Review Guidelines

Sorry, but we’re not accepting works for review as of  9/14/17. Why? Because we’re changing gears. Check back soon for more information.

Please read this page thoroughly and adhere to the guidelines when submitting. Failure to follow the submission guidelines will result in an automatic rejection.

Please note that while we have guidelines for review submissions we also post reviews for other works we’ve read, small publisher/ self-published or not.

General Overview

We don’t accept ARCs and titles must between one month and one year of release.  We also don’t accept any form of payment or compensation other than a trickle from affiliate links that helps keep the site running. Reviewed print copies will be donated to a local library. Ebook and electronic copies will never be shared or sold.

We have high standards, but we’re also fair and open-minded, something some review sites are clearly not. Reviewing the Gaps reviewers will post their reviews on our website, Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble if the read ranks three or more stars but only on our website if it ranks only one or two stars–unless the author requests it still be published on other sites. Yes, we do give low ranks if the work rates it. And, no, we won’t remove them from our website once they’re posted.

That said, we do know that no written work is perfect. There’s always room for improvement. However, having a good grasp on writing basics and either excellent editing skills or a professional editor are also crucial.

Our Reviews Include the Following:

  1. Title

  2. Author(s)

  3. Publisher (if applicable)

  4. Genre w/ sub genre if applicable

  5. Release date

  6. Cover art image link (required for a review, because we evaluate that too)

  7. A third person, no more than twenty-five word in length, author bio

  8. Review that strives not to give spoilers but will certainly provide the reviewer’s opinions

  9. Rating of 1-5 stars

    1. One Star: DNFR (did not finish reading) and why/ really bad

    2. Two Stars: finished, but not totally thrilled

    3. Three Stars: A good read but not without issues

    4. Four Stars: Great read, recommended

    5. Five starts: Wow! Highly recommended

  10. An affiliate link if applicable

What we Won’t Review: The No List

We’re open-minded here at Reviewing the Gaps, but there’s are some things we simply won’t review. This list includes: Vanity Press publications (self-publishing and vanity/pay-to-publish presses are different entities in our eyes); Erotica (sexy and erotic are not the same thing. If you must name body parts and describe the sexual acts being done with and to said body parts then it’s erotica and we don’t want it) BDSM; child-abuse, sexist or homophobic writings, animal abuse, underage sex, individual short works including short-stories, flash-fiction, single poems, (collections and anthologies of shorter works are welcome), Religious Fiction and Nonfiction, and anything with a politically right tilt (lean, slant…whatever you wish to call it–just, no) All submissions that fall under the No list will be immediately deleted and the author will no longer be considered for review for any work no matter how good it might be.

Our Reviewers are Searching for:


Wishes and Wants: I’m searching for Sci-Fi with diverse characters including LGBT+; Humans and aliens of color; non-erotic polyamory; the differently abled/ disabled, the chronically ill, older protagonists, and others residing outside the norm; I also enjoy well-built, complex societies, multi-world stories, soft/ social Sci-Fi, Military Sci-fi, Sci-Fantasy, Far-Future, (as long as it’s relatable) Hard Sci-Fi that’s understandable to a non-MIT grad, alien societies, Sci-Fi Graphic Novels, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy Short Story and Poetry Anthologies

Will Consider: I sometimes read Paranormal, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Time Travel, Fantasy, (but not High or Epic Fantasy) Post-Apocalyptic, Literary fiction, Mainstream Fiction

Will Not Review: The No List and Horror, Non-Fiction, Self-Help, How-To, High or Epic Fantasy, Shifter Tales, Zombies and Vampires, Romance involving any orientation (though a good romantic subplot is welcomed); Westerns, Children’s, YA, New Adult (NA), Dystopian (because I am burnt out on them)

Jeanne’s Tips:

1) The ending doesn’t have to be warm and fuzzy, but neither should everyone die miserable and alone.

2) Good editing scores brownie points. Bad editing–well, I’m an English teacher, dammit.

Acceptable Submission Types: Kindle (mobi) only. I’m low vision, so this is a requirement. No PDFs or other electronic submissions. No print copies. I hope to be able to do epub later this year–but don’t send them yet!


Wishes and Wants: Mysteries; Thrillers including psychological, medical, military, and legal; Sci-Fi but tech beyond The Martian leaves me flat; Paranormal—but no Zombies; Horror; Historical Adventure; LGBT anything that’s not on the No List

Will Consider: Cozy Mysteries; Military Fiction; stories with romance but not stories that are ALL romance; YA (no teenage angst); New Adult (NA); Urban Fantasy; Police Procedural

Will not Review: The No List and Non-Fiction, Fantasy, Harlequin-style Romance, Westerns, Children’s, True Crime, Self-Help, How-To

TC’s Tip: Watch for plot holes. If they’re big and deep. I’m not stepping in them–meaning the work won’t be reviewed.

Acceptable Submission Types: Kindle (mobi) and nothing else


Wishes and Wants: Children’s including picture books, fiction and nonfiction; YA; Fantasy including Epic and High Fantasy; Sci-Fi; Mystery including Legal and Political Thrillers; Poetry collections, Biography, Nonfiction to include Science, Psychology, and History; Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Will Consider: Romance, Westerns, Memoirs

Will not Review: See the No List. How-To, Self-Help, Horror

Jane’s Tips: Writing takes practice. Good writing takes dedication.

Acceptable Submission Types: Print (details on acceptance), PDF, and RTF

How to Submit to Reviewing the Gaps

Here’s a step-by-step list for how to submit. We want to read your work, so please follow it exactly.  Review requests that do not follow the directions will not be considered.

Please read the following before you submit.

Following the form, include the following:

  • Author(s) Name
  • Contact Email Address
  • Reviewer Requested (yes, you must choose one)
  • Genre
  • Book Title
  • Release Date (works must be between one month and one year of initial release)
  • Direct link to cover image
  • Publication type: small press or self-published
  • Author bio: written in third person and no more than twenty-five words total length (no links here)
  • Direct links to the book’s web presence (where it’s being sold) and web addresses/ handles for author’s website, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter etc. The more the better. If you don’t provide them, we’ll Google you before we agree to review you.
  • Book Blurb–the one on Amazon, Goodreads, etc
  • Click the box assuring that you read these guidelines, double check everything, and hit send when you’re ready.



Click here to submit or finish reading and click the contact button at the top of the page.

That’s a lot, we know, but many sites ask for just a much if not more.

Please allow two weeks before you inquire about your submission. Then you may contact us at reviewingthegaps AT gmail DOT com. Some of us work full time. Some of us are retired. Some of us are actively writing and seeking reviews just like you. We all have lives, so please give us time. Reviewing the Gaps is not our job. It’s our passion.

We will contact you about submitting the actual work once you’ve been accepted for review.

And, lastly, no, following all the rules doesn’t guarantee you’ll be reviewed, but it’ll certainly help. Take us seriously, and we’ll do the same for you. Thanks.

Our current turn-around time on reviews is 1-2 months, but it can and will vary by reviewer. Mileage may vary too, but that’s an entirely different story.