I think it important to do a numbers wrap-up, don’t you think? What I’ve done this year, what I’ve seen, how bad of a mood I was in. Why not?
# of self published/indie author review requests received: 241
(This doesn’t include any that I received that didn’t follow directions and ended up getting deleted unanswered, so that number is actually higher.)
# of books accepted from self published/indie authors: 10
(That is an incredibly low number. Like really low. 4% out of that 241. Even lower if you were to factor in those deleted unanswered emails. This actually makes me reconsider whether I continue accepting self pub/indie review requests because . . . why? It just seems like a whole lot of needless email for me to sort through.)
# of books read, total: 85
(I struggled with this number. I’ll be lowering it a smidge in 2018.)
# of DNF titles: 1
(A self pub title that the author decided to call a draft in the middle of sending it out on review requests so that was fun.)
# of 1 star reviews: 6
(Only 7% hooray! Except 4 out of 6 were from self pub/indie authors . . .)
# of 1.5 star reviews: 4
# of 2 star reviews: 4
# of 2.5 star reviews: 4
# of 3 star reviews: 15
(Oh! Getting far less cranky! 20% of my books read this year fall under the 3 star rating. Not too shabby!)
# of 3.5 star reviews: 3
(Guess this isn’t a rating I give out too often.)
# of 4 star reviews: 17
(20% of my reviews were 4 star reviews. This is Best Bitten territory if you’re looking on my Goodreads profile.)
# of 4.5 star reviews: 14
# of 5 star reviews: 13
(So roughly 52% of the books I’ve read were 4 stars and up. I think that’s pretty damn good. And just to reiterate, a 3 star review is not necessarily a bad review. But for me 4 stars gets you into the Best Bitten category and five stars you get a rousing Squeemer (a holdover term from early in my blog).
Sometimes it feels like I give more negative reviews than not, but obviously that’s not the case. But I think I still should reconsider self pub and indie authors for review. They make up 30% of the under 3 star review books and 80% of the 1 star review books. Those are not good odds. Literally half of the indie/self pub books I accepted for review/read ended up at the very bottom of the pile.
As an indie author I’m well aware that it’s damn hard to get your book out there and the more book bloggers there are reviewing indie authors the better. But guys, you all don’t make it easy. Maybe I don’t make it easy. I have no idea. I literally accepted less than 4% of the indie book review requests I received this year and of that number half of them ended up sucking. Agents do it because it eventually turns into a revenue stream for them. I make nothing off of this blog and sifting through indie author emails is a large chunk of what I do. Only to be rewarded with a 50/50 shot, at best, of finding even a decent book in that slush.
So I may not actually do it anymore. It just does not appear to be worth my time and the odds are absolutely not in my favor of finding anything good in that slush pile.
With that being said I did find some gems this year, both indie and traditional. Many more traditional. The more attuned you become to your own reading habits the better you’ll get at sifting through what doesn’t catch your eye. When I first started blogging I pretty much accepted everything that sounded even vaguely good (or popular) and my negative review ratio was significantly higher. Only now I can’t be bothered to waste that much of my time reading books I’m only vaguely interested in. So I don’t. And lo and behold most of the books I read I think are at least great. So I think I’m going to stick to that.
I hope you reached your own reading goals this year and that 2018 brings you a wealth of knowledge and, of course, books!