Getting Reviewed

When DreamPunk Press first published Dhampyr Heritage (by E. G. Gaddess), I tried to get ARC (Advanced Review Copies) that I could send to reviewers.  I used Lulu to get the ARCs as you can’t get but 5 proofs from Creatspace at a time.  They were okay, but they looked a little different from what I got from Createspace.

Once I had the ARCs, I had to find folks to read and review them.  I searched book review bloggers, but I had a hard time finding bloggers that would accept independently published novels.  Some sites were downright rude in stating it; others not so much.  But I did find some, inquired if they would like to read the novel, and sent out the ARCs to those who relpied yes.

In all, I sent out 11 books; I got three reviews (all good – but only three.)

I had purchased 25 ARCs; so I offered giveaways on Goodreads and Librarything.  I was more successful with getting reviews on these sites – but a word of warning, make certain the person receiving the book understands what an ARC is.  It truly was an ARC; I sent my proofreader a copy of the book to use (at her request), and she caught some errors that were corrected in the final version.  Some of my reviews on Goodreads slammed the few errors.

It was a learning process.

In January of this year, when DreamPunk Press released The Secret of Magik and Dragons (T. L. Frye), I tried a different route.  I didn’t ask for blog reviews.  I didn’t offer any giveaway (though we meant to – a family medical emergency got me off track.)  I did get one review and interview for the author, and included a quote from the reviewer (who happened to be a fellow author) for the back cover.

The results were not so good.

Book sales of The Secret of Magik and Dragons are much lower than Dhampyr Journey; and it can be attributed to the lack of reviews.

So, make sure you get reviews for your book.  Offer giveaways on Goodreads, Librarything, and Facebook.  Tell folks about the giveaways; use Twitter.  You need to get the word out as best you can.  And the best way to do that, is give away books to readers who will tell others about it.

Cost of Self-Publishing – Finding an Editor

Writer.ly.com shared an article on Facebook about the cost of self-publishing.  (See and read it here: http://www.writer.ly/community/how-much-does-it-cost-to-self-publish-a-book/.)  It is an interesting article, and with my own, personal experience publishing as E. G. Gaddess and T. L. Frye, it got me thinking:  It’s time to post about editing. 

I’m an editor of technical documents in “real life”, so I know a little about editing.  But I still can’t edit my own work.  And neither should you.  We’re too close to it.  We see what we want to see.  It is our baby and it is perfect.

And, when we have someone else edit, we have to be willing to listen to what they have to tell us.  Just like workshopping a manuscript, it’s a collaboration , and you need to communicate any concerns with your editor.  If you think a recommendation is bunk, explain what you were trying to get across; maybe you weren’t as clear as you thought and they can help.  It’s what they do.

Check around Facebook (and blogs) for author and writing groups, and ask members for editor recommendations.  Check out the editors they have personally worked with.   

My a-one choice:

Cynthia Shepp:  http://cynthiashepp.wordpress.com/category/editing/ or https://www.facebook.com/cynthiashepp.  Cynthia edited The Secret of Magik and Dragons for me.  She was quick, professional, and I think her edits made the book better.

Others on Facebook to check out (I’ve seen them come up in writing group posts):

Kim’s Editing Services:  https://www.facebook.com/KimsEditingServices2013

Wendy Reis Editing:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendy-Reis-Editing/204459706267421

You should also beware when searching on Facebook for an editor.  Get several recommendations before choosing one, and take a look at past editing projects if you can, and contact the author with questions. 

What genres do they edit?  Are those genres in line with what you are writing?  Remember, a YA book is very different than, say, adult erotica.  But just because they haven’t edited in your genre, doesn’t mean they can’t.  Communicate with them.

How many projects have they done?  How long have they been editing?  What is their education?

And don’t be afraid to consider other benefits. 

Cynthia also does book reviews and posts her reviews on Facebook.  She’s not the only editor that will help you market your book, and any extra services they offer should be considered.  (Cynthia also helped me find my cover designer, http://www.phycel.com/, and someone to do an author interview.)

Lastly, don’t forget to check out their page (it shouldn’t be a personal page, but a business page); if there are spelling or grammatical errors on it (not in the posts, but in the introduction, etc.) do you really want to use them? 

If you know an editor that does good work for a reasonable price, add them to the comments.