How I do reviews
If you’re interested in sending me something to review, please read the following carefully first. I’m very friendly to doing reviews as a general rule (within the parameters I set out below), and there’s plenty of great work out there I’d love to read. I have found, however, that a lot of PR folks send me requests for reviews when they are clearly not familiar with this blog, with my approach, or with my readership; as a result, if I accepted to do the reviews they ask, they likely wouldn’t be happy with the results. The following is intended to clarify the scope within which I welcome review requests, and what you can expect as someone who wishes to have me write a review.
Topic: I write a Canadian blog that takes an intellectual and political approach to discussing alternative sexuality. If it’s not immediately obvious from the title of the work you’d like me to review, please tell me how you see that work relating to my area of focus. If it isn’t obvious, and you don’t tell me anything to help make it that way, I will reject or ignore your request.
Please note that the readership of this blog is by and large queer (politically and/or sexually) and/or pervy of one variety or another and/or polyamorous or some variety of non-monogamous. As such, I don’t want to review books like “20 Trick to Please Your Man and Make Him Marry You.” They just aren’t relevant, they generally rely on a worldview that’s meaningless for me and my readers, and frankly they bore me. For a few minutes there I was tempted to write a policy stating that I’d review any book you send me, and simply have fun tearing this sort of stuff to shreds, but honestly? I’m not that mean. And I don’t have time to read countless crappy slut-shaming, heterosexist, 101-level vanilla magazine-speak books and give them a signal boost, even an unfavourable one. So please just don’t ask. Read this post if you want a better sense of my politics on this stuff.
Deadlines: I’m a grad student so I have a shit ton of stuff to read already, and I have a busy teaching schedule and a freelance career to boot. I blog for fun, not for profit. So unless we negotiate something very specific, even if I love your work, I cannot promise to review what you send me within a short time frame. Please ask if you need me to keep to a deadline, so I can let you know if that will be possible. Long lead times are very helpful.
What I do and do not review
Products: I don’t do product reviews. Sex toys, SM toys, lubes… I just don’t. This is a thinky blog, not a sex toy blog. I appreciate and value the existence of sex toys, I feel great love (personally, politically and professionally!) for the hardworking feminist sex-positive stores out there, and I think it is awfully kind of you to want to send me a bunch of free stuff, but my readership has made it clear that they’re not interested in seeing toy reviews here, which is good, because I’m not especially excited about writing them.
Books: I love writing book reviews. They tend to be in-depth, genuinely engaged, and often linked to broader topics. I mostly review non-fiction. I love fiction—I write it, edit it, read it all the time—but this is not a literary blog per se so I rarely find it relevant to review fiction here. I could be convinced, on an exceptional basis, but you’d have to sell it to me.
Films: I don’t really do film reviews. But I could be convinced. I am a giant film buff; I’m a festival hound, I’ve done a fair bit of film synopsis writing for festivals in the past decade, and I ran a monthly film series for two years, and I regularly take my book club to see SM-related films so we can discuss them over tea afterward. I have a special soft spot for documentaries. And if you want to fly me to Cannes/New York/San Francisco and give me dozens of free tickets so I can then blog about my scholarly/queer/pervy/poly perspective on your festival’s movies, I’m TOTALLY in! But I rarely write full-length film reviews here unless a film is directly relevant to a topic I’m trying to talk about, or on the very rare occasion one pisses me off or impresses me enough to inspire an entire post. And when that happens, it’s mostly the latter. Still, I could be convinced. Sell it to me.
Television: Same as the Films section above, minus all the stuff about being a buff or going to festivals. And TV is generally much more mainstream than film, and therefore of minimal interest to me; and it is much more likely to be fiction (see the Books section). Note that my bad review linked to above is the only time I can remember ever reviewing a TV series. So with that in mind, sell it to me. This might be difficult.
If, with these criteria in mind, you would like to send me something to review, please send me a note at veryqueer3 at yahoo dot ca and I will forward my mailing address. For books, I prefer hard copy to PDFs and I do not have an e-reader at this time.
Guest posts, links and advertising
I do not accept guest posts on my blog.
I do not do reciprocal linking. My blog does not (directly) make me any money so a signal boost is of limited value on its own. I only link to other sites that are directly relevant to the arguments I’m making in a given post, and I do not sell those links.
I do not accept advertising on my blog. This may change, but if it does, I’ll publish a whole policy about how advertising will be accepted in line with my politics, and I don’t have the brain juice to devote to thinking about that right now.
Note that the entire contents of this blog are copyright Andrea Zanin. If you are interested in reposting any content I have written in its entirety, do me the courtesy of asking first; at minimum I will ask for a clear indication of my name as the author and an easy-to-find link back to the original post. Anything else is discourteous at best, and stealing at worst. Short excerpts, with links back to my original posts, are welcome at any time.
I can be reached at veryqueer3 at yahoo dot ca for any questions about this policy.