Showing posts with label indie authors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indie authors. Show all posts

Friday, December 2, 2016

I'll ONLY Review Indie + Self-Published Books For 2 Weeks This December! | #ReadIndie

I know there are quite a couple of great self-published and indie books out there and I have enjoyed a lot of them. 

So I decided to dedicate one month reading time ONLY to reading those books and I'm joining Tracy & Christina's #ReadIndie challenge.




What does this mean?
  • You won't be finding ANY reviews of traditionally published books on my social media for the first two weeks of December.
  • That there will be more reviews than usual. Every second post will now be a review and will have the label #ReadIndie on it, so you know from the get go that it's an indie book!
Description of #ReadIndie from Cornerfolds:
So what is #ReadIndie all about? This isn't necessarily a read-a-thon. Instead, the challenge is simply to post indie reviews for two weeks in place of the reviews you would normally post. However, each review you post and link up will gain you an extra entry into an indie book giveaway! This is ALL about spreading the word about incredible authors who don't necessarily get the hype that they deserve.

Why?

To dedicate two weeks to only reviewing indie books because there still seems to be a stigma around them that's very much undeserved. Hopefully you'll find a couple books that sound intriguing to you this month and I manage to maybe inspire you to read more indie books or even join the challenge yourself.

What this doesn't mean:
  • That I'll give better ratings to indie books than they deserve. I'll still publish honest reviews, I'm not going to gift a good to rating to anyone. 
  • That I won't publish any other posts. There'll still be discussions and memes, and the usual stuff you're used to seeing on my blog. If you don't care for indie books, just skip the reviews!
  • That this is the only time I'll be reading indie books (I'll still continue accepting review requests for indie books and I'll still continue to write reviews for them)

Giveaways

  • Amazon gift cards
  • Signed copies of Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum
  • Physical copies & eBooks of The Bound Series by Stormy Smith
  • Physical copies & eBooks of Recoil by Joanne Macgregor
  • Physical copies of The Outlaw Series books 1 & 2 by Alan Janney
  • Physical copies & eBooks of Just a Few Inches by Tara St. Pierre

... and apparently there are going to be a lot more!

So sign up for #ReadIndie over at Cornerfolds and join us!


Have you read any good indie books lately? 

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Are you awkward about getting Review Requests from Authors? | Book Blogging Tips (#44)






Even though I don't really mean to be, I have to admit I'm super awkward about getting review requests by authors. This is 100% on me.

Most experiences I've made so far were delightful and I ended up liking most of the books that were offered to me by their authors.

But what if I hadn't?



WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE THE BOOK?!

How do I phrase politely that I absolutely hated your novel and wrote a 300 word review about how much I hated it? Even though I feel like my reviewing style is at that point where even negative criticism is phrased respectfully, I'm sure no author wants to read this about their book. And yea, indie authors read reviews. I know they do because I get reactions to the reviews from them once I have sent the links over...!

I still want to review books that are offered to me by the authors, I think it's a great opportunity and I like that they are so approachable, but sometimes I just wish there was more .... distance. I wish I didn't have to bite my nails feeling ashamed. I wish I would stare at my email account, just waiting for one author to absolutely flip out when I send over a bad review. That stuff happens. 

Last year an author actually tracked down someone who gave them a negative review and wrote an article in The Guardian about this, not seeing what's wrong with that. Since I read that article I've been extra picky with accepting books for review that weren't offered through a publishing house.

AM I SCARED OF AUTHORS?

Heck yea, I am. I'm scared of getting negative reviews, possibly managing to agitate a black sheep that turns out to be a psychopath. Things like this are known to happen. Remember that author who tracked down a reviewer and hit them over the head with a bottle? I'm flat out scared to get my face slashed by someone that didn't like my opinion. Is this far-fetched? Maybe

The thing is, while this probably, very likely *knock on wood* won't happen to me, there's always the possibility. The easiest solution would be to only work with big publishers then and completely cut off any contact with authors that isn't going through their publicists first. Well. I don't know if that really is a solution. 
  • I want to read indie books, 
  • I want to talk to authors, 
  • I want to see their reactions to nice reviews, 
... but there's always going to be this little voice inside my head that will tell me to keep this or that sentence out of my review.

It will tell me to censor my review a little more, which I definitely wouldn't have done if the book were offered to me through a publicist.

While I do know that not every author can afford a publicist and/or it doesn't make sense for everyone, sometimes I wish there was a puffer person. 


Am I weird or are you also awkward about getting review requests from authors?

Continue Reading...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Is It Okay To Post Negative Reviews?






A comment on a discussion post I did a while ago got me thinking - most people (myself included) read book blogs to discover great books to read.

But a huge part of being a book blogger is criticizing, not only praising the good stuff. To be fair,

I encounter more books that I dislike than books that I like. There are only a handful of books that I've given five stars, maybe five or six per 70 books I read.






Should We Just Keep Quiet About Disliking Stuff?

Especially on Goodreads, bad reviews are the ones that get the most likes. But if you're running an independent book blog, it doesn't seem to be welcome to dislike a lot of stuff, and certainly not the books that are popular right now. 
When I'm looking for a specific review of a book I read and liked, I personally want to see a well-balanced critique. Of course there is a difference between disliking something and being rude about it and writing a critique.

I was told that it's better for book bloggers to showcase good books than critique bad ones, especially you're a picky reader.
If we all collectively stopped doing negative reviews in order to avoid stepping on people's toes, I for example wouldn't be able to accept books for review anymore.

...and If We Did That It Would Also Mean...

No More Review Copies
A huge chunk of the books I review here were sent to me for review. I always promise my honest opinion. But were I to only publish positive reviews, I would stop accepting review copies altogether. It doesn't seem fair to me to receive a book for the purpose of reviewing it and then not doing it, simply because you disliked it.

No More Feedback
With the negative reviews gone, authors wouldn't get feedback anymore. How then do they sell their books? I wouldn't buy a book that only has five-star reviews. 

No More Credibility
Do you trust blogs that only rate books four or five stars? I'd think to myself after the fifteenth five star review that something must be wrong. I'd think that the reviews are paid for or the reviewer has no idea what they're doing. Liking stuff is fine and all, but can you really like everything?


In Consequence:

I'm still going to post negative reviews. And I'm still going to rate books zero stars and state that I don't like stuff. As long as I'm doing it respectfully, I don't really see what's wrong with that.


What do you think? 
Do you post negative reviews?

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to Get Your Book Reviewed As An Indie Author - An Angry Guide by an Annoyed Blogger




Don't you love logging into your email account in the morning and seeing two dozen emails in there from authors asking you to review your books? 

It's nice that people think of my little blog to review their book. But you know what's not nice? 

If 80% of these requests are mass emails sent out by authors who are just sending out emails to every single book blog they can find.

Is it so hard to read my review policy? 

Do you think I write a review policy because it's so much fun? 



REVIEWING is actual work!

Do you know how much time goes into writing a review? Do you know how much time goes into reading a book? I know, writing a book is even harder, but we bloggers don't have endless time on our hands. We have jobs, we have families, we have lives. And we certainly aren't dying to read every single thing we can get our hands on. 

If you're seeking reviews, we're providing (a usually) free service for you. There are blogger who charge fees in the three digits so that you have the privilege to only SUBMIT to them. There are authors who actually pay the $400 fee that a certain very renowned site asks for if you want a review full of lies praising the brilliance of your book. 
Be glad the majority of us doesn't do this. But you know what - sometimes I regret that I'm too honest and kind to have the imposition to charge for reviews.

I mean, what do we get from this? Maybe a review copy, maybe pleasure if your book happens to match our taste. Why is it then that so many authors don't treat bloggers like they would a business partner? Why are we just those book-deprived slaves that should be glad to be offfered the brilliant book you wrote?

Mistake #1: Mass Emails

I swear to God, if I see another email that's not even addressed to me, slapping a pitch into my face for a book that's not even remotely close to the genres I read, I'm probably going to lose it. 

Do you realize that bloggers talk to each other? That you can easily get a bad reputation for sending out only a few of those mass emails?

If you send an email like that, ignoring review policies and personal preferences to the wrong blogger, you can earn a seriously bad reputation.

If you're not respecting us, why do you think we should respect you?

Mistake #2: Pretending to read my blog

Oh, you're a big fan of my blog? You even follow me on other social media sites? Why is it then that you sent me a request for a genre that I have never and will never read, even if the world ends tomorrow?

Do you think we can't tell if people lie to our faces? Would you say to my face that you're a big fan of my work, too? Do you really think that it makes a difference?

At the end of the day it comes down to your book if I wanna review it, not what you say beforehand. 
Don't lie. Just don't lie.
Leave that personalized first line of your pitch blank. 

If you're going to be rude, just go for the offending a blogger hattrick: Not addressing to me, not reading my policy, not even attempting to personalize the email. SCORE!


Mistake #3: Thinking we owe you anything

Bloggers are not your slaves, dear independent authors out there. I know it's #NotAllAuthors, but there are enough of you to make me write this passive aggressive post. 

I've had authors curse at me for declining their requests, I've had people spam and repeatedly request reviews when I didn't reply after 24 hours, and I've had people specifically ask me to justify saying no when they couldn't even bother to read my review policy.


Mistake #4: Links. Links Everywhere

If you're going to write a generic email, why not go overboard directly. Address it to nobody, just pitch your book and send me a bunch of links.

Do you really think I'm going to click on these? Come on. 


...

Bloggers have a huge impact on the readers out there - the readers that you want to read and buy your books. My advice is to treat us like business partners, like human beings, and to offer us deals that we benefit from, too. Why should we read and review a book, just because you wrote it? What kinda logic is that? 

You know what the consequence is? Some bloggers simply won't accept requests from indie authors anymore. Some bloggers will write even more detailed review policies. Review policies that you're not going to read anyway, because what the hell, one of the 300 people you just emailed might reply, right?


What I wish to see:
  • Honesty. If you didn't read my review policy, tell me so I can delete your email right away and save my time. Your email will be deleted anyways because I can tell that you didn't read my policy.
  • Read my policy. For the love of God, please just read my policy, oh my god.
  • People addressing emails to my name
  • People actually sending me requests for books I want to read



Are you frustrated with the emails you get lately, too? 

Any advice? Aside from taking a lot of Advil before opening my email account?

Continue Reading...
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