Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Contest Reboot: Reviewers Wanted

Posted: January 19, 2018 by Vanessa in News

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. (more…)


Well here we are. The end. It’s finally come. Oddly enough, I don’t mean this in a bad way. When I asked my fellow reviewers here at EBR if they wanted to participate in this contest, they said yes…but were worried. I shared that concern. Would we be able to get through a single novel? Would we be happy picking a winner? Would any of the novels be good? Adequate, even?

In our original slush pile of 26 novels, we finished exactly two. THE THIEF WHO PULLED ON TROUBLE’S BRAIDS and SAND AND BLOOD. We ended up sending THIEF on to the final round with a score of 7/10. Very respectable.

If you want details on what we thought of that original batch and our process for reading those pieces of fiction, we published a few articles here, here, here, and here. (more…)

The time has finally come for us to make a decision. Firstly though, I thought I’d mention how we decided what to pick:

1) We selected the two novels that we felt best represented the spirit of the contest.
2) Each member of the EBR Team read both books, then told the others which one they had picked and why.
3) The book with the most votes became our finalist.

Seems simple, right? It wasn’t. See, this task wasn’t just about grabbing two books off a bookshelf and saying which was better. The largest reason for this was that neither of these books have had professional edits, and so we ended up having to tackle the problem by saying, “Well, if it HAD been given those edits, the novel would probably have turned out like THIS.”

We talked about writing ability, originality, pacing, foreshadowing, characters… it was all very long-winded (totally my fault), but I think we covered all of the good stuff. Anywho, we’ll have a post later on that gets into the nuts and bolts of our opinions on self-pubbed stuff now that this section of the contest is over. (more…)

The Border: Free Audio Clip

Posted: June 8, 2015 by Vanessa in News

The_Border_by_Robert_McCammon_FinalIf you saw Steve’s awesome review for THE BORDER and you still aren’t convinced, check out a free audio clip HERE. You’re welcome.