So you want me to review your book? Before asking, please consider the following.
Firstly, there are more SF&F books published each year than any sane person can read in that time. Actually there are more good SF&F books published in a year than any sane person can read in that time.
Second, I don’t get paid for writing book reviews. I run three separate businesses — an energy economics consultancy, a publishing company and an ebook store. This takes up an awful lot of my time.
Now I do love reading, but I have a choice about which books I read, and unless your work is already known to me, or it is being highly recommended by people whose views I trust, the chances of my reading your book are very small indeed.
“But wait”, you say, “I’ll send you my book for free! Surely that is worth something?” Well, no. I don’t get sent anywhere near the number of free books that I did when I was running Emerald City, but I do get quite a few. Some I get from publishers and authors, but I only accept them from people I know and trust. I’ve had some bad experiences with people who expect to get a favorable review in return for a free book.
Also, I’m on NetGalley, where I can request books I want rather than get sent ones I may not want. And I run a bookstore, which is just full of interesting books that I might choose to read. So no, offering me a free book doesn’t help.
From the above you can conclude that your book has a better chance of being read if your publisher has put it on NetGalley, or if it is sold through my bookstore.
Here are a few things that will reduce its chance of being read:
- If you send it to me uninvited (because what would you do with an email attachment from someone you don’t know?).
- If you try to shame me into reading it by asking for a review in a public forum.
- If you have entered into an exclusive publish & sell deal with someone like Kindle Direct (because those people are trying to put independent publishing companies and bookstores like mine out of business).
- If you try to get advertising for your book on my blog by posting it as a comment.
- If you send me email full of spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- If the book is only available as a PDF (which is a very useful format for many things, but not, IMHO, for reading books).
Finally, one thing I absolutely will not do is give writing advice. That’s something you should be getting from a professional writing tutor. If you think you can cut corners by asking for free advice from someone who has never had fiction published professionally then you are Doing Writing Wrong.