11How to Judge and Indie Book

Let’s face it, a lot of self-published books are obviously self-published. DIY meets SMH. The book is reminiscent of a fourth-grade project I did on Ben Franklin. His head fell off, the lightening bolt looked like a bent spoon and I spelled bifocal wrong. I did not get an A for effort and neither should half-assed self-published books. If you want my cash, you better make an effort. And the fact that these books are published in this fashion make the self-published authors that REALLY go the extra mile to tighten up their book, look bad also. The general stereotype of self-published automatically grouping them with these DIY hot messes. So, to separate the Hot Mess from the Awesome I have a few ways to judge a book…and I will not read it if it is an obvious self-pub hot mess. This is how I can tell…

Seven Ways to Tell a Book is Self-Published

1. Your Cover Looks Like Your Graphic Designer is Color-Blind and Half-Mad

Really Bad Cover


No, just no. My seven-year-old could design a cover better than some self-published covers I’ve seen. The above one looks like they actually used a professional designer, but there was too much client input. Waaay too much client input and didn’t know how to say “it might be a bit too busy if I add that speed boat.” Stop chanting “don’t judge a book by its cover” because WE ALL do it. The book cover is the first thing we see. We judge. We judge a lot!

2. Your Blurb Reads Like A Monkey Wrote It

Felicity Smolty is kind of a broken person. She has promised to never lose her virginity because ofa promoise she made with her father on his death bed. Can the really super hot fireman Joe break her promise? Or will he go down in flames?

Don’t laugh. You know how many blurbs I get like this, everyday?! And you wonder why my faith in the human race is at an all time low?


You doubt me? It’s happened. Get an editor. Get spell check. Get something.

4. No One is Buying Your Stuff So You Are Giving it Away For Free

All  of your books are free. Why is that?? I understand the first one in a series. But all of them? What is the point?

5. All Five of Your Reviews are 5-Stars and Two-Sentences

That screams “I asked my buddies to go on Amazon and write something nice about my book. All five of my buddies. Oh one is my mom.” I know why they are only two sentences also – because even your mom didn’t read your book.


 6. There are Ten Other Books with Your Same Title

This isn’t just a self-published thang, I’ll admit it. How many times have you tried to search for a book on Goodreads and there is a TON of books with that same name? Search your book title on Goodreads or Amazon before you publish. Please!?

7. Your Author Bio Pic is a Stock Photography Image

That ain’t you. We are not stupid. Nope.



I do love reading indie, you can find some gems in the self-published market, but you can also find some really bad books. It’s like that terrible singer that auditions for American Idol and thinks they were awesome. Why hasn’t their mamma told them they suck? Well, for all the bad self-published books out there, your mamma might not have read your book…so we, the book bloggers of the world, don’t mind telling you.