Submission Guidelines

Review Requests

The initial goal of Shelf Abuse was to help promote the underdog: the writers, artists and comic creators out there who have decided to go it alone, whether by choice or necessity.

However, as of 2020 I’ve been forced to rethink how I blog here on Shelf Abuse, and will no longer be reviewing comics. You can read why here. To summarize, after writing indie comic reviews for 13 years it’s become apparent that too few people read them, engage with them or appreciate them, at least not to justify the commitment and sacrifice blogging on a regular basis requires.

In its peak, Shelf Abuse received up to 30 review submissions a day. I simply don’t have the time to read through that many wonderful looking books, let alone review them. So unless my life takes a change for the better, I must focus my energy and limited spare time into my own literature and articles on subjects I’m passionate about.

However… I’m still reading, buying and talking online about comics, so if you’re pushing a new book please feel free to add me to your newsletter, mailing list or just send me a link to a digital review copy. Please don’t take it personally if I don’t reply, and always feel free to get in touch via social media or update me on your next issue/release/project.

Any more questions? Always feel free to contact here.


I’m no longer promoting Kickstarters or similar campaigns for book or comics. I’m done writing glorified press releases for free. Life is too short, and I’ve got my own books to finish, publish and promote.

Again, do feel free to email me about your latest campaign, as I still support many books and board games, much to my wife’s despair. But please, don’t attempt to pressure me into buying your book unless you’ve bought one of mine. My time or my money – feel free to ask for one, but never both.

Guest blogging

Guest bloggers and contributors are always welcome, so feel free to submit an article promoting your work to the site, or pitch an idea to me. See below.


I’d truly love to speak to any of you crazy creators out there, be you at the top of the industry or a future talent struggling to promote your first book. However, interviews are incredibly time-consuming, especially those darned audio transcriptions. So as much as it pains me, unless you’re Alan Moore, David Lynch or Ron Mael I’ll usually have to pass.

Free Advertising

I still want to help promote new comics and media projects in some small way, so if you’re looking to get a small additional push for your self-published or independently financed work, you are welcome to advertise your project on Shelf Abuse for free. View the ad guidelines here.

Contribute to Shelf Abuse

Contrary to legend, Shelf Abuse cannot pay for articles. But while it started as a one man blog, other writers and artists have contributed their work, and creative individuals wishing to promote their craft are invited to submit the following:

  • Journalism: reviews, features, columns and news.
  • Extracts of creative writing.
  • Samples of art.
  • Articles from comic creators (or other writers/artists) discussing their craft and their experiences within the creative industries.
  • Articles raising awareness for artistic enterprises (such as crowd funding campaigns or charity initiatives).

However, submissions, must be made with the following legal nonsense and code of etiquette taken into consideration.

  • You will, of course, retain the rights to anything published on Shelf Abuse, and you are free to do whatever you want with it elsewhere, though once an article has been submitted and posted it cannot be removed without a valid reason.
  • The articles may contain a by-line or author bio with a maximum of two links to the contributor’s website/company. These sites and the anchor texts these links refer to must be related to the article’s subject matter.
  • I accept content that has been published elsewhere, but request that there aren’t more than 2 other iterations of said content published elsewhere.
  • Please bear in mind that articles will be thoroughly proof-read and may be lightly edited (though I always keep the author’s message intact).
  • Articles promoting a creator’s work are acceptable, and encouraged, but must not be blatant attempts at self-promotion: genuine, quality pieces will always earn you more links (and appreciative readers) in the long run.

Submission Tips for Self-publishers

While I’m no longer writing reviews, I used to receive more review requests for self-published comics than I could ever respond to, let alone cover.

A good number of these read along the lines of:

Hey there Mr Shelf,

I just done a new comic. It got zombies in it. Let me know if you interested in reviewing it.


As someone who has more ambitions than they have time, I have no choice but to pass on such proposals. Life is simply too short.

When you submit your effort to a website, if not then one of the many far superior sites, do ensure that the email contains several of the following, so that they get a good impression of your book:

  • An attached sample of the comic, and/or a link to several sample pages
  • A cover image or promotional image that could be used in a news post/review
  • A brief synopsis
  • A little context: any useful information about yourself, and/or links to any homepages of the talent involved
  • What you have in mind (review/news story/interview etc)
  • Please, don’t feel the need to proceed a submission by telling the recipient that their blog/site is your favourite website, or that you’re a long-term reader (unless, of course, either of those genuinely happen to be true). If I’d had as many readers as I had comic creators telling me how ardently they follow my site, I’d probably still be writing reviews.


Any questions, please feel free to get in touch here.

Thanks in advance!

Revised January 2024