Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WILL NOT REVIEW SELF-PUBLISHED NOVELS and other irrelevant stuff...

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.

Happy writing!


  1. Reviewers that don't accept indie published/small published books are nuts. Big publishers are afraid to branch out. It seems like most of the books they will publish are just the same story with a few details changed. I would say that over 80% of my favorite books published in 2012 were either self published or small press published.

    Those reviewers can keep reading the same dribble over and over, I'm more than happy to pick up the slack and read and spread the word about new and different things!

  2. I had a nice response typed on my phone, but it didn't post. Will try again.

    Even when I just had my first two books out (fall 2011), I submitted them to these review sites that said "no indies." Surprisingly, a couple of them did review the books. Of course, there is no guarantee that ANY review site will review us, but I thought I scored there.

    Now with more than 200,000 books sold or downloaded and a USA Today bestseller under my belt, I'm about to go after the Holy Grail of reviewers--Romantic Times. (Okay, I actually won a thing that lets me submit a book to them that ran in an ad last summer--but it had to be Nobody's Perfect and I am JUST now getting that into print. No freaking way would I print out a 171,000 word book and send them a box of paper, which is the only way they will accept a book for review--in print.) Of course, with my series that's not a stand-alone, I'll just send them all three paperbacks of the first four e-books. I know they are starting to consider indies, but having that USA Today magic label on all of them now (only on the list a week--bragging rights for LIFE! LOL), I might get at least someone to look at them. I'll let you know!

    But I'd say the real losers in the snobbish behavior of some review sites are their followers. You know the savvy readers are just going elsewhere to find out who is breaking the rules and writing truly innovative and interesting books that don't play to the age-old gatekeepers' formula. (One of my readers wrote me once and said something like, "I love your books because I never know when the Black Moment will happen. I just turn the page and BAM!" I like doing that to readers. :)

    And while they snub us, we'll just cashing those checks. (Okay, with direct deposit, there are no checks, but I netted over six figures last year after writing off another six figures in retirement savings, health insurance benefits, research trips, conventions/conferences to meet readers, and all kinds of other things. I'm not going to worry that some little peon of a review site is too narrow-minded to want to see what all the fuss is about with my books!


  3. Wow. Thats interesting. I have read many self published books that I think were completely awesome. There are amazing witers out the published or non published.

  4. The only policy I've found even more repulsive are the sites that make authors pay to be reviewed. That is why I started my website to bring authors and readers together...especially Indies authors. www.vampireandimmortalbooks.com