Guest Review Guidelines

(pictured: Ballad of a Shinigami)
(pictured: Ballad of a Shinigami)

Are you interested in writing a light novel review? I am going to go ahead and accept submissions for more guest reviews on this site now, as there have been a few requests lately. But be sure to check out these guidelines before you email me!

  • I will try not be a stickler here, but I feel 400-700 words is a pretty good length for a succinct review. Give your words substance!
  • A review needs to be more than just a summary. It’s easy to find a plot synopsis for stories online, so a review should focus more on your own thoughts about the book. It’s good to start with a quick rundown of what the light novel is about, but try to keep it to one paragraph.
  • Be careful to not include any spoilers. You don’t want to ruin any surprises for those who have yet to read the book.
  • What did you like and dislike about the story? Rather than simply say something about the book is good or bad, try to explain why you feel that something is good or bad.
  • Some things you might want to consider: the major themes of the book, the author’s writing style, the pacing, the characters, the setting, the plot, the tone or atmosphere, how unique the light novel is, how much the story resonated with you, and how well you feel the author carried out the purposes of the book. You don’t have to delve into every facet of the story–just the ones you feel are most pertinent or interesting. Feel free to comment on anything you wish, including the illustrations or the quality of the translation.
  • A brief summary at the end of your review is always helpful. What kind of readers would enjoy this light novel? I feel that even for stories I don’t think are very well-written, there is still an audience for them, as different readers look for different things when they want to pick up a book.
  • For this site, I’d rather we not give a numerical or grade score to light novels when we rate them (e.g. “7.2 out of 10,” “four stars,” or an “F”). I personally like to just note how strongly I recommend the book, but you can word your final verdict in other ways if you wish.
  • I can check grammar and spelling before the review gets published, and if you have questions or want any suggestions I can try to offer what help I can. I’ll give you the chance to look over the “final draft” and give the final okay before your review goes up.
  • I am also fine with finding a picture to use for the review’s banner. If you have an image in mind, you can suggest one so long as it’s at least 750 pixels wide and decent quality. (Do note, I try to keep these under “PG-13.”) Otherwise, you can leave it to me.
  • Reviews for officially released light novels are obviously good, but I’m fine with reviews of fan translations as well. For now though I’d like to limit guest reviews to published light novels from Japan. Also, it’s okay to write a review for a title I (or someone else) has already reviewed, as second opinions can always be interesting to read.
  • If you’d like, I can include a link to your personal blog, Twitter, Tumblr, etc at the start of your review.
  • All right, I think that just about covers it? You can email me now:

If you have a question, you can comment here as well! Again, I wish to help out anyone who is interested in giving this a shot.

7 thoughts on “Guest Review Guidelines

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