Write for DODReads & Guest Posting Policy

The primary DODReads audience is composed of mid-grade and senior military officers, as well as senior enlisted, government service employees and those that support the military. We focus on enriching the lives of service members who are on a lifelong journey of learning and are interested in improving their whole person. To that end, we endeavor to publish content of significant professional interest to our readers, including on military leadership, philosophy, history, personal development, relevant biography, and military-related fiction.

DODReads makes every attempt to publish the content we receive, subject to our review for relevance, analysis, and writing style. All content will be reviewed and edited by DODReads. Approved content will be published within three to five weeks of receipt; exceptional content will be highlighted on the full suite of DODReads social media outlets.

DODReads is currently accepting guest content and posts for the following areas. Due to the volume of submissions, we ask that contributors adhere to both our Administrative Guidelines and the Submission Guidelines for the particular type of post (click the content area below to be redirected).

Please note: DODReads is committed to the military community of learners, readers, and thinkers. To support individual learning journeys and the intellectual rigor of the force, preference may be given to guest submissions from active-duty authors and veterans.


Administrative Guidelines

Expectations:

  • We want you to both practice professional writing and provide honest, concise, original analysis. Prior to submitting your work, be sure that it meets all criteria and it will be of value to the busy military professional.
  • Read existing DODReads content to gain a perspective on what we publish, and read other high-quality military and military-related sites to understand what makes a great post. We recommend USNI Proceedings, Army University Press, Air & Space Power Journal, or War on the Rocks.
  • Format: 
    • Use 12 pt Times New Roman for all writing submissions and send as Microsoft Word attachments. 
    • Follow the Chicago Manual of Style, particularly for abbreviations, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Other:
    • Include your name as you would like it to read at the bottom of the post, as well as a high resolution headshot with a short (no more than 50 word) biography.
    • You may also include a contact email address and one social media contact point, such as your website or LinkedIn.

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Book Review Submission Guidelines

All posts must adhere to our Administrative Guidelines.

DODReads accepts reviews between 500 and 2,000 words in length for military and military-related books, with a preference for shorter reviews (less than 1,000 words). We are accepting books that are of interest to a professional military audience. This would include the genre of leadership, business, personal development, biographies, history, philosophy, politics, literature, and works that appear on military reading lists. If you are not sure if a book is a good fit then imagination if it is a book you would find on your Commanding Officer’s or Senior Enlisted’s desk; if the answer is yes then we want you to review it.

Style:

  • Grab the reader’s attention in your opening statement. One or two key sentences about the book.
  • Use the rule: tell us what you are going to tell us, tell us, then tell us what you told us. 
  • Avoid summarizing the book or listing the number of parts and chapters or how the book is organized. Instead, provide an analysis of the book, present the key theory or argument the author makes and why it should interest the reader. Does the book approach the topic from a new or unique point of view? How does the book compare with other approaches to the topic?
  • What are the key takeaways? Please do more than list the author’s findings. Rather, you should explain them, agree with them or disagree with them if appropriate, and say why. 
  • Use the writer’s maxim: “show, don’t tell.” That is, avoid first-person comments (I thought, I liked, etc.) and personal experiences (I met the author, I heard the author speak, etc.), unless the latter are relevant to the topic and might interest all readers.
  • Avoid superlatives (this is a great book, or the best book, etc.)
  • Avoid military jargon and abbreviations. Many of our readers have military backgrounds, but many do not.
  • Do not insert hyperlinks or URLs in the review.
  • In your review, please include the title (and subtitle if any), the name of the publisher, date of publication, and number of pages.
  • Here is a recent email with my suggestions of you find that the book is not a good fit for a professional military audience

Submit: 

  • Send your completed review to [email protected] with the subject Review Complete: Book Title.
  • Please attach a high resolution image of the book’s cover.

Back Page Notes Submission Guidelines

  • All posts must adhere to our Administrative Guidelines.
  • DODReads accepts brief summaries of books one page in length for military and military-related books, with a preference for recently published works, and works that appear on military reading lists.
  • To ensure your back page notes are of comparable quality, please peruse a few of our current notes.
  • Please download and use our Back Page Notes template.
  • Submit: 
    • Send your completed template to [email protected]
    • Please attach a high resolution image of the book’s cover.

Video Book Review Submission Guidelines

  • All posts must adhere to our Administrative Guidelines.
  • Video book reviews should be 3-5 minutes long and professional, interesting, and visually engaging. They are the easiest way to get your content posted on DODReads. Check out Book Riot for some examples of what we are looking for.
  • Submit:
    • Send your video review to [email protected] in a compressed file or as a website link.
    • Please attach a high resolution image of the book’s cover.

Original Articles Submission Guidelines

  • All posts must adhere to our Administrative Guidelines.
  • Writing original content for DODReads is a great way to showcase your critical thinking skills to other publishing sites and to build your reputation!
  • We are actively looking for articles that discuss the value of leadership, philosophy, lifelong learning, and reading. These articles should be written for a professional military audience and must be over 750 words with an ideal length being 1000 – 2500 words.
  • Submit:
    • Send your original article to [email protected]
    • Please attach two or three high-resolution images that will complement your article. Be sure that the images you submit are not under copyright.

Original Art Submission Guidelines

  • All posts must adhere to our Administrative Guidelines.
  • DODReads welcomes original work that can be used as stock images. This includes photographs, memes, doodles, drawings, original artwork, etc.
  • All images must have a connection to reading, learning, philosophy, or the military.
  • Submit: Send your original art to [email protected]

Guest Posts – All Other Content

We are open to considering any additional topics or medium for guest posts.

If you would like to commission a piece of work on a topic related to military, leadership, reading, life-long learning, philosophy, or anything that would be of interest to a military audience, please provide the following information. We will review your proposal and get back with you with an answer within 10 business days.

  • Submit:
  • Include:
    • The proposed title of the piece
    • The overall takeaway of the article in 3-4 sentences
    • An example of any of your previous work (articles, book reviews, videos, etc)

Congrats! Your Work is now Posted on DODReads. Here is what to do next

Congrats on getting your work posted on DODReads! Here are some things you can do to insure you get the most traction on the content you worked so hard to produce.

  • Share widely across your socials. Use the #DODReads hashtag and feel free to tag the owner @johnLaney and anyone else on the DODReads team that helped you get your content up.
  • Add a permanent link to your article on your website. This will help give you long-term traffic to your article long after the social media interest had died down. You are also free to use our logo to promote your work or in your “As seen on….” section of your website.
  • Feel free to add “DODReads Contributor” under your LinkedIn profile. This will allow you to get company-wide notifications and will let other DODReads contributors get in contact with you.

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