How Paid Reviews Work for Indie Authors

How Paid Reviews Work for Indie AuthorsBowker’s most recent analysis of ISBN numbers revealed that 458,564 books were self-published in 2013, an increase of 17 percent over 2012. Occasionally an indie book breaks out of this crowded pack and achieves significant sales or acclaim, but this is still a rare occurrence, given the sheer number of titles, the variability of their quality, and the fact that the traditional sources for advising readers about which books to read are still largely geared toward traditionally published books.

As self-published books continue to proliferate, however, several companies have begun offering paid book reviews to indie authors to help them break out. Traditional review publications now sell reviews to self-published authors. Publisher’s Weekly offers PW Select, which for $149 runs a photo of the book’s cover and a brief synopsis in PW and considers the books for a full review. Kirkus Indie offers “professional, unbiased book reviews for self-publishers” in 7 to 9 weeks for $425. Blue Ink Review specializes in reviews of self-published titles, offering reviews in the same time frame for $395.

Is purchasing such a review worth it?

Much more.


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A Manifesto for Self-Publishing Companies (Futurebook)
Self-publishing companies have long been seen as sharks in the publishing waters, preying on the optimism or lack of industry knowledge of authors. There were reasons for this reputation. But publishing is an entire industry fueled by optimism, and self-publishing is growing at a faster rate than ever before. So is there a place for new companies to offer services to self-publishing or independent authors, and to do so fairly and with dedication and skill? We think so, and would offer this manifesto for self-publishing companies.

10 Tips for Twitter Success in Publishing (Bookseller)
Before you start, set yourself up well. If you cannot be yourself, create a persona. Be generous on Twitter and others will be generous back to you. Get known for positive enthusiasm, reading the hot books from other publishers, having an opinion, being bookish… and for being part of the bookish chat.

How Digital Can Complement Print (Joe Wikert)
Instead of looking at digital and print as separate initiatives and consumer bases, it’s time for publishers to invest in digital companions to print products. What can you create digitally that makes the print reading experience more engaging? Think about companion apps for your most successful print products. More importantly, think about how you’ll deliver those apps directly to consumers.

Supreme Court Extends Apple Appeal Deadline (Pub Lunch)
Following the filing of Apple’s brief late last month asking the Supreme Court to hear its appeal of the ebook pricing case, the clock had been ticking on the optional filing of a response from the Department of Justice. According to the newly updated court docket, the deadline for “all respondents” was extended by about a month, until January 4th, 2016. In addition, the court indicated last week that counsel for both Apple and the states consented to the filing of amicus briefs “in support of either party or of neither party,” by the same deadline.

Want to Succeed in Self-Publishing? Have a Plan (PW)
E.C. Murray considers her first book, the self-help title Life Kind of Sucks, an experiment in self-publishing. So when it came time to release her second book, the memoir A Long Way from Paris, she decided to do things differently, leveraging her experience and embracing all aspects of the self-publishing process. Murray quickly realized how demanding the indie route could be: handling distribution and marketing is “time consuming…even with a publicist who arranges visits. I need to follow up with press releases, event calendars, and so forth.” An important part of Murray’s indie strategy was sending A Long Way from Paris out for review. Her efforts paid off: Kirkus named her memoir a best book of 2014, and Publishers Weekly called it “rich with history…substance…[and] relatable.”

Crowdfunding and Private Biographies (Pub Perspectives)
StoryTerrace’s Rutger Bruining discusses his crowdfunding platform that enables families to commission a ghostwritten biography of a loved one.

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