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Review And Posting Policy And Contact

My current TBR pile is threatening to topple over. Till it's near the bottom, I'm only taking review books from the publishers with whom I deal. Any inquiries while this notice is up will not be answered. 

Please read carefully before sending an inquiry. My email is at the end. 

This site is for children's and YA books and genre fiction. Just assume I don't do mainstream adult books so I don't have to disappoint you.  My reviews are usually positive because life is too short to agonise over books I don't enjoy; if I have reviewed your book, I enjoyed it, okay? Even if I mention that something didn't work for me. So - please don't argue with my reviews. That’s bad manners and will result in my not reviewing your books again.

I never reply to press releases, except from my regular publishers. I do reply to any inquiry that addresses me by name, even if I have to say no. At least that tells me you've bothered to check whether my blog might be a good match for your book.

And under no circumstances send me your book without asking first if I want it.

Small press, especially Australian, is fine, but I don’t review self published work, unless you have a track record in regular publishing. Likewise, I don't deal with marketing companies. Please don't ask me.

I don’t do “Christian” fiction. Or any other religion, for that matter. I might consider a children’s book with a religious holiday in the theme or children who are of a particular religion and dealing with it, but that’s it. 

One thing I will never, ever do on this web site is advertise, and that includes sponsored posts of the kind that include links to client web sites. Any such inquiry will be deleted.

If you need to contact me about books or ask questions or just generally talk to me, here's my email address: If it's about a post you have read, I'd really rather that you put up a comment. :-)

1 comment:

John Michael Cummings said...

re: book review request by award-winning author

Dear Great Raven:

I'm an award-winning author with a new YA book out this fall. Ugly To Start With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about childhood being published by West Virginia University Press.

Can I interest you in reviewing it?

If you write me back at, I can email you a PDF of my book. If you require a bound copy, please ask, and I will forward your reply to my publisher. Or you can write directly to Abby Freeland at:

My publisher, I should add, can also offer your readers a free excerpt of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher's website:

Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of
Dyads and The Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: "In Ugly to Start With, set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut, crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human affection and suffering--emotional truths that the members of his audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and adolescence.”

My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

For more information about me, please visit:

Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


John Michael Cummings