Book Review Policy

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Update (August 24, 2014): Beginning immediately, I will only be reviewing books four times a year in conjunction with TRC Magazine’s publication dates.

If you are a publishing company or author, I take into consideration the heart the author puts into the book. However, I will give honest reviews. If you do not want an honest review, please do not ask me to review your novel or book. I can’t with any integrity advertise your book on my website or blog without giving a truthful review. Please also read this blog which explains how I do not tolerate attacks from readers of authors or authors if a bad review is not acceptable. I owe my readers honesty.

  1. The maximum rating you can have is five-stars. Five-stars is like getting an A. The book must be free of errors and unique. Perfect. Four-stars is a B. It means it was still very good, kept my attention. Three-stars is a C. It means I may not read it again, did a lot of skimming, there were errors, or maybe it just didn’t swing my attention, but it was an okay book. Two-Stars is a D. I rarely give one-stars. One stars mean it’s a total failure. Five and four star reviews are fantastic regardless. Feel free to comb through my Goodreads and compare the ratio of two to five-star reviews.
  2. With some exceptions, I strive to use the sandwich method taught in Word Weavers (the bread equals the positive and the meat the more critical review). You can read my thoughts of the difficulty of reviewing here.
  3. I always strive to be kind in my reviews. I am a writer, too, lest we forget, we are on the same team. I always treat every person I meet online as if I live next door to them. I care about you and want you as a writer to succeed. It is also in my best interest that a publishing company succeed. I am also a reader.

Reviews are difficult to write with the frame of mind that each person is not just a faceless, electronic shadow that I will never meet in person, especially bad reviews. Those give me no pleasure. I review as a reader and a writer. Just because I don’t like a book doesn’t mean someone else will share my opinion.

One day if my novel is published I expect there will be some people who won’t like it and some that will like it. The best advice I ever received came from an agent who said if you are going to self-publish, invest in a good editor. Another piece of good advice came from a friend. She told me take every criticism and throw away what is waste; keep what is useful.

Whatever side of the aisle you land in whether self-publish or traditional, always get involved in a critique group that is not comprised of family and friends. Word Weavers and ACFW have always given me valuable feedback on my writing. As a writer we never stop learning or tweaking our trade. It is an art form and it is always evolving.

Thank you for allowing me to critique your work and for trusting me with your heart. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

Bad Reviews: In the case of a bad review, I agree as a book reviewer to read at least the first fifty pages. Unless there’s an agreement between I and the author, publishing house, or publicist to finish a book, I do not have to finish a book I agree to review. A reader won’t finish an awful novel or book. Since I review books on behalf of the reader, I do not have to finish a bad book. In that case, I will mention that I didn’t finish it in the review. 

Nikole Hahn

One thought on “Book Review Policy

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Portals | Nikole Hahn

Discussion is welcome on this forum. Please refrain from rude or snarky comments. Do not leave extra links in the comment box as I consider that spam. I want a friendship with you. Talk to me. Let's pray for each other. And if I can't answer your question, I will find the answer and get back to you via email.

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