An idea about reviews for new media & independent publishers

Alright, so here’s a post about a concept that has occurred to me. It would probably serve me well to implement and participate in it, but -like so many of my ideas- it will probably not get further than this post. Depends on how ambitious I feel, I suppose.

It’s a pretty basic idea: Old media’s old ideas about reviews don’t work in the new digital world.

Not just because fewer and fewer book reviews are being published, and not just because the old media isn’t interested in new media, independent and self-publishers, and anyone who happens to use the ‘new’ tech of print-on-demand (unless they “hit it big”, sell out, and stop being those things). The old ideas don’t work for reasons I discussed here semi-recently: More books are being written and published than ever before, and more than could ever be reviewed in the old media without overwhelming everything else. Over a thousand new books a day in North America alone, last year. Heck, five of those were mine. So what’s the solution for getting all these new books reviewed? Heckifiknow. But I have an idea for getting some of them reviewed.

How about creators themselves -rather than just pro and amateur reviewers- review each other’s work? There could be some sort of central site where authors could log in and connect with each other and readers could come and see all the reviews in a central, searchable, well-organized location. The reviews could be done quid-pro-quo, ie: I’ll review yours if you review mine, and every book review then brings visibility to both works (because there’s always that “[name of reviewer] is the author of books such as [blah] and [bleh] and writes a blog at [blerg]” at the bottom of a review). Authors could exchange PDFs (MP3s, HTML files, URLs, et cetera), or probably, if they wanted a paper copy of the book, send them a pBook at cost (instead of full retail, since you’re getting a review, but also because none of us wants to go broke trying to get internet reviews). Reviews could then be cross-posted to the authors’ blogs, linked form their books’ sites, et cetera… Increasing the visibility of the review site. And the site would be able to scale better than most of the solo-blogger-reviewers out there, since every new author that wanted to be reviewed would have to become a reviewer. It should be media-agnostic, since we’re all internet people, here: eBook, audiobook, POD book, dynamic hyperbook, whatever, it’s all good. Lots of duplicate reviews are (I think) good, since different people have different opinions on different books – book reviews aren’t objective. A system similar to the one they use at MiniBookExpo For Bloggers could be used (except not just for Canadians), so one could be restricted to three (or so) pending reviews at a time.

Obviously, such a site would take a certain amount of work to be put up and maintained, but since it’s powered by the strengths of the network (each independent author / publisher handles their own distribution of the books, and is in charge of posting their own reviews, and for generating traffic to the site, and the more authors are involved the better the whole thing works), it’s mostly a matter of getting it off the ground.

Ooh, or does this exist already, and I don’t know about it? Point me in the right direction. I’ll sign right up. I should be doing more reading, myself, and adding the selfish motivation of getting my own books reviewed sure would help get me to review other people’s works. I bet it’d do the same thing for yours. Know anyone who could help put this thing together?

Dragons’ Truth is now a Podiobook

Dragons’ Truth is now available in an additional format.  Sticking with the idea that it’s reasonable to charge money for physical products and that digital products should be available free (or at least published under a CC license), the downloadable version of the audiobook of Dragons’ Truth is available for free through  As with the E-Book versions of my novels, you are welcome to pay for the digital copy if you like (see or the Kindle store to pay for the E-Books; more options coming soon), through the donation link at podiobooks, and I’ll get 75% of whatever you donate (the rest goes to running the site & feeding to all the people who download and don’t donate), or you can just grab the entire book for free and enjoy it without spending a penny.  The whole book is available there now.

So, the formats Dragons’ Truth is now available in are:

Digital, for free under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License<:

  • E-Book in any of (currently) 7 DRM-free formats
  • Episodic Podiobook subscription


Physical, for $:

  • Paperback book for $12.99
  • Audiobook on 4 CDs for $24.99
  • Audiobook on 1 MP3 CD for $12.99
  • Kindle E-Book, list price: $8.35 (usually available for $6.68)


You can also listen to the first chapter of Dragons’ Truth for free without signing up for a account by visiting  If you enjoy what you hear, please consider buying the audiobook on CD, on MP3 CD, or in paperback.  If you don’t want to pay full price, there are usually stores listed at AbeBooks or in the Amazon Marketplace that will sell you new copies of the paperback at a significant discount (and I still get my share of the wholesale cost – though obviously, ordering directly through is the best way to support me as an independent creator, I understand the need to be frugal), and you still get a “real” book instead of data on a disk.

Oh, and one more thing: If you do decide to read the book for free online, or listen to the audiobook for free through, could you please take a couple of minutes and review it?  You can rate/review it at directly, Amazon reviews are always helpful, blog posts are great, even a < 140 character review on Twitter or Plurk would be good.  I will gladly link to any reviews, blog posts, SM profiles, et cetera from both and this blog, so please let me know if you do write something about any of my books.  (Even if you just talk about what you didn’t like!  I can certainly work to improve future releases.)  Oh, and be sure to tell your friends, too.  I’m sure they’d enjoy it.