Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Feature: Author News

I may be opening up a can of worms here, but I want to try something new.

If you're an author whose work has been reviewed by us, we'd like to do a little more for you. Typically, our relationship with authors ends after we review their work. Some authors like our reviews and stay in touch with us, even if there is little reason beyond hoping we'll review their next book.

We want to do something more. Promoting indie authors is tough. Very few get the recognition they deserve. Some get more than they deserve, but that's another topic entirely. So let's work on that author promotion stuff. If you have something newsworthy to share, let us know. What do I mean by newsworthy? Yeah, I'd better clarify that. What might seem important to you might not be important to us. So I'm going to list what we do consider newsworthy.

Here's what you can share with us:
  • Awards and nominations for awards. Real ones. Not those awards that you can buy: "Send us $20 to be entered in our contest! Surprise! You won!" While it doesn't have to be a prestigious as a Philip K Dick Award, it should be legit. Yes, we consider unsolicited "book of the month" (or year) nods from bloggers acceptable. Include a link with this news.

  • Author Appearances. These should be of the in-person variety. Blog tours don't count. If you're going to be somewhere (book signing, book fair, etc.) with the intention of having your book signed or you're guest lecturing or answering questions, let us know. Be sure to include the where and when. No, hanging out at Starbucks doesn't count. It has to be official. We'll need a link or a picture of a flyer. For example, "Abigail Author will be at the Arkham Library signing copies of her latest release: Sleeping With Pomegranates."

  • New Releases. Publishing something new? Let us know. This is separate from the submission process. We might be closed. You might not want us to review another book of yours. We might not be interested, or the reviewer who read your book might not be available. We can pass the information along to interested readers even if we can't take you up on the opportunity to review your next book. Send us a short blurb along with the release date and where readers can go for more information.
We DON'T want routine stuff like sales, new versions of old books, free giveaways, personal news, sales milestones, a list of your blog posts, links to other reviews, website updates, marketing hype, and so on. This is targeted towards promoting authors, not publishers. We don't want publishers telling us about all the books they're promoting each month. The only exceptions are for those authors whose work we've actually reviewed. If XYZ publishing sent us a book from Abigail Author, we'll accept news from them on her behalf. That goes for PR firms too.

We reserve the right to reject anything that we deem sketchy or doesn't fit in with our idea of the above definitions.

The plan is to promote author news once a month. But we'll change the frequency as we see fit. Plan your announcements accordingly. If you have something coming up on February 1st and you send it to us January 31st, you'll have to wait until we get around to it. Put Author News in the subject line so that we can filter it accordingly.

If this unleashes a tsunami of email, we'll shut it down. There's only so much we can do.


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