I’ve been involved in indie book promoting for a couple of years now and I’m becoming alarmed at a new trend. There are suddenly a number of sites that either used to be indie friendly or were indie friendly until their sites got “legs” and all of a sudden there are restrictions on what books they will promote or you have to almost win the lottery to get listed in their newsletter or posted on their site. Now since this is their business model we have to accept it. Or do we?
As an indie author you choose to publish your book yourself because the “gatekeepers” (publishers) either didn’t want your books or you decided *you* didn’t need *them* to be able to publish your book. One of the things publishers did in the past and don’t do as much now is promote their authors’ books. As indies got out there and started promoting their books they started getting on websites like ours that are happy to give almost all books a place to be listed, promoted and give their authors a place to speak out. But wait! Now many of those *other* sites want you to have 4 or even 5 star reviews. And LOTS of reviews. And sales ranking. *Before* they will list you or promote your free or bargain priced book.
How are you supposed to get those reviews and sales if they won’t let you promote your book? I smell gatekeepers trying to decide who gets to promote and who doesn’t. Personally, I don’t like gatekeepers. I’m one of those people that wants to be able to decide for myself whether a book is good or bad. As a reader do YOU want someone to decide what you get to even look at? Sounds like some people left the publishing companies or PR companies and decided to set up their own way of gatekeeping that doesn’t really look like gatekeeping.
There are discussions in almost every Facebook group I belong to (I belong to many!) where people are trying to figure out how to “get accepted” on this site or that site. They have to be *approved* to spend their money. In print publications there are space restrictions so I get that your ads there need to be approved. Price keeps a lot of people out anyway. I can also sort of see companies wanting to keep their promotional emails short. Sort of. As a reader I like having choices.
Some of the most popular free book emails (Author Marketing Club and Awesome Gang come to mind) don’t restrict who can post in their newsletter. It goes out with however many books have been submitted as free that day. The same with ours. And none of us charge to be included in our daily emails or site listings. We have a paid feature as an option, but again we don’t punish you because you are a new release or don’t have enough reviews.
I’m not saying the sites that have requirements are bad, I’m saying why let another gatekeeper take up your time and energy when you can use that time to write more or add your book to more places that are happy to list you. Why do you need to worry about more rejection emails?
I’m and indie author and plan to stay that way. My books are niche and don’t have and probably *won’t* have 25 or more 5 star reviews. At least not until my books have been around a while. I’m proud of what I am putting out there and won’t be discouraged or distracted by trying to get on a site that doesn’t fit my books profile. I don’t want or need more gatekeepers. I get emails directly from people that enjoy my books. That’s enough for me.
What about you?