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How not to pitch your indie book

Posted by Maria Murnane | July 3, 2012

I recently stumbled across an eight-minute video in which a young book reviewer named Liz ranted, for lack of a better word, about self-published authors. Liz has nothing against indie books; it’s the way some authors approach her that drives her nuts.

Full disclosure: Liz is not a professional book reviewer. She’s a college student who loves to read and enjoys sharing her opinions online, and as a result, she’s garnered quite a following. Her witty video reviews average about 800 views, and she has more than 1500 Twitter followers.

I thought the points she made in her video were excellent, and I also thought she was hilarious, so I dropped her a note asking if she’d be up for chatting with me. She kindly agreed.

In her words, here are her top pet peeves about getting pitched by indie authors:

They really don’t tell you who they are. No sort of introduction other than, “I’m the author of this book.” That seems quite shady to me.

  1. They use the same message to email you, send to you on Goodreads, and more. It’s annoying and I really don’t want to read your book.
  2. The lack of attention to detail. I mean, thanks for emailing me and telling me how your book is like (Insert NYT Best Selling Author’s Name Here), but I don’t read that author’s novels! You would know if you actually looked at my blog or YouTube channel.
  3. The lack of editing. They’ll cite some sort of editor, but there are hundreds of typos and/or grammar mistakes. You may not have been an English major in college, but there are many books on writing, grammar, and more at your local bookstore. Also, reviewers aren’t editors. We only review finished works.
  4. Get the hint! If I don’t respond to your emails or other messages, I don’t want to read your book. So stop it!

This is not the response you want to your pitch!

There are a lot of influential book lovers like Liz in cyberspace, and you want them rooting for you, not deleting your emails. As you implement your own book marketing campaign, you’ll be less likely to land on the wrong side of their good graces if you take the above grievances to heart.

For those of you who are curious, you can view Liz’s video here.

-Maria

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2012 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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