Check Out My First Book Review!

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It’s a daunting task, getting your self-published book reviewed. There are many sites to offer reviews, however, some may ask for upwards of $425 for a review (I’m looking at you, Kirkus Reviews). I tried making a list of other things I could purchase with $425, but all I could come up with was 42.542 paperback copies of my book, Ask Me About My Grandcats. It’s available on Amazon. No big deal.

Fortunately, I found a website called BookLife that offers free reviews. Check this out:

BookLife is a website from Publishers Weekly dedicated to indie authors. The site provides a free and easy way to submit self-published books to Publishers Weekly for review, and offers editorial content—success stories, interviews, author profiles, how-to pieces, news, and features—geared toward helping indie authors achieve their goals. Whether an author is focused on writing and editing, art and design, or marketing and distribution, BookLife has valuable resources that can help along the way.

The question I had to ask myself was, am I ready to be one of their success stories? Imagine me, Mike Jenkins, granting interviews, inspiring others to pursue their dreams, running down hotel hallways from sexy groupies. Don’t trip on your way to the limo, Mike, lest the throngs of pretty girls overtake you!

After buying a Costco 50-pack of black sharpies for autographs, I submitted my book. They also asked if I wanted to submit my book into their yearly BookLife Prize. It only cost $99 to enter my book, but you could win $5,000 not to mention a profile in Publishers Weekly. Have you heard of them? Oh, good.

The only problem I had with entering is how it might ruin the chances of some other author who thought they might win. It felt like using a shotgun to swat at flies, but hey, we’re all on the same playing field. For now.

After just 3 short weeks, BookLife got back to me concerning my free review. The website warned that it could take from 6-12 weeks to receive a review, but obviously they couldn’t resist this. So, what did BookLife have to say?

Dear Michael,
Thanks for submitting your BookLife project (Ask Me about My Grandcats: And Other Essays) to be considered for a Publishers Weekly review. Despite the strength of your project, our editors have decided not to send it out for review.

Well, that’s…I mean…the thing about it is…

Imagine being so good at something that nobody wants to give you a chance. I hope they give my $99 to someone who actually needs the help.

It’s The Author Media Push!

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After months and months of hard work and finally procuring a manuscript in which to publish, most authors are subjected to a media blitz upon publication of their book to create buzz (and therefore, money). Here’s Michael Jenkins, author of Ask Me About My Grandcats giving a rather candid interview with Wayne Kirkpatrick.

Wait, what’s going on?                                                                                                                   I’m so glad you asked! I’m Mike Jenkins and I wrote a book of comedy essays. It’s called Ask Me About My Grandcats; it’s full of chuckles. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it.

What do you want?                                                                                                                        Well, you know how the publishing business is, Wayne. I have to go parading around and do interviews like this to the mainstream media in order to boost sales. Hey, I don’t want to be here either, but that’s the name of the game. My book is available on Amazon in paperback and E-Book format.

I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have a show! We’re standing behind a 7-11, this is crazy!
7-11, Walgreens, CVS, Wawa, Sheetz, Jiffy Lube, Target, I’ll do it all. No platform is too small when you’re peddling a book, Wayne.

Please put the gun down.
(sigh) Wayne, that’s not a question. How…how long have you been doing this? God, it’s like amateur hour out here.

Will you please stop pointing that gun at me?
Ah, there we go! A legitimate question! I’d love to, but I’m still sensing a little resistance…? So, I’m gonna kind of keep it as is…? I’m sure you understand. Look, I’ve printed out a list of interview questions you can ask me. A little professional courtesy between you and me.

“When–when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?”
Bor-ing! Come on, man. Let’s get our hands dirty. And why are you shaking so much? It’s not chilly out. It’s a beautiful spring day behind the local 7-11!

Uh..Um… “What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?”
Hmmm…(scratches head with barrel of gun)…that’s a good question. “Literary Pilgrimages.” Ummm… I’m sorry, I can’t answer that question without sounding like a pretentious asshole. You understand.

“Does your family support your career as a writer?”
(Wincing, waving gun) Next question. Next question!

Will you please let me go?
Ha-HA! Oh, Wayne, I love this banter! What a dynamic we have! Unfortunately, I have answered that question way too many times today, but this is good. We’re having fun.

“How do you celebrate the completion of a book?”
Excellent question! Back at my place I have a book-release party planned with various folks, including some A-list celebrities. I’m talking party hats, I’m talking kazoos, I’m talking sparklers…

Wait, A-list celebrities?
Look, if that guy holding religious signs outside the local Shell gas station isn’t considered A-list, I don’t want to know who is. Want to stop by? I still have to go inside the Sev and get some slurpees. It’s going to get crazy up in there! Is there a particular flavor I should get you?

You know I’m going to call the cops once this is over, right?
See, I want to believe you…? But I think I’ve charmed my way into your better judgement. I’m going to give you my address anyway. This is a good idea.

I just want to go home and hug my family.
Bring them along! I live above the local hearing aid place on Main street. Front-view apartment, no big deal. Oh Christ, are you crying?

You’re just so sad…
See you at the party, Wayne!