What Is a sensitivity Reader?

We are professional readers who use our lived experiences and expertise to eliminate bias, negative stereotypes, and clichés from your stories. We look at nearly finished manuscripts to give honest feedback on how your story represents someone or something. 

Sensitivity reads, or also known as authenticity checks, are not new to the publishing process. What is now different is checking for authenticity around marginalized voices. We comb through your work to help authors provide truly diverse perspectives and stories of inclusion. The characters you create are yours to keep, but when they lack depth due to a narrow perspective, Sensitivity Readers are able to give you a clear understanding of how your writing perpetuates oppressive beliefs toward marginalized people. 

The controversy around our need is misleading- we are not interested in creating or promoting censorship. This service is to elevate writing, authors, and publishing. We all want to see more diversity but not at the expense of terrible tropes.

Sensitivity readers are only controversial if you ignore the fact that in this diverse country, it is entirely possible to publish a book that has been selected, read, and edited by only white people.
— Brit Bennett, via Twitter, 12/27/2017

When Do You Need One? 

  • Anytime you write from a perspective you are not familiar with
  • Stories that feature/include a point of view or group of people that is different from your lived experiences
  • A line of defense to ensure your book is free of bias and internalized oppressive beliefs

Black & Bookish Sensitivity Reader Services Include:

  • In depth, line by line read of your manuscript 
  • Comprehensive critique letter
  • One-hour phone call with actionable next steps

Sensitivity Reader Services Do Not Include:

  • Book review for print or online publication
  • Critique for problems around story structure, plot, clarity, or logic (but can be added as an additional service)