Indie authors can’t usually get traditional reviews (unless we’re willing to pay for them — which to my mind means they’re no longer traditional reviews).
Instead, indie authors (as well as many traditional authors) depend on the kindness of book bloggers and fellow authors who write reviews or provide features for other authors’ books. Sometimes they are strangers; sometimes they are friends; often we are in the process of becoming friends as we head down the long road of marketing our books together.
Here are some of the appearances that I or my books have made on other authors’ or bloggers’ sites, presented with enormous gratitude for their generosity. They all offer you either interesting creative work of their own, or more great recommendations. Even better, many often post reviews at Amazon or GoodReads, too (sometimes across multiple Amazon sites).
Mary Maddox at her blog Ancient Children writes…
… Even the minor characters are complexly drawn. Particularly impressive is the treatment of the cop’s father. A less thoughtful writer would have made him the stereotypical fundamentalist Christian–intolerant, irrational, and unforgiving. As with much else in the novel, it’s not that simple.
The Awful Mess: A Love Story is an intelligent, entertaining novel that faces the truth about life’s difficulties without descending into bleakness.
Another review comes from British reader-and-reviewer extraordinaire Sue Ward, who (along with her friend Philomena Callan) run (invitation-only) Facebook page 2 Friends Promote Your Books with Us, a welcoming spot for indie authors. They are not writers themselves, simply readers, which makes their efforts on behalf of authors particularly generous.
At her blog Read Along with Sue, Sue writes:
…I was hooked from start to finish. The wife of a churchman I thought at the beginning was sick/ill, maybe she was in a certain kind of way, he was so very unhappy. Mary was so determined to remain as she was, the growing companionship between them was warm, slow and fulfilling. The handsome cop brought into the equation was explosive. The problems that fell from this for Mary [were] so well written.
Romance author Donna Fasano offers authors a very low-cost way to promote their titles at her blog Awesome Romance Novels, and I must say it’s one of the best bargains going. She wrote a wonderful blurb in conjunction with my Kindle Countdown Deal. Donna is also generous in many other ways, truly “paying it forward” to other authors.
Author Carmen DeSousa runs Great Books Great Deals, which generously offers indie authors a great way to get the word out about books that are new releases or “less than a latte.” Mine is just a little bit more expensive than that, and I’m seriously considering dropping the price just to continue to enjoy the generous exposure her site offers.
Author Linda Lee Williams was kind enough to run an interview with me at her Indie Lindy Author Blog.
Traditionally published author (and friend) Jenny Milchman also featured me in her blog Made It Moments, which highlights other authors as they achieve the long-nurtured dream of publication. Jenny (whose first book Cover of Snow was recently nominated for an Edgar) is particularly kind in including indie authors as well as traditional authors.
Lovely YA author Lisa Arrington helped me promote The Awful Mess in very early days, when I was trying to drum up some business in conjunction with Hunger Action Month.
(You may have noticed some of the earlier posts feature my first cover, before I got talented designer Damon Za on the case.)
This is the first time I’ve sat down to organize all these moments of generosity — sorry, that’s way overdue. This isn’t even counting some authors who’ve reviewed in great kindness, like Sarah Lane and E.L. Farris. I hope I haven’t left anyone out. If I have, please let me know! I’ll happily correct that oversight as quickly as I can.
Thank you for this post..You are so right. Its not easy to get a honest review. If I couldn’t give an honest review one where I actually read the entire book then I wouldn’t write one..