Indie Author? Seeking Reviews? Read This.

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. 

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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

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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.

Include:

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.

Click here to have a look at The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages

Well, that about wraps it up! For an indie reviewers who are struggling to get reviews (myself included), I hope this helps.

Cheers,

C.M.

 

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21 thoughts on “Indie Author? Seeking Reviews? Read This.

  1. Does this yellow pages actually list reviewers details? And are they well known people because I’m a book reviewer and don’t know how professional a reviewer this book is referring to. I ask because I just wrote a blog post two days ago about how to contact reviewers including Amazon’s top reviewers (i am one) and one of the things that’s tricky is having details listed because they change so quickly.
    This is great advice by the way and definitely helps in a review request though it can also be hard to get a review if you word your request wrong or don’t have a book available in different reading formats etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I should have added that if a book just lists the blogs then that’s fine as authors can visit them and take a look but problems arise if just email addresses are listed. One Amazon reviewer in the UK has passed away but still they are getting review requests flooding their inbox.
    Great post though and I look forward to reading more, I came here through another site that shared your post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, and thank you for the follow too :). I don’t know if it’s of help to you or your readers but I’ve got the link to the post I wrote which might help some people with asking for reviews. (I would have left it before but I was on my phone when I last commented lol). I don’t know if it will help but some authors have enjoyed reading it:)
        https://happymeerkatreviews.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/respect-the-reviewer-2-how-to-find-contact-and-stay-on-the-good-side-of-reviewers/

        Liked by 1 person

    1. So far as I know, yes, you can use the images on covers. One author told me that models’ faces don’t have releases for book covers, but I use them anyway, because technically they’re licensed under Creative Commons, which is fair play for book covers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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