Six Reasons Authors Still Want Publishers


1. Objective validation
To be “chosen” by a publisher means that a group of people who are widely read, and who see dozens of new projects come across their desks every week, believe your book has value and will find a reading audience. It means that people who see all kinds of writing—from really bad to really great—believe that yours is somewhere in the ballpark of “really great.”

2. Editing and design
Virtually all writers, including the very best, will find their writing improves and their books are better because they’ve worked with talented editors. Publishers also provide a professional and polished interior and exterior look for their books, in both electronic and paper formats. Of course,​ you can hire people to do this if you’re indie publishing, but with a traditional publisher, it’s part of the package.

3. Expanding your readership
Even though writers usually need some kind of platform and they have to do a lot of marketing on their own, the publisher does their own marketing, reaching whole different audiences than the author is able to reach on their own.

4. Mainstream media
Traditional media is still an important driver of book sales — talk shows, news programs, and reviews in major magazines, newspapers, and websites (New York Times, Washington Post, People, etc.) Not every author can get this kind of publicity, but books published through traditional houses have a much better chance. Most of the mainstream media still choose not to review or feature self-published works, except for the occasional phenom.

5. Partnership and expertise
Authors know that when they work with a publisher, they’re partnering with a company that has years, decades or even centuries of experience choosing, editing, designing, marketing and selling books. Sometimes it’s nice to know you’ve got a partner who knows what they’re doing.

6. Emotional payoff
There is just something special about the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For many people, the dream feels fully realized when they’re contracted by a traditional publisher.

Alberta Sequeira
other writer’s site:


19 Ways to get book reviews when you launch

Free Review Sites

1. Affaire de Coeur
Affaire de Coeur is a bi-monthly literary magazine that has been around for 34 years. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, it reviews works from a variety of genres, including historical, contemporary, paranormal, erotica, young adults, non-fiction novels and more. Accepted reviews might be featured in the next available print issue based upon the book release date. Keep in mind, though, that availability is limited.
Submission guidelines:

2. American Book Review
The American Book Review is a bimonthly publication that has been around for more than 30 years. It reviews disregarded works of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction from small presses. It gives strong emphasis to literary and cultural pieces. And although it critiques non-fiction pieces, it does not review self-help and how-to books.
Submission guidelines:

3. Barnes & Noble Review
The Barnes & Noble Review is an online magazine that evaluates works of fiction and non-fiction and gives voice to a wide range of essays, interviews, and other topics.
Submission guidelines:

4. Booklife by Publishers Weekly
The “Booklife” is the section of Publishers Weekly dedicated to self-published authors. Submission is competitive because it evaluates submissions for traditional and self-published books following the same standards.
Submission guidelines:

5. Compulsive Reader
This is a must-check. The Compulsive Reader has been around the block since 2001 and counts on an extensive portfolio of prolific reviewers. For the most part, it emphasizes works of poetry and literary fiction​ but also features in-depth reviews on a variety of book genres and music.
Submission guidelines:

6. Rain Taxi Review of Book
A quarterly print committed to champion high-quality literature, Rain Taxi Review of Books reviews work neglected by the main media, including fiction, poetry, nonfiction (except self-help, business), art, graphic novels, and on occasion, children, young adult, ​and audio books. This one is worth consideration.
Submission guidelines:

7. Readers’ Favorite Book Review and Award Contest
Readers’ Favorite is another must-see resource. With more than 1,000 reviewers, it reviews published and unpublished books, ebooks, and other manuscripts in more than 100 genres. Once you submit your book, it is upload to a database where reviewers can choose what they want to read. There is no guarantee that all books will be picked for review, but for the author that needs a guarantee, it offers a service called “expedited review,” for a fee. Authors also have a chance to participate in the book giveaway program and other neat and exclusive features from the site. Furthermore, different from other services, Readers’ Favorite doesn’t give reviews below 4 and 5 stars. If reviewers read a book they feel it is not worth an outstanding rate, they write a constructive note to the author. The idea is to help the author improve their craft, instead of bringing down the book.
Submission guidelines:

8. The Los Angeles Review of Books
The Los Angeles Review of Books is a non-profit organization, with a mission to recreate a new concept of book reviews for the digital era. It welcomes any long-form of authoritative, captivating writing and accepts works of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
Submission guidelines:

9. The New York Review of Books
The New York Review of Books is an independent literary magazine that has been around since 1963. Highly regarded for bringing a critical and substantial perspective of the arts, the journal counts on a diversified roster of writers and reviews book in multiple genres.
Submission guidelines:

10. The Rumpus
Celebrating art and authenticity, The Rumpus showcase reviews of the most diverse genres as well as essays, interviews, music, film, and comics. It also champions the work of unknown authors or those overlooked by the mainstream media.
Submission guidelines:

Paid Review Sites

11. Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews has been around since 1933, and it is possibly one of the most regarded review services around. This magazine covers reviews from big houses to small presses and indie authors in all genres and gets millions of impressions a month on its website. The best about Kirkus’ process is it gives the same attention, respect, and unbiased review regardless of which way you published your book. The reviews are done by professional reviewers and writers in diverse industries including librarians, journalists, and literature experts, among others. Reviews get an extra boost when editors choose 40 of them to be featured in the bi-monthly issue of the magazine and one to the weekly email newsletter—potentially reaching more than 50,000 readers. All of this comes at a price, though. A standard review (7–9 weeks) costs $425 and express reviews (4–6 weeks), comes at $575.
Submission guidelines:

12. Choosy Bookworm
Choosy Bookworm is a book marketing website, providing a range of tools for authors. Among the services, it offers a popular reading and review program that abides by Amazon review standards. The books are reviewed by readers/subscribers of Choosy Bookworm. Once you sign up, you choose between standard ($149) and premium services ($299)—the package includes​ advertisement space on Choosy Bookworm’s site and newsletter—and submit your ebook file. Depending on the package​ you choose, your book is submitted to a certain number of “interested readers,” who will leave their honest opinion about the material. The program is so popular that some of the features are fully booked for months. It is worth checking out because some genres are more popular than others​​​ so your book might have a better shot of getting a fast turnaround. Also, it accepts both published and pre-released books.
Submission guidelines:

13. Reading Deals is another popular book-promotions site, and it is operated by Book Marketing Tools. It offers a book-review service starting at $79 (Classic) and goes up to $129 (Featured). Both packages include promotion add-ons through social media and/or special placement. The books are reviewed by members of its Review Club, and reviews comply with Amazon and FCC guidelines.
Submission guidelines:

14. Enas Reviews
Enas Reviews offers a more affordable option for your review needs. For a maintenance and listing fee of $29, you will receive a thorough critique of 400-500 words written by professional writers. The site currently accepts all genres.
Submission guidelines:

Additional Review Outlets (Free)

15. Amazon
Looking for Amazon top reviewers is a smart way to get reviews for your book. Why? Because Amazon incentivizes reviewers who write quality, helpful reviews to customers—top reviewers receive special badges and Hall of Fame placement. The higher the rank, the better for the reviewer. And this will depend on the number of “upvotes” the reviewer receives. In other words, the more quality reviews they write, the higher the chances of upvoting.

When you go to the Amazon top reviewers page, you scroll through the list and look for the reviewers’ requirements. Many will have their information, including email or website and what they review at the page. Although some only review products, many review books as well. As a side note, it is beneficial to focus on genre-specific reviewers.

Writing & Book Bloggers Sites
Reaching out to book bloggers and writing services are also an excellent way to get your book reviewed. Still, keep in mind that those people also receive a lot of requests and might have limitations with time (as happened to me). So follow their requirements closely and be patient with response time.

16. Crime Scene Reviews
This site focuses mostly on mysteries, thrillers, crime novels, espionage, and contemporary and international fiction.
Submission guidelines:

17. Masquerade Crew
It currently reviews most genres, but as a requirement, authors must have a Twitter account. Submission guidelines:

18. XterraWeb Books & More
It accepts most genres except comic books, graphic novels, and textbooks.
Submission guidelines:

19. Social Media
Social media is another powerful way to get book reviews because there are all types of readers interacting and discussing the latest on their readings or favorite authors.

I particularly find LinkedIn valuable to reach out to book reviewers and receive a quick response. Maybe because of the nature of the network (business-like), the probability of finding professional reviewers increases.

At the same time, you can be successful at finding reviewers in Facebook groups. There are groups where not only writers can promote their work, but there are also readers willing to give authors feedback. The more active groups you participate in, the better.

Twitter is another helpful source. If you go to the search toolbar and enter the hashtag for #bookreview or #bookreviewer, a list of entries will come up. You click on “people” and there you can find many to choose from, according to your genre.

The same principle you used on Twitter, you apply for Instagram. The difference is that on Instagram, you will have to click on each image that pops up in order to reach the user profile.

For a list of more services that are available through our network, including the Bestsellers Program, go to,

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How do I write a query letter

write, think, polish


A query letter is a one-page cover letter that is meant to introduce the agent to the writer and her book. The letter should have a paragraph each for the hook, the mini-synopsis of the work and the writer’s biography. The letter should end by thanking the agent for considering the work and saying that the full manuscript is available on request.

The letter should be addressed to a specific agent. The first paragraph should include the title of the book and its hook, which is a concise, one-sentence tagline for the book that attracts the reader’s interest. If possible, the writer should include why she is writing to this specific agent. The second paragraph should sum up the entire book. It should expand on the hook by giving information about the main characters, their conflicts and problems and how adversity affects their lives. It should also mention the word count of the book. The third paragraph is a biography of the writer. It should be short and only related to writing. Then, the writer should finish the letter with the closing. A query letter should be in 12-point font and single-spaced with a space between each paragraph. The writer should include her phone number, mailing address and email address.

Alberta Sequeira

Joining a Writer’s Group

Book on table

Today’s article is written by regular contributor Susan Bearman.

Writing can be a pretty lonely business. Butt in chair, eyes glued to computer screen or favorite notebook is not the most social activity, but it is the way most of our work gets done.

Joining a writing group can keep you from turning into a total hermit and put you in contact with other people who love writing just as much as you do, people who may be able to help you or who you may be able to help somewhere down the line.

Writing groups come in all shapes and sizes:

workshops and lectures
critique groups
writing conventions and conferences
online groups
MFA programs
residency programs
The length, meeting frequency, duration, and location of these programs vary widely, but they all have one thing in common: they offer a community of and for writers.

It’s fine to talk to family and friends about your writing, but unless they are writers themselves (or at least avid readers), their eyes will eventually glaze over somewhere between the third and thirtieth revision of your work in progress.

Each of the kinds of writing groups listed above has advantages and disadvantages. Today I’m going to talk about a specific kind of writing workshop, one that meets weekly and has speakers who are professionals in writing.

I’m lucky enough to live near Off Campus Writers’ Workshop (OCWW), the longest continuously running writing workshop in the United States. Our group meets weekly for two-and-a-half hours on Thursday mornings, September through May.

We have speakers from all areas of the writing spectrum covering topics that range from a close investigation of the ending of novels to how to write an effective query letter to how to set up a blog and Facebook page. Some speakers offer critiques, others do not. Each week is like a graduate-level class on some aspect of writing.

If you choose to join a group like OCWW, here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way to make them work for you:

Make a Commitment

Go to every session. This should be your time, an investment you make in your writing and your career. You never know what you might miss if you skip a week. There was a time when I used to pick and choose which sessions I would attend.

One time, I got the dates mixed up and showed up for a speaker who wrote fantasy novels, completely out of my realm. During her presentation, she spoke a lot about the business of writing, showed us actual (redacted) contracts, and helped me better understand how to market myself and my work. Had I followed my inclination, I would have missed all that valuable information.

Being around other writers is always inspiring. As the speaker shares his or her knowledge, I find the synapses in my writer’s brain start firing a lightning speed. If an idea occurs to me during a session, I turn to the back of my notebook and write it there so it’s easy to find later. We frequently have an informal lunch after our sessions. Some people are eager to continue the discussion, but I know just as many who are eager to get home and get writing.

Don’t Judge by Genre

I read a lot about the kind of writing I do. I’ve been studying it and doing it for a long time.Through my writing workshop, I have found I often learn more from writers who work in different formats and venues than I do.

From our poet speakers, I have learned about pacing, rhythm, and economy of words. From the mystery writer, I learned that every page you write — no matter what your genre — should have your reader asking, “I wonder what comes next?” From the food writer and restaurant critic, I learned the importance of setting the mood, identifying the telling detail, and finding words that will make your readers feel as if they are living the experience themselves.

Every single speaker has had something to teach me.


Most groups offer time to meet and greet before or after the session, or sometimes during a break.

Make the most of these opportunities. Introduce yourself to your neighbor on either side. If possible, try to meet the speaker. If you don’t already have a business card, you can get very inexpensive ones made (100 cards for under $10) or print them yourself. It doesn’t have to be fancy — just your name, title (“writer” will do), and email address. Hand them out and collect other people’s cards to start your writing network.

If there is a discussion or Q&A, by all means, ask your question or offer your opinion. But don’t monopolize the discussion, and always be polite and as positive as possible. When offering a criticism, make sure its constructive.

Take Good Notes

Some people at our workshop bring laptops and type their notes right into their computers. I use the spiral notebooks I buy from Target at the beginning of the school year (10 for a dollar). I’ve seen others use fancy journals and fancier pens, but I like the working attitude of my spiral notebooks. If a session is particularly inspiring or germane to my my writing, I type up my notes at home.

Be sure to note the date and topic, as well as the speaker’s name and any contact information he or she shares. If the speaker invites you to friend him on Facebook or send questions by email, do it. Start that conversation and expand your network, but use common sense. If the speaker offered to answer questions by email, keep yours relevant to the topic of the day. Don’t expect her to be your new best friend or to introduce you to her agent. In other words, don’t be a pain.

Join the Board

Joining the board of a writing group is a great way to beef up your writing street cred. It shows that you are passionate and committed to your craft, and it looks great on a resume or query letter. Most writing groups are run by volunteers. Our board has 15 members, others are much smaller, some even larger.

If you have a particular affinity for numbers, you might want to volunteer to be the group’s treasurer. I’m currently the communications chair for OCWW, because even in my volunteer activities, I like to be writing. It keeps my skills sharp and pushes me to stay current on social networking. Our programming chairs often extol the value of the contacts they have made while booking speakers for our sessions. Use your vocation or avocation and find a way to make a difference in your group.

Writing groups can be a great way to expand your knowledge, meet other writers, and develop a valuable network. Like anything else, the more you give, the more you get. The Writer magazine maintains a list of writing groups. In the UK, check out the National Association of Writers’ Groups. Or do an Internet search using “writing groups” and your location.

Alberta Sequeira

Free Book Reviews

We read books and post the book review on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, LinkedIn, Google + and other social media. We review films, art, poetry as well. We will try to post the review on Amazon but we can’t guaranty Amazon will post it. If Amazon won’t post it, you can at least use our review on your Amazon book page in the Editorial Reviews through your Amazon Author Central page.

Due to the volume of emails, we cannot personally respond to every request, but if we decide to read your book, film, poetry, etc., the review may take us 3 months or more.

If you want a review of your book, film, poetry, etc. in two (2) weeks or less, we have an optional priority review service for $45. We look at these requests first. The payment for a priority service review in two (2) weeks or less will not in any way make us give you a favorable review, as all our reviews are completely honest. If we decide not to review your book, we will immediately refund the $45 priority review service fee to you.



This may sound easy, but the promoting isn’t an easy project. For me, it’s trying to find how to reach the newspapers, journalist, people to email introducing your book where your genre is best to introduce.

Money is such an important factor. It’s easy for professional to say, invest in a marketing company, agents to help, and take up other avenues promising to help. If you don’t have the flow of money to get it going, you’re stuck reaching no one.

Yes, we need a book opening to pull in the reader and have them want to turn one page after another. For some authors, this may be something so normal and comfortable, while others struggle getting the juices flowing into your story.

Maybe some writers or authors enjoy the conferences, meeting other writers, or paying for the help. Search engine is a huge door opening, but again, you need to know how to get your topic and tags up on the internet or you stay hidden.

There aren’t many authors to ask, because many are not famous to say they did it right. Or maybe, I’m too isolated to know them. Again, “Networking” is the key. Get a list of readers on a mailing or email list to keep them updated.

In other words, it could be a hit or miss. You need hard work and some of us have it in us while others fall short. Which one are you?

Alberta Sequeira

Books at”>

Developing an Author’s Bio

Are you at the point of needing a bio to introduce yourself? I remember way back in 2005, (boy, is that dating myself) attending a class run by Steven Manchester, another Associate Member of Authors Without Borders ( He’s an author of so many Best Sellers today. I met Steve when he ran a workshop titled “How to Get Published. He has been a mentor of mine ever since.

I laughed knowing I hadn’t had my first book out yet, or even finished, and he wanted the writers to fill in a bio of ourselves. Lets see, I had my name, address, telephone number, and the title of my book.

Now, it’s 2018, and I have published three memoirs, a Narrative Non-Fiction, three handbooks, teach three different workshops, and in the middle of writing my first women’s fictional becoming a trilogy. I became a speaker on substance abuse after losing my husband and daughter to this horrible, worldwide disease.

I developed fear, panic, broke out with a sweat, weak knees, pounding heart, and clammy hands and forehead talking in front of an audience (even with 2 people..maybe one). Today, I talk at halfway homes, rehab, court-ordered programs, inmates in jails, to families, and to the public. Oh yes, I still get this symptoms mentioned above, but I push myself through the tension.

I’m a director, producer and co-host to the NBTV-95 cable TV show out of New Bedford, Massachusetts with three other authors. I interview others on our show and get interviewed myself on other networks.

I write frequently for The Cape Cod Today blog or articles for newspapers. In fact, for five years!

I became a promoter with all these locations from hearing the difference between a poor author to a rich one. The poor ones enjoy just selling books at festivals or bookstores. A Rich Author wants to do more to get noticed. These are the thing I have accomplished for the past 13 years.

You’d think I’d be real famous by now, including being rich, especially, having the topic of losing my husband and daughter from alcohol and drug abuse. It’s a subject matter that effects so many of us day in and day out.

It goes to show how hard promoting is when I can honestly say, “A handful of people in the area know me.” I’m not famous or had the chance or opportunity to reach someone to help me get ahead. I’m comfortable within my skin to stay the way I am hoping to reach an alcoholic or drug user and save them.

I’m at the point of getting up there after years of pushing ahead, still young at heart, and try not to think about the work being hard. Age shouldn’t be the factor. We need the drive. Somedays, I wake up with so much energy and hope to get myself on the internet to reach all I can with my topic.

If it’s meant to be, I’ll get noticed. If not, I’ll continue on writing and enjoying the time being retired. We all need something to keep busy and feel like we are giving to someone else, instead of looking for something in return.

Disappointment will come in-between or something will bring you hope beyond anything that doors are opening. Example: Weeks ago, I had a producer from the CBS This Morning TV show from New York call me, stating that my letter, out of 700 from around the world, stood out to her. Wow! This HAS to be my break. She wanted my pictures, bio, and other information.

Patience is a good virtue. Patience!! I’m trying. It’s the wondering; am I going to get called, did she forget about me, did she lose interest, what is going on, if anything? I have author’s friends who have received emails or phone calls that their books will be made into a movie. Talk about frosting on the cake, to only hear that there was not enough money, or no one was interested in the book. Disappointments. Yes, what could hurt more?

Filling in a bio with what you have accomplished takes years. How fast depends on you. There are some authors happy to write, have the book on Amazon, and others who want it all. But, we have to go for it. Fame and getting known will not happen on its own…not that it hasn’t.

So, keep your writing going and just enjoy it.

Alberta Sequeira

Website:<a href=";
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Author’s Experiences

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For someone who had no desire to write, my table has no space. Since this picture, I have more published and enjoyed writing them all.
Alberta Sequeira

Purchase Alberta’s books at

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