Guidelines & FAQ

When you submit your book to Discovery, it will instantly be available to over 1,000 reviewers on our platform. Reviewers select books on a first-come, first-served basis, and if they choose yours, they will have until your launch date to publish a review. On the week of your launch, your book will have the opportunity to feature on Reedsy's newsletter and homepage. Titles with more upvotes from readers stand a better chance of being selected, so make sure you get the word out!

Submission guidelines

We accept titles of all popular genres, targeted at any age group. However, please make sure your book fulfils the following criteria before submitting:

  • Your book should be in its launch period, meaning it’s due to be published soon or published no more than 6 months ago;
  • You haven’t previously submitted your book to Discovery;
  • Your book should be written in English.

We reserve the right to reject submissions that don’t follow our guidelines. Books we don’t accept include:

  • Content that promotes violence or hatred against people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, disease, age, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity;
  • Books that don’t respect the copyrights and trademarks of others. Unless you’re authorised to use someone else’s copyrighted work or trademark (either expressly, or by legal exceptions and limitations, such as fair use), we won’t accept your submission;
  • Gratuitously graphic or disturbing media, even if it’s not pornographic. We do allow erotic writing and non-graphic erotic images, but please indicate this by checking the “Explicit Content” box in the submission form;
  • Content gratuitously and insensitively describing the sexual or violent exploitation of children.

Can I launch a book on Discovery if it has been part of Amazon Select?

Yes. As long as you do not include more than 10% of your book in the preview chapter section, you are not violating KDP guidelines. More information about KDP guidelines can be found here.

I can’t submit my book because I get an “Invalid Store URLs” error.

In such cases, there might be something wrong with the bookstore URL (Amazon, Kobo, etc.) you’ve entered. Please double-check that you’ve entered the correct store URL in the corresponding box, and that the URL links to your book, not your author profile.

Here are a few examples of correct bookstore URLs:

  • https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Firstname_Lastname_The_Book_Title?id=xxxX1xxx11Xx (the ID is case sensitive)
  • https://www.amazon.com/dp/ASINnumber (starts with a “B” in most cases)
  • https://books.apple.com/gb/book/the-book-title/id123456789
  • https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-book-title-firstname-lastname/123456789
  • https://www.kobo.com/uk/en/ebook/the-book-title

If you’re still having trouble, make sure you haven’t checked the following box, “this book is available for pre-order” — you can add the URLs later!

What’s the difference between “mild” and “graphic” explicit content?

We define explicit content as content with strong language, depictions of violence, sex, or substance abuse, which might be unsuitable for certain audiences, in particular children.

On Discovery, we distinguish between two types of explicit content: “mild” and “graphic”. These refer to content with varying degrees of strong language, depictions of violence, sex, or substance abuse. For further clarification, please see below:

Mild:

  • Minimal use of offensive language (may include a few occurrences of stronger expletives);
  • Non-graphic violence (no gory details or graphic scenes, may include action and fight scenes);
  • Minor and non-descriptive occurrences of substance use or abuse;
  • Mild references to sex (non-graphic discussions of sex, limited details or implied closed-door sex).

Graphic:

  • Multiple occurrences of profanity (including sexually-derived words or crude humor);
  • Graphic or shocking violence (such as detailed descriptions of physical, mental, or sexual abuse; vulgar content such as violence involving blood and innards);
  • Multiple and detailed occurrences of substance abuse;
  • Graphic sexual content (including explicit details or discussions of sex, detailed delineating of body parts, erotic writing).

How can I submit my book directly to a specific reviewer?

Authors can submit their book to the general review pool and directly to one specific reviewer. To select a specific reviewer from our Reviewer Directory, you can visit their profile and choose “Request review”, or enter their name via the submission form. Please note that once you’ve submitted your book to Discovery, you can no longer select a reviewer directly.

How many reviews will I receive?

You have the chance to receive one quality review by an approved Discovery reviewer.

How can I edit my submission?

Don’t worry if you need to make changes to your submission later on. You’ll have the option to edit your book details after uploading it to Discovery. Simply go to Your Submissions under the “Submit” tab, and click “Edit submission”.

My book hasn’t been picked up yet, how do I improve my chances?

We recommend checking your book’s landing page, specifically your book cover and synopsis. Your book will be competing for our reviewers’ attention next to hundreds of other titles, so having an eye-catching cover and a captivating blurb is essential.

Here are some tips to improve your chances of getting a review:

  • Check that your cover is displayed correctly on your landing page;
  • Was the book cover designed by a professional? If not, our vetted cover designers on the Reedsy Marketplace can help you out;
  • Ensure that your preview chapter is properly formatted;
  • Ask yourself if the synopsis really grabs the reviewer’s attention. You might find this guide on writing a compelling blurb helpful.

What happens if my book doesn’t get picked up before my Discovery launch date?

Not to worry! You’ll have the option to relist your book submission up to three times (at no extra cost!). Each time you relist, your book will be promoted to our reviewers for an additional month. Before relisting, we recommend polishing your blurb, book cover, and/or preview chapter — these aspects are all crucial when it comes to attracting reviewers. If your book hasn’t been picked up for review after three additional months, it will launch on Discovery without a review and be promoted to our readers.

How can I reward reviewers with tips?

Glad you asked! Our reviewers aren’t professionals, so they really appreciate it when authors reward them for a good review. On the review page of a book, there’s a tip button in the right hand sidebar directly under the reviewer’s name. Just click on it and choose the amount ($1, $3, $5) you’d like to tip.

Please note if there isn’t a tip button on the page, it means that the reviewer is unable to receive tips at this time.

How can I tell other authors about my success with Discovery?

We’re thrilled that you want to let other authors know about your success with Discovery, just like Roxie Faulkner Kirk did. Please send an email to success@reedsy.com with details about your book and plenty of background information about your self-publishing journey (how you began writing your novel, what issues you were facing, how you found Reedsy, and how we influenced your project). While we love hearing from everyone in the Reedsy community, please be aware that we can’t guarantee everyone a feature.

My book has been rejected, but I haven’t received a refund. Why?

This happens when the reviewer doesn’t consider the book to be ready for review (for example, because they believe that it requires further editing before publication). In such cases, we will not refund the submission fee or feature the book on our website. Instead you will receive some editorial feedback from the reviewer. After further editing you can also resubmit your book for the submission fee of $50.

If you wish to contest a rejection, please get in touch with us via discovery@reedsy.com.

What happens if I am not happy with my review?

We’re sorry to hear that you weren’t happy with your review! While Discovery offers you the opportunity to receive a thoughtful review, we cannot guarantee that everyone will love your book. Please also keep in mind that our rating system differs from Amazon or Goodreads, and 3-, 4-, and 5-star ratings are all considered positive reviews.

If a review violates our Terms of Use, we will remove it and find a replacement for your book. In cases where a review is dishonest, unfair and biased, please let us know by reporting the review under Your Submissions, and we will look into it.

Lastly, we can only remove reviews that don’t comply with our Terms of Use, and cannot remove reviews upon request.

How do I get a refund?

You can request a refund by going to Your Submissions and clicking “Cancel review”. Note that the refund window closes 60 days after your submission date. You can only get a refund if your book hasn’t been picked up by a reviewer or launched on Discovery yet.

Support

Need help? Speak with a member of our team