Indie Reads – March 2014

Indies Unlimited does not review books, but we do have a couple of renowned reviewers on staff. We thought a great way to celebrate indie writing would be to ask those reviewers for their top indie picks of the month. We sent them a questionnaire that asked six questions:

1. What was the best indie book you read this month?
2. Seriously?
3. Are you saying it’s better than my book?
4. Did you even read my book?
5. Would you say my book was a close second to the one you picked?
6. Do you mind if I say it was a close second?

Evidently, they only had time to answer the first question on the survey. Oh well – soldiering on – here are this month’s top picks from our experts:

Earthquake DollThe Earthquake Doll by Candace Williams

“…a gripping coming of age story set against a unique backdrop of time and place.” – BigAl.

Read the rest of the review by Big Al.

The Earthquake Doll is available through

Price of JusticePrice of Justice by Alan Brenham

“It had everything you could possibly want from a thriller: action, intrigue, corruption, deceit, and a very likeable detective on the hunt of some especially vile, seedy and slimy criminals.”

Read the rest of the review by Cathy Speight.

Price of Justice is available on

In the SunshineIn the Sunshine by PJ Lincoln

“I read the story in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed the tale. A nice, light romance with a feel good factor.”

Read the rest of the review by Pete Barber.

In the Sunshine is available through

The Dark AgeThe Dark Age by Jason Gurley

“I can’t remember the last time an author’s words had such an effect on me. … While The Dark Age: A Short Story is heart wrenching, it is also uplifting…”

Read the rest of the review by Fredlet.

The Dark Age is available at
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The Unburied DeadThe Unburied Dead by Douglas Lindsay

“An excellent, well written story that will appeal to readers of gritty, down to earth crime / noir.”

Read the rest of the review by Keith Nixon.

The Unburied Dead is available through

ARC Reader Basics

arc readersARC (Advanced Review Copy) readers were a crucial part of the last “official” novel I released, Triple Dog Dare, co-written with the Evil Mastermind himself. Our ARC readers were a fantastic group of folks who provided us with feedback, reviews, proofreading, and a lot of positive energy going into the novel’s launch.

Back in the days when the Big Six ruled the world of publishing, ARCs would be sent out to reviewers well in advance of a novel’s publication. Some big-time reviewers wouldn’t even consider reviewing a book once it was published. They only wanted those very special pre-release copies, giving them an inside edge on other publications. This way, these reviewers were part of an elite group who received special advanced copies, and the publishers could bank on receiving a review from these high-circulation newspapers and magazines to help the book at launch time. This is why sometimes, in used bookstores, you will find a copy of a book with the stamp “uncorrected proof” on the title page. Okay, that was your history lesson. There will be a test later. Continue reading

Do You Review?

Simon GoodsonGuest Post
by Simon Goodson

I’m going to make a few assumptions here, but I think they are all reasonable. First assumption – if you are reading this then you are an author or involved in publishing books. That won’t be true for everyone, but I’m pretty sure it covers most of you. That means you know how hard it is to get each and every review. You know how important reviews are. You know the excitement when you realise there’s a new review for one of your books.

Next assumption – you read a lot of books. If you’re an author you read far more books each year than you write. If you’re a publisher I bet you still read a lot of books outside of work. There was a time, before I started writing seriously, when I would read four or five books a week. I read a lot less now but it is still thirty to fifty books a year. Maybe more. Continue reading

How to Share a Review

5 star reviewOkay, so maybe that sounds ridiculously simple, but I have noticed over the past couple of months that when people are trying to share a review, they share a link to their book. Which review on that page did you want people to see? Hopefully there aren’t any one- or two-star reviews on there. You realize this means that the folks you’re trying to impress aren’t seeing what you’re trying to impress them with, right? Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, not all retailers make it simple for folks to share a link that goes just to a specific review. So far, I’ve found that you can share individual reviews from Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing. I guess the latter three make a lot of sense since they are, in fact, review sites. I double- and triple-checked – unfortunately, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords do not have a way to share individual reviews.

So, how does one go about sharing individual reviews for the sites which allow it? Most of them make it pretty easy. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Reviews

On my review blog we sometimes have what we call a doubleshot, our normal review that is published in the morning (US time) and a review of the same book by another of the site’s reviewers later the same day. It started because there are some “pals” (when the site is called “BigAl’s Books and Pals” it is the obvious term for the other reviewers, right?) who are fans of the same authors and more than one person wanted to review some of the same books. It seemed like a no-brainer since both were going to read the book regardless and I thought it would be silly to turn down content. They were non-controversial, with little disagreement (possibly a 4 star versus a 5 star). Kind of predictable given how they came about. But they were also interesting in comparing the focus of the different reviewers. The readers, reviewers, and authors all liked the feature. Enough so that I started looking for opportunities where I thought a book would be a good fit for this format and propose it as a doubleshot to a pair of reviewers.

That was bound to bring an end to the predictability, and it did. A book was submitted for a potential review that appealed to me. I’ve gotten fairly good at guessing which books are going to appeal to Keith Nixon, one of the pals. When he’s perusing what is available for reviewing, Keith likes thrillers and “crime fiction” if it is spiced with a bit of humor, even better. This looked like the perfect fit, so I asked Keith if he was interested and he agreed to give it a try. Continue reading