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Now I know how an editor or agent feels when they tell you to read the guidelines.  I publish a newspaper column about book reviews in The Examiner.  I thought it would be a good thing to do if I tried to include indie authors in the column.  A self published book needs to be advertised, and self-published authors don't have as many opportunities for advertising as the big publishers do.
I placed a discussion on Linked In telling them about my column.  I said I review mild or sweet romance, mystery or suspense, that are in keeping with Christian/Catholic values, and nonfiction books on parenting or art.  Those are the guidelines.
I recieved what I assume is making editors and agents cringe all over the world.
1.  A sweet historical romance novel about a Protestant who falls in love with a Catholic. (Horray! Exactly what I wanted!!)
2. A contemporary erotic romance about a professor who sleeps with his students.
(I can't encourage people to break the law.  I turned it down.)
3. A contemporary romance about a Muslim who marries his cousin.
(I asked for Christian.)
4. A book of poetry about religion, drawn from all sorts of religions, including non-Christian ones, written by someone who is not ordained, and does not have a recommendation by someone who is.
(It's called an imprimpture.  If you're not trained, you need one.  And even if it has a common theme, you can't call a poetry collection a novel.)
5. A thriller novel, set in Alaska, that has airplane fights.
(That's my husband's kind of book.  I asked if he'd review it for me, but hey, he's a chemist.  I'm expecting something along the lines of "As per your request, the parameters for the plot are among acceptable ranges."  Stay tuned.)
6. A Young Adult novel about a vampire.
(Well, Halloween is coming up.  The author has a lot of credentials, and it is about family values.)
Guidelines are there for a reason.  The results I had reminds me of my birthday in Junior High.  My mother asked me what I wanted for a gift, and I asked for some '45 records.  Instead of buying new ones, she went up into the attic and brought down a case of Benny Goodman, Perry Como, and other big bands.  
"I asked for '45's," I said, "but this isn't what I wanted.  I was hoping for The Monkees or The Cowsills."
"Maybe next time you'll be more specific," she said. 

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