When I set out to self-publish Open Minds, one of the first things I did was research book bloggers: finding the ones that would take self-published books, ones that were interested in my genre, and especially ones with those magic words in their policy (I prefer paranormal YA). Then I queried them, carefully reading their review policies and tailoring my queries to each blogger. It was a very similar process to querying agents, only I got a amazingly fast responses and a very high hit rate on bloggers interested in the book. Plus they were friendly and fun.
WIN all around.
When the reviews started coming in, to say that I was pleased would be a huge understatement. I've quoted several of these reviews in my promotional efforts and they have, without doubt, helped to sell the book. I'm thankful for each and every one of them, not least because I know how much time it takes to read and review.
And then there comes along a review like this (from Danielle at There's a Book):
"In a growing pool of young adult fiction Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn stands out as a novel with a fantastic premise, excellent characters and an incredibly well executed plot."
And this ...
"As many of my readers know, I don’t read many self-published books primarily because I find the stories underdeveloped and poorly edited. To be honest I’m completely shocked Quinn’s Mindjacker series hasn’t been picked up by a major publisher, because it certainly doesn’t fall into either of my dis-qualifiers. This is a novel that’s been extremely well thought out, written beautifully, and it’s obviously been edited professionally."Most of the book bloggers I queried either didn't specify or explicitly stated they would accept self-published books. Danielle was one of the few that I queried even though she stated that she did not take self-published books. I had followed her blog for some time and really respected her ideas about children's literature.
"Reading is something I feel can have a transformative effect on people and so much more so on children. The effects can be seen into adulthood and beyond. That’s one of the reasons I decided to create this site." - Danielle at There's A BookI very politely asked if she would consider making an exception for me, and I would have been completely understanding if she had not, because bloggers have policies for a reason. I'm very grateful that Danielle made an exception and was willing to give the story a try. (Please, self-publishers, don't flood her inbox asking for exceptions, just because I did!)
As more and more quality self-published books find their way on to the virtual shelves, I am sure that more and more book bloggers will make exceptions for them. Because one thing I've notice about these fine reviewers: it's all about the story for them.
Which is awesome. (Thank you Book Bloggers!)
Speaking of story, today and tomorrow's blog stops include excerpts from Open Minds, more reviews and giveaways, and an interview with the lovely Sherrie Petersen, where I do quick post-mortem (I'm not dead yet!) on the launch and blog tour.
AND: Don't forget to check out the Goodreads giveaway at the bottom.
WEDNESDAY, November 16th
A Tale of Many Reviews
Julie at A Tale of Many Reviews has an excerpt from Open Minds (not the first chapter!), in which we get to see a bit of Raf and Kira trying to negotiate their relationship in a mindreading world. Plus Julie is hosting a giveaway!
Write About Now
Fabulous fellow author-friend Sherrie Petersen has interviewed me on her blog Write About Now:
Launching Open Minds: A Conversation with Susan Kaye Quinn
in which I do a preliminary post-mortem on the book launch and give a brief status update on Closed Hearts.
Grace at Mother Lode has posted her review of Open Minds as well as hosting a giveaway!
BONUS: A totally fun review/interview by Sher A Hart: Help! I've Been Mindjacked!
THURSDAY, November 17th
Stella of Ex Libris has posted my guest post:
"Slang: Using Language to Flavor Your World"
in which I might have called Adam Heine a ninja. She is also hosting an e-book giveaway!
Katie's Book Blog
Katie of Katie's Book Blog has posted an interview and an e-book giveaway of Open Minds! She also has posted her review.
Summary of Giveaways this week (lots of chances to win!):
Scribblers' Cove Two E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/30
Random Thoughts Bookmark and Paper/E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/17
The Reading Housewives of Indiana E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/18
Book Lovers Inc. E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/19
Buried in Books E-Book Giveaway, open until 11/15
Mel's Random Reviews E-book Giveaway, open until 11/18
There's a Book, Ebook Giveaway, open until 11/30 Coolest. Giveaway. Form. Ever.
The Fairy Tale Nerd, E-book Giveaway
A Tale of Many Reviews, E-book Giveaway, open until 11/22
Mother Lode, E-book Giveaway, open until 11/30
Ex Libris, E-book Giveaway, open until 11/25
Katie's Book Blog, E-book Giveaway, open until 11/30