In Part 1 of this series we started with a tutorial on how to enter a customer review on Amazon. That’s the easy part; now it is time for the hard part, actually writing that review. One of the reasons the first part is easy is it has simple steps that are straight-forward to define with no alternatives or choices to be made. There is only one right way. Writing the review is hard because none of those things are true of that task. There is no one right way. There are no clearly defined steps. And just like the contents of the review, which is largely personal, how you go about writing it probably will be too.
There is a good chance this post will be as full of opinion as a review, but I’ll at least try to explain my reasoning. While I’ll primarily be focused on writing a review of a book to post on Amazon, most of the ideas I’ll throw out would, with a little tweaking, be applicable to writing a review of anything to post anywhere. (I spent several years reviewing music for a magazine and a few websites before I started my book review blog and found more similarities than differences between the two.)
A good place to start is establishing what the purpose of a review is. It’s simple and maybe shouldn’t even need to be stated. Yet, this purpose is easy to forget. Many people who haven’t bothered to consider this write reviews with no value, get upset with reviews that are written, or create conflict in the process some other way. It’s so important I’m going to emphasize it. Continue reading
eBook formatting catastrophes are avoidable – one just has to take the extra steps to check the files before pushing the publish button. I know, I know, you’re excited, and you want to get your book out into the world! But at what cost? Lenore Skomal told us about her eBook formatting calamity. That caused her a lot of heartache, possible loss of readers, and a lot of bad reviews. Don’t let that happen to you. Continue reading
Fun photo – but just not right for professional use!
Photo courtesy DPR & Rich Meyer
Here at Indies Unlimited, our submissions are just like what you’d experience at a newspaper, magazine, publisher, agent, or advertiser. So when we ask for an author photo, we expect authors to provide a photograph that represents them as professionals. After all, writing is your job, right? So wouldn’t you want to put your best foot forward and impress us with your best writerly image?
That doesn’t always happen.
We do get some very professional head shots, but sometimes we get photographs with the following issues: blurry, eyes closed, holding alcoholic beverages, mirror shot in a bathroom, distorted selfie, and my personal pet peeve: the 8 megabyte humungous file. I’m sure you’re gorgeous and all that, but Indies Unlimited is run by volunteers – and while our hearts are big, our free email boxes are small. If you send me an 8 megabyte attachment, I’m going to delete it and perhaps your submission as well. We send along a link to a tutorial for resizing photographs with every guideline that goes out. Please please please learn it.
Look, we understand that most authors are not photographers. But I am. Don’t believe me? Check out my portfolio sampler here if you want. So, now that you’re convinced, how about I give you some tips to help you get the great looking shot that will end up plastered all over? Continue reading
Odds are if you’re a reader who’s visiting Indies Unlimited that you read a lot of books, some (many? all?) of which are written by indie authors. If you’ve communicated with one of those authors, maybe sent them an email or posted a comment on their Facebook page telling them you loved their book, chances are good they’ve hit you up for a review. You don’t even have to make the first move to have this happen. Sometimes you’ll be reading a book, come to “The End,” and before you can page forward to read about the author you’ll find a message something like this: Continue reading
by Melinda Clayton
Ask any self-published author about his or her experience with CreateSpace templates and you’re likely to hear something along the lines of, “I can never get my headers right.”
While CreateSpace provides fantastic templates, headers can be finicky. After spending one marathon weekend formatting three novels at once, I learned a few things I’m happy to share. Continue reading