Review Policy

Thank you for your interest in having me review your book!

I write reviews for this website and other print and digital outlets. I am a regular contributor to Ms. Magazine, both on the website via a monthly series “Ms. Feminist Know-It-All,” and in print, via the “Bookmarks” column included in each issue.

My goal is to amplify voices of women/womxn and other writers from historically marginalized populations. More information about this is listed below.

Please read this policy thoroughly before contacting me.

What I review:

  • Books written or edited by women, womxn, including transgender authors, trans men and trans women, non-binary, genderqueer or gender nonconforming authors.
  • Writers, characters, and topics from historically marginalized populations and underrepresented and/or underserved communities are preferred. This includes, but is not limited to, Black women; women of color; women from the Global South; lesbian, bi, queer, or asexual women; womxn; trans women and trans men; intersex individuals; women with disabilities; women from rural communities; women living in poverty; single mothers; fat women; justice-involved women; neurodivergent women.
  • Currently, I will only review books by men if they are trans men, men of color, or men of other historically marginalized populations, and then, only rarely.
  • Fiction or nonfiction, adult or YA (see genres below).
  • Debut titles and titles from indie publishers are encouraged; self-published titles will be considered as long as they have been professionally edited.
  • Please note that I regularly review titles for a journal published via my office, Resources for Gender and Women’s Studies: A Feminist Review as well as for other academic journals and popular press outlets. There may be times where your book may be a better fit for one of these outlets; I will let you know this upon receipt of your request.

Preferred genres:

  • Literary and genre fiction including contemporary, historical, speculative, thrillers/horror, graphic novels.
  • Poetry.
  • Nonfiction including gender and women’s studies; women’s history; biographies/memoirs; current events; LGBT/queer topics; spirituality (think: Buddhism, mindfulness); libraries; leadership; women’s and girls’ development, education, or empowerment; Global South.

What I don’t review:

  • Romance, westerns, mysteries, self-help, Christian, literary criticism, Manga.
  • Self-published books that have not been professionally edited.

Formats: I prefer physical copies (ARCs or published), ebooks for Kindle, or audiobooks. PDFs are not preferred but I may make exceptions.

I am continuously accepting ARCs, galleys, finished copies, catalogs, and emails about forthcoming titles. My receipt of monographs in any format does not guarantee I will read, review, include it on lists, or recommend it. Due to the large amount of titles I receive, it is not possible for me to contact each sender with a confirmation of receipt.

NOTE: If you are a publisher or publicist who would like to send me ARCs/completed books you think I might have an interest in without having to send a request for each, please email me at karlajstrand at gmail dot com and I will send you my mailing address.

For individual title email requests, please include:

  • Book title, author, and genre.
  • Brief synopsis (no spoilers!).
  • Publisher information. If self-published, please indicate who has edited your work.
  • Release date.
  • Any review timeline preference.
  • Links to Goodreads, Amazon, author website, publisher website, or other.
  • Other relevant information that would explain why you think I would be a good reviewer for this title.

What you can expect:

  • Reviews will be thoroughly researched, reflectively written, and meticulously edited. Because I am very particular about the reviews I write, they take time. I write high-quality reviews which are often between 600 and 1400 words; brief reviews are between 300 and 600 words. I do not pump out low-quality, short reviews with typos or other errors just to get out as many as possible. Brief or long, I focus on quality over quantity – this is what makes my reviews stand out and why you want me to write one for your book. 
  • All reviews contain my own opinions and are written honestly, respectfully, and constructively. Most of my reviews contain both positive and constructive elements.
  • My rating system is as follows: Not Recommended, Optional, Recommended, Highly Recommended, and Essential.
  • The review will include the book cover, title, author, pages, series (where applicable), publisher, and release date.
  • Also included will be a variety of links such as author page or interviews, publisher page, booksellers, or other reviews.
  • Please contact me if you have questions. I normally will not run my reviews past you in advance of posting them, unless we have a prior agreement to do so but I will try to alert the author, publisher, etc. that it has posted. This is usually via tag on social media and/or email.
  • Reviews will be posted with the appropriate outlet, on my website, and usually on Goodreads, Amazon, and NetGalley (as applicable). I advertise my reviews on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Other available services:

  • Author interviews.
  • Articles to your blog or site (contact me for fees).
  • Sensitivity or beta reading (contact me for fees).
  • Proofreading and editing (contact me for fees).
  • I am VERY selective about accepting guest posts on my site (I have yet to actually accept one); spammy, form letter requests will be deleted without reply.

The fine print:

  • By sending a review request to me, you are acknowledging that my review may be negative or contain negative elements.
  • I reserve the right to refuse any request for any reason.
  • Your sending and/or my receiving your request or book does not guarantee that I will read and review it immediately (or at all). I try my best to read and review books promptly with publication dates in mind but there are simply more books out there than I can review.

Please complete the contact form or email me at karlajstrand at gmail dot com with any questions or to request a review.

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