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What Stages May Come: Free Book Reviews

I never suspected as I researched and wrote my book what further stages of the process were yet to come. I’m probably preaching to the choir a bit here, addressing a lot of people who won’t be surprised by what came next.

Self-publishing with CreateSpace without going for any of their paid services was one challenge. Reformatting for SmashWords was another.

But the real grind came with promotion: establishing a web presence and seeking reviews.

I’ve kept at it doggedly and learned a lot and even found a few kind folks willing to do reviews for my book, which is a bit of an ugly duckling genre-wise — a hybrid of memoir and narrative and experimental nonfiction with inspirational and self-help elements… which I wound up calling an ‘open letter’.

While familiarizing myself with the five or six main community sites for reviewing, I came across some intriguing concept sites like BookCrossing and BookMooch and AllConsuming. I’m a big BookMoocher now. Just sent some off yesterday.

In the course of seeking reviews, I became a reviewer myself. I encountered sites like Blogging For Books, which drew me across the line from reading writer to writing reader. In fact, I hope to review here for SPR. We’ll see if I’m picked up.

I’m writing this blog because I’m interested in doing a review swap with any other author of a memoir or book of narrative nonfiction. I hope it isn’t out of line to forward that proposition here. Simply put, I review you and you review me. I could even be persuaded to read and review literary fiction, humor, or short stories (though narrative nonfiction really is my preference). I made a press release and cobbled together a site with the intent of implementing this ‘quid pro quo reviews’ concept. It’s here. Couple of my reviews there too, though none of indie or self-published works as yet.

I also made a facebook page for free book promotion. Find it here.

Thanks SPR, for the opportunity to share a little about my self-publishing journey, and for this soapbox from atop which to peer around for a potential review.





About Eugene Uttley

Eugene Uttley is a lifelong reader and author (diapers and a typewriter). In addition to working on literary fiction, he is currently doing free reviews of memoir and narrative & experimental non-fiction. He has a BA in English and half-an-MA in Literature. He’s a sometime composition TA and ESL instructor and now a student again, of accounting. The author of two books on coping with schizophrenia (as he does), he’s a fan (but not follower) of Carl Jung. Some authors who are dear, dear to him are Haruki Murakami, Charles Portis, Kingsley & Martin Amis, J.P. Donleavy, D.F. Wallace, Thomas Pynchon, Augusten Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Alan Watts.To contact him (with a review request or for any reason at all, really) please use mruttleysz at gmail dot com. For more on his work in re schizophrenia, including an excerpt, see his Authors Den page