Compulsion Reads seeks to encourage higher readership of indie authors by providing a quality standard for independently published novels. The Compulsion Reads Endorsement is given to those books that pass an evaluation process based on the fundamental qualities of good storytelling. The Compulsion Reads Endorsement standard was created to protect authors and readers and to help strengthen the overall indie market.
Read the Compulsion Reads Mission
Compulsion Reads was created by Jessica Bennett and Leslie Ramey, both successful business owners and indie authors. Learn more about Jessica and Leslie.
At Compulsion Reads, we want every author to fully understand our evaluation criteria before they submit their manuscript. That’s why we not only fully explain our endorsement process; we also list the exact criteria we use to evaluate manuscripts.
We also encourage all authors to read our explanation of What The Compulsion Reads Endorsement Means as well as our Read Before You Submit page.
Submitting a manuscript to Compulsion Reads in no way guarantees our endorsement. Each and every manuscript is carefully reviewed by our trained evaluators using the Compulsion Reads evaluation criteria. The whole purpose of our endorsement process is to provide a quality bar for the indie publishing market. Unfortunately, not every manuscript meets that bar. In fact, as of this writing, fewer than half of all manuscripts submitted have earned the Compulsion Reads Endorsement.
The Compulsion Reads Endorsement indicates that a manuscript meets our unique quality standard. This means we think the book contains all the important elements of craft to appeal to readers of that genre.
Our endorsement is signified by the Compulsion Reads Seal, which knowledgeable readers can easily identify on the cover of an endorsed book. This indicates to the reader that the novel has been judged positively by a third-party, non-affiliated source.
Compulsion Reads accepts all genres of fiction except for children's picture books (we do accept middle grade fiction and YA with open arms). We also accept creative nonfiction (defined as non-fiction written in a narrative or story form). We do not accept poetry, screenplays, or nonfiction outside of creative nonfiction. At this time we only accept manuscripts written in English. (See our Submission Guidelines)
The price of our evaluation depends on the length of the manuscript and starts at $19.99. Prices can be found on our Pricing page.
We ask that you allow us up to five weeks to evaluate your manuscript. As soon as your manuscript’s evaluation is complete, you will receive an email notice from Compulsion Reads indicating whether or not your manuscript received our endorsement
Receiving the Compulsion Reads Endorsement means that your manuscript meets our quality standards. This bodes well for your book, but in no way guarantees that you will be able to find an agent or a publisher. Agents are notoriously fickle creatures who receive loads and loads of query letters each day. The chance of any one author getting represented is very slim, which is one reason why so many decide to take their publishing destiny in their own hands and self-publish (not that we’re biased or anything).
That’s the hope. While we cannot guarantee that receiving the Compulsion Reads Endorsement will help you sell more books, it certainly can’t hurt. Having our seal on your book’s cover will show readers that you’ve met our quality standard and will help you stand out in a very crowded marketplace.
In addition, Compulsion Reads consistently works to market our endorsed books and to bring readers to our Endorsed Books Library. Learn about all the ways Compulsion Reads supports our endorsed books.
In the end, however, the real responsibility lies with you. Receiving a Compulsion Reads Endorsement is a valuable part of your book marketing process, but it is only a small piece. Your success on building your readership will depend a lot on the quality of your novel and the amount of effort you spend getting the word out. Make sure to regularly read our blog and newsletter for advice on how to get the most out of the Compulsion Reads Endorsement.
Yes. We accept published and unpublished novels for evaluation. If your published book earns our endorsement, we can add it directly to our Endorsed Books Library along with buy links.
Yes. You may choose to submit your novel for evaluation before you self-publish your novel or before you submit it to agents and publishers. In fact, putting your manuscript through our evaluation process could be a means of helping you decide if your novel is ready for publication. If you do not receive our endorsement, this may indicate your novel is not quite there yet.
If you receive the Compulsion Reads Endorsement before your novel is published, we will not be able to put it in our Endorsed Books Library. When your novel is commercially available, please let us know so we can add you promptly.
Yes. We can evaluate your novel if it has been traditionally published and/or if you currently have agency representation.
Compulsion Reads primarily provides a book evaluation and book endorsement service, which seeks to be as objective as possible. However, we do write short reviews for each book that we endorse, which may be included on the endorsed book’s page in our Endorsed Book Library. We also post the review on the major online publishing sites where the book is available.
Learn more about our Book Review Service.
Unfortunately, not every manuscript we receive meets the Compulsion Reads endorsement criteria. If we decide not to endorse your novel, it simply means that you cannot put our endorsement seal on your book’s cover or claim to be endorsed by us.
If your manuscript doesn’t receive our endorsement, we will send you an email notification along with the evaluation sheet used to evaluate your manuscript. The evaluation sheet will let you see exactly what endorsement standard or standards your book did not meet. In addition, the sheet will contain constructive feedback from the evaluator providing context for their decision. We ask that you take this feedback for exactly what it is – a useful perspective meant to help you improve your writing.
You are allowed to edit and re-submit your novel for evaluation two more times (three submission limit per manuscript). If your novel did not pass the initial review (after the evaluator read the first five chapters or first 100 pages), then you may revise your manuscript and re-submit it at no cost within 60 days. In all other circumstances, you will need to pay the full evaluation cost to re-submit your manuscript.
Before re-submitting your manuscript, we strongly advise that you work on those areas of your novel that did not meet our endorsement standards the first time around. We also suggest that you consider the feedback provided by the evaluator as well as using a critique partner or writing group to help you improve your manuscript.
Learn more about the Compulsion Reads Evaluation Process.
Yes. We're big on letting authors know exactly how they're going to be evaluated. That's why we offer samples of works that did not receive a Compulsion Reads Endorsement as well as samples of endorsed work. For each sample we provide the evaluation sheet used to evaluate that work as well as a supplemental explanation. See Our Samples.
All submissions are final regardless of whether or not your manuscript receives the Compulsion Reads Endorsement. We review every single submission, and our evaluators deserve to be compensated for their time and effort. If your manuscript does not pass the initial review (evaluation of the first five chapters or first 100 pages), you may revise your manuscript and re-submit at no cost within 60 days. You can read an explanation of why we charge for our services on our pricing page.
Yes. We also evaluate short stories and novellas. If the manuscript is under 25,000 words, it will fall under our lowest pricing category.
Yes. We do accept novels that are part of a series. We believe that if a book is written well enough, it can stand on its own even if it is the first, second, or last book in an extended series. If your series book does not stand alone well, (i.e. if our evaluator finds it too confusing), they will not endorse it.
The Compulsion Reads Endorsement can only be applied to the novel that was evaluated and endorsed. Each book in a series must be submitted for evaluation separately.
We are currently not hiring Compulsion Reads reviewers. When a position opens up, we will add a notice on our Become a Reviewer page. Check back regularly for updates.