My Discussion Topic This Week - How do you decide whether to accept an indie author's review request?
This one's been on my mind a bit lately because for some reason I've had a large influx of independent author review requests in the last few months. I don't mean enormous or anything, but much more than I used to get.
I've always been a big supporter of indie authors... just because a publisher didn't like their book doesn't mean I, or others, won't love it. However, that being said, I'm also cautious. I've said yes a few times in the past and gotten stuck reading some books that were clearly not ready for publication, as it was quite obvious the author wasn't ready yet, hadn't honed craft, etc.... Then I'm stuck in the position of writing a review for it.
I know some blogs just make it a matter of practice not to accept indie requests at all, but I just can't see myself doing that, because I want to support good indie authors as much as I can, and I have actually found quite a few extraordinary gems I might never have known about otherwise. So, I'm not going to stop accepting them. However, I have gotten more selective. Some things I do:
- I'll do an internet search for the author and see if they have a website where sample pages might be posted
- I also look to see if they've been mentioned in any publications... if they're featured in a publication of some sort, that's a good recommendation that they're being taken seriously
- I look to see if they're part of any writer's organizations. If they are, I know they're serious about their craft and have had to work on honing it.
- I check Goodreads or Amazon to see if others have read any of the author's books and what sort of ratings they've received.
Not ALL of these things must be present, but if I can find one or two, or at least see decent review ratings, I'll usually say yes. It's gotten to the point though where I've had to be more selective, not only for the reasons I mentioned above, but also because I get so many requests, I can't possibly take them all.
So how do you handle it? Do you accept all requests? No requests? Do you do any research first?