I think I spotted a ray of hope for self-publishers this morning.
A lot of days I sit at my computer doing nothing more than trying to get people to pay attention to me. And not in a fun, “Look at me I’m wearing a lampshade on my head!” sort of way. In a repetative, mindless, grind known as cold-emailing.
I have numerous Google Alerts set up for terms that have something to do with my books: “Urban Fantasy,” “Independent Reviewers,” “Genre Tweaking Novels Where a Ronin Saves a Roman Slave From Being Burned to Death by Isaac Newton.”
Surprisingly that last one doesn’t prompt a lot of responses.
What I do get a lot of, though, are blogs and sites which review books or interview authors. And I sit here and send off email after email asking for reviews or an interview or a write-up. And then nothing happens.
It’s awesome. Really. Tons of fun.
This seemed like a great idea to me when I started, and it still seems like a necessary panning for gold sort of task, but very quickly the sites I was coming across began to fall into three categories.
They were either:
1. Tiny blogs with few readers who were happy to promote any book that anyone emailed to them.
2. Gibberish spewed by lunatics and organized by a somewhat artistically inclined orangutan.
3. A large, well-established blog that would take review requests but *would never review self-published titles.*
This last category always killed me. I mean, I know why they don’t review self-published books. Self-published books suck for the most part. I stand proudly in a class of authors that could be out-written by a somewhat artistically inclined orangutan if he wasn’t so swamped with requests to design new websites.
Except…except there are also authors like me. Authors who are self-published by choice. Authors who have a growing base of loyal fans because we take our work seriously, know what we’re doing, and are simply a natural offshoot of a massively flooded book market. Some of us with talent were bound to try out this self-publishing thing.
But the fact that this choice automatically shuts me out from some of the larger reviewing blogs is irritating and I always think that it would be nice if there were some caveats to their review requirements. Go read my reviews on Amazon; those are real and barely any are from people I know. But no amount of stars, no number of quotes, nothing gets past that wall of *we do not review self-published titles.*
And that’s not good for anyone. These rules have to change because more and more of us authors are trying end-arounds behind traditional publishers and, while much of the resulting pile will likely remain crap, some of that pile is going to be quality work published in a manner that will be commonplace in a decade.
So, basically the world needs to change in order to make me right. No problem.
But then, this morning, DUN DUN DUNNNN…I came across this site:
Their review policy reads as follows: “Previously we had a policy of not reviewing any self published books on the blog. This has now changed. We will be reviewing self published books, but we will only be reviewing copies that we have solicited or bought ourselves. This is due to the vast number of self published titles that are out there.”
So I still can’t technically approach them with my book, but they do review self-published novels!
Not even close.
Smells a bit like it, yes.