From the Archives: “Book Review Leads for the Self Published Author”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: September 12th, 2008 ]

Getting your book reviewed is an important part of book promotion for the self-published author.

If you are seeking book reviews: BookPleasures.com is a website you may want to investigate. They’ve been known to write book reviews and even interview authors for additional exposure. There is more information on their site at www.bookpleasures.com

Another opportunity exists at http://www.reviewyourbook.com where you can submit your book for a possible free review and listing on their website. There’s no fee (that I could see) and every little bit helps.

If you’ve written a travel log, or a book that fits the description of “travel log” (a memoir involving a foreign locale, for example), you may also want to look into: sketchandtravel.com

Good luck and have fun!

– by Kelly Schuknecht

A lot of time has passed since 2008 when I first posted some go-to reviewing resources to our blog, and while some stalwarts are still in business (including BookPleasures and SketchandTravel) several others are no longer in operation–at least not in any incarnation which would be useful to you, our readers. Hence the line through one of the sites listed above.

There are, however, quite a few new and wonderful resources, many of which remain free, including:

  1. www.ReadersFavorite.com (free!)
  2. www.digitalbooktoday.com (offers a slew of options, some paid, some free)
  3. www.SelfPublishingReview.com (charges a fee, with multiple packages)
  4. www.IndieReader.com (expensive, but offers a “rush” option which is useful)
  5. IndieBRAG at www.bragmedallion.com (charges a small fee, ebooks only)
  6. www.BlueInkReview.com (charges a small fee, but flexible)
  7. www.MidwestBookReview.com (charges a small fee, but gives great exposure)

There are, of course, a thick pile of reviewers who are always willing to review in exchange for free book copies, but these are scattered throughout the internet and in no one place.

Just because a book review is free doesn’t mean it’s the only review you’ll want … or need. So consider your options–all of your options!–and pursue the ones that are both time and cost effective for you!

(And if you have any review websites we’ve missed that you’d like to see posted here, drop me a line!)

book review

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Saturday Book Review: “Why Not? Conquering The Road Less Traveled”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of the Midwest Book Review:

why not? conquering the road less traveled

Why Not? Conquering The Road Less Traveled

by John Brown & Donna Brown

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478742265

Synopsis:

Cerebral Palsy, a developmental disease impacting motor coordination, affects 3 out of 1,000 births. While medical intervention such as physical or speech therapy, ambulatory aides like wheelchairs or braces, help a child achieve a productive life, John Brown was determined that he would leave his mark on the world. Born in the early 50’s with a type of spastic CP impacting his gait and balance, but leaving his speech intact, John and his strong willed mother fought against the times’ conventional wisdom and doctors’ predictions that he would never walk.
After an early childhood of repeated muscle lengthening surgeries and body braces, he insisted upon leaving a special education school to be mainstreamed in the Philadelphia Catholic, then public, school systems, and went on to play Catholic grade school football and developed a keen interest in high school wrestling and football. After completing a degree in broadcast journalism, he embarked on a 44 year career as an award winning Philadelphia radio disc jockey, traffic reporter and meteorologist, retiring in October 2013.
From the childhood specialists who viewed him as just another special needs child, to his first radio program director who called him a diamond in the rough, John was determined to be the best in his field and demonstrate that hard work, perseverance and, some luck, can help one trump the odds no matter the obstacles. John’s is a story of the American spirit, how tears, determination and true grit can get you to the top.

Critique:

Exceptionally well written and presented, Why Not? Conquering The Road Less Traveled is a an extraordinarily candid and moving personal account of triumph over tragedy. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library American Biography collections, it should be noted that Why Not? Conquering The Road Less Traveled is also available in a Kindle edition ($15.95).

reviewed in the Memoir Shelf of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

Why Not is the perfect title for this heartwarming, simple book about a man who refuses to be ruled by his limitations created by Cerebral Palsy.
Childhood can be difficult at the best of times but when you are the slightest bit different from the crowd, it can be brutal. But John Brown decided to face his fears and the jeers of classmates head on and prove to them and himself that despite the CP he was a force to be reckoned with.

Many of his childhood exploits sound typically normal for kid his age… borrowing a car with a friend, driving too fast and wrecking it, skipping school to hang out with his buddies, etc. Of course at times things were difficult and he was miserable but his positive attitude was the prevailing factor he chose to cling to when things got rough. The author goes on to enjoy a very successful career and a long and happy marriage and he takes us along for the ride.

Why Not? is an inspiring story about one man’s triumph over the adversities in his life and how he made the choice to live his life to the fullest. One quote from the book sums it up perfectly, “You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” John Brown is living proof of this as you will see if you read this engaging book. Five stars for John Brown and Why Not? Conquering The Road Less Traveled.

– Amazon Reviewer terrylynn

Such an inspiring memoir sharing multiple poignant messages, eliminate the word ‘CANT’ from your vocabulary and life, TRY everything even if it’s a miss, maintain a POSITIVE attitude and outlook. Sage words and advice from a man dealing with an extended challenge from birth as John Brown tells of his past, present and future.

John Brown tells of his life with Cerebral Palsy. He begins with childhood through to his retirement. As you read John’s story his challenge becomes invisible as he never uses his CP as a crutch, or an excuse, rather a vehicle propelling him to forge ahead no matter the hand dealt. He has CP but CP doesn’t have him. His positive outlook is evident, he zest for life apparent and his fearlessness to try new things apparent. He sets a wonderful example for all to follow.

His mother played a key roll in his attitude, she never treated him ‘differently’ and she disregarded physicians early bleak prognosis. John continues with his story and the reader learns of his wife and her influence in his life as well. No doubt this man is blessed with a strong line of support by family and extended family. Donna (wife) shares her feelings regarding life with John in a loving candid manner.

John’s story is honest, filled with humor and unfailing optimism you’ll find yourself motivated and heady from the intoxicating impact of John’s words and actions. He also provides advice for those dealing with disabilities.

A wonderful story full of inspiration and encouragement. A man limited only by the limits he sets himself. John Brown is an example of living life on your terms even when aspects are out of your control, embrace your imperfection and live life to the fullest no holds barred. Lovely memoir.

– Goodreads Reviewer Melinda


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Saturday Book Review: “boombin and lama”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of the Midwest Book Review:

boombin and lama

boombin and lama: 

A Story of Friendship, investigation and Adventure!

by Boona Cheema (author)
& Damon Guthrie (illustrator)

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478722502

Synopsis:

This book is about a learning-journey between a bear and his lama/teacher. Each page is dedicated to the discovery of environmental problems facing the sustainability of earth from a small bear’s perspective. Adults reading this book will get an excellent sense of what to teach their children about caring for the earth, and children will be fascinated by the adventures that can unfold while keeping their own carbon imprint small. boombin and lama is a story that happily discusses some of today’s most pressing challenges in a way that uplifts and motivates while entertaining and inspiring all of us to work together in our own small ways!

Boona Cheema and Damon Guthrie have been collaborating on educational projects for the last five years, exchanging ideas and creating original images and words to communicate to people of all ages. At the heart of this collaboration is the desire to help children and adults learn about the issues of our environment so that they may take action towards positive change. Together, Boona and Damon have created a way for people to learn about environmental issues without provoking fear but instead, suggesting happy-conscious actions that can indeed make all of our lives better.

Critique:

boombin and lama: A Story of Friendship, investigation and Adventure! is an exciting, unusual story about a loving blue bear who decided to seek his Lama, or teacher, to help him learn to teach other bears and children ways to care for and protect the natural environment of the earth, leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible. Boombin is excited to share all his questions with his wise lama, and to meet other lamas and their bears.
The gentle, humble translations of boombin’s experiences with lama are conveyed in lower case, loving prose illustrated with wildly colorful pictures of many different lamas and bears, all learning ways to love, clean, and preserve the earth. boombin and lama is a book experience that teaches by happening. Kids of varying ages will find its appeal irresistible, while the message of responsible stewardship and supportive recycling is kindly and clearly demonstrated in a variety of creative and resourceful ways around the world. boombin and lama is a dip into exploration of ecological solutions, a great adventure. Described as “an ever changing collaborative adventure,” boombin and lama is sure to be part of a series that friends that young readers will want to follow..

reviewed in the Children’s Bookwatch ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

This book is so sweet, informative, touching and important – a must-read for progressive kids and parents, and anyone who wants to inspire a young person to protect our planet… what’s better than a story with bears?… a bear and a LAMA, of course… the storytelling is gentle and accessible, about hard issues… the illustrations are so beautiful – richly detailed and gorgeous colors… One of the most unique kids books I’ve read in years (and I am knee deep in kids’ books) – it’s one-of-a-kind!

– Amazon Reviewer Sonja Fitz

This is a family favorite! We just received our hardback copy, and have not been able to put it down! Our little ones love the fun adventures boombin and lama have on every page, and we love the important messages about nature, sustainability, and taking care of each other. The art is gorgeous, and fingers crossed another book follows soon!

– Amazon Reviewer Renee Thompson


Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Weekly Self-Published Book Review: “The Lucky Seven Show”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of the Midwest Book Review:

the lucky seven show

The Lucky Seven Show

by Mary Jo Wisneski Johnston (author)
& Richa Kinra (illustrator)

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478747093

Synopsis:

Muscatino Rattuti the Great––or Musky for short––is delighted to have discovered the huge barn with seven sides. It’s perfect for storing the Rat Pack’s treasures from their nightly forays, and the entertainment possibilities of the barn are endless: It’s loaded with various and sundry items that the wood rats, flying machines, forest people, musical instruments, photographs, the world geography contingent, and ancient farm tools are inspired to engage in. Musky isn’t the only creature vying for use of the barn. Everyone wants to play there! In The Lucky Seven Show––a delightfully illustrated new book––Musky the wood rat and the weathervane horse use their wits to bring about a resolution to the problem, as all seven groups showcasing their talents in the barn at once would cause utter chaos. A positive outcome grows out of generous planning, collaboration, and compromise among the groups––and the final resolution brings happiness to all!

Critique:

The Lucky Seven Show is a creative fantasy in which Muscatino Rattuti the Great, otherwise known as Musky the wood rat, collaborates with seven other groups or entities to organize multi-faceted use of the hepbarn, a seven sided magical barn storage structure in which all groups wish to perform. In this amazing, kaleidoscopic mini epic, Musky, a wizard wood rat with wings, is assisted by a talking weathervane pony and a human observer to begin a planning conference inviting all seven groups to think of ways to share performance space in the hepbarn. This is a phenomenal idea, resulting in an amazing Lucky Seven Show featuring flying machines, forest wood sprites, funky musical instruments, animated trip photographs, world geography remnants, and ancient farm tools, and the wood rat pack. Each contingent was allowed one side of the seven sided barn and one time for featured performance, and all planned performances were announced by a publicity menagerie/signboard effect. In this ditzy, glitzy, theatrical troupe, shape and order, with collaboration and cooperation, evolve into a stunning solution which eclipses anything imagined by Musky or the other groups. Funny, whirling, colorful pencil/crayon-like illustrations express the components of The Lucky Seven Show with precision and style, providing an enriched fantasy experience for the lucky readers (age 8 and up). The Lucky Seven Show ends leaving readers wanting to hear more. Perhaps a sequel will add further delight.

reviewed in the Children’s Bookwatch ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

This book is about cooperation, organization and being willing to take turns when only one group of several can be active at any time. The interior of a barn has seven sides and there are seven distinct groups of actors that want to carry out their performances designed to express what appears on their wall. When one group is active there is no room for any other group to operate, so scheduling is necessary.
The caretaker of the barn is Muscatino Rattuti the Great (Dr. Wiz), a flying rat with wispy, filmy wings. It is his job to keep everything organized and he is drawn with nose spectacles and wearing a wizard’s robe and hat. Eventually, there is a meeting where the groups within the barn are able to create a schedule that all can agree on.
Although it is constructed in the classic children’s book form of images on one side and text on the other, this book will challenge young readers due to the presence of more difficult words. Some of those words are Hantavirus, sojourns, appendages, interminable, edifice, myriad and cacophony. The images have the appearance of having been done in colored pencil, the colors are soft and there are sketch lines.
This is a book that presents an important lesson, the lesson of timesharing a scarce resource. The smooth process of life is based on rules of politely taking your turn, whether you are in a grocery store, driving a vehicle or in a business meeting where company policy is being discussed and developed. Children need to learn that this is the most efficient way for groups to function and this book teaches that important lesson.

– Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer Charles Ashbacher

Illustrated by Richa Kinra, this children’s book by Mary Jo Wisneski Johnston is sure to delight many readers. It the pictures are engaging and colourful. They are hand drawn and the expressions on the characters’ faces are amusing. I do not like computer generated images and I would like to applaud the author and publisher of this book for these organic and enriching illustrations.

This fun book tells the tale of a strange seven-sided barn and the magical events that happen within its walls. Each side or wall has different characters who compete with each other for space and attention. However, a compromise is reached and the reader learns a valuable lesson about working together, cooperation and appreciation of those that are different from ourselves.

– Amazon Reviewer Susan Day


Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Self-publishing Book Marketing: Magazine Reviews

The following list comes compliments of ForeWord magazine in the interest of helping you secure reviews with not only their magazine, but all magazines you pursue.

1. Become familiar with the magazine
2. Read the submission guidelines for each magazine before submitting your book for review
3. Create a good cover letter
4. Include a sales sheet (ask your self-publisher or publishing rep).
5. Follow-up

The best way to familiarize yourself with a magazine you want to review your book is to read the magazine first.

You can usually find submission guidelines for magazines on the magazine’s website.

When sending your book out for review, always include your contact information so the reviewer can get in touch with you if necessary. This should be a part of your cover letter. You can also politely request that a reviewer notify you when/if they review your book (but realize that many may choose not to do this).



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Self-Published Book Review of the Week: Wrongsized

Wrongsized

by Larry Solomon

This self-published author sent us two recent reviews for his book:

Mr. Solomon’s book is both insightful and unabashedly funny. Filled with laughs, this is a testament to the American tradition of finding humor in the most adverse situations. It’s a veritable survival guide to today’s economy – a must read for everyone.
—B. L. James

Wrongsized is a funny and enjoyable book to read, but more importantly it gives you a new way of looking at the world you live in. None of us are locked into a single path, and Larry Solomon helps us to see the possibilities that are there for us in a lighthearted, humorous way.
— Mai Tai Dave

For more information or to order the book, visit the author’s webpage: www.outskirtspress.com/wrongsized


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