Contest Reboot: Reviewers Wanted

Posted: March 1, 2018 in News Tags: Contests
Contest Reboot: Reviewers Wanted

Updated 3/1/18: Thanks for the love. We have the best readers! Dan and Vanessa are busy reading the entries and will post results as soon as we are in agreement.

So you want to be an EBR reviewer? You’re in luck! We’ve decided that we could use a few good readers who also happen to be able to write coherently about their opinions.

The last time we had to do this was seven years ago. Since then, several of our reviewers have moved on to bigger and better things in the publishing world–including publishing their own stories or working for places where writing reviews here would create a conflict of interest. All the better for you, if you think you’re good enough to help us out. The perks include more free books than you can read, association with handsome and clever people, and exposure to publishers and writers.

Here is what would be required of you to become one of our reviewers:

  1. Be a U.S. resident if you plan to receive physical books. You can be a non-U.S. resident if you’re willing to only read ebooks or purchase your own books, but plan to adhere to the U.S. release schedule.
  2. Read and review at least one book (optimally two) every month. If you read and review more, that’s great. At times, we may very well direct you on what books to read. Other times, we will leave it up to you.
  3. We do send you (free) books we receive from publishers as well as ebooks (if you have a Kindle/app, even better). We even get audio books every now and then. It also helps to become friends with your local library and Amazon Prime.
  4. Your reviews will follow our established format and you will avoid profanity in the review itself. We will read and edit your reviews before they’re posted. No leeway on this.

Make sense? Good.

This is a serious offer for those who want to make a serious effort. We take pride in our work and we are also control freaks. We want your work to be high quality and we want it to be reliable. If you don’t think you can be reliable, don’t bother entering our contest. We’re not looking to populate a slush pile.

This is a competition. We will pick a book and you will read and review it. Here’s how it will go down:

  1. We pick a few books.
  2. You read and review one of them.
  3. You email us ( with the subject line “NEW REVIEWER CONTEST”, along with the review and your “I’m a U.S. resident” or “I’m a non-U.S. resident” details in the body of the email.
  4. We read your review. We will judge it on originality, quality of writing (it doesn’t have to be perfect, we will edit your reviews, after all), clarity of writing, and whether or not your review was in line with what we thought. We want you to have similar tastes as us. Shocker, right?
  5. The reviewers (hopefully at least one) we feel are best will be chosen to be regular reviewers on EBR. As long as they continue to be awesome, that is. See above comments about reliability and high quality. We aren’t kidding about those.
  6. If we feel so inclined, we’ll post the winning entries.

Again, EBR is a big deal to us. We want to maintain the confidence that publishers, agents, editors, publicists, and readers have in us. We are special, and we’re going to do everything in our power to keep it that way.

The books of choice for the contest?

DUNE by Frank Herbert
ELANTRIS by Brandon Sanderson

This contest starts right now and will go until the 28th of February, 2018. Results will come when they come and be entirely dependent on how many awesome entries we get.

If you love us, please like/share this post on your social media accounts so we can reach this net as widely as possible in our search for great new reviewers. We need more awesomeness and the next best reviewer might not be you, but it could just be one of your contacts. And plus we’ll love you forever if you do this for us.

Some quick Q&A to field most of your remaining questions.

Q: Can I review more than one book for the contest?
A: Sure, if they are all solid reviews, it will give us confidence in your writing chops. However, if one sucks, it will screw you.

Q: How long should the reviews be?
A: Look at our reviews (there are hundreds of them). While the lengths may vary in some cases, they are almost all around the same length.

Q: Is it OK to put spoilers in the review?
A: No. If you do, we will send ninja-zombies after you. Then we will delete your submission. Same goes for if we find you’ve plagiarized. Trust us, you do not want to be on our hit list.

Q: Where will I be on the EBR totem pole?
A: We (Vanessa and Dan) are the main peeps (with Steve maintaining his Editor-at-Large veto powers). The site is ours. You will be an active participant, which puts you somewhere between us and the guest reviewers, who only participate occasionally.

Q: What’s the pay like?
A: It’s killer. Wait for it… FREE BOOKS. Okay, so you aren’t actually paid for this gig. We do this for the good of the Speculative Fiction community. Seriously. Okay, and getting free books before they’re released is kind of awesome, too.

Q: Any other pointers?
A: Check out Steve’s post “How to Review Books the EBR Way” if you need help understanding our review-writing philosophy.

Please email us with any other questions.

Good luck.

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