When I posted my blog for my 2016 resolutions, one of them was a pledge to read (and support) independent writers by reading and reviewing at least one book a month by a self-published author. Now, I’d like to take a minute to expand a little on my plans and help you understand where my head’s at and what you can expect from me.
I’m an independent author with 4 self-published novels under my belt (with a fifth currently in the final stages of editing). I understand how hard it can be to get noticed when you’re a super small fish in a enormous sea of sharks. Some authors don’t have quite as hard a time as others in finding a following, as some are better at marketing, some are more social, some just have a plethora of friends ready to help them out, and some are just talented enough to get noticed right out of the gate. For those who aren’t, it’s a struggle, but with persistence and hard work (and a little touch of luck), dreams can happen. And I want to be able to help that dream become a reality. Not with dishonest or unethical means, but with the purchase of a book and a clear, detailed, honest review.
I’m not going to sit here and boast that my blog or my Twitter feed (or any of my social media channels, for that matter) have even the slightest bit of influence that other social media mavens might have. But my platform is growing (slowly but steadily), and the more I learn brings me that much closer to my ultimate goals, which hopefully, will in time, help other independent authors with theirs.
With that said, I want to give a little back to the independent authors out there who need a little love. By independent, or self-published, I’m referring to those authors who have taken it upon themselves to learn what they can about publishing and marketing, have worked hard and maybe have spent a little of their hard-earned cash to create the best product possible, and were brave enough to put themselves out there because they believe in their material that much. Any book that has been published by a small or independent publishing house do not count under my standards.
Because there are so many books out there to choose from, I want to try and limit the list a little and give you a chance to promote your book on this site. So if you are self-published, please feel free to list your book in the comments section. Be aware, though, that just because you’ve listed your book here, it doesn’t mean I am going to purchase a copy or review it. I am very picky (with just about everything in life), and I will do my homework before buying your book (that is, read a sample if one is available and check out your blog, your Twitter and any other social media channels you may have). I have to not only like the story, but I will also judge the book by its cover; if I think any of it is amateurish or not worth my time, I’m not going to spend my money on it. And don’t look to offer a free copy for an honest review. That’s not how I operate. The only time I will accept a manuscript from an author for free is if it’s an ARC (that is, an advanced review copy), and you’re looking for an honest pre-release review. Even then, if I don’t like the pitch, I’m going to have to pass.
And be warned: This isn’t a site that will pander to the author or the book. If I read a book that I don’t like, I’m still going to review it, however, I’ll do so in an intelligent, respectful way. It hurts to get a bad review, I know, so if it turns out that a book I choose to read isn’t very good, I will go into detail as to why, with the understanding that it may just not have been for me. Believe me, I want every book I read to be an excellent adventure, but I already know that will unfortunately not be the case. It never is, and if I only give good reviews, it makes me seem disingenuous. But because I’m so picky, generally that means that the books I do review will have good to glorious reviews.
So, without further ado, here are the books I’ve come across over the past year or so that I’m excited to read over the next few months.
This month, I will finally be reading Cemetery Tours, by Jacquline E. Smith.
In February, Shizzle, Inc. by Ana Spoke is on board.
I will devour I Am the Lion by Andrew Toy in March.
And finally, supernatural fantasy fills April when I read Creeping Shadow by Carolyn Peckham.
None of these authors have asked me to review their books (let’s face it… a few of them don’t need my help). I’ve been following the authors’s blogs and/or Twitter feeds for a while, and though I may be late to the game on some of them, these are the books I’ve found most intriguing enough to buy. I know there are plenty of hidden gems still out there ready to be absorbed, so if you’ve self-published a novel (or have an ARC you’d like me to read), give me a heads up. I’ll take a look, and if I like what I see, I’ll purchase a copy and add it to my list starting in May.