Saturday, February 8, 2014

Inviting Indie Authors to Submit Their Works for Review - Please Read All

Indie writers are welcome to submit their works as long as they understand a few things…
(Skip to Minute details to check if you write in a genre I review.)

The Fine Print:
  1. “Willing to read and review” does NOT translate to “you automatically get a 5-Star glowing review.” I write honest reviews and post them on amazon. If I super-like your book, I might even get my lazy self to sign into Goodreads and post a review there, too. I’ve currently written 506-ish reviews on amazon and am ranked somewhere in the mid 7000’s. So, obviously, a lot of people don’t agree with my reviews. You look at any popular series and you’ll find a ton of 5-Star reviews, but you’ll also find plenty of negative reviews. People’s reading tastes vary. It keeps life interesting. 
  2. Don’t expect speedy results. My blanket warning right now is that it could take 2-4 months between when I get the book to when I can post a review. Why? I have a fulltime job. I write. Amazon stuff now has set time wherein I must receive the product and review it. I am a very slow reader. Announcing that I’ll take indie submissions is probably going to break an email dam somewhere and flood my in-box. I’ll try to get back to everybody, but no promises. People who are already on my TBR list will stay where they are, everybody else will stack up after previous obligations. (I’m 80% through 1 and have 4 more on the list.)
  3. Don’t get offended. You might need some tough skin. I’ve actually only had one super horrible reviewing experience. Upon the author’s request, I read a horror novella that had a ton of 5-Star reviews and could only give it a 2 because it hit nearly every major annoyance on my list. The author then called me a jerk and got 20 friends to dislike my review. People like that are definitely encouraged to go elsewhere. As an indie writer, I’ve learned which things drive me crazy. If your book hits enough of those pet peeves, I’ll quit. There are too many good books out there and not enough time to read them. In short, I’m a very picky reader. I’ll try to be nice when I review, but if I cannot connect quickly with your work, I will likely stop reading. If I can’t honestly give you 3 stars, I will likely (no guarantees) send you my review directly, even if I’ve stopped reading, and ask whether you’d like it posted or not.
Read some of my reviews if you want to get a feel for my style. In either case, you’ll get exact reasons why and where I didn’t connect with your story.

Some pet peeves in no particular order:
  • Wooden dialogue – There’s a natural rhythm to how people speak. If your dialogue makes me think - “See spot run. Spot runs fast because Spot likes running.” 5-Star review dreams will die rather quickly.
  • Characters I don’t like/ can’t connect with – If your protagonist is a total jerk, I’m probably not going to fall in love with your book.
  • Graphic depictions of violence – Violence is a part of life and it makes for some darn good stories, but there is a good and a bad way to handle it. Describing how the vic’s intestines looked … (yeah, you get the idea). It ain’t pretty, and I don’t want to read about it.
  • Overabundance of foul language – If your characters can’t say more than 4-letter words, stop reading, I’m not the reviewer for you.
  • Gratuitous sex scenes
  • Vampires, especially sparkly ones
  • Poor grammar – Not every indie author has the funds to hire a professional editor. I get it. I’ve been you. My first book is absolutely riddled with mistakes. Did I mention I’ve learned a lot since I started writing? You live, you learn, you get better at what you do. A few grammatical mistakes can be expected. Heck, traditionally published, fully edited books still come out with mistakes in them. Publishers and their minions are only human, too. That said, if your first chapter makes me cringe, your books headed for my poodoo list.
Still want to request a review?

Minute Details:

Page/word count considerations: novellas welcomed; novels are okay too (less than or = to 100K words preferred) If you get much larger than that, I probably won't be able to read it in a timely manner and my idea of timely is quite loose already.
  • Genres I love/ usually read: YA, science fiction, Christian historical fiction, mystery
  • Genres I generally enjoy but may not always read: thriller, middle grade, fantasy
  • Genres I avoid/ rarely read: nonfiction, paranormal (zombie clause)
  • Genres I never read: erotica, romance
But wait! I wrote a thrilling sci-fi mystery/adventure/romantic comedy aimed at people from 9-99 …
No, you didn’t. Narrow that down.

What I ask in return:
Read my 2014 goal and consider helping out by checking out those charities or at least like the FB page so I’ll donate more this year. It’s meant as a challenge to you to challenge me if that makes any sense.

If you can identify with my goal and would like to read and review Ashlynn’s Dreams, email what ebook version you’d like (pdf, mobi, epub). This is NOT a review for a review. There’s no guarantee that you’ll like what I write, or I’ll like what your write. I’ve had people tell me they just couldn’t connect, and though it stings, I take it with a “that’s life” attitude. I’ve also had at least one kid tell me it was awesome. That means the world to me.

If your book falls in a genre you think I’ll enjoy, email your request to
  1. Email subject: Review request: 'Book Title'
  2. Don’t send your book right away!
  3. In your review request send me the genre, pitch and/or back cover copy.
If I’m interested, I’ll ask for pdf and mobi versions. I do a lot of reading on my desktop computer, but I hold high hopes for one day figuring out how to get my kindle to play nice and accept things I email to myself.

Why am I doing this? Indie authors are awesome, and I’m tired of reading popular review blogs only accepting traditionally published works. I get it, a lot of indie books are rough around the edges or just plain awful, but there are diamonds among the coal. I aim to find the diamonds.

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