--Book Review Guidelines

Guidelines for Book Reviews Submitted to the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies

[Revised October 30, 2015]

ASCS publishes book reviews in both the Searchlight and the Journal for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies. We encourage the submission of reviews for consideration, taking into account the following guidelines.

* * *

All submissions must be original and not under simultaneous consideration by other journals.

We seek reviews of books that have been published in the past year or two for the Searchlight.  Books a bit older might be considered for the Journal, if they have a persistent relevance or are reviewed in light of changes in the field.

We assign many of our book reviews to members of the ASCS Publications Committee but have need of reviewers outside that body. We give first priority to reviews from ASCS members but consider submissions by others when appropriate and when space permits.

We encourage reviewers next to consult with editor Mike Tymn (METGAT@aol.com) to determine whether the particular book has already been assigned for review for a future publication or does not fit the current editorial direction. Book reviews intended for the Searchlight newsletter should be for books published in the current calendar year or the previous year. Reviews of older books will be considered for the Journal, which appears in May or November.


Reviewed books should fit the mission of ASCS and the clear interests of ASCS members. If the reviewer knows the writer whose book is being reviewed, we prefer that this relationship be acknowledged in the review. Reviews should include the following, at minimum:

  • A description of the book author’s credentials, background, or experience, related to the book’s subject
  • A clear description of what the book is about
  • A few quotes sprinkled through to give a sense of the writer’s style, avoiding large blocks of quotations
  • An honest statement of your opinion of the book’s value, presented graciously


Reviews that are to appear in the Searchlight must be sized for either a half page (around 400 words) or a full page (around 800 words). Reviews for the Journal can be longer. Reviewers who exceed the 800-word limit sufficiently to require the review to appear in the Journal should be aware that the Journal is only published twice a year. Long reviews are therefore the most likely to be delayed in publication, but they also can be very valuable articles.


We attempt to acknowledge receipt of a review within two weeks. We usually send an acceptance or rejection notification within two months. We reserve the right and duty to edit reviews for clarity, style, conciseness, and space requirements, making every effort to preserve the reviewer’s own voice and opinions.

We might have to delay the publication of an accepted review in the Searchlight or Journal, depending upon a number of factors. The number of reviews we can use in any given publication depends upon the space required for feature articles. We also try when possible to have a good mix of book genres reviewed, requiring us to push a review out to a later publication at times to get the best mix.

We will send one issue of the publicaton in which the review appears to the reviewer. Reviewers can obtain prices for additional reprints of their reviews by emailing Editor-in-Chief Michael Tymn at metgat@aol.com. Or if email is unavailable, write to him at:

Michael Tymn
641 Keolu Drive
Kailua, HI 96734

We promote conversation about books and our reviews in ASCS’s Book Review discussion group (https://ascsi2.ning.com/group/book-reviews). Though not mandatory, we encourage all reviewers with internet access to join this forum, allowing ASCS members to engage in discussions with them.


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