyedited, proofread and compelling.

One last request: patience.  As you can see I average about one review a month.  It will take me a week to consider your pitch, therefore a full PDF or ePub copy of your book will speed things along nicely.  Depending on length, I’ll need another two weeks to read and, finally, a week to write the review.

If you’re still reading, that’s wonderful.  We’re half-way there.  Reach out to at ASongForMagsa [at] gmail dotcom and we can discuss further.




When the day job beckons and you can’t fit in your blogging, let it all pile up and then–when the stack finally tips over–call it a newsletter. That being said, file this one under “May.”

First, C.E. Alexander’s The Music and The Spires is available for $0.99, wherever fine ebooks are sold. Purchasing links include AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo BooksCopia and eSentral.  That’s 0.0083 bitcoins per spire.  (Notre Dame only has one spire, by the way.  Read the book if you don’t know what Notre Dame has to do with anything.)

Next, and speaking of Zidi publications that don’t cross the one-dollar threshold, C.E. Alexander’s Kindle-only Book of Constants is still on for its June 16 release. Take a look at the cover here, and read some background here.

As for The Music and The Spires book trailer? It’s a bit late in the game to keep talking about a May 1 release. But it will be soon. We’re talking hours, now, not days. The trailer features a remarkable new composition by William Ryan Fritch and some found footage by various, turn-of-century video tinkerers. While you wait can we offer a mango-peach smoothie or some Dallas re-runs?

Finally, C.E. Alexander just completed his interview of Lucille Redmond over at Fluid Radio. In March 2012, Redmond published Love (stories of love, Ireland, sex, sea, snow and money). It is excellent reading throughout.

And what’s with the two guys at the top of page? Not telling. Yet.