Monday, July 20, 2015

Please Don't Offend My work ethic. Or, One Indie Author's take on a Blogger's Review Policy

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” – Ray Bradbury

This past week, I’ve put a lot of time into seeking out potential reviewers for my second book, One Fling to Rule Them All, (which can be purchased by clicking on the blue linked text of the title, just sayin. ). It’s a long and kind of tedious process that goes something like this.

Step 1: Find a long-ish list of book blogs
Step 2 – Go through the blogs on the list individually, paying special attention to their review policy and any other pertinent information (Some do not have a review policy, which is fine. Others do not have easily found guidelines, but that’s a post for another time.)
Step 3 – Determine if each blog a). reviews your genre, and b). would be a good fit by looking at a few reviews
Step 4 – If the blog is a good fit, locate contact information (again, sometimes more easily found than others) and drop blogger a line in preferred method
Step 5 – Wait.

I know. Fun, right? Lately, my days have looked something like this.

Step 1 – Wake up and proceed with morning activities (eat, get dressed, practice personal hygiene, etc.)
Step 2 – Use the late morning and early afternoon to hunt down and (when possible) email bloggers
Step 3 – Have some form of lunch
Step 4 – Write at least a thousand words to keep the writing monster happy
Step 5 – Do any other miscellaneous things that need doing (i.e. Laundry, errands, cleaning, etc.)
Step 6 – Eat some form of dinner
Step 7 – Possibly go back to the blogger hunt
Step 8 – Sleep so this can be repeated the following day


Despite how this list looks, I actually don’t mind the process. Asking bloggers to review my book gives me a sense of doing. I’m accomplishing something small every time my email comes back with “your message has been sent.” The waiting is less fun, but let me tell you. Any irritation caused is instantly made better by the receipt of an email that says something like “Your book looks awesome. I’d love to review it.” That’s every writer’s dream right there. Well, one of our dreams.

However, with the good comes the bad. Most review bloggers say similar things in their policy—I cannot accept every book; I may not finish every book I do accept; my reviews are honest; I may post negative reviews—that’s fine. Authors understand that not everyone will love everything they read. (At least, authors should understand this.) We prepare for one star reviews. It’s part of life.

What shouldn’t be part of life, however, is unnecessary rudeness. I’ve seen cases over the years of authors flipping tables because of bad reviews. That’s not okay. Neither okay, though, is the idea that a review policy can insult writers. Without saying names, I came across a review policy that said something like “I refuse to read self-published books because I like good writing.”


K, back up the wagon. Yes, self-publishing has given everyone (and I mean everyone) the opportunity to publish a book. Yes, many self-published authors do not take the time to get their books beta read, proof read, edited, provided cover art, or any of the other little things that make a book good. And yes, bloggers certainly have the right to not accept Indie authors. It’s the same right that allows them to not accept science fiction or mystery—they don’t want to.

But book bloggers, it is not (repeat NOT) okay to insult the entire Indie author population because you’ve read a few badly done Indie books. There is an entire community out there of self-published authors who know what they are doing and produce products that are written and packaged as well than traditionally published books. There are Indie writers who take just as much time learning the craft of writing than traditionally published authors. There are freelance editors out there who are just as good than editors who work at major publishing houses. There are cover artists, layout artists, publicists, translators—you name it, the Indie world’s got it—that do just as well as the people working in big companies. If you don’t want to read Indie books, fine. But do not, for a moment, presume to insult the Indie authors who work because a few choose not to.

Thank you,
An Indie author who puts effort and time into her books
Deanna Dee

-Twitter @DDGeekWriter


  1. As a book reviewer, I found this really interesting! Personally, I'd never considered having the need for a policy - I read the books, and review them honestly! If I struggle to complete a book, I contact the author informing them of this and ask if they'd still like me to review it only on what I've read so far - it's their choice! I see it as an honour to be the first (in many cases) to read a new book and love sharing my thoughts not only on my own blog, but also Amazon etc too. I have a good relationship with many of the authors I've reviewed for and would never be rude as I respect each of them and appreciate that all writing styles are different. It's quite interesting seeing things from the authors perspective so thank you for sharing and if you ever need a book reviewed, I'm always keen and always willing :)

  2. While everyone's entitled to their own opinion, seeing the hate that self-published authors get makes me so disappointed in the blogging community sometimes. Yes, there are *tons* of indie authors that could really benefit from beta readers or editors or what have you. Just like you point out, though, there are also *plenty* of indie authors that work their asses off to produce a book worthy of traditional publishing houses. Whether you publish yourself or have a company do it for you, you wrote a book! You should be proud.

    Personally, I LOVE reading books from indie authors. I love connecting with people and their work that I wouldn't otherwise have chance to. A large number of my favorite books over the past few years come from authors that have self-published.

    Basically, I just wanted to let you know that not all bloggers dislike indie authors. Some of us are actually rather fond of you. :)