Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adventures of an e-Book Bookie, 24: "This Little Piggy Went to Market"

I’ve been writing query letters for three weeks.

I found a shitload of online reviewers at several sites. They review anything and everything from GLBT Vegan Cookbooks to YA Christian Vampire/Slasher Porn (I’m joking yawl, please don’t take offense...)

If you need to garner some reviews to increase your book’s visibility check out these four sites:

Simon Royale’s List of Indie Reviewers


The Book Blogger Directory


The Official Indie Book Reviewer List: A Handy Reference Guide for Self-Published Authors and Small Publishers


And a Google.doc Spreadsheet entitled: Book Reviewers-Updated June 2011


For the last 20 days I’ve been slogging through these lists:

1) Finding a reviewer who accepts ebooks in my genre

2) Checking the reviewers’ website to: A) See if they are still actively accepting manuscripts, and: B) Find their name so I could write a proper and personal query letter

3) Writing a query that corresponds precisely to the submission specs for review requests

4) Responding promptly and thoughtfully to everyone who turned you down, thanking them for their time

5) Following up—immediately—on requests for cover JPEGs or Bios or sample chapters

So in 20 days I wrote 132 personalized queries and sent another 14 in through eforms (see above: corresponds precisely to the submission specs for requested reviews) and I’ve had three requests for author interviews, one request to participate in a book giveaway (I donated 10 copies) and I have 15 people who have agreed to review my book. My first solicited review of Tantric Zoo (favorable) was posted today on Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/76067

I spent a long, long time at the computer but I think 19/146 is a great average.

Which is missing the point entirely.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote in The Outliers: “Those three things—autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward—are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying....Work that fulfills those three criteria is meaningful.”

With these last three weeks of work I feel that I’ve gotten a handle on how to succeed as an Indie author. (First-and-foremost-and-always-and-forever write the best book you can. Just because you CAN publish instantly doesn’t mean you SHOULD.) Everyone said (blogged): The key to success is to Brand Yourself/Social Media/Internet Presence.

These are vague terms caked with confusion and bullshit used by people who CAN’T tell you precisely what to do. (Except send them $40 to increase traffic to your site: “Guaranteed results at www.blahfuckingblah.com”)

I stumbled on what you and I—as Indie authors—should do: Follow the recipe outlined above. Write the query letters, scour the lists, and be gracious in your requests.

There are no parades. There are only late nights with the lists above. Alone and all by yourself but I find a certain symmetry and logic to that.

After all, that’s how we write our books.


Dear Liz:

Would you like to review a murder mystery that takes place in California wine country?

The name of the book is Tantric Zoo: A Bud Warhol Mystery

Published by Bubba Caxton Books: A Division of Foul Mouthed Bard Press

ISBN: 5-8000-5538-559


Tantric Zoo begins at a tantric sex couples retreat in 1987. Amid the cavorting and indulging and groping and exploring one of the campers ends up dead. The surviving campers bury the body and return to their lives.

Until 2008 when the body is discovered and forensic anthropologist Bud Warhol tracks the campers down. Bud finds the murderer but also discovers how two decades of guilt has altered and affected the lives of everyone involved with the Tantric Zoo.

“A rollicking good read.”

—Linda McCabe, author of Quest of the Warrior Maid

Rob Loughran has 22 books in print. His first novel High Steaks won the 2002 New Mystery Award. He lives in Windsor, CA. Check out his fiction and humor at:



A free copy is available on Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/robloughranbooks with the coupon code pw23y (exp: 10/23/11)

Rob Loughran



What’s the difference between a female optimist and a horny teenaged girl taking

a bath?

One has hope in her soul.

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