About Me and Review Policy

Hi! If you’re reading this page, you’re really curious (killed that cat dead, you know), or else you’re looking for some specific information. So, here are all the vital stats, up front:

Sherry Early
Email: sherryDOTearlyATgmailDOTcom
Twitter: @semicolonblog
Location: Houston, Texas
Statistics: approximately 300+ unique visitors each day
Posting frequency: average of one post per day, about three or four book reviews per week

Sherry Early is the author and instigator of Semicolon, a blog about kids and books and homeschooling and communities and sometimes movies and politics and fun links and whatever else I want to write about on any particular day. Semicolon is a work of love and joy, and when it ceases to be both fun and useful to me and to other people, I’ll quit writing. I am an evangelical Christian and completely unapologetic about it.

I am also a 56 year old homeschooling mom of eight children. Five of the children are no longer children and have graduated from my homeschool. One of the remaining four is attending a public high school. The other two are still being homeschooled. I am still being homeschooled. Engineer Husband is still being homeschooled.

I have a self-published book called Picture Book Preschool. You can read more about that resource for moms of preschoolers and kindergartners by clicking on the picture of the cute little girl in the sidebar. (That’s Z-baby, my youngest. Isn’t she a doll?)

I like to read. I read whatever comes my way, including, but not limited to, adult fiction, mysteries, historical fiction, nonfiction history and biography, Christian inspirational fiction, young adult fiction, fantasy and science fiction, children’s fiction and nonfiction, memoirs, cereal boxes, other people’s blogs, magazines, brochures, and picture books. When I’m desperate I read the notes on the bulletin board and the advertising signs on the wall of whatever establishment I’m stuck inside without reading material.

Finally, my review policy:

1. I like to read (see above). The only things I don’t read are p0rn, straight formula romance novels, and horror/nasty bump-in-the-night stuff. I would prefer that you send me an email pitch to ask if I would like to review your book, and let me request it if I am interested. That way both of us win. You don’t go to the trouble and expense of sending me books that I won’t read or won’t like, and I don’t have to try to find someone who would like your book or find another guiltless way to get it out of my house which is already overflowing with books. I do not sell ARC’s or review copies of books. I might donate them or give them away to a friend or acquaintance. I usually keep them, hoping that my urchins or other people will enjoy them someday. This policy only partially explains why my house is overflowing with books (good insulation).

2. I don’t usually do blog tours or giveaways. You can ask, and I might make an exception. If I do not respond to your review request, I am either not interested or not able to review your book at this time.

3. I prefer to read actual books, ARC’s or finished copies. I will read a pdf file IF I’m really excited about a book, but usually I would have a hard time making myself sit and read an entire book in front of the computer. I hope to buy an iPad someday, but that’s waaaaaay in the future, when Apple gets the kinks worked out and I get some money.

4. My reviews may not be exactly what you are used to seeing. Not that I’m that creative—I just like to write about what I’m thinking or what connections I made in reading the book or what I found memorable. I don’t rate books on a scale because that’s just not something I can do. How do you compare Les Miserables with Alice in Wonderland and give one more stars than the other?

5. I do not guarantee to review all books that are sent to me, although if I request the book, I’ll probably review it (unless I hate it). I don’t review books that I hate unless they’re written by someone like Dan Brown or John Grisham who wouldn’t care what I said no matter how harsh it was. I do sometimes review books that I only liked a little or about which I had mixed feelings. Then, I try to be fair and give both pros and cons.

6. Thank you for considering Semicolon as a reviewer for your books. I believe that book bloggers are good for the publishing industry and for authors, and I know that publishing and good writing feed my book addiction. My hope is that we can scratch each other’s backs and enjoy the world of books together.

12 Comments

12 thoughts on “About Me and Review Policy

  1. Pingback: Comienza La Bloggiesta | Semicolon

  2. Hello Sherry,

    Before I get off on a good foot, I wanted to state up front that I am a self-published author who had his first book hit the streets last month through Ingram Books’ small publisher program (allowing the book to be in print and available through Ingram, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many others).

    The fantasci book (fantasy grounded with science and science fiction) is geared towards young adults, and is starting to gain a foothold with a number of students at our local high schools. A quick summary is as follows:

    Rocket scientist and martial arts expert Dr. Shawn Phillips launches the first novel of his amazing epic adventure. Dillon was a soon-to-be high school graduate living in California’s modern day Antelope Valley until one afternoon his carefree life was torn apart by a near fatal car accident. The driver of the 1998 Honda Accord rushed him back to the Mulshin observation post on the Moon; starting the tailspin of events that thrusts him and his friends into a new reality where futuristic nanotechnology and chi-based magic are the ultimate chess pieces for the domination of two coalescing worlds. Can Dillon and his friends escape a treacherous planet and save Earth from a tug-of-war battle between highly advanced aliens and magical creatures of lore?

    If you would be willing to do a review then I would gladly priority mail a copy of the book. If you are still unsure, then please visit the website and read some of the excerpts. If you still are unsure, then please not that I have on my most charming smile as I send this e-mail =).

    Thank you for just taking the time to read this request,
    Shawn

  3. Hi – Similar request as Shawn (although I can’t guarantee I have as charming a smile!). Here’s the blurb on the book “Diary of a Part Time Ghost”:
    Fifteen-year old Ash wants nothing more than to be a normal kid who blends in with the crowd and avoids trouble. And then his birthday gift transforms him into a ghost and zaps him back in time to the beginning of the American Revolution. If he thought that was bad, it’s about to get a whole lot worse. Armed only with an ancient history book and the quirky advice of an annoying mentor, Ash must rescue his ancestor from one danger after another, including an implacable enemy who controls the very shadows. What starts out as a brief experiment in time travel rapidly changes into a race for his very survival, and Ash is running out of time. Despite his efforts to stay out of trouble, Ash finds plenty of it as he must decide what his role will be in the shifting balance of forces. As he moves through one shadow-plagued adventure after another, Ash gradually discovers that he can be a force of change and that true power lives in the most unexpected place: himself.
    Thanks

    Vered
    http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Part-Time-Ghost-Vered-Ehsani/dp/1456579231/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1301308594&sr=8-1

  4. Oh, how wonderful; I adore you already! I’ve only just sent my manuscript to first readers, but I look forward to pitching it to you this fall sometime. In the in-between, I’ll have to poke around your blog a bit. :D

  5. Hi Sherry,
    Your review policy is clear, candid, and refreshing. I’m a composer, so I won’t be requesting any reviews. But if I were an author I think I would be honored to have you review my book. I also congratulate you on undertaking the challenge of homeschooling so many children. I’m considering homeschooling my granddaughter. I wish you all success in everything you do.

  6. Sherry, I like your article. I spent one summer home schooling my two children and one of their friends. For me it was difficult and I can’t imagine how you have time to read. Do you have seventeen servants or a magic vacuum?
    But, since you do have time to read, I hope you have time to read me.

    My name is Diane Schochet.

    My book is Cog Stone Dreams.

    It is being published by Red Phoenix Books.

    CEO of Red Phoenix Books is Doctor Claudia Alexander. If you google her, you will find more than 98 million entries about her scientific achievements.

    My book is fiction.

    Cog Stone Dreams starts:

    Dear Dessa Dreams,

    My dad will kill me if I flunk my estuarial wetlands ecology test. What’s the best way to cheat?

    Afraid to die in Phoenix.

    Dear Afraid,

    You little twit. Just because I’m old, experienced and don’t always have ordinary dreams about flying backwards, tsunamis and upside down coyotes, what makes you think I know the best way to cheat?

    HERE’S A NOTE FROM THE NARRATOR OF COG STONE DREAMS.

    Cog Stone Dreams is a whimsical look at 9,000 years of history of Westbruk Wetlands history peopled by smugglers, wise grandmothers, ambitious explorers, more ambitious missionaries, a royal who pretends to be a commoner, rich people who live the high life, poor people who catch malaria, stunt men, thieves, priests, members of a fancy-smancy gun club, oil men (including one who communicates with dead people and grows cactus), a murderer and me.

    My name is Dessa Halom Lechmann. I write the syndicated Dear Dessa Dreams advice column for the Bulletin Gazette newspaper chain. In 1946, when I was ten I brought a dream inducing cog stone at the Westbruk Wetlands. If things don’t go well for me, I take the cog stone to bed and dream about the Westbruk wetlands. Because my parents divorced, my mother was crazy, I broke up with Mr. Perfect to marry Mr. Not So Perfect, I’ve been real sick, and witnessed a murder, I’ve taken that dream inducing cog stone to bed a lot. So now I’m a real authority on the Westbruk Wetlands and you can ask me anything you want to know about it.

    Thanks for looking!

    Diane Schochet

    dschochet@yahoo.com

  7. Nice no-nonsense review guidelines. I don’t have anything needing a review right now but I will send a review request when the time comes—just stopping by during the comment challenge. To what would you attribute the high number of daily visitors to your blog? I’m impressed and envious.

  8. I hate using PDF files – hate trying to read them on the poooter – but until my brother gifted me with a Kindle, I had started using the ebook programs on my pooter. I didn’t like it as much as holding a book in hand, but it did allow me to read some very good books!

    I also have found a few online sites, not to mention Calibre, which can convert PDF or HTML files, into any ebook format. So there’s that. LOL :D

  9. Dear Sherry, my agent, Sally Apokedok,(Les Stobbe Agency) put me onto your website; she’s a subscriber. She thinks we have a lot in common. (She spent the night at my house last night, so I’m not sure if either of us need to be flattered!) But, I’m a writer of middle grade historical fiction, mostly. Not always. I tend not to be a genre writer. I don’t write anything I wouldn’t want to read. I read your list of what you read, and Sally is right; we do have some things in common. Sally believes you’d like to read my books and maybe do a review. You can check my website and see what you think. I enjoyed perusing your page today.
    Deanna K. Klingel http://www.BooksByDeanna.com; deannaklingel@yahoo.com

  10. Hi Sherry,
    May I hope that you can review an award-winning historical fiction? I published a Korean War novel The Dance of the Spirits on Amazon. The book won the 2014 eLit Awards sponsored by Jenkins Group. The book tells a story of a forbidden love in a forgotten war and received positive reviews from Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Reviews, Midwest Book Review, and some Amazon readers.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/098969092X/?tag=bdsitelogin-20
    ISBN 9780989690928
    Best wishes to you and yours
    Catherine Aerie

  11. Wow, this is great! I just started my blog semi-recently, and don’t have any followers yet. I was poking around to see what other bloggers have done, and I was really impressed with your blog. Plus, you’re a Christian homeschool mom. As a Christian homeschooled girl, how could I not love that? :)

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