I decided to start reviewing books a few months ago and have now started blogging my reviews. In part, this decision was driven by my interest to launch a side business doing editing and proofreading of books by my Indie Author colleagues.
Another part of the decision stems from joining the LibraryThing Early Reviewers (LTER) program. I've begun receiving ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) of books from both Traditional and Indie Publishers and will start filling my Tuesday Tips with book reviews of some of those.
In addition to these book blogging considerations, I'm still asked about a feature I ran last year, in 2011, my Freebie Friday blog where I featured and promoted 3 Indie Authors a week (none of whom were myself under any of my pen names *ggg*). That feature got such a positive response (being a win/win/win) that I still get requests for its return and I'm working on figuring out how to phase it back in.
For now, here's how my Author Features will work: I'll dedicate a Tuesday Tip to featuring an Indie Author - one per feature, a spotlight. This is different than how I ran it previously in that the Freebie Friday feature's greatest strength was the "power of the collective." Each of the 3 authors in the group would point to my blog post, so everyone's readers got to see the other two's books as well as their own. This resulted in all 3 of the group featured each week benefitting from every bit of promotion. I tried to cluster like-kind genres together or at least, complementary genres, so readers would be likely to try all the books featured, not just one.
I might return to that format in a few months but for now, the Author Feature will be a solo feature. Like I did with Freebie Friday, I'll limit Author Features to one per customer per six (6) months (i.e., two (2) per year max). If you've already appeared on my blog this year, the next request is the last one until next calendar year.
Okay, so how do you get featured and what does "getting featured" get you? Here are my requirements to participate. Please address ALL of the four (4) of the following points, A through D, in your request to be featured.
A) Completed Works Only, Online Access Required
You must have a completed book or short story (or collection of poems) and it must be available online where my readers can sample your work or get a copy (for money or for free).
It's fine if your book has a paper version available for sale, but you'll need to have at least one link (URL) where the work can be viewed online or downloaded by potential customers. I'll test-click your link(s), so please be sure they work before you give them to me. Authors with broken links will be dropped from the queue (not featured). If you have multiple links, that's fine but I need one to be a "primary" source for obtaining your work. Please specificy which one is "the" one for you.
To be honest, if you are selling your book, I prefer multiple links from multiple eTailers to give my readers multiple choices. For instance, links to all of the following which apply would be great. I'll use the icons shown here to link to your book directly (i.e., I'll modify the link address so clicking on the icon will go to your book for your feature).
Links to your book if it's for free (not for sale) might include all/some of the following (as well as other sites):
B) Description (Marketing Blurb)
You must be able to describe your work in about 25 words (or less). I won't do a word count, but 500 or even 100 words is pretty obviously not the same as one or two paragraphs. I'm just looking for a short blurb. If you have a book on sale, you've probably already written one of these anyway. If you have a book page already created, with a short description on it, just point me to your book page and I'll use that description. If it's not well-written, I reserve the right to edit your descriptive paragraph. If I do, you are welcome to use the edited version without asking my prior permission (it's a gift) ^)^ Please provide the bio with your request to be featured.
C) Author Bio
You must have either a prepared biography you can provide me or be willing to write a little something about yourself for my post. This is in addition to being interviewed if you choose to do that. Think in terms of a block of text that describes you and your writing--or just you and your wife, dog and kids. For instance, I'm single with no kids (and alas, no dog) so my RABMAD (Read a Book, Make a Difference) bio just talks about me. Your bio can say anything you'd like. It'd be nice to have a photo of yourself (a head shot is typical but as you can see from mine, any photo will work). Please provide a small image (or link where I can get an image) when you submit your request to be featured.
D) Have a Plan of Action
You must know what you want to do. I cannot decide for you how you want to promote your book. I can offer a variety of options from which you can choose (see below) but ultimately, it's your choice. Assuming I am offering what you choose, I'll do what you select. Period. No more, no less. Requirement "D" is to choose at least one from the list below. You can choose more than one but must choose at least one.
For each option below, you must participate in the promotion of your own work. I'm willing to pour time, effort and energy into this but you must do so as well. If you're not willing to commit to participating in your own promotion, please don't bother contacting me. You won't get anything good out of this and you'll have wasted my time (as well as preventing someone else from getting the chance to be featured that week). Karma is a bitch--and she wears spiky high heels! See my Webbiegrrl Legs if you're not sure what Karma looks like ^)^
Choices for an Author Feature
Pick one (or several combined) and specify which you want in your request to be featured.
1) Just the Facts (Interview)
I'll send you a list of questions and give you a schedule (time and date) by which you'll need to provide your answers to me (via email). If you'd like to have your interview be a promotional complement to a book launch, I'd suggest you combine this with option #2 and plan at least 3 months ahead. If you are asking me to read and review your book, I'll customize the questions to the book after I've read it. This will mean your lead time to answer the questions will be very short. If you just want to be interviewed (no book review), I can use some generic Q&A designed to tell readers a little bit about you as an author. They are the same generic Q&A you see on book blogs everywhere. The customization option resulting from reading/reviewing your book makes your interview a little more interesting to readers.
2) The Reviews Are In! (I read + review your book)
If you want me to review your book, you'll need to provide me with a free copy (ePub or PDF preferred but I can also take Kindle if I must). This is idea for someone who's had a book out a while and needs to get fresh reviews. It's also a good option for you if your book is done or mostly done and you want to get reviews for/during the launch period.
Launch reviews: Don't worry if your book's not polished when I read it. So long as I know I'm reading a pre-release copy (eARC), I'll note that in the review and ignore the editorial errors based on the assumption you'll be correcting those things.
NOTE: I also provide editorial services and can combine my reading of your book for review purposes with my reading of your book for editorial purposes but you'll need to pay me for the editorial services. Straight reviews (no editing) are free and never for pay (unless you count the cost of the book). Just be explicitly clear in your submission whether you would like me to read/review an eARC or a final book, and if eARC, please provide the expected release date of the final.
I would also appreciate receiving a free copy of the final so that I can update my review later with comments on the changes you make.
3) Book Launch
If your book is not yet released but is due to be released in the next six (6) months, a review timed to coincide with the launch can really help you out. Ever wonder where traditionally published books get all those reviewers quotes you see printed on the cover? It's from providing reviewers (such as myself) with a pre-release copy of the book, which is called an ARC or Advance Reader Copy. For eBooks it's called an eARC.
If you send me a free eARC, we can schedule your feature to coincide with your book's launch. You'll need to plan far ahead, but knowing you'll have a book review coming out at the time of your book launch gives you an opportunity to do advance promotion. You might want to combine an Author Interview and maybe even a giveaway with the launch to make this a big event and then promote the event using my blog's Giveaways Page. Once I get my queue under control, I'll be drawing up a schedule of future events and will list yours on it.
NOTE: If your book is not going to be edited and "ready for prime time" until the very last minute, this is probably not an option for you. This is an option for those who want to create a "media blitz" for a book on a known (reliable) release schedule. A book launch event can be scheduled for anytime within 30 days before or after the actual release date and still be considered its "launch" event.
If you would like to give away a copy or copies of your book(s), I'll expect you to participate in advance promotion of the event and obviously, you'll have to have the gifts to give away. I'd like to use a free app such as Rafflecopter which works behind the walled Facebook garden and also has a widget I can/will install on my blog's Giveaways Page, but I can do a giveaway in other forums as well. Goodreads, for instance, has a built-in giveaway function.
5) Customized for the Special Snowflake that is You.
I can do something completely different that you dream up and define with me on a customized, personal basis. Just pitch me your idea in the initial contact. Be sure to have all of your book information assembled and included in the intial contact if you're going to ask for a special, customized event. I won't be able to invest the time and effort planning a marketing and promotional event with you if you haven't got your book's information together yet. If you have it all assembled, just be sure to list out A through D above and pitch me your idea about the event you'd like me to help you run.
Please provide ALL of the information requested in A through D above and select one of the options I proposed or describe your own idea then email it all from the email address at which you want to receive a reply. The contact for me is webbiegrrlwriter and that's at the gmail dot com domain. I'm spelling out the email address conversationally, rather than making it a link, to avoid SPAMMERS who harvest email links from blogs. Please "whitelist" or add my address to your contacts so I don't get filtered into your SPAM box when I reply.
Please note that submissions which are incomplete (do not include A through D) or which submit an unfinished work (inappropriate) or one for which you do not hold the copyrights (illegal) all fall into the category of submissions which I shall ignore. If you do not receive a reply, either you failed to provide your email address, failed to add my address to your contacts (and your spam filters deleted my response) or failed to comply with the requirements at the top of this post.
Repeated requests which are incomplete or otherwise invalid, will be blocked as a spammer (IOW, asking 5 times for something I don't offer won't get you a different answer, sorry, and you'll be flagged on top of it).
Please be patient. I might take as long as 3 days to get back to you. Please don't email again. That won't get a quicker reply and might get you banned as a SPAMMER. Assuming you included all of the information requested in A through D above, I'll reply. I promise!
I hope to have my queue straightened out and scheduled soon, after which I'll post it here on the blog so you can see how far out I'm booked and what dates there are from which to choose. In my reply to your initial request, I'll also include an estimated schedule for when you could be featured and ask you to confirm if that's still okay.
I know some people read that I am scheduled 3 months out but don't really understand when that is, exactly. (As I write this in November of 2012, I'm looking at Februrary or March of 2013 for the next scheduled feature).
Return to the Welcome Page
Thanks for your interest in being featured on my Webbiegrrl Writer blog. I look forward to this new feature and hope it helps generate a lot of new interest in the future best sellers out there, waiting to be discovered. Click here to return to the home page of the blog.