Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Maybe you’ve heard of BookLife, the division of Publishers Weekly that focuses on the indie market. I wish I hadn’t heard of it.
The idea behind it is to promote indie writers with PW’s imprimatur, providing a searchable catalogue of titles and authors with links to the various sales markets. There’s also an annual fiction contest and opportunities to spend money marketing your books – $149 a pop, I do believe. Oh, and they take submissions for free reviews.
That’s right, you might get your book reviewed by Publishers Weekly!
I signed up and submitted all of my books for reviews. They tell you that they don’t accept very many, so don’t expect miracles, and because they expose the books to an actual evaluation process it could take “up to 12 weeks” to hear back. Wishful thinking. For my first two rejections from them, it took about a year. Then after about two years I heard that they would review Occasional Soulmates! Or not. The email said something like, “Some books selected for review do not receive a review.”
Now, you’d think that having your book selected for a review would result in a review. Further, you might be inclined to think that having your book selected for a review would result in a relatively positive review, since they expose these books to an evaluation process in the first place. To make sure it was good enough.
Well, think again. About a year after they said they’d review Soulmates, and I had completely forgotten about it, they finally coughed up a review. And guess what? It was shitty!
So I finally got my wish of having a free review in Publishers Weekly, but in the classic sense of “be careful what you wish for,” it was crap. Boy, was I pissed.
Just last week I got another email from them – this long after I canceled my goddamn account because of what they did to me. It said that they would not be reviewing Fascination.
I was overjoyed.
All of this is a way of saying that if I were you, I wouldn’t spend one second or one dollar on Publishers Weekly’s BookLife. It won’t help you, and it might just hurt you.
(Also, why BookLife and not Book Life? I’m sick of the corporate smearing of words together!)