Review Guidelines

Book reviews make up the bulk of our reviews, though we very rarely review fiction, poetry, ebooks or self-published material. We also review audio and video media, as well as rune sets, tarot and oracle decks. We don’t review any other products at this time.

Most our reviews come from our staff, but we also accept reader-submitted reviews. If you’re interested in joining our review team, sign up for our free monthly newsletter and tick the box to add the reviewer newsletter as well.

For articles and essays, see our General Submission Guidelines.

Topics

Spiral Nature is an occult resource dedicated to exploring occult alternative spiritualities, practical magick, and occulture. This can include innovative explorations of personal philosophy, religious territory and magickal practice, as well as media focusing on more traditional routes.  For an idea of what we’ve reviewed in the past, please see our Reviews section.

We very rarely review fiction, poetry, ebooks or self-published material.

Review Style

Consider the book’s intended scope and audience. You may not be the target audience, but in knowing who the book was written for, whether it’s an introductory book for a novice on a topic you’re adept at, or an academic work in a field you’re less familiar with, you can construct your review with this in mind.

And, please, review – don’t summarize. Have an opinion and justify it. If an author has contributed something insightful or novel, say so, with examples. Give the reader a reason why they should care about this book. If misinformation abounds, cite examples and correct them. Opinion alone is not enough.

The great literary critic Northrop Frye wrote:

The critic has always been called a judge of literature, which means, not that he’s in a superior position to the poet, but that he ought to know something about literature, just as a judge’s right to be on a bench depends on his knowledge of the law…The critic’s function is to interpret every work of literature in light of all the literature he knows, to keep constantly struggling to understand what literature as a whole is about.

This goes for nonfiction reviewing as well. Review in the context of all literature on the subject. If you’re not familiar with the subject matter, review it in the context of what you do know. Comparisons to other books on similar topics can be helpful to readers, though this isn’t necessary in all cases.

Take notes as you read. Write what you think of passages as you read them, note interesting points, passages you agree or disagree with, what inspired you, what annoyed you. Try the exercises. Test the recipes. Record your results.

If you do this the review tends to write itself. You won’t necessarily include everything you’ve noted, but you will have a better understanding of your overall impression of the book.

Things to Include

All reviews should be accompanied by the following information:

  • Title and subtitle
  • Author(s) name(s)
  • Illustrator(s) (if applicable)
  • Publisher
  • ISBN
  • Page count and note if it includes appendices, a glossary, a bibliography, resources, and/or an index
  • Publication date

Disclosure

If you are familiar with the author(s) or artist(s) in some way, please disclose the relationship in your review.

It’s generally best not to review the works of friends or family. If you really want to see this book reviewed, it might be best if it’s assigned to another reviewer who can give a more impartial consideration of the text.

Length

Reviews should be between 600 to 900 words in length, but we’ve been known to publish reviews in excess of 1,200 words when the reviewer gets deep into a text.

Editing

Your work may be lightly edited for grammar and basic structure to ensure consistency with the look and feel of the site.

While there is a preference for conventional spelling and grammar (Crowley was erudite, not “1337″), allowances are made where alternative words are customary (TOPY’s usage of “ov” for “of,” for example).

As this website is based in Canada, please use Canadian spelling. The Canadian Oxford English Dictionary is the standard we use, and we tend to follow CP Style.

Rights & Copyright

For new material, we ask for first web rights for the first six months, after which you can republish it elsewhere, with a note indicating it was first published with Spiral Nature.

Copyright remains with author of the piece.

Payment

Yes, we do offer payment, though at the moment the fee is small. We hope to increase it in the future.

Byline

Please send a byline with your review. They should be a few sentences long (maximum 50 words), and contain any links back to your blog(s) or website(s) you’d like to include.

If your email address isn’t yet registered with Gravatar, please do. This is the photo that will be used to accompany your review and byline. You can register your image at gravatar.com.

Submissions

Please submit your review via the website, or via email to the editor in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format, or in the body of the email.

Publishers & Authors

Please inquire for the address to send catalogues and review material.

Due to the volume of review material we receive, we cannot guarantee that all unsolicited material will be read or reviewed, though we will do our best.

Questions?

Please feel free to contact the editor with any questions you may have.