BlueInk aims for transparency in all its systems. To that end, we offer below a detailed look at how we operate.
How We Find Reviewers
All our reviewers are fully vetted and highly qualified, meaning they have written for major publications, worked as editors for respected publishing companies or have demonstrated expertise in the subject matter of the book. To find these reviewers, we have drawn on a large network of people cultivated by our many years of experience in the industry.
As our mandate includes finding reviewers with specific expertise in the subject matter of the books reviewed, we realize that our roster requires constant updating. When a book is submitted out of the range of interests of our current reviewers, we look at rosters of special interest magazines, call on staffs at universities and on experienced librarians for guidance. Click to see a list of our Reviewers.
Reviewers are asked to complete a form indicating their areas of interest and expertise. All reviewers are also asked to sign an agreement with BlueInk in which they agree to read books in their entirety, to offer honest assessments and to inform BlueInk of any potential conflicts of interest. Click to see our Reviewer Guidelines. All our reviewers are independent contractors, and the reviews they write are owned by BlueInk, which in turn permits our customers to use in all their promotional material.
Awarding of Accolades
Reviewers have the opportunity to award a Star to those books they believe are standouts within a given category, titles they feel are of the highest quality and especially worthy of reader attention. The following are the written criterion we give to all reviewers, regarding the awarding of a Star to a review:
- If the book is a genre novel, it demonstrates an awareness of all conventions of the genre, including length and tone, setting, level of violence (mysteries) or titillation (romance), plot points and characterization. (The novel doesn’t have to adhere to all conventions. If reviewers see a strong, knowledgeable hand guiding the choices made to expand or break through convention, they will note this.)
- In nonfiction, the prose is engaging, the information deep and well-researched, and the organization clear and well-thought-out.
- In any novel, the world is fully realized and all that happens is appropriate and believable within that world.
- In any book, the writing is appropriate for the intended audience.
- In any book, the writing is compelling and fresh, demonstrating a keen understanding and intent.
- Most importantly, the book excels at the specific objective the author is attempting to reach. Is the humor book funny? Funnier than most? Does the literary novel transport the reader? Does the self-help book inspire?
Review Posting Process
Reviews follow these steps before posting to our site:
- Once the book is received at BlueInk, it is matched with an experienced reviewer who has a proven expertise in the genre or subject matter. The critic is asked to write the review within a strict timeframe.
- The review is carefully edited for fairness, balance and quality and is copyedited. We follow up with the reviewer if we have queries on the review.
- The review is formatted as a PDF and emailed to the author, at which point the author has several options: Authors can do nothing, in which case in 14 days the review will be featured on our website and will ultimately become a part of our searchable archives for a minimum of five years; authors can opt out of running the review on the BlueInk site.
Customer Notifications and Contacts
Customers are notified by email when:
- Reviews are purchased.
- PDFs are successfully uploaded or books are received.
- Reviews are completed (review accompanies notification).
- Their book is awarded a “Star” (notification occurs at the same time that customers are alerted about their completed reviews).
In addition to our site and company promotion, which includes aggressive social media, search engine marketing, and attendance at appropriate conferences and conventions, BlueInk:
- Markets individual reviews to both industry professionals and readers.
- Syndicates reviews to Ingram’s databases (seen by 70,000 librarians and booksellers). It also disseminates reviews to ; idreambooks (an aggregator of reviews for self-published books); the Douglas County (CO) Library System; CLCD (Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database).
- Posts selected titles to its monthly newsletter, recommendations that are distributed to editors, librarians and readers; No Shelf Required (a popular website for ebooks, accessed by librarians); Booklist magazine (a highly respected review magazine read by 60,000 librarians; self-published titles only), Goodreads and widely across social media.
Please email us at [email protected] with any errors or concerns. We will correct factual errors at our discretion after a thorough review.