This is a post designed to aid indie authors in garnering reviews. It is an excerpt from the Amazon sample of Christine Pinheiro’s book, The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages: A Book Marketing Guide for Authors and Publishers.
I found this excerpt very helpful, and will use it to even further increase my own chances of getting reviewed.
One of the most disheartening things an indie author can hear is “sorry, we do not review self-published works.” And yet, everywhere we look in other forms of media creation — music, video, film — the indie media artist is a respected individual creator.
What is it about book publishing that brings out the selectiveness in reviewers?
One factor is the time it takes us to determine our interest in a book compared to, say, a few seconds of a song. In the case of books, there is both the package (design and formatting), as well as the writing itself. Another factor is the sheer number of books published each year. Popular reviewers have to have some kind of filter or criteria to automatically eliminate submissions.
INCREASING THE ODDS IN YOUR FAVOR
1. Your cover.
Make sure your cover is on par with the covers of the top-selling books in your category.
(My note: Personally, I struggled for years with covers. But no more. It’s not necessary! I’ll tell you why.
My secret weapon is a combination of Canva and Pixabay. They’re both entirely free to use [just be careful with Canva, because there are paid options]. Once, I even used Canstock, another excellent venue for images, but a paid one. Very reasonable, though, if you can’t find what you’re looking for on Pixabay.
So stop using that Kindle Cover Creator! It’ll do you in. Go to Canva, and make professional-looking covers.)
2. Your copyright page.
A. a disclaimer (legal notice)
B. ISBN info
C. contact info
D. Recognition of contributors (i.e., editor)
3. Your front and back matter.
(My note: This is not as relevant with e-books, given there are no page numbers, and no need to worry about incorrect Roman numerals, etc.)
4. Formatting, layout and design.
Basically, you need consistency of formatting — i.e., headings of the same font and size, consistent spacing and indentation, etc.
(My note: No-brainer, right? Who likes to read sloppy-looking books?)
5. Your metadata.
Metadata is the info about your book: title, subtitle, description, cover, price, size, weight.
(My note: Is this info consistent on all platforms? Is it the same on Amazon as it is in your review query? If not, you’ll look unprofessional.)
The recurring theme in all five of these categories is CARE. An author who cares enough about these details probably cares about their writing, as well. By not standing out as an amateur, the reviewer might not be so quick to dismiss your book.
Well, that about wraps it up! For an indie reviewers who are struggling to get reviews (myself included), I hope this helps.