Trying to find a nice way to put this, but I haven't had enough coffee yet today to be nice :p
I was checking out review sites because I know I haven't sent out enough copies of BREAKAWAY and I want to make sure my list is complete for when I send out OFFSIDE. I noticed a few still had a policy that I thought was pretty much dead. Which is not reviewing self-published book.
There's 'a very good reason for this' that many of those sites share. Self-published books have all kinds of errors, the authors are unprofessional and behave badly when they get a bad review, the books just aren't as good.
I just...WOW. Seriously, I have the most amazing readers, and am regularly reviewed by the most awesome, well know, review sites. I don't need to worry about the odd duck out there who obviously hasn't read enough to know that 'traditionally published' books have plenty of errors. Their authors can go straight up crazy diva. The stories can suck ass. Maybe their elitist attitude makes them blind to any of these issue. IDK.
What I do know is self-pubbed authors just starting out can get discouraged by things like that. They might thing the stigma against indies is still prominent and will hamper their success. Sending out those first few emails asking for a review isn't easy--wasn't for me anyway--because you're still not sure you take yourself seriously as an author, so why should anyone else? Tack on a review policy like that and you might feel like you did when you dealt with the 'gatekeepers' of the traditional publishing world.
My advice? Don't. I may not be rolling in dough, but I make more than many midlist BIG 6 (or is it 5 now?) published authors. Writing books is my full time job which makes my readers very happy. Every day authors who struggled to get their babies in the hands of readers are making it, and those policies aren't stopping us. One thing I love about being an indie author is that we're a helpful bunch, not looking to cut each other down to rise to the top.
If you're starting out--or have been around a while, but didn't know--feel free to contact me for a guest spot on my blog. I'll also be putting up a page of all the review sites I've dealt with in the past who love books. Period. Just be prepared for honesty! <g>
There are a lot of things you need to do to publish a professional quality book. If you're still starting out, learn what these things are, build on your resources and your audience, hone your skills. But don't give up because if this is what you really want to do, you'll make it. Don't let policies hold you back.