Monday, May 21, 2007

Submission Guideline Update

A direct link to the most recent Submission Guidelines post has been added to the blog home page; however, the rules have not changed. Note: All self-published POD imprints (except Lulu) are accepted as of 4/1/08. Any author who wants a review on this blog is expected to put forth a little more effort than that required for a review elsewhere. From this point forward, submitting an iUniverse book for review is going to get just a wee bit easier. Links to all the previous posts relevant to submissions are listed in this post. Note that minor changes in the rules have been instituted since the beginning, so the information in the later posts takes precedence. You can still request a review by saying so in a comment to any post, but now you can also send a direct request to ice9 at nctv dot com. Whether or not this information is posted in a more blatant manner in the future, I cannot say. Due to the direct promotion of my own books in past years, the spammers just love me to death! This has been the main reason submission requests have had to be a bit difficult in the past. We'll see where this goes in the future....

Introduction to the blog with the first Submissions Guidelines

First Submissions Guidelines Update

Making a Submission Comment

Interview with the Reviewer

Submission Guidelines Update

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Truth & Nothing But the Truth

Many of you may be thinking that I must be nuts, trying to attain credibility as an honest reviewer while apparently heaping all my praise on the same couple of authors. Reading the newest review over at POD Critic has inspired me to come clean concerning the whole issue. His review of Ciao! Miami has reminded me all too clearly of what has most certainly been the weakest book reviewed in the history of this blog, and the weaknesses of both books are virtually the same. Bear with me a bit while I explain the close relationships of the subjects stated above.

I cannot tell you why POD Critic chooses to review any particular book, but I can explain my own choices. The most important factor you must understand is that I receive very few actual submission requests, and the time I allot to each submission is probably a lot greater than that expended by any other reviewer. Practically all of my computer time is spent doing research. When I am reading a book for review, I read it only at the times I would otherwise devote to reading any other book, and I love big, fat books. I buy my reading by the pound, and you will never intimidate me with the length of a book. Most of the time, I actually prefer to read paperbacks simply because they are not so heavy to carry around. If I spend several weeks reading a 500-page book, so be it. I have yet to turn down a request for a review. Exactly three of the submissions I accepted by a whisker. If Susan Higginbotham's title and subject matter had been Edward II, I would have rejected it as a cheater, no matter how good the book may have been, and we all know that it is one of iU's shining stars, in both quality and sales. I accepted Dead On for review because I am a big fan of Brian De Palma, and the genre seemed to skirt his style, which it does. I also wanted to know if most of iU's optional praise and support for some books is bullshit. Guess what? It is. When Portraits in the Dark, another quick read, was offered to me right after Dead On, it offered me a chance to test another theory I had about iU's bull puckey. Guess what? The bull took another dump. At least I still had my dignity and credibilty intact. You see, I don't just heap praise on any book submitted to me!

Before I go on to sing the praises of Al Past, Lorrieann Russell, and a number of others, let's revisit a tiresome, old problem: proofreading. In short, most of you iUniverse authors out there are obviously shirking the drudgery. Your duty to your readers has been ignored because that part of the job just isn't any fun. Yeah, I know the old lament that you were just in a hurry to see your masterpieces in print, but give your loyal readers a break. They have usually paid more to read your excessive error count than they would have for a traditionally published book with a lot less errors by a well-established author. Just so you know, I am not the pot calling the kettle black, either. When I count errors, I give you every benefit of the doubt that is reasonable. I edit my own books and I have read my own books, not just in the manuscript form I spent endless time working on, but the final, published books, and I counted errors in those final reads. Some of the best storytelling ya'll have submitted to me have error counts that are easily eight to ten times the error counts of each of my books. I do my own proofreading. Ya'll can do it, too. Once and for all, enough said?

Ya'll can complain that I just review the same authors over and over with the same glowing reviews if you want to because, in the near future at least, that trend is going to continue. I'm writing this now while I listen to Sandy Nelson's best album. It was killer music when it was released in 1962, and it still makes me want to jump for joy. Quality never fades away, and that's the very point of this paragraph. Al Past takes me into a Spielbergian fantasy with Ana Darcy and her loving husband who have adventures that will bring your apple-pie emotions to your face. Lorrieann Russell reminds me why I like misfits and witches. Susan Higginbotham shows me how someone can spin a spellbinding soap opera that even I like. Tim Phelan reminds me that bathroom humor is funny. Several other authors have presented some very special nonfiction subjects to a waiting audience. Before I became a reviewer, I didn't even know what Sudetenland was, or that yankees had heartwarming adventures on the baseball field, too. Yes, of course that's a joke! I certainly didn't realize that the submarine had been initially perfected to whup them yankees, and no, that's not a joke. Believe it or not, I wrote the reviews I thought each book deserved. The only little secret I want to share now is that, in the case of a few of them, there may have been somewhat more of a problem with the plot, characters, or composition quality than I indicated. I may have leaned toward criticism of the editing and proofreading in those cases, just to ease the pain for the author. This applies to those books at the bottom of the spectrum, not the top.

I am almost through with the reading of Lorrieann's sequel, which of course will be the next review. Alan Draven's Bitternest is supposed to be the next one after that, but I have not received it yet. I expect it any day now. Since it had to be sent from north of Yankeeland, Bitternest will be the first book I have reviewed after another member of The Ring. Since this is Nothing But the Truth, I must confess that in no way could I have beat PODler to the draw on that one since Lorrieann writes big books, and the rule on this blog has always been first come, first served. It even looks as if Al Past's Reincarnation will be third in line. Whenever ya'll get tired of the Al Past / Lorrieann Russell fan club, ya'll can always send me some more submissions. Maybe one of these days, I'll even turn one down.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Interview with the Author

Lorrieann Russell
Author of My Brother’s Keeper and In the Wake of Ashes

Lorrieann Russell resides in the small town of Merrimack, NH, outside Nashua, just north of the Massachusetts border. She is currently awaiting the release of her third novel in the series, actually a prequel, due out later this year.

Tabitha: What inspired you to write My Brother’s Keeper?

Lorrieann: I had been researching my family genealogy and found one entry with a single line: William Fylbrigge, Married 31 August 1597 to Mehlyndia Walford, Died 2 October 1597 in Aberdeen, aged 20 years. That was all it said, no elaboration or other details. I looked into the history of Aberdeen and found that particular year to be one of the most prolific for witch burnings – particularly in Aberdeen. A seed had been planted in my imagination and I began to wonder if William had been part of that horrible event. The story grew from there. It is complete fiction.

Tabitha: Is there a particular, actual person who inspired your lead character?

Lorrieann: Yes, and there are clues throughout – snippets of song lyrics worked into dialog that only other sharp-eyed fans would recognize. (Page 111, paragraph 2 for example.)

Tabitha: We have always been advised as authors to show, not tell, the characters and storyline to the reader, and you have apparently taken this concept to heart. Did you simply begin composing in this manner, or was it a concerted, learned effort?

Lorrieann: I wrote the story as I saw it in my head. I know that as a reader, I tend to become bored with too much narrative, and find myself skipping to the dialog, which is usually where the action happens. When it came time to write my own, I just naturally relied on the dialog to push the plot.

Tabitha: The characters in your books seem to come to life as I hold the books in my hands, reading their conversations. Have you envisioned what a movie version would look like?

Lorrieann: Yes! And I ‘cast’ the parts as I wrote them. I will not share who is on the list, however, as I think the readers should do that for themselves—though I have written in clues that only people who know me will recognize. It may be interesting to know that most of my cast is comprised of people who are no longer living.

Tabitha: I understand that My Brother’s Keeper was originally released by Xlibris before you selected iUniverse. That puts you in the catbird seat to tell us about your experience with Xlibris. Can you describe that experience for us?

Lorrieann: When I started with Xlibris, I should note, that the POD industry was very new, and there were a lot of quality issues yet to work out. When I received my first copy of my book to hold in my hand, I was devastated. The quality was horrible. The binding cracked, the pages fell out and the ink on the cover was so thin it came off on my fingers. This was the issue ordered directly from Xlibris! I was told it was a quirk, and they would replace that book. The replacements were just as bad. Interestingly, copies ordered from Amazon were better. I called Xlibris, and was told that quality all depended on whichever print house produced the book. That was not a good answer. I wanted to be certain that no matter where someone ordered my book they would get a quality copy. Xlibris told me basically, that there was no such way to ensure that. They sent me yet another replacement, and when I opened that one, not only did the pages fall out again, but the entire middle section of the book was upside down, and the epilogue came from another book entirely. I pulled the book from Xlbris and moved to iUniverse. I’ve not had quality problems since.

Tabitha: How satisfying has your experience with iUniverse been?

Lorrieann: I have been quite happy with the ease of use and the quality of the product. I do, however, wish they would do more to help their authors, and guide us in marketing. When In the Wake of Ashes received an Editor’s Choice, I thought that meant they’d take a little more interest in my success. All it did was make it possible for me to “purchase” more things from them. One of the ‘bonus’ offerings was a list of newspapers and contacts in my area – which is something I gathered for free on my own. Not terrifically helpful.

Tabitha: What is the most significant thing you have learned as a POD author? Do you have any advice to offer to new or prospective POD authors?

Lorrieann: It’s hard to be taken seriously as a writer, but it is possible. Be patient, and learn the craft and take your time. I rushed to press twice, for reasons that had nothing to do with the book itself, and I wish I had taken more time to polish.

Tabitha: Tell us about the faces that have been carefully integrated into the book covers. Whose face is it? How do the faces key into your intentions for the focus of the books?

Lorrieann: The image represents William. The eyes that are almost invisible in the flames above the castle came from a photograph of a friend of mine, who was the inspiration for the Sean character. He is up there in the flames looking on from a ‘guardian’ sort of perspective. The face lower down, you see the green eyes peering wide-open, belongs to William, and came from an illustration I made of him as I was writing. He is engulfed in the whole chaos around him, yet he does not close his eyes to it.

On the cover of Ashes, once again, I have William and “Sean” and the fire that is a theme throughout. Again, it is an illustration of the face I saw while I was writing. That was actually the last portrait I did by hand. I’ve moved on to digital media since then. The cover for By Right of Blood also features William and Sean, however they look more photorealistic.

Tabitha: I understand you have also published some poetry and a few short stories. Have these been in a print or online-only format? Where can we find these other works by Lorrieann Russell?

Lorrieann: I have been a featured contributor to The Writers Post Journal, published monthly out of Pittsburgh PA. ( I have also been featured in Layers, a local college publication, and in other local periodicals. I also have a personal blog where you can read some of my best short stories, and sneak a peek at a couple of works in progress: I once wrote a deliberately dreadful poem about celery and sent it off under the pseudonym of Abigail B. Wartybutt, that Poetry.Com told me was a finalist in their national contest – though I don’t usually list that in my credentials.

Tabitha: Do you think these publications have helped establish your status as a writer or increased interest in your two books?

Lorrieann: Yes, definitely. I’ve sold more books after people have read my short stories.

Tabitha: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What genres do you like to read?

Lorrieann: My all-time favorite book is Stephan King’s The Stand. I love the way he builds a character and a scene. I love good storytelling, whether it is horror, drama, science fiction, or fantasy. I do not stick to a genre. I am a Harry Potter fan, and I also like Philipa Gregory, who writes Historical Fiction primarily.

Tabitha: What have you been reading lately?

Lorrieann: The last book I finished was Joe Hill’s The Heartshaped Box. BUY IT! Wonderful story telling.

Tabitha: What sort of educational experience do you have, and is it relevant to your writing or the subject matter you have chosen?

Lorrieann: My educational background is in music. I was trained as a coloratura soprano and pianist. Music didn’t pay the bills, however, and I found that I enjoyed eating on a regular basis. I do, however, still compose piano music, and write songs. I sing mostly by request at weddings, funerals and the occasional family lobster bake.

Several of my songs were recorded by New Hampshire folk singer Thom Fury, who was also my musical partner in crime, and life long friend. He was an unwitting catalyst in jumpstarting my writing, when he presented a piece of music he’d written to the words of a Lord Byron poem “Stanzas for Music”. It was very old-worldly, and the mood sad and longing. As it happens, he presented it to me the very day I found the notation about William in my genealogy. When Thom sang the song, I was still thinking about William. When he finished he asked me what I thought, and I looked up and said, “I think I’m going to write a book.” So I guess you could say, my education influenced my writing – sorta. (You can hear the song at: click on tearhwithHarmony.mp3)

Tabitha: What about your work career? Has your choice of profession influenced your writing?

Lorrieann: I would say not so much the work I do, but the people I meet find their way into my stories. Some of them may not be flattered to know this.

Tabitha: Your artwork in the computer graphics field can be viewed at the link in the review of My Brother’s Keeper. What would you like to tell us about your artistic hobby?

Lorrieann: I make my living as an illustrator, so it is a bit more than a hobby, though I never consider it to be ‘work’. I am lucky to have a geeky-technical brain that marries well to the artistic side. By day, I render robots, nuts, bolts, and machine parts for a high tech robotics company, and by night the geek turns off, and I render people. Having a technical background helps me use the software to its full potential, and having an artist’s eye helps me to use it to create the exact image that is in my head.

Tabitha: I understand that you have landed a contract with a traditional publisher for your books. Could you tell us how you have accomplished this highly prized milestone in your career as a writer?

Lorrieann: Lots of submissions and lots of rejections. It was through my poetry and association with the Writers Post Journal that I landed my contract. WPJ was produced by LBF Books, which has recently been acquired by Lachesis Publishing out of Nova Scotia.

Tabitha: When and where will the next release by Lorrieann Russell be available?

Lorrieann: I am happy to say, By Right of Blood is in final polish with Lachesis, and is on the schedule for a July release. I’m very excited as this will be my first traditional publication. Hopefully, coming to a brick and mortar store near you, but definitely through Amazon or Barnes & Noble online.

Tabitha: What’s next for Lorrieann Russell, the writer?

Lorrieann: I am working on three other novels, all of different genre. Notably, Passages, which will be the fourth in my Fylbrigge series, and takes place after In the Wake of Ashes. I am also working on The Last Ballad of Amelia White – which is a horror story set in 1960 New Hampshire and Farewell Arcana, which is speculative fiction about a certain archangel who wants to quit his job but must find a replacement first.

Tabitha: Do you have any final remarks to address to your readers or our audience?

Lorrieann: When I set out to write, I only write to please myself. I tell a story that I would like to read, and in the end, I have found I’m very hard to please, which is why my stories tend to be complicated. I was very reluctant to share my stories until my friend encouraged me, saying he’d love to see me in print before he died. That was the rush to press I mentioned earlier. Thom was my biggest fan, and loved reading my stories. He passed away in 2002, and I have since become a much slower writer. I think he’d be pleased that I have another book coming – one I didn’t rush through.

Ode To Celery

Munchy crunchy in my lunchy
Built in strings to floss my teeth.
Snappy happy never crappy
Impossible to overeat
Cooked or hooked or overlooked
Best when eaten raw, of course
Winny mini, keeps me skinny
So I don't whinny like a horse

L A Wieczhalek aka Abigail B WartyButt

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tricks of the Trade

As an author of four iUniverse books, I have learned a few things that you may be interested in knowing if you plan to release an iU book in the future. Some of these hints may also be useful with other POD publishers, but my direct experience is only with iUniverse. I cannot say with certainty that any of these issues exist in the case of other publishers, but I can tell you that the acquisition of this knowledge has allowed me to produce a more professional product. These little ideas that may or may not apply to your book project are presented here in no particular order of significance.

(1) I design my own book covers. They may not look like much to you, but they satisfy my creative juices and personify (at least to me) what my books are all about. If you do not design your own cover, the cover iU designs for you will be composed of elements; i.e., photographs, that are also used on other authors' books. Design your own cover or expect to one day see your cover picture on someone else's book.

(2) You know that you have a zillion font styles and sizes built into your computer, but did you know that iU has purchased the rights to only a comparative handful of fonts? This fact is of little consequence within the book, but the cover is another story altogether. You can request a list of the fonts iU has permission to use on your cover before you get too involved in its design. Then the cover they present to you is likely to be a lot closer to what you designed, assuming you don't try to utilize a font they don't have, anyway.

(3) Take your own cover photos. If the photo is to fit the front cover, as on my books, be sure to take vertical, not horizontal shots. Believe it or not, I use a conventional 35mm camera and send the film to York Photo Labs, who sends me back a set of 4" x 6" prints and a CD-ROM. York has been getting high ratings as a cheap mail-order lab for decades. A couple of 36-exposure rolls and the CD cost only about $14, and together they give you a lot of control for a book cover. The CD version will be 100 resolution, not the 300 iU requests for a cover. The 100 resolution CD photos can be copied into a folder and worked with infinitely until you have selected the shot you want, done any cropping or other quick modifications through a software program of your choice, and decided exactly what the cover photo is to look like. You will also note that the prints you received from York will look more accurately like the book cover than will the CD-ROM versions, so you can refer to the prints as you move through the decision process. If you want the cover photo to fit the 6" x 9" cover, as on all my books, and you want the most perfect picture, you will have to select your prize negative (or more than one if you still want further choices) and send it (or these) off to York or someone else for 8" x 10" print(s). When you get the 8x10's back, you want to scan them into your computer using 300 resolution, and cropping them if desired. You can actually follow the iU instructions to the letter and make your scan the exactly correct size (just over 6" x 9"). Of course you can lighten, darken, or anything else you might have in mind, using your scanner. You can also obviously use far more exotic graphics programs to make a montage or other special effect, but that is beyond the scope of this article. I'm just telling you here what I have learned about producing my own cover designs, which do not involve any program such as PhotoShop.

(4) Did you know that you can add a color photo to the back cover or a black-and-white one in the back matter? You can also pay an optional price for more photos. Personally, I tend to spend my money here instead of on some of the company's bull-hockey, over-priced options. The photos may have cost me cash, but at least I know what I really got for my money.

(5) Use underlining in an iU book as sparingly as possible. Something about the iU or Lightning sytem cannot handle underlining very well. It comes out looking way too heavy, a distraction to the eyes. Yes, I know we all have links we want to use, but you can delete the underlining before you send in the final proof. What are the readers going to do; click the book page?

(6) Watch out for the deadly, high retail price structure! You can make yourself a copy of the iU chart and click the word-count button on your Word document occasionally to track where you are as you compose the book. I watched that chart like the Tazmanian Devil watches Bugs Bunny when I was writing Timeline of America. That book could have easily hit a $35 price point!

(7) In the same vein as #6 above, you can use a smaller font in the book's text, too. After your manuscript is complete, you can play with this feature in Word to get a feel for the price points. For a more professional look, consider different sizes of font for certain elements outside the main book body. (See #9 below.)

(8) I hope you know that iU offers special price deals almost continuously. Be sure to put your name on the company's e-mailed newsletter list long in advance of the release of your book so you can track exactly what deals they are offering. Any monkey can figure out that if your book is a big boy, free copies are a lot better deal than dollars off, but the reverse is true if you are composing a quick read.

(9) Don't just breeze through all that malarky about front matter and back matter in the instruction document. Look at the traditionally published books on your own bookshelf. Do you want your book to hide in the forest with them or look like self-published junk? I thought your middle name was Robin Hood, so give all that matter some thought, and put in whatever might be appropriate for your book.

(10) If you don't do anything else on this list, read the earlier post on this blog entitled The Proof is in the Nitpick. If the methodology described there does not suit your personal situation, please, for the sake of your readers, find an equivalent method that works for you! It's the error count, Josephine, the error count! That's the best way there is, Josephine, to spot one a them Prnt Own Dumand books!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tabitha & Me

I'm feeling a little silly today, so I thought I would post an actual photo of Tabitha and one of me. I apologize to Tabitha for outing her. She's mad at me for letting the world know that she can read, type, operate a computer, and impersonate an author!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The De Facto POD Review Ring Chart

This is intended as a quick-reference chart of the blogs in The De Facto POD Review Ring. The current eight members are listed in the chart in Date Established Order. Most, but not all, of the members have responded to an e-mail request to enter the data they would like to see stated for their blog site in the chart. The data for the remaining members has been taken directly from the blogs. Please refer to the genre codes at the bottom of the chart. The information is current as of May 1, 2007. Hopefully, this chart will live a long and happy life at various locations on the web, and we can periodically update the information. Thank you to all who are participating in this project.

Name: POD People -
Blurb: A Review & Commentary Site Devoted to Self-Published Books
Founded: January 10, 2006
Submissions: Open to Submissions as of 9/6/08 & highly recommended
Submission Format(s): Electronic versions preferred - paper copies accepted
Author Interviews: Rarely, and only upon request
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: All
Preferred Genres: Any
Notes: A small team of (currently 12) reviewers run by two writers who are not self-published, but are enthusiastic about quality poetry and prose in any format. We host both a blog and a fixed website. News, promotions and commentary relating to self-POD may be submitted to the blog and will be posted at our discretion.

Name: Leo Stableford -
Blurb: One Monkey, One Typewriter, Infinite Deadlines - POD reviews for all interested parties
Founded: January 14, 2006
Submissions: Open for Submissions as of 4/27/07, but no recent activity present
Submission Format(s): Paper copies preferred; e-books accepted
Author Interviews: No
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: Generic Fiction
Preferred Genres: FA HO SF TH YA
Notes: Long-time reviewer rated 4.6/5 by peers at Francis Ford Coppola's online workshop from over 130 reviews given

Name: POD Book Reviews & More -
Blurb: Legitimate Reviews for Deserving Authors and Their Readers
Founded: July 12, 2006
Submissions: Submissions are closed as of 11/7/10.
Submission Format(s): Actual paper copy of the published book required
Author Interviews: Yes
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: All adult and young adult genres welcome. If you don't have two digits in your age, you aren't tall enough to ride this roller coaster.
Preferred Genres: Cheaters need not apply (See posted Submission Guidelines.)
Notes: An exceptional level of personal service from a team of highly experienced authors/critics is offered to those whose books are accepted for review. Reviews are posted on multiple, key websites, too.

Name: P.O.D.lings -
Blurb: Hoping to Help Aspiring Authors with Honest Book Reviews
Founded: August 16, 2006
Submissions: Submissions Permanently Closed as of 5/15/07
Submission Format(s): PDF and paper
Author Interviews: Yes - Also offers Podcasts
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: Self Published & Small to Large Press Novels
Preferred Genres: AA CH FA SF TH YA
Notes: Small-press published author with several novels written

Name: None May Say -
Blurb: Personal Outlay Developed Reviews
Founded: November 23, 2006
Submissions: Submissions Open as of 3/24/08, but no recent activity present
Submission Format(s): Various
Author Interviews: No
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: All POD media, including music and other art forms
Preferred Genres: Feature reviews of free online books
Notes: Reviews of music not on corporate labels

Name: Pub-ioneer -
Blurb: "To boldly go..." - Self Published Book Reviews
Founded: November 25, 2006
Submissions: Last Post 5/4/07: Site has been removed from
Submission Format(s): Digital formats preferred
Author Interviews: No
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: MF MY SF TH - E-mail synopsis for other genres
Preferred Genres: A taste for dark, edgy, unusual stuff
Notes: No nonfiction, literary, or poetry accepted

Name: POD Critic -
Blurb: Where I dissect the books of aspiring writers and publishers who employ print-on-demand technology
Founded: January 30, 2007
Submissions: Closed to Submissions as of 4/15/07
Submission Format(s): Paper copies preferred, but digital files accepted (PDF preferred; MS Word/RTF accepted) - See blog site for latest information.
Author Interviews: Yes, but solely by reviewer's choice
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes, for authors and micro-presses
Publication Dates Accepted: All - Will apprise of any changes
Preferred Genres: None - Film, Television, & Speculative Fiction subgenres considered
Notes: Experienced book editor fosters and promotes all aspects of quality work: writing, editing, and production.

Name: The PODler -
Blurb: Reviews of POD Published Fiction
Founded: April 6, 2007
Submissions: Permanently closed to submissions as of 5/4/09.
Submission Format(s): PDF & TXT files
Author Interviews: Yes
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: ES FA HI MY SF SU TH
Preferred Genres: Any of the above
Notes: Home of the International Print on Demand Book Award

Name: Odyssey Reviews -
Blurb: Honest Reader Reviews of POD, Self-Published Books and More
Founded: June 25, 2007
Submissions: Open to submissions as of 12/5/08
Submission Format(s): Paper copies only
Author Interviews: No
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: Any considered except erotica
Preferred Genres: Fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery
Notes: At least one book reviewed per month. Books will be donated to the local library.

Name: The Slippery Book Review Blog -
Blurb: Reviews of Selected Fiction from Small Presses
Founded: October 17, 2007
Submissions: Open to Submissions as of 11/22/07, but not recommended
Submission Format(s): Unspecified - See Submission Guidelines
Author Interviews: No
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: No
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: Any fiction considered except erotica and hardcore horror
Preferred Genres: Only writing, publishing, and marketing subjects accepted in nonfiction
Notes: POD submissions accepted only after the submission of a sample chapter

Name: The Lulu Book Review -
Blurb: Reviews and Commentary on Lulu published authors only
Founded: Launched 2/25/08. First Reviews posted March 1st.
Submissions: Submissions are open as of 9/6/10 & highly recommended
Submission Format(s): Electronic versions or hard copies preferred. Will also purchase copies on our own to support the author. Electronic submissions will go to the top of the list due to easier and quicker access.
Author Interviews: Only upon request, although we may email an author for insight on their book from time to time
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: Consult most of the Lulu Top 100 for the types of books we are not seeking. We do not reject every example within certain genres, but we definitely have preferences.
Preferred Genres: CE, CH, GF, GL, HO, NF, PO, RO, SF, & YAGenres Not Considered at This Time: BU, CR, FA, HT, SF, & WS
Notes: We want to hear from the lesser known Lulu authors who deserve some time in the spotlight, particularly those appealing to a larger audience such as literary fiction and poetry. We are seeking out books of short stories, cookbooks, and books about animals, too.

Name: The POD-dy Train -
Blurb: All Aboard The POD-dy Train for reviews of POD books, companies, and other review sites.
Founded: Launched 4/7/09. First review site review 4/9/09.
Submissions: The site was removed from Blogger 5/9/09.
Submission Format(s): Digital PDF's sent to only.
Author Interviews: No
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: All
Genres Accepted: Many genres of fiction, but very few of nonfiction. We do not reject every example within certain genres, but we definitely have preferences.
Preferred Genres: AA, BI, ES, GF, GL, HI, HO, HU, LI, ME, MY, SU, TH, & YAGenres Not Considered at This Time: BU, CE, CH, CR, FA, HT, MF, NF, PO, RO, SF, SH, & WS
Notes: Before submitting a PDF, the author must read the submission guidelines and send a brief description of the book and either a JPG of the cover or an online link to it.

Name: The Boogle -
Blurb: Reviewing books for authors who are proud to be independent.
Founded: 5/23/09
Submissions: Open for submissions as of 5/23/09 & recommended
Submission Format(s): Print Copies Only
Author Interviews: Upon Request
Articles of Helpful Information for Authors: Yes
Publication Dates Accepted: Recent, with forthcoming titles preferred
Genres Accepted: All
Preferred Genres: Fiction
Notes: As an independent author who understands the challenges of marketing without the help of a gigantic publishing apparatus, Mark McGinty has dedicated time to help promote self-published and independent authors by reviewing their books and linking their websites.

Genre Codes:
AA - Action Adventure
BI - Biography
BU - Business
CE - Collected Essays
CH - Children
CR - Christian
ES - Espionage
FA - Fantasy
GF - General Fiction
GL - Gay & Lesbian
HI - Historical Fiction
HO - Horror
HT - How To
HU - Humor
LI - Literary
ME - Memoir
MF - Military Fiction
MY - Mystery
NF - Nonfiction
PO - Poetry
RO - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Self Help
SU - Suspense
TH - Thriller
WS - Western
YA - Young Adult

Read the Authors Den article about the Review Ring and Chart.