Review Policies

The Midnight Garden primarily reviews young adult literature, with the occasional middle grade novel or crossover adult title with appeal to our audience.

All reviews posted on this blog reflect our honest opinions, and we strive to present clear, balanced commentary that reflects our point of view. Please note that we schedule our posts a couple months ahead of time, so pitching a few months in advance is always preferable.

All pitches should come to Wendy Darling. Please read our review and promo policies before using the contact email below. Thank  you!


divider vine croppedREVIEW POLICIES

Books are accepted for review consideration on a case by case basis. Please note:

  • Acceptance of an ARC does not constitute an agreement to post a review.
  • We do not post giveaways, interviews, or guest posts for books that we would not recommend to at least some portion of our audience, nor for any book we have not read or thoroughly sampled, unless it’s an author we’re familiar with.
  • We do not read books in a series out of order, so please don’t send us sequels unless you know we’ve enjoyed the previous novels, or are able to also send the preceding books.
  • Paperback ARCs are preferred whenever possible, as it’s much easier to take notes or pass among ourselves–they also receive priority in the reviewing queue. Additionally, we sometimes send them on tour or give them away. We do accept egalleys in mobi format as well, however. But then you don’t see pretty book photos on our blog, Instagram, Facebook, etc…

If we have received an ARC for review:

  • We are unable to confirm specific review dates, but we will keep you informed if a review is posted.
  • On the rare occasion that we post a DNF review, we will have sampled a good portion of the book beforehand, usually around 100 pages or so.
  • We sometimes post to GoodReads, but we’ll at least leave a rating and short summary of the review there. We sometimes also cross-post to Amazon.
  • Please be aware that some books are reviewed solely on GoodReads, rather than being cross-posted to this blog as well.

We are unpaid hobbyist reviewers, so please understand that while we do our best to post in a way that is most beneficial to a book’s release (and this includes a great deal of time reading, writing, possibly researching, formatting links, and so on), we cannot promise a specific review date. In cases in which we decide a book just isn’t for us and/or we’re declining to review, we generally do try to pass it onto other bloggers, include it in a giveaway, donate it, and so on–we know ARCs are precious.

Contact us at WendyDarling (at) themidnightgarden (dot) net with a synopsis and a personalized pitch to make arrangements for a review. (Don’t forget to let us know what formats are available as well.) Please read our review policies before contacting us so you don’t waste your time. We do NOT participate in cookie cutter “blitzes” or any such promos, especially for books/authors we haven’t read.

A Note to Authors:

Although we have great relationships with many publishers, please feel free to email us directly if you want to ensure we will receive a review copy. Sometimes books or upcoming release dates aren’t always on our radar, or the publisher hasn’t automatically sent us the title.

Promotional Emails

No one likes spam. Please do NOT contact us asking us to purchase your book, inform us of sales, or sign us up for your newsletters without our express interest. There is a difference between marketing to your potential fanbase/readers and pitching for publicity purposes.

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We try to keep our blog focused on thoughtful content and commentary that is unique to us, so we rarely do posts that are solely promotional. (Seriously–you can count the number we do per year on one hand.) You’re welcome to pitch us, but please know the very few we do are usually with authors or publishers with whom we have strong pre-existing relationships. Have a look at our previous cover reveals for an idea of the caliber and content that we like to feature; we generally decline to participate in any massive blasts or cookie cutter promotions.

We will occasionally commit to a sponsored post, depending on the nature of the post and our relationship with the author/publisher/etc. This includes guaranteed reviews, giveaways, tour stops, promo posts, and other such activities. This does NOT mean, however, that a sponsored post influences a review’s rating. For more information, see this letter  or feel free to email me questions after you’ve perused this page and feel you are familiar/comfortable with our blog.

We are unlikely to ever do promotional posts for self-published novels unless it’s for an author whose work we really love, or to accept sponsored/promotional posts for books or authors we are not familiar with.

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Because we do not feature books we would not recommend to at least some portion of our readers, we need to receive review copies at least 1 month before any scheduled tour, though our preference is always to receive them earlier. We do, however, make exceptions for authors whose previous books we’ve enjoyed.

Again, we are unlikely to ever participate in tours for self-published novels unless it’s for an author whose work we really love.


divider purple Indie authors, please provide the complete ebook with the cover art, your synopsis, and personalized pitch (mobi preferred, but epub and pdf are fine, too). We no longer consider indie pitches without a complete ebook attached, as we simply receive too many requests. However, please be assured: the ebook will be used by the assigned reviewer if we decide to cover it; otherwise, we simply delete the file.

While we enjoy a wide range of genres and writing styles, it is strongly recommended that you peruse this blog as well as Wendy’s GoodReads shelves to get an idea of our preferences. A few of our favorite indies include Angelfall, Unteachable, And All the Stars, and Double Clutch. Please see the note above re: promotional posts and tours as well.

Due to the volume of queries that we receive, we are only able to respond if we have accepted the book and scheduled a date for a review.  We will NOT follow up to ask you to resubmit if you haven’t sent the information above, so please review our policies carefully.


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Please note that advance copies provided by the publisher or author do not influence reviews, and are clearly marked as appropriate.