Review Policy

A photo of a tablet, proped up on a light grey, fluffy duvet, at an angle so the screen faces the botyom left of the photo. It's open to Once Upon a Bookcase's homepage. In front of the tablet, to the left of the photo, is a pale green, hardback notebook, and a pink pen.

LAST UPDATED 14/06/22.
Hello! Thank you for taking a look at my Review Policy. I am based in the UK, and currently open to review requests from publishers and publicists, but I'm being selective about what I accept due to my TBR. Please familiarise yourself with my review policy before contacting me.

What Books Are You Willing to Consider?

I mainly review LGBTQ+ YA, fantasy, and horror. You can look at my reviews to get a more rounded idea of the books I review, but below is an overview of what I am willing to consider.

Once Upon a Bookcase is now a blog that has a specific focus on LGBTQ+ stories. I may still occasionally review books featuring cishet characters - books by favourite authors, for example - but my preference is for ARC offers to be for queer stories in the main.

YA Fiction:

  • Mainly - but not only - LGBTQ+ YA - especially interested in sapphic stories, or stories featuring bi or pan characters in m/f relationships, but will read books with characters with any queer identity.
  • Of almost any genre, but particularly fantasy and horror.
  • Again, diverse stories on top of being LGBTQ+; intersecting identities, such as queer characters of colour, disabled queer characters, etc.
  • Fairy tale retellings.
  • Stories inspired by myths and folklore.
  • Feminist stories.

I'm also interested in LGBTQ+ teen non-fiction, like Here and Queer by Rowan Ellis, Queer Up by Alexis Caught, Bi the Way by Lois Shearing, and Can Everyone Please Calm Down? by Mae Martin.


  • Again, mainly - but not only - LGBTQ+ fantasy  - especially interested in sapphic stories, or stories featuring bi, pan, & poly characters in m/f relationships, but will read books with characters with any queer identity.
  • Of most subgenres.
  • I adore high fantasy - particularly non-Western inspired #OwnVoices high fantasy YA or adult.
  • Magic realism and enchanting, atmospheric, ethereal stories.
  • Historical fantasy.
  • Fairy tale retellings.
  • Stories inspired by myths and folklore.

Favourite Authors: Robin Hobb, S. A. Chakraborty, Laini Taylor, Katherine Arden, Natasha Ngan, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, and Deidre Sullivan, among others.


  • Again, mainly - but not only - LGBTQ+ horror - especially interested in sapphic stories, or stories featuring bi, pan, & poly characters in m/f relationships, but will read books with characters with any queer identity.
  • I really enjoy gothic stories, present-day horror, human horror, and anything that does something new with horror creatures/monsters.
  • Again, diverse stories beyond LGBTQ+ characters.

Favourite Horror Novels: Those by Kate Alice Marshall, Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould, To Break a Covenant by Alison Ames, Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant.

I do not accept the following:

  • Historical fiction
  • Sci-fi
  • Erotic fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Books from self-published authors or small/indie presses

Although I may on occasion review novels from other genres, I do not want to receive requests to review any other genres but those stated.

I do not wish to receive unsolicited review copies. I only wish to review books I have been contacted about regarding a possible review, or have requested myself.

What Formats Do You Accept?

  • Physical copies - Proofs, but also hardback and paperback finished copies
  • Digital copies* - I have a Kindle and accept .mobi and PDF files. I have a NetGalley account, linked to oneuponabookcase[at]gmail[dot]com

*My preference is for physical copies. I'm currently being very selective when it comes to eProofs; I have quite a few on my TBR, and want to try to get through them before adding more. I am also a Bookstagrammer, and physical books make for better photos.

What Do You Need in a Review Request to Decide Whether You Will Accept a Book or Not?

  • A summary
  • The release date
  • The publisher (if being contacted by an author or PR company)
  • Page count
  • Any other relevant information - in particular why you think my blog is a good fit for your book
  • A time-frame of when you expect a review to be posted by. This is particularly important as I don't read to deadline. Please see below.

What Is Your Review Process?

Please understand that sending me a book for review does not guarantee I will read and review it immediately. Any ARCs I receive may be reviewed after publication. I do not review to deadline, due to my TBR pile and time constraints. As a mood reader, I read the books I want to read when I want to read them - otherwise I find I get no enjoyment from the books I'm reading.

Not reviewing every book for publication keeps my content fresh compared to other blogs, and pressure off of me. It also means the book is being discussed and highlighted again at a later date, when discussion on other blogs may have died down - a win-win situation for me and the publisher.

Saying that, if I receive an ARC of a book I'm really excited about, that's by a favourite author, or one I'm simply in the mood for at that time, I may read and review it prior to publication. When this is the case, I will also schedule social media posts for publication day, sharing my review again once it's released.

I also reserve the right not to not post a review of a book should I not feel happy doing so. Whether that's due to time constraints, not really having a huge amount to say, problematic content, etc.

When I write my reviews, I include:

  • A photo of the book
  • A summary
  • The publisher
  • The publication date
  • The author's website
  • Links to the book on The StoryGraph and Goodreads
  • An #ad: affiliate link to where possible
  • My thoughts, covering characterisation, narration/POV, premise and plot, pacing, and so on.
  • To adhere to ASA and CAP rules, there will be a disclaimer at the very top that says the book was sent to me for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, alongside (#Ad) in the title.

I suggest taking a look at my reviews to get a better idea.

I don't normally give major spoilers. However, if spoilers are given, clear warning will be given and the spoilers will be hidden, with a button to click to view. If a book is in the middle of a series, spoilers of previous books are unavoidable, but a clear warning will be at the very beginning of the review.

Once the review has gone live on my blog, I will email you with a link to my review. You will also be tagged - publisher and specific publicist if I know your handle - in social media posts about my review. If you are the author of the book, and it's a negative review, I won't tag you on social media, but I will still email you to let you know.

When it comes to picture books, I may review several books in one post, unless I have a lot to say about it. In this case, depending on the books, I may not include a summary, but summarise the book myself in my review.

What If You Don't Enjoy My Book?

I cannot guarantee my reviews will be positive, but they will be honest and fair. I will not write a positive review just because I have been sent one for review. If you are not comfortable with that, I may not be the blogger for you. However, I've had numerous people tell me they have decided to buy a book based on my negative reviews, because I explain my reasons for not liking it - and sometimes that's exactly what others are looking for. If you accept this, I would appreciate not to be attacked for any negative, but fair and respectful, review I may write.

I may not review every book I receive. I no longer force myself through a book I am just not enjoying. I will email to let you know if I DNF a book and won't be reviewing it.

If I read a book that has problematic content, I will highlight and comment on it. I'm not going to gloss over offensive content; readers deserve to know what they're getting into when reading a problematic book.

Where Do You Post Your Reviews?

  • The StoryGraphGoodreads, and Amazon.
  • Twitter: I sometimes share reading updates, and a link to my review once it's live. I also tweet with a photo whenever I receive an ARC.
  • Instagram: I share reading updates and mini-reviews in my stories highlights, and once my review is live on my blog, post a photo with an excerpt from my review or a summary, and point them in the direction of where they can find my review. Once a week, I also post a haul photo, sharing all the books acquired that week.

Are You Open to Other Content? If So, What Content?

I am open to being contacted about hosting content on Once Upon a Bookcase, including content featuring books in the blog and Bookstagram features that I host, as long as I'm interested in the book/author. For most of them, I am going to need to have read the book first. The features I host are:
  • Once Upon a Retelling - An retellings focused interview series where I discuss with an author their own love of an original story, what inspired them to retell it, and their retelling itself.
  • A Novel Cover Up - A feature that looks into how book covers came to be, involving guest posts and interviews with cover designers, illustrators, and the art department/design teams at various publishers. It shows the process covers go through to reach the final design, and gives readers the chance to see drafts and early images of covers, where available.
  • Divining Stories - A Bookstagram feature where I give book recommendations with the aid of tarot cards, giving fake tarot readings to the characters.

Other content I am open to:
  • Other author interviews and guest posts - Only if I'm interested in the book/author. With regards to interviews, I will typically need to have read the book prior to coming up with interview questions. In regards to guest posts, I must be interested in the specific topic being discussed.
  • Blog tours, cover reveals, giveaways - As above, only if I'm interested in the book/author. I'm currently being selective about blog tours due to time constraints.

How Can I Contact You?

You can contact me by email at onceuponabookcase[at]gmail[dot]com.

I endeavour to reply to emails as soon as possible, but do please give me a few days to do so.

Any emails I receive that have obviously been sent to multiple bloggers, that I would respond to with a negative, will no longer receive a response. This means I will no longer respond to emails sent about review copies, author interviews/guest posts, or blog tours that I'm not interested in.

I will not respond to emails from those who have not read my review policy.

Please note: Once Upon a Bookcase does not accept written content from freelancers. Please do not contact me offering free written content..


Post a Comment