Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Submission Guidelines 2009

PODBRAM sails ahead with new submission guidelines! Did you think this was going to be a review of the last book by the funniest author in American history? Although I have read many of the earlier Don Martin books, I have never even seen a copy of this final release in 1986. The only Don Martin book I have managed to hold on to is a copy of Don Martin Steps Further Out (1975). I gave my copy of Don Martin Bounces Back (1963) to my niece many years ago, but I shall always remember fondly the misadventures of Fester Bestertester and Karbunkle. May Don, Fester, and Karbunkle rest in peace with great big grins on their faces!

This post noting all the changes at PODBRAM over the past six months or so is long overdue. None of this information is something I suddenly made up or even any sort of official policy change. The rules themselves have not changed, but the reviewers at PODBRAM have. All the changes can be simply traced back to a point at which a reviewer was added or additional book types or genres were added to the acceptance list. Let's sail ahead:

(1) No genre, publisher, or type of book is automatically disallowed, with the sole exception of books published by Lulu. I am continuing our policy of leaving that mass of submissions to the able hands of Shannon Yarbrough and his Lulu Book Review. I consider LLBR as a companion site to PODBRAM and I always encourage Lulu authors to apply there.

(2) Although no books are automatically disallowed, cheaters will be caught at the first gate. These generally include any POD book that has already sold well simply because it has a famous person or event listed in the title. Get-rich-quick and weight-loss schemes easily fall into this category, too. Historical fiction, political nonfiction, and a few others will be researched for the cheater gene, but most will pass the first gate. Generally, if your book title looks like one either The National Enquirer or The Wall Street Journal would love, you will be blocked at the gate.

(3) Unless a specific reviewer makes a decision to accept a specific book in an electronic format, all submissions must be in the form of actual print versions of published books.

(4) If your book is accepted for review at PODBRAM, except in very rare cases, you will get one. The rare cases are those few pieces of junk that somehow make it past the gatekeeper. When that happens, we shall be in touch with you via e-mail to discuss your options. Sometimes our PODBRAM reviews are harsher (read more explicit) than those we might post for the author at Amazon. These are the only cases in which we shall not automatically post a review at Amazon.

(5) All the PODBRAM reviewers post their reviews at Amazon. These vary from a direct copy and paste to a totally, freshly composed review, and anything in between. No posted Amazon review will be rated at less than three stars. We do this because (a) we know how much pie in the sky is slung about in the massive numbers of Amazon reviews and (b) we are playing this game to help authors, not hurt them.

(6) As the head curmudgeon, I shall never post another review at B&N because those clowns lost all my identifying remarks on the large number of individually composed reviews I had posted on their site for PODBRAM authors. The reviews are all still there, but you cannot tell which ones are mine, and all mentions of other PODBRAM-reviewed books are gone, too. Any of the other PODBRAM team members are free to post reviews at B&N if they want, but I'm taking my marketing talents and going to Amazon!

(7) Your review will be posted on additional sites according to the particular team reviewer. Yes, I know this is not exactly fair, but it is a better deal than you will get anywhere else. Most of our reviewers have at least one other site on which they post PODBRAM reviews, and remember, in many cases, these will be separately composed. You may get a reviewer who posts only at PODBRAM and Amazon, but at least that reviewer has specifically chosen to read your book, so he or she is very likely to enjoy it.

(8) Drum roll, please... the strip-search reviewer is generally retired, so your errors are not likely to be counted and the reviewer is not likely to check out every crevice with a magnifying glass! I could not go on like that, so I had to make a decision last year to mostly give up actually reading books for review and composing reviews. The editing alone for PODBRAM takes up a lot of my time, and I have two other blogs to feed!

(9) Don't get too excited about my retirement because the dunk tank is still full of ice-cold water! We still look at every facet of your book, from the cover design to the blurb on the back. The text better be edited and proofread or you will be receiving one of those intimate little talks about not posting your review.

(10) The way to acquire a review at PODBRAM has not changed. You must submit a simple, polite request to the editor at ice9 at nctv dot com or make a comment on any post at PODBRAM. You must include three things: the title of your book, your name (and pen name under which the book is published if one is used), and an e-mail address where you can be contacted.

(11) We do accept submissions from publicity firms; however, direct submissions will always be moved to the front of the line. We do this because many books we have accepted from publicity firms have never been received. We are not one of those fly-by-the-pajama-pants blogsites. If we accept your book for review, we have fully researched its quality and we expect not to have to waste our time herding an invisible book through our system. When I say the front of the line, I am referring to the acceptance stage of the process. All books are read and reviewed in the order in which they are received by the reviewer.

(12) Interviews require a considerable amount of my time. If you are accepted for an interview, it is because I think you truly have some particular knowledge that will be helpful to our readership, most of whom are probably POD authors themselves. You can request an interview, but only a few will be chosen.

(13) Whenever I receive a review request, the first thing I do is to locate the book at Amazon and elsewhere online. You will receive brownie points if the book has no reviews at Amazon or if little or no past Amazon sales are apparent. Aside from the cheater titles and subject matter, the first way to get a demerit is to have a load of glowing, five-star reviews and one or two that just happen to mention that the proofreader was absent that day. We have a red flag on the field of play! I know who the paid review sites are, too, and those will also earn you demerits.

(14) An informative, professionally appearing website will earn a brownie point, but an overly promoted one built by a paid professional will bring a dreaded, but unexpected, demerit.

(15) If I discover you to be one of those annoying nuisances who spam the author message boards and marketing sites with your repetitive, promotional hoopla, your book won't be accepted for review at PODBRAM.

(16) Tell me some good news! We at PODBRAM strive mightily to be the best of the POD bloggers. There are no ads on the site. There are only tons of links to other respectable reviewers, articles of interest to authors and their readers, and more telling of truth to power without snarkiness than you will find anywhere in the POD blog zone. We always include links to other websites and reviews from your PODBRAM review. You are free to use any review we write at PODBRAM, in whole or in part, in any way you wish in your book promotional efforts. We keep in touch with our authors as much as they individually require. The only exception is that all authors must communicate through the editor unless the individual reviewer accepts direct communication as a special case. No books are ever resold for profit at Amazon or anywhere else. All books reviewed stay on the reviewer's shelf as a worst-case scenario. Some are passed on to other reviewers, such as our fellow authors in IAG, some are donated to libraries, and some are given to prospective readers who like the particular genre. All operations at PODBRAM are, to quote the late Frank Zappa's second album title, Absolutely Free.


Chris DeBrie said...

Hello. The title of my book is Shakespeare Ashes; it was just made available for sale a few days ago by Infinity. My pen-name is Chris DeBrie. My name is D Stevens. Email: awful_waffle@juno.com. You posted a lot of information so I may have missed something. If you need to know more, or need a review copy, let me know. Thanks.

Art Edwards said...


My name is Art Edwards, and I have been self-publishing my fiction since 2003. I’ve published two novels, Stuck Outside of Phoenix and Ghost Notes, both of which have done well as self-published fiction goes.

My first audio book, Ghost Notes, the Audio Book, was released on June 15th at my website, and it will be available as a digital download at places like iTunes, Amazon, etc. in a matter of weeks. The audio book is almost five hours long, and in keeping with the music themes in the novel, it incorporates original music into the recording. For more information on me or my work, or to hear a sample of Ghost Notes, the Audio Book, please choose one of the links below.

Thank you,

Art Edwards

A. said...

Hello - sorry, couldn't find a direct email so hoping posting this in the commends section is okay. Hoping you can mention the InStock Self Publishing Conference on your blog - it is a first time conference held July 18th in San Francisco (www.instockconference.com). We feature some successful self publishers, and offer panels on marketing and more to get authors and self publishers thinking strategically about their works.


S.P. Miskowski said...

Thanks for reviewing POD books.

My collection of five stories was recently published by New Generation as part of a large project sponsored by the London Arts Council. The book is available via Amazon and has not yet been reviewed. I hope you will consider it for your blog.

Red Poppies: Tales of Envy and Revenge
S.P. Miskowski

Unknown said...

Dear Editor,

My name is Kevis Hendrickson. I would love to have you review my YA fantasy book The Legend of Witch Bane. My email address is aragornisking@lycos.com. Thank you for considering my book.

Publisher book page: http://www.outskirtspress.com/thelegendofwitchbane

Amazon sales page:



Unknown said...

Hi there! :D

My name is Paige Jackson and I would love to have my debut YA Fantasy novel reviewed. The title is "Leyla's Locket: Book One of the Sera Chronicles"

It can be found on Amazon at:

My author website is:

My email is:


Nothing like keeping it simple!
Paige :D

Joy Collins said...

You did an excellent and much appreciated review of my first book SECOND CHANCE and I would love for you to review my newly published second book COMING TOGETHER that I wrote with a co-author Joyce Norman.
email: jcollins@cox.net
web: www.joycollins.com
on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Together-Joyce-Norman/dp/0984083626/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1

Thank you!
Joy Collins

Melissa Foster said...

Hello. I was referred to your site by a gentleman on Absolute Write. If I read the above info correctly, we are to leave our book material here to be selected for review. Please let me know if I need to do anything further.

Megan's Way, a work of literary fiction, is my debut novel, published through Outskirts Press. I have never used a paid review site, nor have I paid or otherwise solicited reviews. I do have 5 reviews on Amazon from actual readers, though. I hope that is not held against me.

Megan's Way can be found on Amazon:

My website is:

I am also the Founder of The Women's Nest, a support and social community for women.

Thank you for your consideration.

Melissa Foster said...

I do apologize - I forgot to leave my name in the above post.

Melissa Foster
Author, Megan's Way
thinkhappy @ live . com (remove spaces)

Emily Chan said...

Dear Editor,

My name is Tak Hau Abreu. I am the personal assistant to Mrs. Emily Chan. Emily recently published a book Harvard Business School Confidential – Secrets of Success. It is already available in most Asia countries and on Amazon.com and would be in the bookstores in the U.S. soon.

About Emily Chan:
Emily Chan graduated top of her engineering class at Stanford University and has an MBa from Harvard Business School. She was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for over eight years, and also worked as a corporate strategist and an independent consultant in Greater China. Based in Hong Kong, she is now Director of Pacific Merit Ltd. (PML), a family-owned direct investment company that invests in distressed assets in the US, Europe, and Asia. PML’s portfolio includes assets in biotechnology, media, and real estate.

If you want to contact her direcly, this is her E-mail: emily@texwatchinc.com

Here´s the Facebook page for the book:

Amazon Link:

Wiley Link:

Link to Chapter 2 of the book:

Author Philip Nork said...

Hello, My name is Philip Nork and I am interested in getting a book review from you. My first book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male" was released by AuthorHouse on 8/7/09. You can check out my website at www.PhilipNork.com and my e-mail address is pnork2@yahoo.com.
The book is about the struggles of young boy after his parents get a divorce and his unending desire to become accepted and happy in life. The life lessons he learns are universal and both males and females can learn from them. Thanks for the consideration, I look forward to your reply.

Michael J. Gyulai said...


I would like my iUniverse Star title considered for review.

The site for my book is: www.midnightinrome.com.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Dear POD,

I would appreciate an honest review of my poetry and fine art book. I am new to the Independent Author experience and looking for as much feedback as possible. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Booksurge had uploaded old unedited misspelled files on the Search Inside option of Amazon - they have assured me they are fixing this.

Title: Follow Your Heart Poetry
Author: Rochelle Carr

Christine Whitehead said...

Hello. The title of my book is TELL ME WHEN IT HURTS. The book came out in July 2009. My name is Christine M. Whitehead. My email address is chris@whiteheadlegal.com

I do have some reviews on Amazon and a website! Sorry! I am now nervous about those.

I hope you can review my novel. Many thanks. Sincerely, Christine

Jo said...

i would appreciate an honest review of my book Shades of Gray. I've sold nine copies in two months, LOL!

I do have some amazon reviews from people I know - including my beta editor and the guy who did my book layout (D. kennedy).

Hunted by a coven of vampires, Katelina has only one person she can trust: Jorick. But what happens when her knight in shining armor turns out to be one of the monsters? Katelina will have to examine not only her feelings for those close to her but her perceptions of good and evil if she wants to survive. Book 1 of the Amaranthine series.

Joleene Naylor

amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shades-Gray-Joleene-Naylor/dp/1449511813/

smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5809

website: http://www.joleenenaylor.com

email: joleene@joleenenaylor.com

Lauren B said...


My name is Lauren Bafik. I would love if you could review my debut Young Adult Fiction, Awakened. My e-mail address is bafik001@gannon.edu. Thank you for your time and for considering my book.


Arthur Graham said...

My name is Arthur Graham and I am an independent, self-published author. I have recently completed a book that you might be interested in reviewing. Editorial is essentially an episodic novella combining social commentary with dark comedy and science fiction elements in the tradition of Vonnegut and Burroughs. For more information, please see its listing on Amazon:


If this sounds like a book you would consider for review in your publication, please let me know and I will be happy to send you a complimentary copy.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration,

Arthur Graham

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I came to your site via a link for Nathan Bransford. I like his blog! He did not pick up on the query for my debut fiction novel, but I was not surprised - he is very picky; I like that, as well.
I am a retired University Business School Professor Emeritus so have written professionally for a long time in non-fiction venues. In addition to academic text and journal articles, I have published over 80 trade journal articles on business acumen.
My oldest daughter (had her PhD before I did) is the principal in our family publishing business that has specialized in educational materials for over 15 years. We are now branching out into family written novels, poetry, memoirs, etc. in the leisure reading areas.
I have published four non-fiction books, family history and genealogy, on Lulu, but we have chosen CreateSpace for our fiction works - Back to the Homeplace is the first. See: https://www.createspace.com/3441320
I am an active blogger on genealogy and books as Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith, but am publishing my fiction under William Leverne Smith. I will be pleased to send you a review copy in a few days, after the final proof copy has been approved.

Bill ;-)

William Leverne Smith


Leonore Dvorkin said...

Hello. Thanks so much for doing this!
My name is Leonore H. Dvorkin, and I am the author of two books:
1) APART FROM YOU, a literary novel set in the late 1960s, originally published by Wildside Press in 2000, then revised and republished by CreateSpace in 2010. You can find full details and two chapters here:
This is the story of my 1998 breast cancer and mastectomy, mainly about the unexpected emotional benefits I gained. The book includes 38 pages of physician-reviewed appendices. It will also be published in Spanish sometime in 2010.
Details and excerpts are here:
Both books are on Amazon and other buying sites.
I took both the cover photos.
Thanks very much for your time and attention.
- Leonore H. Dvorkin, Denver

Leonore Dvorkin said...

Leonore Dvorkin here again --
Since you do not specify, could you please tell me whether you review books that are currently only in e-book format, published by a place such as www.Smashwords.com? That is, what if the book is published first as an e-book, and then it might be published POD later on? I am helping an author who is in this situation, and he would love to see his e-books reviewed, but I could not tell him whether you do that or not. Hard copies of the manuscripts could be mailed to the reviewer(s).
Thanks a lot. -- L.D.

Leonore Dvorkin said...

Sorry, I forgot to leave my email address when I wrote before about my two POD books:
1)the literary novel APART FROM YOU (CreateSpace, 2010)
Leonore H. Dvorkin
email: leonore@csd.net
Web site with book details and excerpts: www.dvorkin.com
Thanks a lot.

R. E. Conary said...

Thank you for the wonderful reviews by Diane Salerni of my first Rachel Cord mystery.

A review of her second outing would be greatly appreciated.

Rachel Cord, PI 'Still a Bitch': A Confidential Investigations Mystery (ISBN 9781432758790)

"Life isn't all hearts and flowers. It's pain and suffering. It's dirty little secrets buried in the muck and mire where the grubs and worms feed. Secrets I unbury." -- Rachel Cord

Private detective Rachel Cord returns with a vengeance chasing multiple threads through a labyrinth of missing persons, buried bodies, kinky sex, new love, and an ex-lover who may be a serial killer. Threads that threaten to bind Rachel within a tight cord preventing her from getting the answers she needs and saving the woman she loves.

Thank you.


Miranda Mayer said...

To the editor,

If you would please consider Tinna's Promise by Miranda Mayer, I would be ever so grateful. ;)

In anticipation of the release of book two of this series, Tinna's Promise has received a fresh, new cover and some fresh, new attention from the author. It has reviewed quite decently in the past and has been professionally edited. Book two, Tinna's Might is currently beginning the editing process as well and I hope you would consider that one for review as well when it's available for purchase.

You may contact the author at mirandamayer@msn.com.

Thank you.

Miranda Mayer

Variations Theatre Group said...

Dear Editor

My book "Fabulous Voyage across the Ocean Sea" has been recently published by Wings Press in POD and ebook formats. Its Amazon link is
http://www.amazon.com/Fabulous-Voyage-Across-Ocean-Sea/dp/159705576X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1278868792&sr=1-1. My peronal website is www.jayprasad.net/.

May I submit my book for review?


Jay Prasad

Marjorie VanBenschoten Barclay said...

I would be very appreciative if you would review my book. It's called Flutter - A Very Special Pigeon by Marjorie Barclay (my pen name). It is educational as well as (I am told by young readers) entertaining.

It is my first attempt and I am very reluctant to spend thousands of dollars to market it, especially since I am new at this and also because it was a labor of love, and not written anticipating a large monetary return.

Thanks for your consideration.

Marjorie VanBenschoten Barclay

Floyd M. Orr said...

I'm a little lost on your site here, but I'd like a book review. You can see the title at Amazon: Waterfall Dance, by Andrew Quinn. That's me, reachable at andrewq@peoplepc.com

Floyd M. Orr said...

Would you be willing to review my book, "The Last Time We Were Here", published by Wings in June? It is a reincarnation mystery, and I need to be able to get out of the ring of my 32 first cousins, friends and acquaintances!
Joan Conning Afman

Floyd M. Orr said...

Dear Editors:

Greetings! My name is Tracy L. Conway and I hope that someone will be kind enough to select my new book for a review, I would appreciate a professional opinion. The title is: 'I Wandered from New Orlean: Poems from the South,' and it is a collection of non fiction poetry. It is available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle versions and also on my website: www.tracyconway.com A preview is available at Amazon and my website.

Thank you for your consideration, I hope to hear from you.


Tracy L. Conway

Floyd M. Orr said...

Are you still considering submissions for review? I've just published my book 'Ka Mate: Travels in New Zealand' as a paperback and Kindle ebook. Here's the blurb:

"The New Zealand All Blacks are one of the most recognizable team
franchises in modern sport, and their performance of the Ka Mate haka
war dance prior to international matches is known across the globe. But
how many of us know anything about the Maori people to whom this haka

Ka Mate: Travels In New Zealand takes us on a three month
journey around New Zealand, through the vineyards, over the glaciers,
and across the fields of boiling mud. Freelance journalist and writer
Dan Coxon does more than simply entertain us with anecdotes of his
travels: he unravels New Zealand's complex history of migration and
settlement, and reveals an intriguing story of British colonization that
still has repercussions today.

Plus there's time for a rugby match or two along the way."

If you're at all interested, you can find more of my writing here: http://dancoxon.com. Please contact me at dancoxon@gmail.com to arrange for a review copy. Many thanks!

Floyd M. Orr said...

Dear Editor,

My name is Rachel ArceJaeger (pen name R.M. ArceJaeger). My debut novel, Robin: Lady of Legend, has just been released as an eBook, and I would be very grateful if you would consider reviewing it. My novel takes 800 years of Robin Hood legends and stories and tumbles them on their head, reinventing them into a powerful tale where Robin Hood is a woman.If you would be interested in reviewing my book, please let me know. I can provide it to you free as a PDF, Kindle MOBI, or Nook EPUB file. Thanks for your consideration,Rachel ArceJaegerWebsites:   (Book) http://ladyoflegend.com, (Personal) http://rmarcejaeger.com/booksAmazon Book Page: http://www.amazon.com/Robin-Lady-of-Legend-ebook/dp/B006SFN4GI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326094162&sr=8-1

Floyd M. Orr said...

Dear Editor:

I hope you will accept my book, You Don’t Die of
Love, for review. It is a book of linked short stories that
explores the lives of a group of characters drawn to the city of angels by
their love of cinema.  Dreams
collide with reality at the center of the movie-making capital of the world, in
this pithy, rueful, and tender collection of linked short stories.


You Don’t Die of Love
is the story of what happened to that generation of movie lovers that came of
age in the early seventies. The first ones to go to film school and descend
upon Hollywood with auteur dreams. It was the time of Raging Bulls and Easy
Riders, a time when directors were superstars and the medium of film was
beginning to seem like a revolutionary form of mass art. Of course that didn’t
last and not all of them went on to fame and fortune, but they did go on living. 
This is that story.  A story
of  losing your dreams and finding
yourself, or vice versa.  Either
way can bring disaster and usually does in this lively and inventive tale of
lives gone awry.  Thanks you,Thomas Thonson

dadaist@sbcglobal.netYou Don't Die of Love: StoriesAuthored by Thomas Thonson
5.5" x 8.5" (13.97 x 21.59 cm) Black & White on White paper
254 pagesISBN-13: 978-1460928745 (CreateSpace-Assigned) ISBN-10: 1460928741 BISAC: Fiction / Short Stories