Here’s the link to the database!!!
There are some things that just don’t lend themselves to forms, and I’ll have to add this stuff in manually.
Reviewers: You can leave a comment here for your preferences that don’t fall under genre… magic system vs mysterious magic, character-driven vs plot-driven, male/female characters, multi vs single pov, etc.
Authors: You can leave a comment on this post to add your bingo information!
The Overall Concept
A huge obstacle indie authors have to conquer is getting a decent amount of reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads. From what I’m told, there’s an algorithm in Amazon where an authors book starts to get recommended to people after X amount of reviews – some have said these start at just 15 reviews, and get kicked into high gear at around 50 reviews.
Lots of very talented traditionally published authors have started out in self-publishing (Michael J Sullivan, Becky Chambers, Josiah Bancroft, Andy Weir for example), and what I’d like to see is more high-quality indie stuff. A part of getting more of that is getting their work read so they get that cash money, so they stay motivated to keep writing and being able to afford editing services, cover design, etc.
So, why not crowdsource reviews? It doesn’t matter if you have your own blog with a ton of followers or someone who has no blog and just posts an Amazon review. To Amazon, a review is a review and it helps books authors visibility.
You get free books, they get reviews!
I have now included a giveaway/prizes at the end of the year, anyone who participates will be eligible, and if you go the extra mile and post a lot of reviews, you could win the bigger prizes.
Update page here: Updated Prizes
Matching You With Your Perfect Author
Right now my preference page is still in the works, I may add things periodically to help narrow things down and get better matches. So far, I have a sub-genre preference and an “about the reviewer” section for authors to click on to get more critical info. Just because the subgenre is right, doesn’t necessarily mean the book is going to click. Looking into things like character-driven vs plot driven, overall tone, length of the book, cursing vs clean writing, or hard magic system vs mysterious magic preferences are all important too.
Ideally, reviewers and authors will go through each others info thoroughly and look for high matches, with multiple preferences checked off for each of the books being recommended or requested.
Although the idea is to get reviews, I absolutely will not be hounding people for reviews, I’ll be working off the honor system. There are multiple reviewers here who are ‘mood readers’ and will get to the book when it strikes their fancy, and that’s fine. That said, if a few authors alert me to someone who looks like they are just in this to get free books without putting out any reviews, I’ll put that person’s info on hold status until some reviews come out. If at any point a reviewer doesn’t want to do this anymore, or are busy and need to catch up, all they need to do is DM me on Reddit, Twitter, Goodreads, or my blog and I’ll either take down their info or place them on ‘hold’ status.
Also, authors, please do not send book review requests for anyone who has a ‘hold’ status, even if they sound like the perfect match for your book. Hounding the reviewers will get them to quit, and this whole thing won’t work anymore, and I’ll be sad.
As a tip for authors looking for reviews in general – when you send a request don’t use the copypasta technique I used for getting this all together. When I get a review request from someone who’s personalized it and obviously gone through my preferences thoroughly, I’m way more impressed. I received a review request that said, and I’m paraphrasing, “My book ________ is self-published and I’d love to get a review from you! It’s a Victorian steampunk romance with a love triangle that will tear your heart out! I know you’ll love it!”. This person did not go through my preferences… they were selling me a book that on every level I wasn’t interested in.
Also, authors, if you get someone requesting your book from outside of this database, it’ll be up to you to decide whether or not to send the book. You can contact me and see if I just haven’t updated it yet, I’ll be trying to keep it as updated as possible.
The Extra Mile
None of this is required, but if a lot of people participate it would make this thing a lot cooler:
- Send me a link to your review when it’s done so I can compile them all in one place. I have a review tab on the database so people can click through and see what everyone else thinks of the book.
- Have a rating on your review so I can add that to the database next to the title name of the book.
- Leave as many reviews as possible, Amazon, Goodreads, Reddit – and if you have a blog, that too. Only one review is ‘required’ though, and if possible, Amazon I think is the most helpful. (If you don’t want to make your own thread on Reddit, there’s review Tuesdays on Reddit where you can leave a short paragraph.)
Thanks so much to everyone who’s gotten involved – the bigger the reviewer base the better this will work!