A Cautionary Tale: Indie Authors Beware

May 20, 2013

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.

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