List of Book Review Sites

On a previous post I discussed the difficulty in obtaining the elusive book review. Following you will find an article by Stephen Hise from Indies Unlimited containing a list of reviewers. I’d like to thank Stephen for allowing the re-post.  I suggest you travel over to Indies and read part 1 and Part 2. I can’t say enough about this blog.  Just click the link on my sidebar.

Looking for Book Review Sites?

Posted on: May 20th, 2012 by | 3 Comments

Lots of people contact us requesting reviews. Indies Unlimited is not a review site. Fortunately, there are a lot of book reviewers out there. For your convenience, I have posted a list of some of them below. I borrowed this list from the great folks at Book Junkies, and thank them for sharing. You can find some additional book review blogs in my blog roll. Be sure to check them out as well.

Jan Fischer-Wade also put together a list of 14 book review sites that have massive followings over at Curiosity Quills. Note that some reviewers and reviews sites specialize in certain genres, so do your research before submitting a book for review.

In posting this, I make no representation or warranty about whether your book will be accepted for review by any of the reviewers listed, nor the type or quality of the review your book may receive. It is not at all unlikely that if they feel your book needs work, or should just simply be used as fireplace tinder, they will tell you so. That is what makes an objective independent review valuable to both readers and authors. The list is below the fold. If you know of someone who’s not on the list, please add their link in the comments. Book Review FB Pages:

The Fictional Bookshelf

The Bookshelf

Tempted By Books

Book Chick City

Jumpseat Book Club

Daisy Chain Book Reviews

United by Books

All Things Books

Kindle Utopia

Avid Readers Unite

Reading Addiction

Book Reviewers for Bee’s Knees Reviews

Review Seekers

Boekie’s Book Reviews

Reviewer Websites:

Annarita’s Parlor   (leave a message in contacts)

Good Choice Reading

Book Stack Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Sizzling Hot Book

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Interview with Kevin Rau

Interview with Aron Joice

Aron JoiceInterview Date: 5/18/2012

Biography

I was raised in southern Virginia and later made New York City my home. I’ve been an avid reader since childhood. Since I was in a military family, I had a great deal of me time. I think that’s when I started role playing. My brain became fertile ground for fantasizing. My passion is fantasy, but I enjoy reading other genres as well.
My background is in the performing arts. As a singer, songwriter, dancer, and theatrical costumer, there was more than ample opportunity to expand my imagination.
Many years of my life were dedicated to orphan relief in Eastern Europe, and animal rescue in America. I now live in the country with my pet family.
When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing when I was very young. My dad was in the military and my mom worked for the government, and I had a lot of me time. I always wanted to be what I was not. I made up stories about being an Indian princess, a French exchange student, and one time I was a British diplomat’s daughter. The trouble began when I started role-playing; my poor mother was so embarrassed. I think being alone stimulated my desire to write and express myself.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably “powerful.”)

I don’t know if being invisible is really a power, but I would like to be the fly on the wall. One could do so many fun things and also help a person or two.
Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

I liked wonder woman (comics). I was never taken with the TV version. I wanted her plane, amazing since I hate to fly.

Kev’s response: I just see so many issues with an invisible plane. Losing it, not being able to unlock it, people checking out your butt…. (I can just imagine all the jokes about how big the moon is these days as I fly overhead!)
Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

I have a fertile imagination, so it doesn’t take much to get me going on an idea. I’m motivated by my passion to write and all the wonderful authors who have shared their great stories, no matter what genre.

Kev’s response: Note to self – buy some soil, see if it motivates you to write….
Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

Definitely seat of the pants. I do get a title in mind and a mini movie starts to play. I have a novel coming down the road that was planned out because it involves ancient history. The research took a long time, but I think it will enhance the book. It’s an urban fantasy with a bit of paranormal thrown into the works. I wanted the history that is woven into the story to have validity.
Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I am incredibly disciplined. Part of that comes from being raised in a military family, the other from a performing arts background. I have a time for networking, and the business. And then I dedicate a certain amount of time to writing. Unless I’m sick, I’m at it everyday.
Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

Fantasy, definitely fantasy. I’m like a female Peter Pan. Reading is different. I love fantasy, mysteries, thrillers; I like to laugh, but I haven’t read anything lately in that genre.
What do you enjoy the most about writing?

At the end of the day there is a certain gratification in creating worlds that are only yours, or developing a character as you see them in your minds eye. A writer gives life.
Is there any part of writing that you don’t enjoy?

Editing. I think most writers would agree. It is like ouch time!
Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I’m something of a misanthrope. I hate seeing what the human race is doing to one another. I do like people that are capable of compassion. I recoil when I bump into people that are numb.

Kev’s response: Hmm, a misanthropic, soil-loving, female Peter Pan. That’s a head-scratcher.
Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I multi task. I’m finishing book two of my series, but I’ll sit down and make notes for the third and a stand-alone. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night; get an idea and work on it.

Kev’s response: Hmph, and here I’ve been waking up and just want to get back to sleep!
In my evil plot to take over the world, what one animal type do you advise I use and why?

That’s an easy one. A Sinornithosaurus, one nasty feathered raptor that can leap through the air, is intelligent; has great eyesight and is a killing machine. The beasts in my first book are based on them with added features.

Kev’s response: Making notes now….
Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I still love the feel of a paper book. I read every night and would prefer pb to digital. Digital is here to stay and it will be interesting to see how the market develops.
What are your current projects?

I just released book one of a trilogy. THE RISING-THE LOST CHILDREN of MANAGRAIL. It’s on Amazon and B&N in ebook. I hope to have some pb’s out shortly. The second VANISHED will be out in the summer. It’s YA fantasy (12-15)
Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

You better believe in yourself and don’t give up your dream. It is hard work even if you’re an Indie, probably harder. Put one foot in front of the other. It’s a big world out there and you just have to find your audience.
Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Yes, my blog is http://www.aronjoice.com, FB is Aron Joice YA Fantasy, and I tweet @aronjoice.

Kev’s response: Err, what do you tweet to yourself?! 🙂 Aron, thank you for joining me, and providing a chance to practice my third-rate comedy routine.

Great post from Lindsay Buroker

How to Help Your Favorite Authors

Posted by Lindsay | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 29-05-2011

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As authors, we spend a lot of time trying to promote our books. Our biggest obstacle is obscurity because there are a lot of books out there. No, really. A lot.We like to think that good stories are all it takes to make it (in author terms “make it” usually means “become well known enough and sell enough books that I can quit my day job and write for a living”), but you can doubtlessly think of mediocre books that are selling bazillions of copies and authors you love who never make it out of the “mid-list” category.Sometimes it’s just the author (or publishing house) with the biggest marketing budget who wins, but you, as a reader, have amazing power. Don’t believe for a second that you don’t have anything to do with whether an author makes it, because you do. A lot. No, really. A lot.Why does this matter to you? Well, authors who get to quit their day jobs can write faster and put more books out for you!The following are some little things you can do that can make a big difference. Some of them only take a few seconds. Your favorite authors will appreciate the effort. Trust me. :)

Helping out on Amazon

Amazon is the big kahuna of book sellers, especially when it comes to ebooks, so helping an author “get found” on there can give them a big boost. You can certainly do these things on other bookstore sites as well (nothing against copying and pasting a review, for example), but Amazon tends to have more cool features to help an author get found.

Here’s the list (any one of these things can help):

  • If you do nothing else, consider writing a review on Amazon, even if the book already has quite a few and/or you’ve reviewed it elsewhere. There’s evidence that ratings and reviews factor into the Amazon algorithms that decide which books are promoted on the site (i.e. certain books are recommended to customers who bought books in similar genres). If reviewing isn’t your bag, don’t worry about writing paragraphs-long in-depth studies of the book; maybe you could just pen a few sentences with a couple of specifics about why you liked the book.
  • “Tag” the book with genre-appropriate labels (i.e. thriller, steampunk, paranormal romance). You don’t have to leave a review to do this; you just need an account at Amazon. A combination of the right tags and a good sales ranking can make a book come up when customers search for that type of story on Amazon.
  • Give the book a thumb’s up. This takes less than a second and probably doesn’t do much, but it may play into Amazon’s algorithms to a lesser extent than reviews/ratings.
  • Make a “Listmania” List and add your favorite authors’ books to it. This creates another avenue for new readers to find books. It’s better to create lists around similar types of books (i.e. genres or sub-genres) than to do a smorgasbord, and consider titling it something description so folks will be more inclined to check it out, ie. “Fun heroic fantasy ebooks for $5 or less”
  • If you have a Kindle, highlight some wise or fun quotations from the book and share them publicly (if enough people share their highlights, they’ll show up at the bottom of a book’s page):

Popular Highlights on a Book's Sales Page

Helping out with Social Media

If you’re involved with Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc., you can give your favorite authors a shout-out when they release new books. If they blog, you can follow their site (through Google Reader or other RSS readers) and share the link when they post something that may be interesting to your friends. If they’re on Twitter, you can follow them and retweet their links now and then.

Authors don’t expect you to follow them 24/7 and repeat everything they say (that might actually alarm some folks…), but a little promotional help now and then is greatly appreciated.

If you like to be social about books, you can join sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing. You can help your favorite authors by posting reviews and talking about their books on those sites, or you can just use those places to find online reading buddies with common interests.

Helping out with Your Blog

Do you ever talk about books or what you’re reading on your blog? You might consider reviewing your favorite authors on your site (you could even make a few dollars if you signed up as an Amazon affiliate).

Also, if most of your favorites maintain websites, you could add an “author blogroll” list in your menu with links to those sites.

And Lastly…

These days, most authors have websites and contact forms so you can get in touch. If you enjoyed their work, consider sending them a short note to let them know. While it won’t help them sell more books, it’ll make their day.

Thanks for reading (this post and books in general!).

A very special thanks to Lindsay Buroker for permitting this article to be reprinted.  Please visit her <a href=”http://www.lindsay.buroker.com”Lindsay Buroker</a>”

Pulling teeth with tweezers (trying to get the elusive review)

If you have read any of my previous posts you know that I’ve just released my first book. I’m sure every writer out there has endured some hair pulling moments along the way. I think that I’m going bald. Writing is such a joy. I remember somewhere back in my little gray cells this to be true. I have crossed my t’s and dotted my i’s, joined the social media brigade and yet something is missing. I know that I’m spending a least half of my day ferreting out information and by the end of that day my head is throbbing.

The elusive review, at least that’s what I call it, is driving me mad, not angry, just crazy. It appears as necessary as it is to have this golden prize, it is one of the most frustrating aspects of “the process.” Somehow it brings to mind the story of the three bears. One’s too hard,  one’s too soft and where oh where is the one that is just right? Are all the reviewers in the land really that busy? Could be….

As I wait for my responses, which I pray there will at least be a few, I keep ferreting. I want to share some of my findings with my fellow authors in hopes that it will be useful.

One site that I really like is www.onlinecollege.org.  The site claims to have 100 of the best blogs for book reviews. There are categories and little blurbs and you narrow the blogs down to your genre. It takes some time, but it is all laid out for you.  It reminds me of one stop shopping. You can also Google Book Blog Reviews, but you will have some sorting to do. If anyone signs up for www.tomoson.com , you will be in for a long wait. I finally emailed them only to find out that they aren’t accepting anything digital at all…virus. Duh!  If you want to go that route be prepared to send paper copy directly to the blogger. I suggest waiting  while they fix their programs. At that point I would email and ask if they are accepting digital. You’ll save a good deal of time. Another newbie is www.bloggerdise.com. This site connects bloggers and promoters, you join for free and create your own banner and giveaway. Jesse is quick to respond to all your questions and problems. I need to spend more time there to finite connections. The beauty of it is you can create more than one banner and you also have your own page. I need to give it more time to see how it works out.

I have a link to Indies Unlimited. If you don’t know this blog, please go there. It is beautifully done, very informative and you can sign up for a daily email that is compact and filled with great author stuff , trailers etc.

I will be posting more on this subject as I uncover the secrets of the elusive review. I for one want to get back to writing. I keep a nice filing system now and spend less time digging through all the papers on my desk. Sound familiar?

Sign Up

First, I’d like to wish everyone a” Happy Mother’s Day.” If you’re not a mom, you have a mom and so do your friends, so celebrate them.

Next, I’m inviting you to sign up for my newsletter and contests. Everyone likes winning things, right? On May 21st I’ll be announcing a contest; the answers can be found in THE RISING-THE LOST CHILDREN of MANAGRAIL. A random drawing from the correct submissions will be held on June 15, 2012.

Keep checking to see what goodies you can win. There will be a first, second, and third prize.

Once you’re on the mailing list you will be the first to know of any book specials or giveaways. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you are reading THE RISING and have any questions, feel free to comment and I will promptly reply.

WIP…The real challenge

When I started my trek, so to speak, in the digital arena, I had no idea how difficult it would be for me. I am technically challenged, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Really, when I turn on my computer, it goes uh! her again. If it could shut down on it’s own it would, never to turn on again. I admire and give every writer out there kudos for sticking with this process. I think it’s hard. Sometines while I’m trying to figure the ins and outs of it all, including this blog, I forget that first and foremost it is about the writing.

I have been able to overcome my self doubts or at least most of them. I have accomplished so much, but not without the input of so many generous people in the industry. Without their shared knowledge, experiences, and tips, I wouldn’t have made it this far.  To a few who are really, and I do mean really the best, I’d like to say thanks for helping an unknown make her way. Lindsay Buroker, please do yourself the favor and check out her blog. Indies Unlimited, a plethora of information and a great spotlight for authors. Shelley Holloway, the best ever editor (don’t shoot me for my grammer).

I am pleased to announce that I have made it through, my first release will be live this week. Book two is close behind it. And I couldn’t have done it without the entire writing community. Thank you all.

WIP…My Journey

I have always written in some form or another. Two years ago THE LOST CHILDREN of MANAGRAIL erupted in my gray matter. Most writers start with their story. I start with a title. Since I am a very visual person, I tend to see things like a movie in my brain; having been a singer/songwriter for many years, I also hear the dialogue. This is how I work. I don’t know if  it is right or wrong, or how anyone else goes about it , but that is my way.

I had recently moved and everything I owned was in a “professional” moving and storage company…everything. Not long after my move, to make a long story short (sorry for the cliché), I discovered the company went belly up and I lost all my possessions. What is the point of this you may ask? Well, I no longer had a computer etc. I totaled my car after sliding down an icy hill and lived way out in the country. But I had to write. I started LCM by hand and continued with the rewrites the very same way. I took a small country bus for one and a half hours to get to the library. Once there I drove the poor staff crazy rushing  to get as much in as possible. You only get one hour on the computer. Then, I once again boarded the bus for another 1-2 hour ride home. This continued for over a year. Finally, the library opened a computer lab; they took pity on me. They were so generous. Now I could go and spend 3 hours on my manuscript. I am not gifted in the area of technology and it has been, and still is a challenge. So forgive me if you notice some horrible mistake.

After formatting my manuscript for agents, which by the way is  another story, I was ready to query. I promised myself that if in one year I didn’t have an agent I would self publish. I don’t want to take anything away from the traditional process but it certainly got me thinking.  Agencies receive about 1-4,000 queries a week. Most end up in the slush pile. Years of work dismissed and you can’t resubmit. Now my brain was really turning. Each agency and agent is looking for “their” something special and that is great. Writers want to be read. I know that I want my work to be seen. Some may like it, some not and that is fine…but please someone read it. So when my year was up I started the adventure down the self publishing road and began swimming in digital waters.

to be continued….The real challenge