Please note: there is a submission form on the left-hand sidebar. Not all devices show this sidebar, you may need to scroll / search for it - or please email Helen Hollick on author AT helenhollick DOT net

Thank you for your interest regarding submitting an indie, self-published or traditionally published mainstream historical novel to Discovering Diamonds for possible review. We aim to promote all quality historical fiction, regardless of sub-genre or how it is published, although we primarily wish to support indie authors because they do not have the backing of the big publishing houses to market their books. However, our standards are high! In addition to the level of writing and editing we assess traditional-quality production and presentation – which means correct formatting and can include cover design. 

We reserve the right to reject incorrectly formatted books, whether in hardcopy or e-version.

 ‘Indie’ is classified as the author pays a financial contribution toward any aspect of publication: e.g. printing cost, isbn purchase, editing,  cover design, etc., but we will not be including the publisher's details in our reviews in order to make no distinction to potential readers. As to whether a book is indie or mainstream: a good book is a good book regardless of how it is produced.
  • We do not review all books submitted to us
  • WE SELECT which books are to have a review published. 
  • Submitting a book does not guarantee a review. 
  • If we do not select a novel to be reviewed it does not mean that it is of poor quality - it is, perhaps, just not 'our cup of tea'.
Please Note:

We only accept books written in the English language
We only review historical fiction (not non-fiction, personal memoirs or personal religious beliefs, or poetry unless by specific invitation).
To be classed as Historical Fiction the story must have 75% of the narrative set pre-1953 unless the book is fantasy with a strong historical connection, or alternative history.
We prefer e-book versions in mobi or e-pub format but will accept professionally produced PDF ARC versions, or hardcopy by arrangement. (Please contact  Helen  for details.)
Word.documents or poorly formatted PDF files will NOT be accepted.
Gift cards to purchase an e-book will NOT be accepted.
We only accept published material with an isbn/asin.
We do not offer critiques. 
All Discovering Diamonds decisions  are final.
Rude, abusive or derogatory emails or comments  from individuals will be deleted and further submissions will not be accepted. Abuse will not obtain a re-review; it is unprofessional, ungracious and unacceptable.
  • You will be informed by email if your book is to have a review published- this may take up to FOUR months.
  • We reserve the right to not accept or review books without explanation of further correspondence. 
  • If your book is scheduled to have a review posted you will find your name HERE:
  • All reviews remain the copyright of the individual reviewers, but may be used by authors/publishers providing the following is included: ©Reviewed by Discovering Diamonds
The Discovering Diamonds reviewers are all volunteers, therefore the process from receipt to possible review can take several months.

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

To request details of where and how to submit, fill in the submission form (on the sidebar) with the following information: 


If you do not receive a reply within 21 days please re-apply, as your request may have gone astray.

All books reviewed will be awarded one of the following logos
to use as the author/publishers wishes

please apply to Helen Hollick for an original jpeg version
if you require one


"We are not here as technical arbiters but as book reviewers who need simple common standards to judge how easy the book as a product'is to use."

All books have to be fully published and the version submitted has to be the published version, not a proof or intermediate edition. The only exception is PDF ARC versions from established publishing houses.

We require correctly formatted published files:  mobis (for Kindle) and ePubs (for everything else such as iBooks, Google Playbooks etc). We will not necessarily accept files that were created on free, downloadable software by the author/publishing house as these can often contain errors and give a false impression of the production quality of the book. Incorrectly formatted files create incorrectly formatted ebooks. Issues such as double line spaces between paragraphs, page numbers in the middle of a 'page' etc.,  blank pages can indicate incorrectly formatted files sent to be published. This is often down to using tabs to indent paragraphs as tabs do not play well with digital publishing formats. Such things tend to happen when trying to convert a Word.doc to a mobi using unsuitable free software.

What we look for:
  • Text should be justified, not left or right or centres but margin to margin, as you would expect for any professionally print book.
  • Indents should only be used for subparagraphs and dialogue except where the dialogue is at the beginning of a new text block (new chapter, after a break, line of asterisks etc).
  • Ebooks can have a full page for a new chapter: no need for a half page of text as is frequently seen in print books.
  • The cover should be part of the file, not as a separate attachment. Amazon requires the text and cover to be submitted separately and then put the two together for the final on-sale version. Our reviewers here at Discovering Diamonds, however, are not Amazon, so we want the book as the buyer gets it, please.
  • We expect to receive, read, and review the same format as any reader who may potentially purchase your novel.
  • The 'Look Inside' feature on Amazon for Kindle books can give a misleading indication of formatting, however, if the formatting does appear to be incorrect on this facility, but your book has been selected for review, we may add a caveat of 'This novel may appear incorrectly formatted as an e-book on some devices.' in order to be fair to readers/potential purchasers.
There is some controversy about formatting ebooks, because text can be altered by individual readers for their specific requirements, however, despite the myth that 'correct formatting is not suitable for ebooks' that is a myth! Correct formatting is no problem for the professional ebook formatter who will have ensured the text wraps and new paragraphs still have an indent. Paragraphs, correctly justified margins, indents, etc., should all be  retained, if correctly formatted, even though the text has flowed to accommodate the different page sizes. Hence, we insist on correct, professional level  formatting. However, we do appreciate that there are issues with this, so we reserve the right to use our judgement regarding the formatting of novels submitted to us.

For further technical information about producing an ebook please contact our technical adviser e-book editor, Nicky Galliers.

Thank you. On behalf of the Discovering Diamonds Team, I look forward to hearing from you.