Sunday, 13 November 2011

Self-Publishing? Galley and Reviewer Quandry . . .

It's my final week of craziness and I feel like the gibbering white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland . . . "I'm late!  I'm late!  For a very important date!  No time to say Hello.  Goodbye.  I'm late!  I'm late!  I'm late!"

This fall, I bit off more than I could chew!  I signed up for too many classes, what with working part-time, doing a weekly blog and trying to publish my first book.  I've learned my lesson!  Gemini or no Gemini, I'm not twins and I won't do that again . . . I hope!

The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it.              - Plutarch (46 AD - 120 AD)

My book cover is my main focus at this point.  It was pure joy to see the sample cover Tom Carey brought to class, and KNOW that my 96,000 words are REALLY going to be a book!  I'm no country mouse, but the reality was beyond words.  I still want to play with a few more ideas, once life settles down a bit, but I've decided SIMPLE and SYMBOLIC is best for my memoir.  There's also fonts, but that's for another day.  


I always thought a GALLEY was the compartment of a ship, train or airplane where food is cooked and prepared.  But this month, I learned a GALLEY is also a term for a pre-production copy that PUBLISHING COMPANIES send out to reviewers and people of the press.

Does a book's SUCCESS depend on favorable and widespread book review coverage?  And what about self-publishers?

Self-publishers have EVERY RIGHT to this favorable and widespread marketing tool . . . but you must plan in advance!

 In theory, there are usually 2 printings; your galley run and your main print run.  A GALLEY is also known as an "advanced uncorrected proof," these words should be printed on the front and back covers. (Galley is also a synonom for ARC, advance reading copy).

KEY REVIEWERS need to see your book well before your release date, 3-4 months prior, giving them the time to read and review.  This is to collect advance endorsements, "blurbs," for your final edition.

A GALLEY run can be simple, or they can  look identical to the final version . . . which is strongly recommended.  (The Well-Fed Self-Publisher - Peter Bowerman)

I've tentatively set July 4th, 2012 as my book release date for Diary of a Vet's Wife, my memior, inasmuch as Chapter One begins on July 3rd.  If this doesn't happen, my next preference is Veterans Day 2012.

My book will be in it's final version before sending it to a KEY REVIEWER.  Will I have "advance reading copy" printed on the front and back?  Probably not . . . an added expense.  In researching the key reviewers listed, some want an ARC from the PUBLISHER, not a self-publisher.  For this battle I must super-charge my TENACITY. . . you never know unless you try.  Are you game?

These First-Line Reviewers can get the word out early, if you can get your foot in the door, and they end up selling lots of books.  The main ones are:
Note:  Reviews should be FREE!!

There are endless BOOK REVIEWERS on the Internet.  Remember, there should be NO CHARGE!  The DIFFERENCE with these reviewers - Once a good review is posted, their followers may want your book in their hands . . . it must be available for purchase!  Books are impulse buys, don't lose a sale!

The best free resource I've seen on indie book reviews:
  • - has a list of over 101 reviewers and growing.  All have followers.  Check comments, as a few try to charge for a review.
  • Also, - seems like an endless list. - The First Word on the Book Publishing Industry - Stay on top of the publishing news by signing up on their website.  Good info.

I could go on and on . . . but this is a start and will keep you busy for a while . . .

Food for thought:  If you're self-published (or POD - print on demand) and ready to go . . . why not start your research and contact a few new reviewers each week?  And watch the MAGIC happen!

Lesson learned . . . my two cents

Last week in my writing class, I learned that a SELF-PUBLISHED book can now be SUBMITTED to an agent or a small publishing house in lieu of a Book Proposal!  Once you've stepped out on your own and have established a track record . . . you may want to PLAY with this idea.

Do you have favorite book reviewers you would like to share?


  1. Nancy, this is a lot of great info you've put together. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. I am loving the build here, your excitement is jumping off the pages. And I still feel a tad guilty from learning off the back of all your hard work. Jennifer at LitEndeavors is a good reviwer as well as writer, but she hasn't posted recently. I also recently discovered but there are many other wonderful ones on shewrite as well. Enjoying this journey of yours.

  3. I'm still trying to decide whether to try for traditional publishing or to just go for it and post my work as e-books. One is for ego, the other is for exposure and better royalties. LOL Thanks so much for this information, and may refer back to it. Like Brenda, feeling a little guilty too, but ....not too much. hehehehe Thanks!

  4. Nancy -- you are a wealth of information -- thank you for sharing so generously!

  5. It makes your head spin sometimes doesn't it, the amount of information to sort through. Before publication, I did contact a few reviewers so I could get some buzz going. And since then I try to contact a few a week as a way to keep the buzz going. I just started poking around on this website this week, it has oodles of reviewers, all with pretty large followings.

  6. Kelly - I'm always pleased when you stop by. I know your schedule is busy with two books released, and now writing your YA. Will your sister be doing the cover for this book as well? Wishing you much success! :)

  7. Nancy,
    Thanks for sharing all of this great information with us. I feel a buzz of excitement brewing. Looking forward to July 4th! There will be a lot to celebrate.

  8. Thank you Nancy - I almost feel as if it is possible now!