As we all know, obtaining reviews for your self-published book is an important part of the marketing equation. The problem is finding out who will review your book (I'm going to reserve this article for independent, non-paid reviews only. I'll talk about the paid platforms in the future.)
(Before going further, let me just quickly state that I will, when time permits, write book reviews. One of my reviews, a look at Space Games, is up on this site and another for a new book, The Elixir is on the way. The submission guidelines are on the blog main page. )
But who will review your book and who won't? I'm currently submitting Rule-Set to several reviewer lists. I'll be capturing the replies/results and creating a spreadsheet that tracks who is actually doing reviews of self-published works and who isn't. I'll be posting this spreadsheet for free download as I build up the database. If you wish to contribute to the project, contact me at email@example.com
To kick off the projects, we can recommend not submitting to SF Signal (www.sfsignal.com). The site positions itself as a online "Fanzine." Also, don't bother with a print version, either. The website states that "Please note that due to immense backlog, we no longer review self-published and vanity press works." A review query letter elicited the following response:
"Thanks for considering SF Signal. Sadly, we are not accepting new books at this time -- we already have way more than we can read.
Review Submission Guidellines
Want me to review your book? You must join the Rule-Set mailing list and contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do NOT use the contact form for a review request; for press and publishers only. Your book can be a proof but ready for sale within 60 days.
Scifi/-fantasy only at this time. Make sure it's been professionally copyedited. If it's not, I'll know in about five pages and will reject the book. I don't mean to be a hump about it, but approximately 40% to 50% of the books I've received have had far too many typos, comma splices, misuse of dependent clauses, etc. (No, it doesn't have to be perfect. Most books have a few typos, including ones coming out of "traditional" publishing.) Your book cannot succeed in the market with such flaws and it's not fair to ask reviewers to read it in such a state.
I'll take a look at YA, but I'm not the best fit to that audience. PDF, Mobi, print all fine. If you have an author website you wish me to link to, please provide the URL. I don't charge and I also don't guarantee a good review!
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