Thursday, January 06, 2011

Thoughts on Reviewing to Start the New Year -- c.anne.gardner

So you want us to review your book. I mean, most writers stumble onto our site because we review Indie published books and they have written one they would like reviewed. Most readers come to our site to read our reviews and our commentary on the art of self-publishing, so the real question Indie authors must ask themselves before they query us is: Why? Why should we review your book out of all the queries we receive each week? Shit, I'm an Indie writer and I ask myself that same question when I am querying for reviews, and the answer to that question lies in your query letter. We ask that authors seeking reviews send us a brief query and stipulate what formats they are offering, and the majority of queries we see fall very short of answering the why question.

So what are we looking for in a query? The answer to that is pretty much the same as any agent's or publisher’s. To make it simple, here is what we want:

Start with a hello and then give us the title, the format, the genre, and a link to your book, preferably, somewhere our reviewers can read a preview. No preview, no review. Don't make us hunt down your book because we won't.

Then gives [yes, gives was a joke not a typo] us your hook, the short sentence or two that's going to grab us and make us want to give it a look-see. After that, give us a mini-synopsis telling us what the book is about, a brief plotline, if you will, and lastly, tell us about yourself. Include any links to your website, blog, facebook page, whatever.

That's it. Three short paragraphs. That's all we need. Another option is to just send us your press release with a link to the book.

Queries without a link to the book and queries with typographical and/or grammatical errors are automatically rejected. If your query sounds illiterate, it doesn't say much for your book.

As for what we review, well, we have pretty wide-ranging tastes, so I will give you the short list of what we DON'T review:

We don't review YA Books
We don't review Children's Books
We don't review Self-Help Books or How-to Books unless they are about writing or self-publishing.
We don't review Memoirs, although I have in the past, but it has to be very edgy and transgressive.

Everything else is open to debate. So get that query in shape and send it along. We are always open to queries, but keep in mind, there are only three of us here. We are always looking for reviewers, but as it stands now, we have limited time and resources, so even if you do get accepted for review, it might take as long as 6 months before your review will post. We wish we could review more and faster, but we all have careers and our own writing, so we do the best we can. We are the longest running Self-publishing and Indie Review Blog, Preditors and Editors recommended. So here's to another year of Indie Literature.

Cheryl Anne Gardner

Photo Credit: “Good Question” e-magic @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

Diabetic Snacker Reviews said...

I'm always on the lookout for books to review on my blog. I also like to review cookbooks.