Submission Guidelines

We encourage authors, publishers and agents to submit novels for review. We are the foremost website for historical novels with 15,000 searchable, browsable reviews online, and our member magazine, the Historical Novels Review, is the only print magazine in the world devoted to historical fiction. We are very proud of that!

To achieve this we have always relied on a hugely knowledgable and experienced editorial team, and hundreds of expert readers. If you want to join our team please write to us: we prefer new reviewers to be members of the society and we will also request some sample reviews from you.

We also rely on publishers (including self-publishers) sending review copies to us: thank you! We love to find out about your books, and we offer authoritative reviews entirely free of charge, without prejudice about route-to-market, without bias to our members.

We do not (can not) review every book we receive. If you fill out our form hoping for a review from the HNS – traditionally published or Indie – one of our editorial team will decide in the first instance whether we request the book for review. We will be choosing, like any knowledgeable reader, based on information provided to us by the publisher, author, and/or vendor (for example, Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ facility). We assess the premise and outline carefully, we read some of the text (if made available), and sometimes we discuss submissions amongst ourselves – but we only request books that meet our high standards. Even if we do request the book to be sent for consideration, submission of a book to us does not guarantee a review.

Novels submitted should have been published within the past year. Route to market is not a criterion for us, but all submissions should be professionally written and edited. The books reviewed are all works of historical fiction, that is, works of fiction set at least 50 years in the past. Besides traditional and literary historical novels, we also feature reviews of historical mystery, historical fantasy, historical romance, sagas, alternate history, Christian historical fiction, time-slip novels, novel-length collections of historical short stories or novellas, children’s and young adult historicals, and a small number of relevant non-fiction titles.

Please provide the following information:  author, title, publisher, publisher’s address, publication date, price, number of pages, ISBN, and a brief plot description. If it would help us to see an extract of the work, we may also require your first three chapters to read. If our editors would like to see a copy we will request one from you: print galleys/ARCs and eBooks are accepted as well as finished copies. Neither books nor galleys can be returned. Although we will consider novels published within the last year, we like to receive materials as early as possible.

Reviews that feature in the print magazine the Historical Novels Review will also be featured on this website either at the time of the magazine’s publication or earlier if we see fit. Because of space restrictions, not all reviews will appear in the print magazine, but those that are not will still be featured on this website, labelled ‘Online Exclusive’. They will also be identified with the edition of the print magazine whose editorial process they shared.

We DO NOT review all novels received and we DO NOT offer feedback or critiques on novels that we have not chosen for review. Membership of the society is not relevant to this process: it is not possible to buy a review from the Historical Novel Society, nor does membership bring any entitlement to a review. Our editorial decisions are final.

This should not need saying, but please do not hassle our staff or those who you feel may have access to our staff. We will not view it kindly, and we will not respond.