Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Problem of Support

As an independently published author, I feel the need to try and support other independently published authors. For most people, this means doing cover reveals or blog tours or promo pieces or whatever... all for material they have (usually) never actually read. And, while I think it's great to support your buddies, I can't actually bring myself to support a work that I haven't actually experienced. It's one thing for me to say to someone, "Hey, I read this and really enjoyed it; I think you should try it, too;" it's another thing entirely for me to say, "Even though I haven't read this [and probably never will], I think you should buy this book." This is nothing against those people that do host people and books and stuff; it's just something that I can't do.

So I try to read as much "indie" stuff as I can and post reviews. I feel, for myself at any rate, that that's a more honest way of dealing with the whole situation. Of course, then, I won't give a good review just to give a good review, which has meant that I've made more than a few people less than happy and feeling rather unsupported. The thing is, though, I feel like honest reviews of indie works are the only way to strengthen the indie book market overall, so that's gonna keep happening. But I can also understand how some people can get upset by it, and I sympathize, BUT...

Well, a few weeks ago I went to this presentation about indie publishing and the woman speaker, who was part of this group of indie authors all working together to get their books out, said that the practice of this group is for each person to 5-star any work that comes out of the group. No matter what. It's required. And, well, that upsets me.
But I digress...

Anyway, it's hard to be supportive when you have people emailing you to ask that you not review their books. Which tells me two things:
1. They don't believe in the quality of their own book, which means it probably shouldn't be out there anyway.
2. The book is probably going to be something I won't enjoy for whatever reason, so, hey, thanks for saving me the time, because I can just take that off of the reading list.
As contrary as I can be, I don't actually like reading bad books. Though, you know, I will if asked to review them.

It still leaves me with the question of how to be supportive of other writers, especially other writers that I like. One review only goes so far, and I can only read so fast, which isn't that fast at all with all that I have going on. I have read a disappointingly small amount of books so far this year, a fact which is greatly distressing me, and I can't just read indie stuff, because there's traditionally published stuff I want to read as well.

But I did have an idea. Some of you may remember that back around the beginning of the year I held the Great Chocolate Contest. The idea was to have people write short stories based on The House on the Corner, and I did have a couple of great entries (one from Briane Pagel and one from Rusty Webb), but, as I said later, I don't seem to be all that great at running contests, even when they involve chocolate (and, Rusty, I just realized I haven't sent you your chocolate, yet, so don't let me forget about that when I send you your book). There was one other entry that didn't make it in on time, because, well, it was just finished recently, but it was from talking to Bryan Pedas about his story that I got my idea: why not feature the story at the end of one of my books.

So that's the big news. Shadow Spinner will be out as a physical book before the end of the June, and it will feature Bryan Pedas' short story "Like An Axe Through Bone." For the time being, this will be exclusive content for the physical book. I'm very excited about this inclusion and that Bryan wrote this story for me. I'm very pleased to be able to be showcasing his work like this if for no other reason than that he wrote the best book I read in 2012: Demetri and the Banana Flavored Rocketship. Seriously, this is a great book, and you all should read it. Well, go read the review and then go read the book.

I'm hoping to feature a "special edition" short story from another author in all of my full length works from now on. I can't actually think of a better way to support the indie authors that I enjoy reading than to say, "Hey, I like this author so much, I'm putting a story by him/her in the back of my book, because I want all of you to read it, too." That's the plan, anyway. And I have some other ideas, too, but that's what I'm working on at the moment. First up is Shadow Spinner with Bryan's story, and, then, hopefully, before the end of the year, there will be a revised edition of House out correcting some typos I've rooted out with a story by someone else. And, if I'm really good, Brother's Keeper will also be out before the end of the year with another story in it. If I have enough interest from people, I may even have different stories for the different types of publication, but I haven't decided that one for sure, yet.

There you go: My Big Idea.

But wait! Before you ask! No, this does not mean the end of the serialization of Shadow Spinner. The book will only be released as a physical book for the time being. The e-format book is on hold until the serialization is complete. For the time being, though, I'm going to be working on collecting the existing parts into collections, because, as Briane Pagel was pointing out recently, for anyone stumbling across Spinner on Amazon, it could be rather daunting to get into seeing as how there are currently 22 released parts, which would mean spending $22 for anyone that doesn't know I run as many as I can for FREE! on release days. And that's not what I want. I've actually been intending to do this for a while, but I was just too busy to take care of it with editing both Spinner and Charter Shorts, Too at the same time. Over the course of the summer, you should see things like parts 1-5 disappear and become just section one or something of that nature.

As with so much of what I did, this whole thing is kind of an experiment. It's certainly not something I've ever seen done before, having someone else's work sampled in the back of a book. I hope it's a good thing. I mean, I hope it works out to be a good thing for everyone involved. Of course, it's not like my sales are setting in charts on fire, BUT every little bit helps, right? and, if I can introduce even one or two readers to another author that I think people should pay attention to, then I want to do that.

[If you think you might be interested in sticking a story at the end of one of my works, let me know.]


  1. I think including a story by another author is a good idea.
    I couldn't support giving five star reviews just because either. Or giving others five stars just to get that in return.

  2. I don't know why you can't participate in a cover reveal or anything like that. It's not an endorsement of the book; it's just helping the author to spread the word through the blogosphere. And needless to say if you don't do me any favors you can't expect me to do you any favors when the time comes.

  3. Pat Dilloway is what is wrong with this world. "I will only scratch your back if you scratch mine." Or, "We can only be friends if you help me out."

    F*** that.

    Your post is why we don't advertise anything on our site unless we truly believe in it, because we've spent time carefully crafting a name for ourselves. We'd like to think that name means something. So what does it say if we pimp out any book that comes our way just because it was written by a friend or blogging acquaintance? What if it sucks? Then that name is tarnished.

    Also, I've seen a million cover reveals on the blogosphere. Looking back, I can't name a single one of them for you. Without a correlating link to where I can purchase the actual book, they mean nothing to me and I quickly forget them.

    Anyhow, I'm looking forward to seeing how Spinner turns out, and not just because my story is in there. And really, that's a great idea with having someone else's story at the end, and I hope it's something that you can keep running with.

  4. Oh yes, I'M what's wrong with the world. Not all the other problems we have in the world like war, famine, disease, various, it's ME. Good logic there, chump.

    A cover reveal or helping someone spread the word about a sale requires almost no effort. If you're really that bloody paranoid put a disclaimer on it saying this isn't an endorsement of the product.

    It's called the golden rule, pal. You treat others how you want to be treated. So if you're going to be an anal prick, expect others to be anal pricks right back at you.

    And the idea that you might "tarnish" the good name of "A Beer for the Shower" is pretty laughable.

  5.'re blog is very interesting today. Love the comments thus far :)

  6. I did not know about the chocolate. I mean, I think Briane Pagel mentioned the chocolate, but I didn't know it was a "will write for chocolate" situation. I must pay more attention.

    The auto-five-star review thing is only a shade above sock puppeting your way to multiple five-star reviews.

    None of that matters, though, because hey! Dead tree release! That is exciting stuff, as is a Shadow Spinner collected e-book.

    (p.s. Pat is not what's wrong with this world.)

  7. Really while I'm at it, who has the better attitude:
    A) the person who says, "Sure you can post your cover on my blog" (ME)
    B) the person who says, "I haven't read your book yet and I don't want to tarnish my name!" (Andrew and Beer Shower)

    So yeah, I'M the one who's what's wrong with the world? REALLY?!

  8. *Passes out popcorn. Now we need to hear from Beer in the Shower. There needs to be some name calling in this here thread.

  9. Jesus, Pat. After reading your comments, you make famine and disease sound tolerable. Don't spill your Mountain Dew all over your keyboard, skippy, it's just an opinion.

    We may not do cover reveals or post books we haven't read, but ask any of our thousands of readers if we don't bend over backwards for them if they e-mail us and ask us for something. We do. And that's without us asking for anything in return.

    See, we don't need an incentive just to help people. ;)

    And the idea that you might "tarnish" the good name of "A Beer for the Shower" is pretty laughable.

    Have you ever actually stopped by our site, or is this just one of those childish "well you're just a stupid head" kind of arguments? Or is this just jealousy because you don't actually have a name yourself?

    You see, we DO have a name, and if all you're basing your opinion on is the fact that that name sounds "goofy," then you're wrong.

  10. Um, wow! I hardly know where to begin. Let's start with specific comments, first.

    Alex: I hope so. We'll see how it goes.

    Elizabeth: Maybe I should buy some sock puppets? I can call them "Bob."
    I probably won't do the whole chocolate thing again. Even giving out the best chocolate in the world as a prize didn't motivate many people.

    Michael: Where's the butter for my popcorn?

    General response about the rest:

    1. My reluctance to do cover reveals has nothing to do with "tarnishing my name." I don't think I have enough of a name to worry about that at the moment. The reason I don't do them is that there are so many of them all the time, and, well, a cover reveal is not a book, and a lot of those covers never turn into books. I get that people are all excited about their covers and stuff, but I'm just not interested until there is a book with it. In return for not doing cover reveals, I also don't ask people to do them for me. I post my covers on my blog, but I don't try to get every blogger I know to do the same. I figure that's fair.

    2. If I help someone out, I'm doing it because I want to do it, not because I'm hoping to get something out of it. I've done more than a few reviews by request at this point, but I have never said, "sure, I'll do that review for you but only if you do one for me." I'm not placing conditions on it. To me, that's the part that's the Golden Rule. The part where I'm doing it because I -want- to do it, not the part where I'm exchanging favors. I don't want to coerce anyone into doing a review for me by holding a return review over the head of the other person. And I would especially hate it if I was doing an exchange like that and the other person loved my book and gave me a good review and, then, I hated his, because, then, I would be conflicted. It wouldn't be a fair trade at that point, so I don't make those trades.

    3. I do want to help spread the word about other people's stuff, which is why I read and review other people's stuff. I think it's more effective in the long run for me to post a review of something a couple of months after the big reveal rather than just being one of a few dozen people saying, "hey! Look at this cover!"

    Those are my current thoughts on the comments. I hope they clarify some of my post.

  11. These are the BEST COMMENTS EVER. I'm with Michael. Popcorn all around. Or Chocolate.

    What's getting lost here is how great an idea this is, seriously. It is seriously great.

    I thought a while back that I might provide some free advertising in my books for authors I like, and also that I might allow ads in my books, period -- so for a nominal price you could take out a page in my book and advertise your book. I still like that idea, but I haven't put it into practice yet.

    But your idea is even better. I started putting extra chapters and blurbs of my own books into my stuff for the same reason everyone does it: "Like this? Buy that." (I remember Piers Anthony doing that way back when.)

    So I could easily put a chapter of someone else's, or a story, or something like that, into MY books, too. And since I only do ebooks it won't affect the price, at all.

    I like this. I like this idea a lot.

    As for the rest of the fight here, I see both sides of PTs and Beer/Shower's arguments, as well as yours.


    I'm more with PT: I don't mind doing cover reveals or announcements (although nobody ever asks me to do them) or things that don't require me to endorse something as "good" when I haven't read it. If you wanted me to mention that you had a book coming out, I'd do just that, and say what I could honestly. (the other day I referenced Alex Cavanaugh's blog and his books, which I haven't read, but I've heard good things about them, so I noted that I've heard good things about them.)

    Some people - you, PT, Michael, Rusty -- could get me to announce something and back it just on cred. If you said you had a book coming out and would I help hype it, I would because you've earned that credit, as everything I've read of yours has been good and professional. But I still wouldn't necessarily endorse THAT WORK. I'd just say something like "Hey, Andrew has a new book coming out, all his other stuff was great, I bet this will be, too."

    And we've discussed before my policy on reviews: Famous/rich/big 6 published authors/movie makers, etc. get whatever review they deserve. If I want to rip on Jonathan Franzen, well, he can take it. Indie/selfpublishers, etc., I will read but I won't review it if I can't give it a good review, which is may way of balancing my need to feel truthful with my need not to hurt someone's feelings.

    As for the "I'll five-star you, you five-star me?" That's bollocks, as my British alter ego would say. I saw some people talking about doing that on Twitter the other day, saying they would all "go viral" together or some such nonsense. That doesn't help anyone, and I'd likely boycott any author who I found suggesting I do that. If you can't get someone to give you a good review without promising to do the same thing, your work probably doesn't deserve it. I don't review people's stuff simply because they reviewed mine (although I will always go check out your blog if you comment on mine HINT HINT HINT).

    You have kicked the beehive that is PT's grumpy soul, though, and I'm looking forward to this debate.

  12. PS: Dear PT, please don't be mad at ME for enjoying watching you and Beer/Shower hash this out.

  13. I don't have a name? That might be news to my parents. Also the Social Security Administration, my employer, etc. I love the big-stuffing in your comment though. I suppose that's why you think you can charge $6.99 for your self-published book. lol

    The context for my comment is that last month I did ask Andrew for a favor and he gave me his spiel here. It was just a small favor too, but nope that was too much for him. Wouldn't want to tarnish his good name. And if he asked me for something now, I'd tell him to take a flying leap. If you aren't going to help me out, why would I waste time helping you? That's what I'm saying; if you take this attitude, don't be surprised when people throw it back in your face.

    Recently I started an archive for my indie book reviews. You can read it herE:

  14. You haven't sent the chocolates yet??!!??!!

    As a contest organizer you get two stars. :P

  15. Brandon and Bryan, don't let Snookie know A Beer for the Shower has a good name - she'll come ruin it for you! Although you did survive Amanda Bynes.
    Briane's assessment of the five star review is spot on.
    Michael, pass the popcorn.

  16. Maybe instead of using the phrase "tarnish one's name" we should be talking about "reducing the trust of one's readership." There are lots of ways to reduce that trust; Andrew is pretty determined to keep it by delivering what he considers to be good value, e.g. fair and honest reviews, interesting content, posts that are long enough to allow him to make his complete point, nothing that could be construed as empty hype or fluff. He sets a high bar for himself.

    That being said, I don't know what PT may have asked him as a favor that he didn't want to do. Andrew's been extremely, intensely busy in the last month +, so it's also possible he simply didn't have time. Friends in real life or online get to decide for themselves how far out they want to put themselves for any other person. I mean, I'm the guy's wife, and even I don't get to automatically expect any favor or request of him. (Because that wouldn't be marriage, that would be a business arrangement. And he's not my employee.) He's got his limits, and that's OK.

    I hadn't heard of this idea of his about the short stories until I read it on the blog this morning, and I think it's actually quite generous and likely to be much more helpful for self-promotion than many things that indie authors are attempting at the moment. (Putting my data-analysis cap on, I'd estimate that about 80% of what indie authors are currently doing is producing 0% of their sales.)

  17. We can charge $5.99 (get it right) for a self-published book because they're worth reading and they sell. Don't get mad at us just because you can't move any of YOUR books for 99 cents. Meanwhile, we've sold just over 20,000 books in the last year. So I don't have to "think" I can charge $5.99 for them. I "know" I can charge $5.99 for them. "LOL" indeed, right?

    And yes, my comment still stands. If you only do things for your "friends" expecting something in return, then you don't understand the true definition of friendship. And if you want me to give your book a 5 star review in exchange for giving mine a 5 star review (without even reading it), I don't want it. Honest reviews sell books. "LOL THIS WAS GREAT THE AUTHOR IS MY FRIEND!" does not. But what do I know about selling books, right?

    Oh, and when I say name, I'm not talking about your literal name. I'm talking about the name you've built up from your blog, from your books, from your web presence, etc. But I suppose that's the best comeback you can muster when you don't have this kind of name and all you can do is swing for the fences. I mean, good lord, it's like stepping in the ring with a disabled kid.


    "No, no, keep your hands up at all times. No, don't hit YOURSELF - hit ME. Dammit, stop hugging the referee!"

  18. Oh, and Sarah, we completely agree. To me those two things - "tarnishing your name" and "reducing the trust of one's readership" - are one in the same (in this context). If we promote a friend's book, and it's terrible, then we look like a**holes. Our readers no longer have a reason to trust what we say. And if your readers can't trust your content, then your name has been sullied. Yes, that's right, sullied. I love using that word.

  19. Beer, you sound like Ron Burgundy there. "I'm kind of a big deal." Though he preferred scotch, so maybe you should change your name. lol

    I never mentioned anything about reviews. Get your facts straight.

    Yo, I didn't hear no bell.

  20. I like the idea of including someone's book at the end of yours Andrew. I thoroughly agree with not touting anything you haven't read yourself.

    My turn for the popcorn, or chocolate if there is any left.


  21. Incidentally, Mr. Burgundy, by your logic the fact I sold more books than Andrew last year means I'm righter than he is.

    Also, if I never read Andrew's blog, I'd have never heard of you, which is why it's so important for bloggers to help each other spread the word about their books. And again, something like a cover reveal isn't a big deal. All you have to do is cut and paste some text and drop a graphic in. No one expects more of you than that. You're not sticking your neck out for them. And nothing says you can't review the book later.

    I did one last week for a book I haven't read (it isn't out yet) and I don't think any endorsement was implied on my behalf. And no I didn't do it expecting something in return. It's just good karma.

    My whole point is simply that if you turn down doing favors for people, don't be surprised when other people won't help you. I suppose someone so big and important doesn't need that, but someone like Andrew who didn't sell 20,000 books last year should be more cognizant of that fact.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. I have the same problem with people asking me to review or vote for their books on Amazon or Good Reads. I'm always happy to help, but not lie. That is a great idea having bonus content!

  24. Hey, things are sounding a bit more civil now. I'm down with that. As a comedian, I think of Mr. Burgundy as a compliment. So thank you. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

    If people want to do cover reveals and book reviews, that's awesome. Good for them. Just don't expect us to do it for something we don't absolutely love. After all, it's our blog, not yours. Don't tell me what to put on mine, and I won't tell you what to put on yours. Seems easy enough, right?

    Besides, we all have our readers and our niches. Our readers don't want to come to our site to see covers and hear about our friends' super cool new books. They want to read our writing and see our comics.

    We've turned down people before, even before we were 'big,' and the ones who were real fans and real friends always came back. The ones who didn't weren't worth our time anyway.

    Get your facts straight.

    Yeah, no kidding! See, I never claimed to be big, but when you throw around know-it-all nonsense like "you think you can charge $6.99 for a self-published book lol" then I have to defend myself and my books and put you in your place. You get that, right? You do understand why I did that?

    So then tell me, what is it? What's your final stance? If I charge $6 and DON'T sell books then I'm a greedy fool. But if I charge $6 and DO sell books then I'm an arrogant jerk who thinks he's a big deal. Apparently there is just no pleasing you, Mr. Powers. :(

    Also, I have to throw this out there - self-published doesn't always equal crap. We had an agent, and an editor, but they weren't working hard enough for us. We realized we could do it ourselves and get more slice of the pie and we could sell more books through our blog and blah blah blah you're not listening anyway and you think I'm just bragging so why does it matter? Look, a hilarious cat picture on the Internet! Meow!


    *That's not a boxing ring bell. That's just the ice cream truck. Ice cream, anyone?

  25. And now, for no reason at all, a dancing cat.
      \\ Λ_Λ.
       \( ˇωˇ) 
        > ⌒ヽ
       /   へ\.
       /  / \\
       レ ノ   ヽ_つ.
      / /
      / /|
     ( (ヽ
     | |、\
     | 丿 \ ⌒).
     | |  ) /.
    `ノ )  Lノ

  26. Now that you mention it, ice cream sounds great.

  27. "Just don't expect us to do it for something we don't absolutely love."

    Gawd, you sound like every agent website out there with that. I'm not asking you to marry me, just help me sell my book.

    Since I guess you missed it the first time: My whole point is simply that if you turn down doing favors for people, don't be surprised when other people won't help you. I suppose someone so big and important doesn't need that, but someone like Andrew who didn't sell 20,000 books last year should be more cognizant of that fact.

  28. I'm not asking you to marry me, just help me sell my book.

    Okay, but no kissing on the mouth and no first names.

    All I'm going to say is this - I hold more respect for Andrew keeping with his integrity and only promoting stuff he believes in than I do for someone who's peddling something that's not good just for the sake of being nice.

    Those are the same standards we upheld when we were getting 10 hits a day and thanking God someone other than our parents read it. And we never suffered because of it.

    You'd be surprised. People appreciate integrity.

    Beer out.

    *drops microphone*

    (...I'll come back and pick that up later. And sorry if it scratched your wood floor. I'll buff out the scratch. I just wanted a dramatic exit...)

  29. Briane: I don't mind plugging an author that I like if that author has already proved him/herself to me. Like, you know, if Neil Gaiman called me up and said, "Hey, would you run a promo on my upcoming book The Ocean At the End of the Lane," I would get right on that, because I haven't read anything by him that I thought was bad. (There are indie authors I'd go out on a limb like that for, too, but I'm choosing Gaiman for my example, because I've read all of his novels.) In general, though, I'm more inclined to wait until I've read the book to say anything, because I think that makes for a better recommendation anyway.

    L.G.: In all fairness to myself, I did tell him I would send it to him along with his copy of Shadow Spinner. I had just expected to be finished with that before now, I guess.

    Jo: Thanks! No one gave me any chocolate, either :(

    Maurice: Yeah, I have that issue, too. I did ask people to vote for my book on a list, once, but I asked it in the context of only voting for it if they'd read it and felt it deserved the vote.

    General Response:
    The thing is, PT, I don't ask people to do that kind of stuff for me specifically because I'm not willing to do it. It would be hypocritical for me to ask people to promote my stuff when I'm not willing to do the same. Not for stuff I haven't read.

    Having said that, I did ask Alex to list a couple of chapters of Spinner on his blog, but that was because I was actually doing an experiment and wanted to see the results of it. Alex promotes so many books, I didn't think he would mind, and I did tell him it was because I wanted to compare some numbers. Beyond that, I've never asked anyone to list any of my stuff as any kind of promotion or anything related to that.

    That said, I'm completely cognizant of the fact that I'm not selling 20,000 copies of anything, but that does make me willing to promote something I haven't read.

    And, Bryan, if y'all are selling 20,000 copies, you're going to have give up that "penniless writer" thing you have going. :P I haven't even given away 20,000 things. heh

    Anyway, I do get that my unwillingness to plug books and covers and stuff may hamper me in some ways, but I think the benefits I get from stance outweigh those. Sure, I could be wrong about that, but, at the moment, that's the way things are.

    You are not the only person I've said "no" to, PT. On the other hand, I've frequently found that when requested to scratch someone's back that, later, when it's his turn to scratch mine, it doesn't happen. (Like that time I went out at 1am to change a flat on my cousin's car because he couldn't do it, but, the next week, when I needed a ride to a place we were both going to, he wouldn't come by and pick me up. And that was my cousin.)

  30. Oh! And where's my ice cream?! I didn't get any ice cream! This is my blog; why didn't I get some ice cream?

  31. Andrew, your ice cream is in the mail. With the chocolate. Careful when opening the box.

  32. "All I'm going to say is this - I hold more respect for Andrew keeping with his integrity and only promoting stuff he believes in than I do for someone who's peddling something that's not good just for the sake of being nice."

    I find it interesting you naturally assume it's crap considering how you said previously people shouldn't assume self-published books are crap. Hypocrisy alert!

  33. I know I said I was done, but that previous comment was so utterly brainless I actually had to come back to reply. So congratulations. That takes some real skill.

    You remember the part where I said we won't promote anything unless we love it? That means that we WOULD happily promote something we love, but will NOT promote something that's garbage. So, say it with me now...

    I hold more respect for Andrew keeping with his integrity and only promoting stuff he believes in than I do for someone who's peddling something that's not good just for the sake of being nice.

    In layman's terms (because apparently my big words just aren't small enough for you) that means that I applaud Andrew for not promoting a book that he doesn't like and telling the world it's good JUST TO BE NICE. That would be LYING. Also, there is no assuming. If he's read it, or even read a sample of it, and he thinks it's BAD, then to him it's BAD. There is no ASSUMING.

    That's a simple enough concept, right? I don't think I can make my words any smaller.

    So please, I'm begging you, PLEASE learn how to read. Especially if you're trying to be a writer. It just makes you look really stupid to anyone else who's reading this.

  34. Holy crap. I'm gone for a week or so and the world descends into chaos. Thanks for the mention today.

  35. Alex: I hope you put it in something that won't leak!

    Rusty: Now, you know how Han felt. I have my own lightsaber, now, too.

    And that's all I have for the moment.

  36. "You remember the part where I said we won't promote anything unless we love it? That means that we WOULD happily promote something we love, but will NOT promote something that's garbage. So, say it with me now..."

    Maybe you need to learn to read since you actually said:

    "All I'm going to say is this - I hold more respect for Andrew keeping with his integrity and only promoting stuff he believes in than I do for someone who's peddling something that's not good just for the sake of being nice."

    See where you mention someone and Andrew and not YOU? Or maybe you're that self-centered you can't think of anyone else. How do you know if I promote something on MY site that it's not good and I'm just being nice? I guess anything you haven't read and signed off on must be crap.

    Anyway, as far as cover reveals go, first as I've said before there's no endorsement implied unless you want to add one. Second, why not let the reader decide? Surely not even your entire legion of fans all has the same exact tastes. What's the harm in letting them go to the book's website and decide if they want to read it? Really with most cover reveals it's the author talking about the book, not you; you're just giving them a forum. Really, what's the harm in that? Why be such a dick about it?

  37. BTW, this entry of mine contains a cover reveal ( I'd love to hear you and Andrew explain how I compromised my integrity by posting this.

  38. You really are a one-trick pony Beer. "You're stupid! I'm greater than you!" Get some new material, dude. Or are you hoping if you say it enough times in enough different ways it will become true?

    Final thought: if you don't want to help people then just say that. Don't try to dress it up as some great moral issue, because it's not. A cover reveal or another kind of announcement isn't a review or an endoresement and it's certainly not lying on your part.

    Nuff said.

  39. I haven't seen Kids in the Hall in a long time. I've dealt with kids like that.

    PT: My specific issue with cover reveals is that too many of them never turn into actual books, so that makes me reluctant to say yes to something like that. More of them are incredibly delayed from when the author says the book will be available, which makes me even more reluctant to say yes. And then there's the part where I don't want to be telling someone else that they ought to try something I haven't tried yet. It's like being at a potluck and goading someone else in to trying some dish to get their reaction before you're willing to taste it. I don't want to be that guy.

  40. I heard there's popcorn over in this corner of the internet. God I hope it's cheese popcorn!

    Until these comments, I'd never heard of a cover reveal that wasn't for a real book. Like, that actually happens? Are they just covers that people make up for their WIPs or something? I need more explanation so I can understand this.

    I've done cover reveals, a few here and there. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe only a handful over the years. But they're always for real books you can, you know, buy and stuff.

    Ii do do the occasional shout out for a new book (have one coming up this month) And since they're for new books, I think it's understood I haven't read the book yet. It's brand new. I read over 60 books a year but even I can't read that fast. But I guess I don't ever say on my blog YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK.
    What I do say, is, this is what the book is about. This is what it looks like. This is the author. If you like the sound of the book, maybe buy it.
    I think that's completely fair, and hell, I've found a crap ton of great books on other people's blogs that I would have never found or read otherwise if they hadn't done the exact same thing.

    BUT! Definitely a thoughtful review is worth a lot. I'm only good at reviewing books I don't like, so if I like your book or love it, its hard for me to express in a constructive manner why I liked it, you know? And also, I have friends who write genres that I just don't like, so reviewing their book instead of promoting it on my blog is not a fair deal for them, you know? I know I won't like their book, but some of my readers might, so I'd rather just give it a shout out in case someone's looking for a book like that.

    My thoughts anyway.

  41. What Sarah said.

    And Andrew, for what it's worth, I think your idea of featuring a story at the end of your books is a great idea and very awesome of you.

  42. When I first started blogging and was less discriminating in whom I followed, there was a flurry of cover reveals for books that were supposedly imminent. Then, there were posts, "Oh, I know this is supposed to be out, now, but it's still not finished. But, look, here's my cover again!" Most of those books never actually materialized. From that, my attitude became, "I want you to announce your book, not your cover." Because, really, I don't care about the cover. The cover is completely unrelated to the book, and, if you're a writer, sell me on your book, not its cover.

    And why I don't just promote books. Again, going back to when I first started blogging, I bought some of these books that people promoted (because I trusted the particular blogger (at the time)) but had never read, and most of them were... less than good. I no longer pay attention to anything those bloggers promote, even if it is something they've read, because I just ignore the promotion all together. I know longer trust those bloggers to be promoting books worth reading.

    In the end, I'd much rather say, "Hey, I read this, and I liked it. Here's why I liked it," or "I read this and I didn't like it, and here's why." I don't want to be that guy saying "hey, my buddy wrote a book! Everyone go buy it!"

    And that's nothing against anyone that does do that, because, hey, I get it, but that's not me.
    As my wife can probably attest to, she's not even guaranteed a promotion from me when she finishes her book. (Except my wife is a good writer, and we talk about what she's doing in her stuff often enough that I know I'm going to like it, BUT, it's not a guarantee. There will be no, "Hey, my wife wrote a book! Go buy it!"

    Yeah, I know that makes me hard.

    Elise: Thanks!

  43. well, FWIW, I don't think it makes you hard, I think it just makes you cautious after being burned one too many times.

    And thanks for expanding on the cover reveal thing. I guess the majority of the reveals or book announcements I've done have been for traditionally pubbed books, or indie pubbed, so there's already a contract and it's not just up to the author. Though I have some self pub friends, too. But all their books are available for purchase.

  44. Sarah A: I think there's a significant difference between a cover reveal from a publisher and a cover reveal from a person. From a publisher, they are trying to generate excitement. From a person, s/he is excited.
    And there's nothing wrong with being excited, but, you know, the book should be finished, first.