Monday, May 20, 2013

A Cautionary Tale: Indie Authors Beware

I had a blogger approach me back in February to review my books. Being an indie author, I jumped at the chance to have my books reviewed. Believing in honesty and just plain common decency in people, I offered the blogger copies of the books for her to review. Her preferred method of reading was (of course) paperbacks, but she could read them on kindle if needed. 

I’m not sure if bloggers realize that giving away paperbacks is an expensive and lengthy process. Perhaps they don’t, but I have to tell you that it is. If someone wanted a signed copy, I have to order it from the States, pay for shipping which gets more expensive the faster you want it, receive it, sign it then pay for yet more packaging and postage to send it back to the States for someone’s reading pleasure.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love being able to make a fans day by providing them with a signed copy of one of my books, but I will not be sending a paperback to a blogger to do a review. The investment does not always pay off.

I emailed the blogger copies of all three books for review (at their request) as soon as she asked to review them. I have no issues with sending mobi. copies of my books to bloggers IF they actually do as they said they would.

After 2 months of waiting, I messaged the blogger again to ask what the ETA of the review would be. I understand that review bloggers are busy with a lot of different things, and was willing to wait a little longer, but she said “Reviews should be ready the first week of May!” I thought, “Great!” and waited the couple of weeks until the beginning of May.

On May 16th, I messaged her again to see what the progress was since it was two weeks after the first week of May. Not that I’m surprised, but I’ve not heard back from this blogger since. Am I expecting reviews now? No, of course not. In fact, I’ll probably get terrible reviews because book review bloggers have that power.

Do I care? No. What I care about is the fact that someone has asked to review my books. I sent them copies of my books in the good faith that they will hold up their end of the bargain and review the books as they said they would.

Indie authors don’t sit around drinking coffee  or swimming around in giant vats of money Uncle-Scrooge-style. They get up and they work damn hard to bring you stories you love to read. Giving away swag and copies of our books costs us money. This blogger just cost me $8.97 which may not sound like a lot, but that was three sales I never got. So I’m out of pocket and thoroughly pissed off that some people can’t keep their word and deliver what was promised.

That’s my rant over. If I can protect one other indie author from being used like this, my job is done. If you want the name of the blogger, email me at authorlaurendawes[at]gmail[dot]com and I’d be happy to name and shame them for you.


  1. I think it's ridiculous that bad bloggers/reviewers give those of us who are working hard to help promote other authors a bad name. I review every book I read and if I ask someone for a copy to review their book, I do read it! I admit, I'm behind like crazy, but if I give them a date, by golly, I get it up there by that date!

    I hope you have a better day! :-)

    1. I agree!! It not only makes us look bad but, makes it hard for authors to trust us! Ugh

    2. Thanks Pam. I totally understand that bloggers are busy. If they can't make it by their deadline they should be telling the author there's a delay and give them a new date for the post.

  2. This makes me sad! :( as a blogger, reviewer, and beta it pisses me that another blogger would do that!! :(
    On behalf of actual bloggers and reviewers I want to say sorry! That should not have happen to you!!

    Indy Book Fairy Blog

    1. Thanks so much Carrie. I really appreciate it!

  3. omg so wrong! Sorry to hear that this happened to you :-(

    Maybe if you are sending the digi copies send the first one, wait on the review before sending the next.

    Dont give up, we are not all like that bad person x

  4. I've had a similar experience, except in my case it was a fellow indie author who agreed to swap review reads, with the understanding that we'd either send private feedback (if the review would be less than four stars), or post the review in agreed places (if we'd give it four or five stars). The idea was to be honest, but to still help each other. I did my part, read her book in one weekend and posted a great review for her as agreed. She raved about my book via email, but I've yet to see the reviews anywhere... (raving about how great a book is surely means it deserves four or five stars, right?) Then she still had the cheek to ask me for another review at a later date. *grimace* I was so angry I couldn't even reply to her.