Friday, 1 June 2012

Reasons why we will review your self-published book (maybe)

Inspired by a post on Gav Reads, giving his reasons why “Reviewers Won’t Read Your Self-Published Book”, here are a few (sometimes overlapping) reasons why we might well review your self-published (or self-published by proxy) book:
  1. It’s not too long.
  2. It’s the kind of thing we like.
  3. It’s the kind of thing our readers might like.
  4. The concept is interesting.
  5. The approach seems novel.
  6. It doesn’t look like a knock-off of something else.
  7. The first few pages weren’t boring.
  8. Your prose isn’t utterly pedestrian.
  9. We read something else you wrote and it was good.
  10. It looks rubbish, but in an interesting or amusing way.
  11. We haven’t had to deal with a nutter lately and we’ve begun to forget what a minefield reviewing self-published authors can be.
  12. You haven’t had a public meltdown over previous reviews.
  13. You, your publisher and your friends don’t harass reviewers on Goodreads and Amazon.
  14. The reviews on Amazon and Goodreads aren’t by your publisher, friends and family pretending they don’t know you.
  15. You know how to use punctuation.
  16. The first few pages of your book are not so full of errors that reading the book would clearly be something of a trial.
  17. We’re not in the right mood for any of the hundreds of books we’ve previously been sent (or the thousands that we own).
  18. Your Twitter, Facebook or blog posts are funny, intelligent or engaging, and that made us wonder what your books are like.
  19. You don’t use a pseudonym on forums to recommend your own books, or generally get up to scuzzy, underhand behaviour.
  20. We haven’t seen you swearing on Facebook every time you get a bad (or even mildly critical) review.
  21. You’re not pretending that the book was “traditionally published”, when your “publisher” is simply a paid provider of publishing services.
  22. Your email was polite, well-written and not full of daft claims about your book.
  23. It’s not book 5 in a series of 13.
  24. You’re not just in it for the money.
  25. You haven’t made a huge financial investment in the book that you're desperate to recoup.
  26. You sent us a proper ebook or a pdf of the typeset book, not just a pdf printed out from a Word file.
  27. You supplied the version of the book that is actually on sale, not an early draft.
  28. You didn't send us the book at all, but we bought it. 
  29. Having read it, we thought of something to say about it.
Pretty much the same reasons we decide to review (or read) anything… The chances of us reviewing any particular self-published book are pretty low, given the number of books we receive, but I think there tends to be at least one reviewed in each issue. If your book looks interesting, and you're not a complete jerk, we don't care who published it. Give us a try.


  1. I kinda fall into 1,9 & 22.
    Do I count?

  2. And 18 - just seen your new blog! Are you thinking of self-publishing your novel?