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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A Timely Reminder

I need to start explaining for the 10th (?) year running a few things.

(1) I do NOT accept pdf for "review" and this is simply because in the past I did so and two things happened...or didn't...

Firstly, the books, who a number of people pre-ordered because of the CBO review, never appeared. Money was taken but no books ever published. This happened 3-4 times and then we had pdf of books from larger companies that were later cancelled. Secondly, we have books that were reviewed as pdf that turned up and were AWFUL -paper stock, poor printing -just gawd awful. Yet the art we reviewed was far, far superior.

So, as CBO -ME- was getting mud in the face from people asking WHY I reviewed books that were not appearing or were so terrible in quality, we -I- brought in this rule that has been in force ever since and I DO NOT break it:

Under absolutely no circumstances do we accept pdf of books for review -whether we know you or not!!!!

We did, at one stage, say that we WOULD look at pdf of books to mention as previews. We followed the Drop Box, 4 Share and all the other links to pdf hit several times by viruses, if not done deliberately then by another party hacking into those File Share sites. As with material on discs sent by people we do not know -usually with no note or just "please review" (Discs are now immediately dumped in the bin and are going absolutely no where near the computer.

Other bloggers said I was paranoid until one after another got malware/viruses via discs and file share sites -I do not care who the company or person is:

 Under no circumstances  do I accept discs or file share links.

Now, to access these file share sites you generally have to join them and often download software for them.  No. Absolutely not. Why should I have to sign up to file shares and get bombarded with adds or malware??

Then we have the "Our book is called "rocket rammers" and you can read about it and see some sample pages on our blog.

Fuck off No. Let me make this clear. I am an artist, writer, editor and publisher and my time is valuable because I need to get money to pay bills and eat. I cannot afford 20-30 minutes to visit a blog and, as is often the case, go through loads of rubbish to get to the item I'm looking for.  You send a page url normally.  20-30 minutes of looking and reading and THEN the persons want ME to write their press release? You can suck the bark off my big hairy log.  Here's another typical hassle: There are five images/pages of the project in question so I have to save and re-size.  Then the creator/publisher will contact me and say they do not like the selection of pages I have used even though those are the pages they pointed me toward and are offering people to view. Blow me. So a short piece on this "sensational new comic book" is going to take about an hour. No. Not unless you are paying me.

What is also not going to sway me is sending me an endless list of "great reviews". I just DO NOT care. Why should I give a damn what another reviewer has said? I am the one being asked to review a book. I review based on what I see and read. Shove that list of "what other reviewers have said" on the end of a press release they get deleted from anything I post on the book. I just don't care. "Ooh. EVERYONE is saying this is great so I MUST write that myself!" Yeah, drink the sap from my log.

It is not difficult to write a PR and I will publish a PR if -IF- there is a promise in writing to forward a printed book for review.  Oh, and do not think you can pull a fast one and say "oh, you know, I have completely run out of review books to send out. Sorry. Maybe for issue 2?" Oldest trick going. What I do is delete any mention of your book from CBO and you get black -listed. Publisher after publisher has tried this trick and they even have the gall to sounded affronted when you point out their PRs are being published but they have never ever sent a book for review.  Seriously. Its why some larger publishers do not even get a mention on CBO now.

And "Why won't you put a link to my blog on CBO, man??!!" just means I tell you go fornicate with your father.  You see, I have, in 2013, received three irrate comments on CBOs from writer/publishers I have never heard of or whose book I have never heard of who ask this.  HOW am I supposed to know about you and your book(s) if you have never ever been in touch?  Also, I do NOT place a link on the CBO blog roll unless there is a reciprocal link to CBO. And I do check so the old trick of putting the link on a blog list and deleting it after a few days just does not work.

I am not employed by YOU publishers/creators. It is NOT a right to be mentioned on CBO.  The policy is allways that every book received gets reviewed whether from a big company, an Independent or Small Press publisher.

It is really all quite simple: send me an email with a Word Doc press release that should contain (and you would be surprised HOW many of these publishers do not include):

Title of book
Writer and artist credits (include any colourist)
Format -book size
whether full colour or black and white
page count

Yes, it is that simple.  You then attach to the email a cover image and 3-5 pages -ALL JPEG.

That's it.

My time is limited so if you cannot be bothered to properly promote your own book do not expect me to. And please never, ever ask me for contact info of other reviewers.

A final note. If you are doing a digital comic then all of the above applies but do not send enlargements of images from the comic that is distorted or pixellated because you have had to enlarge it. It looks bloody awful and you will turn many potential readers away. Those into these things KNOW the image will be reduced but they want to see how good the art is.

YOU are responsible for publicizing and promoting your book and the reviewers job is to do just that and not work for you for free.

You ignore all this advice then you are not going to see your book on CBO which means 13-18,000 people a day will not see your book mentioned.

And to all those people visiting CBO THANK YOU!!! 

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