3 Rejection Letters Indie Authors Receive

I didn’t intend on posting again today but one of my favorite authors posted something to her IG that sparked something I had to share. As you see above, this author is Bernice McFadden and this is her sharing the rejection letters she received for her novel Sugar. I have this book as well as her novels This Bitter Earth, Glorious and I’d like to get my hands on Nowhere is a Place and The Book of Harlan but I digress. Needless to say, the writing is on point. Long story short, you all know that Sugar has gone on to do very well despite the 75 (yes, seventy-five…let that settle) rejection letters. For Indie Authors, we may not be looking for publishers, but we have rejection letters too. I want to encourage you not to give up when you get one:

Negative Reviews – One of our most obvious rejection letters is the negative review. While all authors, no matter how they are published, get negative reviews, for the Indie Author it can feel like the ultimate rejection. Not from a publisher or agent but from the people who we slave so hard for, Readers. When a reader rejects a book it can really put a damper (who says that?) on an author’s mood. But, think about being rejected 75 times. Would you have tried for the 76th? The next time you get a bad review, think of McFadden and how important it is not to quit on the vision. If McFadden had given up, there would be no Sugar.

No Reviews – I came into the game (for lack of a better term though I hate using it. This ain’t a game lol) late because I did not start publishing my books with Amazon in the beginning. I also did not have much insight or people around who could help me to understand this growing industry. That said, reviews weren’t very important to me (neither was Amazon for that matter). However, we are all aware by now how important book reviews are to Indie Authors. But what if you don’t have any? Or very little? This can feel like a real let down and crush an Indie Author’s mood. Especially when their peers have over one hundred and they only have one or two. I am not saying to look at what every one else is doing, not at all. But I’d be lying if I said no reviews on a book doesn’t feel bad. We’ve all been there so let’s just keep it all the way real. No reviews can feel like the ultimate rejection. Honest reviews help to prove that an author’s work is worth reading which means that none can be a real let down. A real rejection. I tell you to think of McFadden’s 75 rejection letters and ask yourself if you were her, would you try again? Would you still want to write if you had 75 bad reviews? Sheesh. That can make one depressed! Lol. But, I am showing you that it’s the same thing for Indie Authors who are their own publishers and thus rely on the social proof of readers to help people to see that they really aren’t bragging about themselves.

No Sales – And of course, need I not leave out the ultimate rejection letter for Indies, no sales! Nothing screams rejection like no one buying your book. Does that mean you should stop writing? Of course not. My first novel is full of mistakes (which is why I took it off market for now lol) but if I had not published the first book, mediocre as it was, there would not have been a tenth. My point is, just keep writing and keep trying. You know you are close to the mountaintop when everyone starts to fall off. When people start giving up, that’s when you’re close. When you feel like giving up, that is when you should push the hardest. It means you are almost there. I am not saying this to sound all “cliche”. I am saying it because it’s real. My husband was just telling me I am too hard on myself and I’d like to extend the encouragement your way. Especially since we didn’t have a “No Whining Wednesday” today 🙂

So, there you have it. Three Rejection Letters Indie Authors receive. When you get one, think of McFadden’s 75 rejection letters. That had to be depressing at some point but she kept at it and so should you.

Do you know of any more “rejection letters?” Tell us about them! What was the most heartbreaking of your rejection letters? How did you recover from it?


Don’t forget that there are tons of people willing to help to spread the word about your awesome authorness! Including me. My Introduce Yourself Interviews for authors will pick back up next week. However, I am in need of authors for August! It’s a free opportunity to let us get to know more about you and your books. Click Here to learn more. Again, it’s FREE and I must say, the Introduce Yourself features do very well in views. Many of them are the top viewed on this blog which means these authors get a lot of shine! All genres welcomed. (Those of you who have already been featured, if you have updates, new books coming out, let me know so we can do an update post).

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – The Stranger by Joan Hall

Title:  The Stranger

Author: Joan Hall

Print Length: 102 pages

Publication Date: October 21, 2016

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B01M8LJFMT

 

The Stranger is a short read about a woman named Julie Williams, the owner of Uncommon Grounds coffee shop, the wife of a loving man and two grown children who are doing well for themselves. Julie’s life is stable and put together and everything seems fine except the feelings Julie has of her mother.

Margie Smith has just passed and there are only a few people at her funeral. As the minister gives his words, it becomes apparent that both Julie and her husband did not like Margie. She is remembered as a mean woman who cared about only herself. Not only does Julie and Mark feel this way, but even Stella Green, the nurse who worked for Margie, found the woman difficult. It seems Margie was just a mean woman and I enjoyed trying to figure out why as the author gave bits and pieces of her persona. Meanwhile, someone is watching as Julie leaves the cemetery and he seems to have just as much disdain for Margie as she does.

Since the book is short I’ll leave it here. It’s a fast paced read and I enjoyed trying to figure out who The Stranger was following Julie. I thought the feelings she had toward her mother started to get a tad repetitive and Julie was starting to get annoying with it. I just wanted her to let it go because it didn’t seem that deep. However, this too plays into the mysterious feel of the novel. Who was Margie Smith really?

I’m starting to really enjoy these psychological reads and was excited to have caught onto The Stranger’s identity ahead of time which I gave myself cool points for. (It was like a mental game lol) The Stranger is a tad predictable for me personally and I wanted more on Julie’s mother. However, an overall enjoyable read. You can’t go wrong with a book that’s short, well written and to the point.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 4/5

Overall: 4 / 5

The Stranger is available now on Amazon

Be sure to follow Joan online!

Author Website: http://www.joanhall.net/

Twitter Handle: @JoanHallWrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joanhallwrites/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15256532.Joan_Hall

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/joanhallwrites/

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – The Love Labyrinth by Pamela D. Beverly

Title: The Love Labyrinth

Author: Pamela D. Beverly

Print Length: 201 pages

Publisher: Pamela D. Beverly (March 12, 2017)

Publication Date: March 12, 2017

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B06XKGFQ5R

*I received this book as a gift from the author*

When Noelle Harrison meets Clark Johnson on her way out the church doors, she immediately discerns that his kindness is not appropriate for a married woman. Already we can see Noelle struggling. Should she go out to lunch with the young, fine, Clark? He claims he just wants to be friends, is that possible? Can a married woman be friends with another man without romance being involved? This is the question I asked myself as Clark and Noelle made plans for lunch.

The plot thickens as we discover that Mr. Wayne Harrison is a workaholic who is always away on business. In fact, he is so busy that he practically ignores Noelle’s cries for attention and is not as helpful with their two sons as he should be. Frustrated with being ignored, Noelle continues to go on lunch dates with Clark while struggling to hold onto her integrity. Clark wants Noelle and he wants her bad. She has taken over his mind and is now all he thinks about. Noelle has no idea the kind of life altering decision a simple lunch date can be.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. For me, it has a mixture of everything. Of course, there’s the serious question of fidelity and married life but there’s also drama and laughs (Clark’s a bit of a crybaby. I am sure that’s him smiling on the cover.) When things got deep my heart broke for each of the main characters (Noelle, Wayne, Clark) at different points in the story. It reminded me of how precious marriage is but also how important it is not to play around with someone’s heart. The Love Labyrinth is a smooth read, not too fast and not too slow with some well-developed characters.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 5/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 4/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

The Love Labyrinth is Available Now on Amazon

Be sure to visit Pamela on the web!

Web- https://relationspdbeverly.com 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-D.-Beverly/e/B008D278XY

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PamelaDBeverlyAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/writesistah

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6487140

Things to Remember when Seeking Book Reviews

 

Craft a Professional Email

There’s a lot that goes into what it means to be professional so I won’t linger, but you don’t have to have worked in corporate to understand it. In today’s world, you don’t have to be anyone special to get tons of emails. With Social Media, everyone practically has one as it is needed for most social media platforms. In short, we all get them and we all scan and then delete them. To increase your chance of getting your email noticed, be sure your email is first professional.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t use a blanket “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Blogger” or “Dear Book Blogger” or worse “Hey”
  • Don’t talk about how good the book is.
  • Don’t abbreviate words. This isn’t a text message. This is a professional business correspondence. (no IKR, THUR, THO, etc.)
  • Don’t attach your book(s) to the email. You don’t know if we want to read it yet.
  • Don’t post the details of your book as if writing a book review (Title, Author, Publisher, Number of Words.)
  • Don’t keep emailing the reviewer to see if they saw your email.

Do’s:

  • Do address the reviewer by name.
  • Do tell us what the book is about. (Instead of telling us the book is good, tell us what the book is about.)
  • Do offer a complimentary copy of the book (offer, don’t attach automatically.)
  • If you like, do post a few reviews you already have (this is evidence that the book is a good read and is better than you just saying that it is. I would recommend not to overdo it though. Just a few will suffice.)
  • Do sign your name.
  • Do include ways that we can contact you (an email signature is nice with your name and social handles at the bottom.)
  • Do wait patiently for a response.

Visit that reviewer’s website or blog.

This is how you learn our names and find out more about us.

We talked about the email but not all reviewers accept unsolicited email inquiries (I don’t. I have a submission form authors must use to register their book first.) Reviewers who are also bloggers usually have guidelines for how to contact them. If they have a website or blog, visit them and follow their blog so that you can know if they are a good fit for your book or not. Reviewers also tend to have guidelines for how to send information in for a review on their blogs/websites. Find it and read it. Pay attention to every detail and be obedient to the rules. This is like the big pink box on the reviewer’s virtual desk. We love responding to people who are professional and who follow the rules. You can’t ignore the big pink box.

Look for reviewers in your genre.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made is hustling to get reviewed by anyone who would want to review my book. This is OK. I am by no means saying it is wrong as I sure will be interested in submitting to those of you who show interest in reviewing Renaissance, Histfic or not for sure (let’s just go ahead and keep it all the way real). But, I must also admit it’s not the smartest thing in the world either. It is much more difficult to score high ratings or an understanding of the content from readers who are not familiar or are not interested in the kinds of books that we write than those who do. I am not saying it is a guarantee that those of your genre will rate you high or give you a positive review, not at all. However, they will understand your story better. I am not into Horror novels for example. I just never got into them. Although I would read a well-written horror novel, I am less likely to enjoy it as much as a Young Adult novel or Black Literature. There are also elements I may not fully understand.

Be polite.

It’s no secret that some authors are arrogant. I am not sure why, but it is obvious from the start. (Even though being a #1 Amazon Best-Seller for an hour literally means nothing.) Publishing a book does not give any of us the authority to talk down to people. Nothing does. If you are querying a book reviewer, be as polite and considerate of the reviewer’s time as possible. Not just for the sake of your review but for the sake of your integrity as a person period. Just be a good business person and kindhearted regardless.

Be time sensitive.

Book bloggers have tall “to be read” piles. A “to be read” pile is a pile of books you’ve already committed to reading and have not gotten to yet. With Reviews being so important, Indie Publishing being what it is today, and Book Bloggers willing to review Indie Books at a rate much faster than anyone else, book bloggers have a lot on their plate. This means you are on their time. If you give a time limit for the reading, don’t sweat it if the reviewer didn’t finish in time. You don’t know what that person is going through in life or their reading speed. If you are not giving a final copy, be sure to let the reader know this is an uncorrected manuscript.

It’s OK to request the book to be read in a certain amount of time. Those who have the time will do so. However, if they happen to read beyond your time, let it be. Don’t push. It’s a respect thing.

Don’t assume.

Your writing is never measured by how others respond to it so don’t assume you know what the reviewer is thinking. And no matter how disheartening (I know, I hate it too) don’t take the feedback to be a personal attack on yourself. That’s difficult, I know. One of my fears was that people will make assumptions about who I am or what I do because they don’t understand me. However, I cannot worry about that. Nor can I grow from it. Sometimes you just gotta swallow spit and keep it moving. If not then we get all emotional and the result is an author who curses out the reviewer or disrespects them because they said they found two typos. TWO. The author didn’t wait to read that the reviewers ALSO loved the story. Now the person who was going to rate you 5 stars has decided to lower the rating or not to rate you at all. I don’t change my ratings personally but the moral of the story is to never assume you know what the reviewer is thinking. Wait for the reviewer to reveal to you his or her thoughts on the book. Assuming makes a…well, we’ve all heard the saying. That.

Final Thoughts:

  • If you’re wondering, authors can still give free book copies to readers in exchange for honest reviews.

 

  • If you have received a copy of an authors book for review, be sure to mention that you received the book in exchange for an honest review or that you received the book as a gift from the author at the front end of the review so that it is published on amazon. (By front end I mean before you post your review mention you received it as a gift if you did not buy it.)

 

  • Anyone registered with Amazon can write a review as long as they adhere to the guidelines. Doesn’t matter if you’re verified or non-verified.

 

  • If you are a reviewer who reviews books on your blog (or features authors on your blog that requires you link to their books) be sure to use the direct link to the book on amazon and not the entire link. By direct link, I mean everything up to the ASIN number. Anything after that is extra and Amazon uses it to track. This can be why reviews are being removed.

Here’s an example of a direct link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BNYQ7JY < all those letters and symbols that usually come after this is not needed

  • Leaving an Amazon review doesn’t mean writing a literary critique. (There are those who do but you don’t have to.) You are just leaving us your thoughts / opinions about the book. For instance: Go to Amazon.com and find a book you have purchased / read. Scroll all the way down to where you see Write a Customer Review. Rate it and write what you liked/disliked about the book. That’s literally it.

ps. We’ll pick up with Black History Fun Fact Friday next week, time permitting. I should also be finished with a book I am reading in time for another review.

pps. I am going away with the Hubby this weekend (whoo hoo!) so I may be late in responding to comments after tonight (Friday 6/2). I will come back and post pictures of our adventures!


“Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because blogs are technically “social media,” that standard rules of business etiquette do not apply. A query to a blogger—whether you’re asking for a review, interview, spotlight, or guest spot—is a business letter. Would you go to a job interview without bothering to find out if the business is a fashion boutique, a pharmacy, or a XXX porn theater? I didn’t think so. So use your head and put your businessperson hat on it before you hit “send.” – Anne R. Allen, Ann R. Allen’s Blog with Ruth Harris

Book Review Registry – OPEN

Guess what??

a. Had a birthday a few days ago. Totally in the 30s club now.

b. Totally is my new favorite word.

c. I got my PC back.

d. OK OK. I’ll get to it….

….The book review registry is open!

I just have one more book that I am finishing and one more to start from the old list so I am gonna go ahead and open the registry again. I am looking forward to some good summer reads.

I do have a few added rules this time around. When I first implemented this registry last year, I had no idea it would take so long to get through the list. This time around I am only taking on a few reads and I’ll be a little bit picky. Not only am I making room for the book clubs I am apart of but I also totally overwhelmed myself the last time. I took on too many books in a quest to be helpful. That won’t happen this time. I have to put myself at the top of the list.

This helps you as well. A shorter reading list for me means the registry will close early but also open early.

Here’s how it works:

(1) Register your book on THIS form. Its very important that you do so. Do not email me asking me to review your book. Do not send me your book and do not send me all the books in your series at one time. Register every book you’d like me to consider through THIS form. This is important because:

a. It secures you a spot in line if I decide to read and review your book

b. It keeps this process organized for both of us. (Wait, is that kinda the same as what I already said?)

(2) Books registered through THIS form does not guarantee you a review. Again, registering your book does not automatically mean I agree to read your book. If the book looks interesting I will email you for the first Chapter of your book for consideration.

(3) After registering please wait for my email. Stalking my email won’t make this go any faster.

(4) If it looks like a book I want to read I will request your first Chapter. If you already posted your first Chapter on your blog somewhere a link to that post is good too.

(5) If your first chapter is totally enticing and I must know what happens next, I will agree to review your book. You must gift me a copy in exchange for an honest review. (No Word Documents please)

(6) Please be patient as I read the book. Constantly emailing me won’t make me read any faster.

(7) Reviews of 3-5 will be published on this blog, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Please read the form for more information on my Book Reviews. This time around I am looking forward to seeing more African American / Black Lit books submitted!

That’s it!

Please read through my guidelines on the form carefully before submitting a book for review. Remember, Register HERE for consideration.

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – The Sleeping Serpent by Luna Saint Claire

Title: The Sleeping Serpent: A Woman’s Struggle to Break an Obsessive Bond with her Yoga Master

Author: Luna Saint Claire

Print Length: 428 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1928816762

Publisher: Compelled Books (October 19, 2015)

Publication Date: October 19, 2015

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B016LUUB1K

The Sleeping Serpent follows Hollywood costume designer Luna and several other women and their obsessions with their manipulative yoga instructor Nicolas or Nico. Appropriately titled, this book is deceptive on many levels. First, I picked it up as a psychological read but it can easily fall into erotica just the same so that was a bit of a surprise. (As I don’t usually review Erotica but since its not technically in the Erotica category we’ll let it slide).

Nico uses Chakra and Kundalini magic to put women under a spell that makes them cling to him in more ways than one. Falling victim to his elegant speech, smooth words, sex, and laced tea, the women become drawn to him without realizing it. Not only do they allow him to abuse them physically and emotionally, but they also invest in him financially and comes under the captivity of doing whatever he wants them to do and despite how he berates them, the women cannot get enough.

Nico is not just a yoga instructor. Nico is a warlock, a sleeping serpent preying on the vulnerability of successful women in an attempt to turn them into his mother. I think the most powerful portrayal of Nico’s spell is over Luna herself. While she is not as clingy as the other women and on occasion tells him how it is, I feel that the mental hold Nico has on her is stronger than the physical hold he has on the other women. Though married, Luna will drop everything to be with him.

The book is written well and maintains good pacing, although after a while I did start to think the story was just repeating itself as Nico captivated woman after woman and sexes them crazy.

I would recommend this book to lovers of Erotica, Romance, and Psychological Thrillers. (I’m starting to really like these psycho reads! Wait, does that make me a psycho??)

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 4/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

The Sleeping Serpent: A Woman’s Struggle to Break an Obsessive Bond with her Yoga Master by Luna Saint Claire is Available now on Amazon. Go Get it!

How can we encourage more readers to leave reviews for our books?

Excellent idea from Sally on encouraging reviews. I think some people think leaving a review means writing a literary critique. A small reminder that it is just them leaving their opinion about the book is most excellent.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

I am very keen to make reviews a prominent feature of the book promotions and encourage readers to review the books that they buy and enjoy, or not as the case may be.

Word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool that anyone who is selling a product benefits from. Authors are no different, and our books tend to be judged by the number and quality that they have received.

Part of the problem is that those who are not writers of books or blogs are uncomfortable in offering reviews and feel that what they have to say is not important. Many who do review a book, leave just one line after their star rating, simply saying that the reader enjoyed or disliked a book, but they do not elaborate.

That is obviously very welcome. But whilst a potential reader does not want to read three pages filled…

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