Hello everyone! Confident Reads is a way to open communication between readers and indie authors. This is to help readers feel confident in the books they spend their money on, and for authors to feel confident in the book they publish. You can find this feature each week (Wednesdays except in September when it will be Tuesdays) discussing a different subject regarding indie books and authors.
Week One: State of Publishing Guest Post by Jeff Bennington about the differences in publishing terms.
Approved Read: Indie Author's Guide to the Universe by Jeff Bennington
Week Two: Let's Talk Covers Part One
Approved Read: Exiled by M.R. Merrick
Week Three: Let's Talk Covers Guest Post by M.R. Merrick- The Magic of Art
Approved Read: Entangled & Duplicity by Nikki Jefford
Approved Read: A Place in This Life by Julie Rieman Duck
Last week we talked about what we want in a review request. Now we need to talk about what should be in a review policy. Since I started booking tours and doing book promotions for authors I have read a lot of policies. And I have a good idea of what should be there. Now, this is just my opinion and perhaps some authors have a different opinion. And traditional publicists are probably even more specific. So this week's post is a bit different then usual, but I think it's important so I decided to do it anyway. Sorry about it being more of an advice post then a discussion post.
When I am looking up review policies for the purpose of finding reviewers or tour hosts what I want to see has all of this:
- First it needs to exist. Lots of blogs don't have one. I don't care how many followers you have, have a review policy, even if it's just in the About Me section.
- Have the review policy easy to find and clearly labeled.
- Include your email. I understand that some want you to read the About Me section to get it, or click to a Contact section. I get this, but still prefer to not have to search for the email.
- Include what age groups (children's, middle grade, YA, and adult) you read. And if you have a preference for certain ones.
- Include what genre's you enjoy and even what you don't enjoy. This is surprisingly helpful and will help you get less requests in genre's you don't read.
- Include what formats you can accept.
- If you live outside the US include that as well.
- If you only accept books published in your country and you live outside the US, it's helpful to let us know this.
- Say you accept indie, self published and small press books. Okay, obviously you can say you don't accept them as well. But if you don't accept them just because you're booked, say so. When it says you don't accept indie or self published books it sounds like you don't support them.
- This isn't completely necessary, but if you do (or don't do) author interviews, guest posts, etc, say so. It can be helpful. There are a surprising amount of blogs out there that don't do them and it always feels awkward getting an email back saying that they don't. I feel like I should know that already.
- Tell us a bit about your reviewing. If you post DNF (did not finish) reviews, if you rate on a scale or don't rate at all, etc. And if you review everything you get.
- Include some stats. I'm no expert on this, but I include monthly visitors, absolute unique visitors, feed subscribers, email subscribers, monthly page views, twitter followers and GFC followers. These are the same stats I send to publishers.
- Have your name somewhere. Some people prefer to not have their name on their blog, so sign it with your 'name' you want used. So many times I have searched and searched for a name to address my email to and it can be very time consuming. I know people like to be addressed by name, so make it easy to find!
- It's also nice to have is a list of other sites you post reviews on. This is especially helpful if you have a new blog and few readers because authors find it well worth their time and money to still provide a book for review if they know it will be reviewed other places.
- Last but not least, try to not get too wordy. This is a lot of info to post, but if it's TOO long it's too easy to skim.
Approved Read: This weeks approved indie read is What a Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn. I just reviewed this one the other day (HERE) and really enjoyed it! It's another young adult contemporary, but this was a light read that pulled me right out of my reading funk!