Commissioning a video from Mark!

Hello, Reader and/or Watcher! If you’ve arrived at this page, you most likely have some questions about how you can commission a live reading or a live watching from yours truly for your entertainment or MY SUFFERING. This page exists to not only list some rules, but explain them. Since I first debuted video commissions in May of 2012, I’ve had to add more and more rules about how commissions work. Unfortunately, this page was borne out of my own frustrations and a need to set boundaries. This does not exist to shame or embarrass anyone, even if you do feel that I may be singling you out for past behavior. Trust me, this does not exist because one person broke a rule or found a loophole; it’s because hundreds of people have made things complicated for me, most because they simply don’t know better! I’ve rarely spoken about this, but on average, I have to reject and refund ten commissions per week. It is discouraging to get money that I need only to have to return it. So, read on, my friends, and I shall explain!

For brevity, here is the basic steps to order a video:

  1. Visit the page in the store!
  2. Check the list of episodes/chapters that have been already claimed to see what’s left.
  3. Order a commission or two or three or however many you want!
  4. You will receive an email receipt for your order. REPLY TO THIS TO LET MY ASSISTANT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. It is also the automatic notification from Shopify that your order went through. We are getting rid of the process with the second confirmation email because it routinely didn’t go through.
  5. My assistant will guide you through everything else after that!


Trigger Warning: This first section talks about my triggers related to rape, bigotry (homophobia and racism, to be exact), police brutality, and abuse.

The most important reason for this page relates to the content of what you are commissioning me to watch or read for you. I used to have a list of what wasn’t appropriate to commission me to read or watch, but it was constantly ignored. Constantly! If you only knew how many commissions I completed halfway, only to stop in disgust or because I’d been triggered, and then I still have to refund them anyway….

Okay, not the point. Here is my general content rule: Please think about what you want me to read or watch, and imagine if you yourself would feel comfortable reading or watching that in front of strangers. I realize that this is a vague rule, but y’all probably wouldn’t believe the number of commissions that are just horrible experiences for me. And I don’t want to complain too much because y’all are giving me money and I’m a stranger and I’m flattered???? But I have to set boundaries for my mental health here, so for the sake of transparency, my worst triggers are:

Rape and sexual assault
Depictions of extreme racism
Homophobia, particularly if it is parents / teachers / authority figures
Child abuse in any form, mental, emotional, or physical or any combination thereof.
Domestic, spousal, or partner abuse
Police brutality, especially if it is depicted in any way onscreen or in the text in any sort of detail.

Does this mean I won’t do chapters or episodes that have this content? Of course not! I’ve done it before for certain shows and books and found the experience liberating. I am merely asking you to exercise some caution if you are going to commission anything that feels awkward and uncomfortable to you in some way beyond the fact that it might just be emotionally devastating. Here are two examples of times when I thought a commission should not have happened at all, and you can use rot13 to cypher these spoilers:

Buffy: gur rcvfbqr frrvat erq. guvf vf abg n pevgvpvfz bs gur crefba jub pbzzvffvbarq vg, fvapr gurl npghnyyl JRER irel pbafvqrengr naq frag zr n ybiryl abgr nobhg vg gung rkcerffrq gurve erfreingvbaf nobhg univat nfxrq sbe vg. ohg va uvaqfvtug, vg fubhyqa’g unir unccrarq orpnhfr vg jnf n qbhoyr junzzl bs encr naq ubzbcubovn naq ybeq, ab gunax lbh.

Band of Brothers: gur rcvfbqr jul jr svtug. lrf, guvf vf zber erprag, ohg va ab havirefr fubhyq V rire or pbzzvffvbarq gb jngpu na rkgraqrq naq qrgnvyrq qrcvpgvba bs n pbapragengvba pnzc.

If you are worried about a commission, feel free to ask the community or my assistant, too! We are here to help, and so are the moderators! You can post a comment and then report it to send your message to all the moderators, and they’ll reply to you.

I will not be as strict about this for shows on my Confirmed List or for books on my schedule. I’ve already committed to reading/watching them in full, obviously. All I ask is that you take a moment to reflect on whether or not this is something you want to see on camera. You do not have to make it complicated; just simply communicate to me that the episode or chapter you commissioned likely has a trigger of mine in it, and that’s it. You do not need to spoil me for it, or list what the trigger is, or anything else. Honestly, it’s the surprise of it that hurts the most, not the existence of triggering content. This way, I’m notified, but I’m also not spoiled.

That being said, I am setting this standard now: If you commission me to read or watch something and you ignore this content warning completely, I will reject your commission and I will keep your money. I cannot keep disappointing myself or feeling shitty about trying to make people happy when it’s really not my fault. This shouldn’t be a hard rule to follow, but I wanted to lead with this so that people know I’m serious! Please note if you are going to commission something and you haven’t read it or watched it before so that I know going into it that you’re just as blissfully unaware as I am. I’ll understand if you didn’t intentionally have me watch something upsetting.

NOTE: THIS IS NOT RETROACTIVE FOR ANY ORDERS BEFORE MAY 12, 2014. Folks have contacted me and are worried about this, and it’s totally not fair to expect this of people prior to that date. You’re still welcome to notify me if you want, but this new rule doesn’t apply to you. Rest easy!


Note from Mark on 2/01/20: As of right now, all Mark Reads commissions are closed, even for partially claimed books. I need to catch up on commissions before I add more. Thank you for understanding!

1) This is a list of all books I have accepted to read in the future. These are the only books you can expect reviews to accompany the videos. Everything else would only be read and posted on YouTube/Twitter.

2) Commissions are $25 per chapter, as long as the chapter is about 5,000 words long or less, or $25 per 5,000 words if it is not a chaptered work. This is the general standard of how much I can read in half an hour.  I used to have standard page guidelines listed for commission lengths, but the problem is that a page varies so widely between publishers that it ended up causing things to be more complicated than they needed to be. Stick with word count. It’s easier for all parties involved! You will get an email from me once I have received and verified the order. This can be a few minutes after your order or a few hours, depending on when you order, given that I have to manually fulfill it.

3) You are required to purchase extra time in full commissions ($25) or half commissions ($10 for “extra time,” which generally means an extra 15 minutes) BEFORE I read a piece. I have let things slide in the past, but it has become increasingly difficult to manage the sheer volume of work I have if someone commissions a single chapter or a oneshot, and then that piece ends up being an hour or 90 minutes long. This absolutely messes up my schedule for writing or completing commissions and I cannot schedule my day around such things if they’re so chaotic. Please do your part to determine how long something is so that I know what to expect in terms of length. I have only made this rule so strict because it is one of the most frequently broken rules I have. I cannot count how many times people say, “I dunno if this needs extra time, it seems long, let me know later,” and then whatever I read is like 15,000 words long. IT WASN’T CLOSE, PLEASE DON’T BULLSHIT ME. I want to enjoy what I read and not be tired halfway through because I’m surprised by the length. (I genuinely don’t look through things before I read them! I do want to be surprised by the content, so I don’t even scroll through them.)

Please note: If you do not pay for extra time, and then I read a piece for you and it is clearly over time, I will charge you for a full extra commission for each one that you may have needed. Please take this seriously.

The splits for the Discworld books are located here and are to be used as the guide for commissions and what pages are covered in each review. This document is updated as the fandom and my mods determine the splits for each book!

The splits for the Young Wizards books are located here and are to be used as the guide for commissions. 


5) Please be wary about commissioning chapters from a book that is on the Confirmed List, but has not been added to my schedule. It is going to take a long time – possibly years – to get through the books under the section “Mark Reads Books That Are Not On my Schedule.” I will go through those FIRST before ever adding anything else, so at this point, it is futile and kind of pointless to add to that. It’ll be years down the line, and I’ll do my best to convince you not to commission something new.


1) A $25 commission covers a single episode of a show up to 45 minutes. I will not nitpick if an episode reasonably goes over this, but you must buy an extra time option if an episode is 20 or more minutes over 45 minutes. It’s only fair to me and others.

2) You will receive an email containing a link to your commission once it has been recorded, just prior to its release! Each link may be clicked 25 times, so feel free to wildly exercise your power and give away your commission to whomever you want. Create an oligarchy. It’s up to you!

3) This is a list of all confirmed shows I will be watching for Mark Watches.

4) Until I can figure out the logistics, I am only accepting Mark Watches commissions for shows on my Confirmed List and nothing else. Y’all will be the first to know if I open up bonus commissions again, but this is also why I am doing my best to make sure Double Features stay consistent. MORE REVIEWS MOAR.

5) Unless I have publicly stated so, I do not do movies as video commissions. 

If you have any questions, my email is markreadsandwatches at gmail dot com. You can also post a comment, too!

Thank you for understanding. MAY THERE BE MANY MORE LOVELY VIDEOS TO COME.

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