Books & Tea may be my main place to write, but I’m happy to write for other sites when the opportunity arises.

Well, one of those opportunities popped up a few weeks ago! I now have a guest post up on BookMachine, a UK-based site for the publishing industry.

My post is all about the dos and don’ts of how publishers should work with book reviewers.

It turns out I had a lot to say on this topic. Once Norah Myers, one of the consultants for the site, and a former classmate of mine, asked if I’d be willing to talk about my experiences as a book reviewer, the words just poured out.

Here’s an excerpt:

Don’t: Send books that are part of a series until you confirm that your reviewer has read the previous entries in the series

Once last year I got a call from my husband saying that a large package had come in the mail. Since I was at work, I asked him to open the envelope, as I had no idea that a publisher had even sent something to me.

“Holy crap!” he cried, when he had torn the wrapping away.


“It’s a copy of The Wall of Storms.”

“The new Ken Liu book? Cool.” I paused, waiting for a predictable admonishment.

“You really need to read The Grace of Kings soon, you know.”

Me, sheepishly: “Yeah….”

Reader, The Grace of Kings, while critically acclaimed, is 623 pages long. I had yet to read it. Its sequel, The Wall of Storms, is a punishing 880 pages long.

I don’t know about you, but I did not relish the idea of needing to read over 1500 pages to write a single review, especially for a book that no one had bothered to confirm whether I was prepared for in the first place.

A year later, both Ken Liu books remain unread, despite the fact that I’ve heard good things about them. They’re too large and overwhelming for me to approach.

If you’re the kind of person who specializes in doorstopper books like this, please do your reviewers the kindness of making sure they have the proper background to give your works the time they deserve.

Now, go read the whole thing, and tell BookMachine that I sent you!