I love to read and review stories by independent writers. I want to support writers, especially since I’m still trying to write stories of my own. I know how appreciative independent writers can be when they earn a good review. That said, this blog entry is to let writers (and readers) know a little bit more about how, and what, I choose to review. Also, I will let you know the best ways to work with me to get a review. My indie reviews seem to bring the most traffic to my blog, so I’d love to keep doing them.
I’ve reviewed independent books, independent games, and I’ve even reviewed a non-independent game as part of a nostalgic blog entry, because it was something that inspired me. My focus, however, is on independent stories.
Since my art of choice is writing, I like to support other independent writers. The biggest issue with writing reviews for independent writers is time. It takes time to read a story, and it takes time to write the review. If I want to keep my personal standard of writing at least one new blog entry every week, I’m not going to be able to make each entry a book review. Sometimes, I might be able to write a review based on something I’ve already read, watched, or played, but I couldn’t possibly keep up with reading/writing reviews, and still continue with my own projects.
Therefore, I try to be picky when it comes to writing reviews. You might be saying, “Gee, you sure don’t seem very picky. You review some of the same writers over and over again.” That’s true; one reason, is simply because I know these writers have good content. I network with them, know their potential, and choose to support them. Another reason is financial availability. I will not choose to review a book that I think might be overpriced. People go to independent writers because they want value, and good content. If I spend more money reviewing books than I make selling them, I’m not making a smart financial decision. More often, I only choose to review independent books that are given to me free.
This is where something should be made clear: I do not give good reviews in exchange for free reads. I have read books full of errors, and that’s a deal-breaker for me. Did I write a bad review of that book? No, I didn’t. Although I don’t exchange reviews for free books, I don’t choose to write bad reviews, either. It’s a choice I made early on. I write reviews to help independent writers, so for me, writing negative reviews is a waste of time. On the other hand, I believe there is a potential reader for every book. If your book makes sense, doesn’t contain tons of grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, isn't confusing, and is interesting enough to hold my attention, I'll probably give it a review.
There is a reason why I always write, “Who will like this book.” It’s because certain books aren’t for everyone. Instead of bashing the story because it doesn’t fall into the category of my normal reading material, I let readers know who would enjoy the book. It’s safe to say that, if a book has kept me entertained enough to finish reading it, and I write a review for it, it was worth the time I spent with it.
I’m also fond of saying, “Personally,” and then following that up with why I was entertained enough to finish the book and write a review. With this section, I usually try to shed some insight on why I chose to review a particular book, and what personally kept me entertained. It’s about my personal taste in stories, and what I think other people might also enjoy.
Have a story that you want reviewed? Get in touch with me. I’ll let you know if your book is something I might like, and I’ll make sure to let you know if I can review it. If there are numerous errors in your book, I’ll let you know. You have the option of fixing the mistakes, and I have the option of reviewing something else. It’s that simple.
Also, I can’t promise to write a review by a certain day, but I’m willing to discuss postponing a review if it helps your marketing strategy. I’d like to have some reviews stored away just in case I get too busy to write one. It feels good to have a backlog, just in case.
To get in touch with me through email, please use email@example.com
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If you’re interested in downloading free samples of my two short stories (more to come soon, hopefully), please check out Disclosure, and The Journal of the Missing Day.