Reviewers needed

Post updated 26th September 2014


With the plethora of independently published books of varying quality on the market, the discerning reader needs a way to find those that are well-crafted. In order to assist readers in that search and to give authors recognition of their book’s quality, the Awesome Indies lists books that meet the same standards as mainstream books.

Evaluations for the Awesome Indies list are based on editorial reviews by what we call ‘publishing industry professionals‘. These are people who know more about the craft of writing than your average reader. They may have degrees in English Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism or Linguistics or other qualifications in writing and editing.

Specifically, they must:

  • understand our  criteria; 
  • be able to evaluate books against our criteria in an objective fashion;  
  • be well read in mainstream books so that they know what would be considered a publishable standard by a mainstream publisher; 
  • be aware of stylistic differences that impact on the weight given to various aspects of the criteria.

For us to be sure that those recommending books do have this kind of knowledge and understanding, we ask that our recommendations come from people who:

  • have a degree or certificate in Creative Writing, English Literature, linguistics, editing or Journalism;
  • are an editor or publisher who is, or has been, employed in that capacity by a  mainstream publishing house;
  • are an Awesome Indies recommended reviewer. These reviewers must have  demonstrable knowledge of writing, produce comprehensive reviews that demonstrate clear understanding of our criteria and preferably have extensive reviewing experience.  They are approved after a period of training if we find that their understanding and reviews are satisfactory.

It’s not easy to find reviewers with these qualifications, and this  makes it frustrating for authors who want their book evaluated for the list. Gaining a place on the Awesome Indies is an important confirmation of quality for authors as well as readers, and they don’t want to have to wait months for an evaluation.

So we need your help.

Would you like to be an Awesome Indies Reviewer? 

If you aren’t interested in reviewing yourself, you can still help. Simply SHARE THIS POST.

If you would like to help out, please fill in the form below. If you know someone who may like to help, please send them this link and ask them to consider helping us.

We offer a reading payment of $20-30, but you must also be willing to occasionally read some books without payment – you don’t have to finish them if they’re terrible. Many of our reviewers elect not to receive a reading fee.  The choice is yours where it is offered.

Also note that there is  a strict code of honesty among our reviewing team, and this code is applied to all books no matter who the author is or what their qualifications are. Even if, or especially if, you are one of our reviewers, if your book stinks, you will be told so – nicely, of course.

If you think you have what we’re looking for and you’d like to review for the Awesome Indies, please fill in this form.

Please read the criteria for evaluation first. (More details on the criteria can be found here.)

  • Our reviewers are primarily looking for books that are well written and engaging, and that have been edited to a high standard.In Brief:
    • The book is correctly formatted for fiction;
    • The cover looks professional;
    • The plot is well structured, well paced, conceptually sound and engaging;
    • The characters are well developed and their dialogue and interactions with others are believable;
    • The book is not overwritten or unnecessarily wordy; for instance; no obvious dumps of information, unnecessary repetition or irrelevant scenes;
    • Changes in point of view are clear;
    • The prose is well written and engaging. Where appropriate for the genre, voice and intention, the story is shown rather than told and the writing active rather than passive;
    • The book has been line edited, copy edited and proofread, and the grammar, spelling and punctuation usage is consistent throughout.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • marymcdonald64 September 14, 2012, 12:53 am

    I just looked, I have about 4 or 5 reviews on Amazon for Indie books I enjoyed, however, they are fairly short reviews. I might be able to elaborate on them a bit though.

    • Tahlia Newland September 14, 2012, 2:16 am

      Have a look at the kind of review Jen Blood and I write, for an idea of what we’d like, but basically, so long as you check the things I’ve listed (you don’t have to mention them all, but you need to check them) and talk about the story & themes where relevant. That would cover it. Have a look at my review policy (link at the top of the post) to see how I go about rating books. I’ll email you too.

  • Tony McFadden September 14, 2012, 1:39 am

    Ah, too bad you don’t read thrillers — I just wrote a cracker.

    Anyway, I’d consider this, but it would be sporadic. I’m plotting my next book, so there’s plenty of time to read while ideas morph in the back space of my forebrain. But November/December will be 100% first draft and I’ll have no time for other reads. Then in Jan through to AprilI’ill be doing edits and plotting for number eight and again, more time for reading.

    Is that an issue?

    • Tahlia Newland September 14, 2012, 2:11 am

      Hi Tony, yeah, I bet it is a cracker too. Trouble is I can’t sleep when I read thrillers & that’s not healthy for me. If you’re looking for a good review though, check out the reviewers page here because quite a few of those listed do read thrillers & they all recommend for us here.

      As for sporadic, that is absolutely fine, and I know you have the knowledge needed to do the kind of evaluation we require. As a reviewer, you have the right to choose or reject books depending on your taste and availability, so you can control the timing. I’ll email you so we can talk about it more.

  • Tony McFadden September 14, 2012, 2:08 am

    I *would* make the only typo in a sentence about editing…

    • Tahlia Newland September 14, 2012, 2:11 am

      That’s the best place to make them!

  • kvictoriasmith September 16, 2012, 10:27 pm

    I do reviews on my own blog currently and have a back list of 5 or 6 to do. Would be willing to help out. My personal approach has been that I will only do a public review if I feel I can rate it a 3 or better, Anything less and I send personal feedback to the author.

  • Ian Carroll September 18, 2012, 12:12 pm

    Hi. I’d be willing to write reviews for you. I have an MA in Writing. I’d also like to submit my own book for review as well if you don’t mind. Cheers. Ian.

  • Jan Needle September 18, 2012, 3:59 pm

    Hallo Tahlia. I’d be happy to have a go if you want me to. Thrillers, mysteries, horror – anything to keep me awake at night. Gillian Flynn, for example! Drop me a line. Yours, Jan

  • Tahlia Newland September 19, 2012, 12:15 am

    Thanks Ian and Jan, I’ll be in touch

  • Gaston Cavalleri September 21, 2012, 4:40 am

    I’d be happy to consider some books. I generally prefer non-fiction. Get in contact with me if you need assistance with reviews. Indie Writers are more than welcome to contact me, too.

    • Tahlia Newland September 21, 2012, 4:44 am

      Thanks Gaston, but we don’t list non fiction. I have enough new reviewers now anyway.

    • Ian Carroll September 21, 2012, 7:57 am

      Hi Gaston. I have a non-fiction book that I published this week as an ebook and I’d be very grateful if you would read and review it. It’s called Israel/Palestine – a 4000 year history. It is told from a story-teller’s perspective so it is not as daunting as it might sound! Can I send you the word document to read. Otherwise, will you have to buy it from Amazon? I look forward to hearing from you. Ian.

      • Gaston Cavalleri September 21, 2012, 3:45 pm

        Hi Ian,

        Your books sounds interesting. I’d like to look at it further before I agree. I just searched for it on amazon but couldn’t find it. Could you please give me that exact name of the book and where I will find it?


  • Gaston Cavalleri September 21, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Ok, I just found it. I’m interested. My email is
    Send me an email and we can organize. I will not require the word or pdf docs for your information. I believe you can gift it to me via amazon.

%d bloggers like this: