[b]Welcome, fellow Indies, to the Indie Authors Book Review Circle, a place where you can meet likeminded people, post links to your books, and get feedback and HONEST reviews. If that’s not you, then feel free to move on. But if it is ....[/b]
Pull up a chair, make yourself a cuppa (or something stronger) and interact with people just like you.
We all know how important it is to get reviews for our books. I’m sure many of you check regularly, I know I do. Feedback from our readers is both exhilarating and terrifying when we first start out. But like they say “you’ll never know ‘til you give it a go”.
So – now you’re probably wondering what goes on in the Circle. There are many of us here for many different reasons. If the following seems to be speaking directly to you, don’t be shy. Drop us a post and say hello.
So who are we and why are we here?
Some of us just want to find out if we have what it takes to be a writer and are looking for feedback.
Others want reviews to help sell their books, or a place where they can discuss their craft and encourage other Indie authors.
Whichever category you fall into, you’ve come to the right place.
A place where Indie authors can get (and offer) feedback, support and reviews. A place where you can pick your next great read from our ever-growing list, and hope someone picks yours.
As we don’t want to be associated with ‘glowing 4/5 star traded reviews’ & ‘sock-puppets’ we have a few simple rules to keep it honest. Let's work together on getting rid of the negative impact on Indie authors regarding traded reviews. After all, we are both writers and readers, and have every right to review books we genuinely like (or don't like). Let’s all band together, and ‘pay it forward’ while improving our own writing.
[b]The rules:[/b](Wouldn't it be nice if there weren't any…)
[b]1. Don’t review a book by someone who is reviewing your book[/b] – that way there is no pressure to write a good review because you’re worried the other person will trash your book if you don’t. If you choose to later review that person’s book, that is your right, and something you will have to sort out for yourself. But please be aware that us Indies are getting a bad name for ‘traded’ and ‘sock-puppet’ reviews, to the point that many no longer bother to even read reviews, and that some are actively AVOIDING anything Indie. People actually cross reference reviews to prove their point. If all of your reviews are ‘glowing 4/5 stars reviews’ of mostly Indies, then that is going to look suspicious. Even if your review was heartfelt and honest. ‘They’ don’t believe it’s possible for Indies to be both writers and readers, and they also seem to think we are too biased, or that we are incapable of reviewing a book honestly.
b] 2. As some of us are only looking for feedback, if you plan on rating it 3 stars or below, you are encouraged to contact the author first either via this thread or email. [/b] If you’re rating 3 stars or below, it would also be helpful to let the author know why. E.g. too wordy, too descriptive, didn’t relate to characters. Needs to be edited more. Plot holes. And so on. There's no point going to the effort of reading someone else’s hard work and seeing these problems if you don’t have the courage to let them know so they can improve their writing. There are of course nice ways to say these things. You could also mention things like the cover and blurb.
[b]3. Be an active member:[/b] Don’t just drop a link without even bothering to say hi. It’s actually kind of rude. Most likely you will be ignored. And it is for this reason that I have only listed the books of people who have already offered feedback or a review for a book in the Circle.
[b]4.That’s all – but please.... [/b]help play your part in protecting and improving the reputation of Indies. Make sure that when you list your book it’s as polished as you can possibly make it. Believe me, once people start posting negative reviews about your book for this reason, you’ll quickly wish you’d taken a little more time with it. Not only that, you will then have to decide whether to start fresh, and lose the good reviews you do have, or to just keep soldiering on and hope that no one bothers to read them. And believe me, from what I’ve seen on this forum, the fact you’ve ‘edited and updated’ your book is not enough to entice someone who has already been burned by an Indie (maybe one just like yourself) who has done this. We’re all bound to continue to find mistakes in our books, stupid homophones the spell check didn’t pick up and such – and even the ‘big 6’ have published books with errors. I’m not talking about the little things like this.
That way we can all pay it forward, and improve our writing.
Let's work together on getting rid of the negative impact on Indie authors regarding trading reviews. After all, we are both writers and readers, and have every right to review books we genuinely like (or don't like).
Unsure what to do? Have a look at how others have posted their books.
We're a very friendly bunch, and anyone is welcome to join our circle, but as a few have posted their books never to be seen again, if you want to be a part of the circle, please make sure your email address is visible so you are contactable. Otherwise you will most likely never hear from us!
We now have a FB group that is beginning to thrive. Let me know if you would like an invite on bbenquiries @ live.com.au . It would also be helpful if you let me know what you are hoping to get out of the Circle.
Just remember I'm on Aussie time and might take a bit to ge back to you.
[b]How do you get on the list? The same way we did! We either reviewed or offered feedback for one of the books on this list. Names are added in the ORDER that this was done to be fair to all. [/b] Sorry if this sounds harsh – but it’s to make sure that people actively reviewing books in the Circle get the same in return.
Please keep us updated, also do the same if your details are not accurate.
[b]Boring but useful notes on the formatting of the list: [/b]
[b]* [/b] These are the US links. If you are in the UK just change the link to look like this: http://amazon. [b]co.uk[/b]/dp/B00719ODS8
[b]* [/b]The [b] (O) [/b] at the end of some books means that person has either given a review or offered feedback, but have not have yet received the same in return.
[b]* [/b]Some people might only be looking for reviews??. Others want feedback and reviews. Please let me know – I have only done this for the ones I am sure of so far.
[b]* [/b]To keep a long story short, I have posted more information on how to list your books right at the bottom of this for people who want to maximize the information available for their books.
If you want to reach someone who is interested in your story/genre, this is the best way to post your information in the thread…
I’m just copying and pasting mine as an example, as it’s quicker. You should get the point from that. Keep it simple, please.
Letting people know things like how long your story is, the price, approx word count and genre etc will make it easier for someone to want to click on your link and check your book out. Especially as some people (myself included) may be time poor, and may not have time for an 10000000000 page book. Being new to ebooks, I personally like to know roughly how long a book is, since I am not holding the pages in my hand, the same way I need to read a blurb before watching a movie or reading a book because I need that sense of anticipation
Austin Carroll: I write for Children, and especially enjoy writing for 8 – 12 year olds. I am here for feedback to see if I have what it takes. I WANT honest criticism. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings. My biggest concern with my stories: Are they too wordy, and plot holes. Oh - and I tend to repeat words a lot.
Hello Indie readers!
I do believe this is a good idea since it takes the stress out of the tit for tat review!
kstillwagon67 (Karen Stillwagon); At the moment I am writing mystery/romance books. I would love some honest reviews about my work. I would like to know where my weaknesses as well as where my strengths are. This is the only way I know how to improve my writing skills. I will buy the books I review. I buy at least five books a month and why not review what I read in a way to help other authors.
Hi, I think this is a great idea and thanks for taking the initiative! I have been looking through this forum with a similar idea in mind (ie I would like to offer to review books but that I need to stick to certain genres - books I would normally read and enjoy - in order to do the author justice.) In return I would love to receive honest and constructive reviews from like - minded authors who know how hard this writing game is!
My name is Wendy Unsworth and I am willing to buy any books I review.
My book is called 'The Palaver Tree'
I think the idea has merit. I just have one concern. What if an author writes a less than stellar review of my book. Are you saying that I would not then be allowed to return the favor and what would/could you do if I did?
One could say that this just wouldn't happen. I'm not so sure about that. With that possiblilty lurking in the back of one's mind, how honest would the reviews really be?
I know, I know I'm just being paranoid, (I did not use the shortened form of this word) but am I crazy?
I'm on my lunch break so a quick reply - does that mean this thread is a bad idea. I'm just looking for feedback on my book. I don't care if it sells or not. I just want to know if I am wasting my time. I put so much time and so much of myself into my writing. It is what I am driven to do. But when I tried to find people interested in that I got no response.
Are you saying saxon that if someone gave you a bad review, you would give someone a bad review regardless of whether you like the book or not???
Or are you just worried that you would not be able to honestly review a book by someone who reviewed your book?
And obviously there isn't anything anyone could do if you decided to return the favour, as you say.
Does anyone else have any ideas on this. Is there a way to get honest feedback about your stories. As far as I am concerned, feedback from my son who doesn't want to hurt my feelings doesn't really count. He is to biased. Though having said that, his feedback did mean a lot to me.
I'm not trying to rain on your idea. The problem is that we as authors have a vested interest in our products and it skews our perceptions. I, quite honestly, couldn't bring myself to write a bad review on another author. It's just not in me. I guess my first impulse is "First, do no harm."
That removes me as an objective reviewer. If I received a negative review from another author, I would still not feel comfortable responding in kind. However, you need look no further than our forums to see that many don't think like that.
I wish I had an answer for you. I'm sorry I don't. I guess for me, I just have to leave it up to those readers that have no stake in my book. That's really what we do when we put our creations out in the public domain. The readers can hurt us deeply but also bring us such joy and happiness with their keystrokes.
I always expect the best in people, my husband, he expects the worst. Yes, I have been disappointed by some, but my husband tells me he is never disappointed because he expects nothing less. He's okay with that, Me, I believe in good! LOL!
Nothing bothers me more than rude people. One of the things that Austin talked about was NOT reviewing a book by someone who is reviewing you, just for this reason. As for me, I will not write a bad review. If I read a book that needs work or that does not belong "published" I will keep it to myself. Either I like a book or I don't but I WILL not sabatage another author just because his/her book is not to my liking. Sadly, there are people who do not feel this way.
Having said this, I will purchase the book I am going to review, that way there is no obligation for me to review it. If it is something that I like, then, and only then, will I post it in my list of reads and reviews. This way no author will know until after all is said and done and there will be no hard feelings.
I do hope you don't let a few bad apples ruin this for you. We have the best of intentions
I think this is a good idea. Yes, there will be some who are wary about it and I don't blame them but I am still going to commit myself to this. I have all ready purchased some books to review!