While you're there, browse our growing catalog of Underground Certified authors, books, and literary service providers.
If you are an indie author, what are you waiting for? Join UBR today. Subscribe here, its free and easy.
Click here to read Candi Sary's interview with David Rawding, author of TAKING ON WATER, on Underground Book Review's new website. Our review of his novel kicks off this week's issue, featuring our Pitch Perfect Picks, and another installment of "Miller Time".
While you're there, browse our growing catalog of Underground Certified authors, books, and literary service providers.
If you are an indie author, what are you waiting for? Join UBR today. Subscribe here, its free and easy.
If you’re an author trying to find someone to review your latest novel, you’ve probably encountered this sign hanging on quite few doors: “We are currently not accepting new submissions.” It’s been hanging on our front door for way too long, but that’s about to change.
We’ve had some steep learning curves here at UBR, one of which was underestimating how many authors would be knocking at our door seeking reviews. Like many book review websites, the landslide of requests quickly buried us and we were forced to shut down our review pipeline. Over the past months we’ve only scraped the surface of the backlog. Our process simply wasn’t working, so we put our heads together and brainstormed how we could keep up the demand while, at the same time maintaining our commitment to quality reviews for quality authors. We can assure you, this wasn’t an easy task. After over a year of work, Underground Books Reviews has completely revamped its submissions process and is now open for business again. This is how
First, you have to have an email subscription to Underground Book Reviews.
The UBR submissions form will be open on Monday, until 20 submissions are received. Forms submitted after this time will be discarded, but authors are welcome to resubmit the following Monday.
The best entries, not to exceed five, will be posted on our Facebook page each Thursday. These authors will be listed on our Pitch Perfect Picks page (our book review candidate program) and become part of our UBR family of authors. They are eligible for special promos, offers and marketing opportunities even if they are not selected for a review! If your book didn’t make it, you may resubmit on the following Monday.
Pitch Perfect Picks are eligible for a book review, though getting reviewed still isn’t guaranteed. Finalists remain in our candidate pool until selected for review by one of team members, or 10 weeks, whichever comes first. For our readers, the Pitch Perfect Picks page is a great place to find a good read! If and when the candidate’s book is selected for review, the author will be contacted by a reviewer with a tentative review date. If, however, after 10 weeks the candidate has not been selected for a review, they drop off the list, but may resubmit the next Monday.
That’s how it works. Does your book have what it takes to make the cut? Is your novel good enough to make it as a finalist, or even get selected for a review? You won’t know until you submit. Click here to begin the journey.
Releasing a book is a big deal. If anyone says differently, they’re lying. It’s an act composed in equal parts of faith, fear, courage, and insanity. You have faith that someone might actually read it, faith someone might enjoy it, and faith someone may even publicly recommend it. Of course, you liberally entertain the fear none of this will happen. Yet, somehow you either find the courage, or perhaps leverage your insanity, to take the leap. In the wee hours of the morning, your mouse arrow hovers over the “publish” button, as doubts and demons nag you. Click. And just like that, your novel is out there for the entire world to see.
And just like that my latest novel, TEARS OF THE DEAD has just hit Amazon. Now, I could use this platform to encourage you to buy TEARS OF THE DEAD, and the first novel in the Chronicles of Fu Xi series, BLACK SEA GODS. This might catch your attention, and maybe you’ll click on the hyperlinks and buy them (which would be really great). Or maybe not. However, before you move on to the next internet diversion, please give me just a few more minutes. Trust me, it will be worth it.
Underground Book Reviews is approaching its third anniversary. Hundreds of authors have invited us into their writing lives, along with amazing editors, artists and publishers. This journey has greatly enriched the lives of those who founded this e-magazine, both as writers and readers. It is a privilege and an honor we don’t take lightly. Okay, so where am I going with this?
Instead of just plugging the release of my latest novel, I want to use this opportunity to celebrate great books from many of the authors who’ve shared this journey with Underground Book Reviews. It’s my way of saying thanks to the authors and readers who made the past three years a great ride. What does this mean to you?
It means FREE STUFF, that’s what! Over the next three days, 66 authors are giving away almost 200 eBooks, signed paperbacks, audiobooks, and box sets on Facebook to a bunch of lucky readers. Six sponsors are also taking part. The TEARS OF THE DEAD Mega-Promo Facebook Event includes some of today’s hottest indie titles, like Michael Manning’s latest novel, The Mountains Rise; Katie French’s The Breeders; and Robert Bevan’s Critical Failures. It also includes a host of traditionally published novels, like Joan Mauch’s The Twisted Spoon and Amy Biddle’s The Atheist’s Prayer. Its a book debut like no other.
Along the way there will be trivia contests, perhaps the cheesiest memes every created,
and random drawings. It doesn’t cost anything! All you have to do is join the event on
Facebook. It’s that simple. But you can’t win if you don’t join, and joining is free. The winning starts today, 7 August at about noon CST, and ends 9 August.
Click here to start your winning.
Over the last few weeks, the media has been lighting up with the he-said-she-said bickering between Amazon and Hachette. People on both sides are outraged. Hachette authors are seeing sales drop and lashing out, while indie authors are clambering to support Amazon.
I’d like to take a step back from the fray and acknowledge that this battle is nothing new. As technology brings production and distribution into the hands of artists, it sends well-established companies into a panic. This revolution began decades ago with the music and film industries, but it has only just reached the literary landscape.
Readers and writers, listen close: When large companies monopolize art, they create polished masterpieces from tried-and-true formulas. When individuals create art on their own accord, it is more likely to be reckless and creative. Indie art often flops, but when it soars it redefines the norm. The film industry saw it change the face of Hollywood in the 1960’s. The music industry labeled it in the 1980’s during the heyday of Nirvana and The Smiths. In short, ‘indie’ isn’t a genre- it’s a movement. And with the dawn of e-publishing, indie books are taking over the literary industry by force.
I won’t argue over letters, public statements and political stunts. All I know is that Amazon is leading this revolution. Amazon has fought for both readers and writers ever since the debacle over ebook prices in 2010. From every turn, Amazon has stood up for authors – all authors, not just select authors – and given the majority of us a better deal and a better outlet than any of the Big Five companies ever did.
What we need to remember is that Amazon and Hachette are both large companies, and they are both in it for the business. This battle is good, because it means they will keep each other in check. Amazon needed to have some whistle-blowers look at its fulfillment centers. Hachette, and all the Big Five publishing companies, need to loosen their stranglehold on the literary market, because at this point they are only strangling themselves, their readers, and (most of) the authors they represent.
Who’s going to come out on top? Authors. Because we are both the product and the consumer. We are the ones fighting, and being fought for. Unfortunately, some authors (mainly debut and midlist Hachette authors) will get caught in the crossfires of this revolution. But thanks to ebook distributors like Amazon, the availability of self-publishing, and the upsurge in indie publishing, those wounded warriors will have all the resources they’ll need to get back on their feet.
Change is good, friends, but it’s also scary. Digital publication and distribution has shut down bookstore chains across the country, and now it’s threatening to topple the traditional publishing industry. In the shadows of these fallen giants, indie authors, indie bookstores, and indie publishers are finding cracks, growing roots, and sprouting leaves. Right now, Amazon is providing the soil for new growth, and that is a good thing.
If you’d like to join the fight for independent authors, join the 7,000+ writers and readers who have signed Hugh Howey’s petition.
Or, if you’re still convinced that Hachette’s the good guy, you can join the 300+ authors who have signed Douglas Preston's petition.
Amy R. Biddle, co-founder and editor at Underground Book Reviews, was raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains and has since made a living on the great blue sea. Find out more at www.amyrbiddle.com or check out her book, The Atheist's Prayer.
an announcement by Amy R. Biddle
Folks, it's been a long time coming, but my debut novel is finally hitting the shelves. After three years of writing and re-writing, another year of editing, and yet another year in production, I'm excited to announce the release of The Atheist's Prayer.
What did I learn in the last five years? Mostly this: it takes more than one person to write and publish a book. With that in mind, please excuse me for a brief moment of thank-you's (and this is just the short list):
CRITIQUE & SUPPORT: Brian Braden, Katie French, Kimberly Shursen, J. Eliott Coleman, V. Mark Covington, Dwight Biddle, Paul Sillence
EDITING: Scott Alexander Jones, Pela Via, Sally Hutcheson, David Biddle
COVER ART: Emma Myeesha
COVER DESIGN: Grace DuVal, Virginia Lloyd-Davies
PRODUCTION & MARKETING: Phil Jourdan, Maria Barry
I also learned that writing a book is the easy part. The real battle is editing, pitching, editing, pitching, editing, and then the job nobody wants to do... promotion. With that in mind, please help me fight the good fight by spreading the word and purchasing a copy. If you like it, let me know with a review on Amazon or Goodreads!
From the back cover:
After a solar eclipse nearly two years ago, nineteen people were found dead in a remote area of the California National Forest. They were lying in a circle, holding hands and wearing plastic fairy wings.
Years later, on the other side of the country, no one in the southern city of Jefferson is concerned about fairies or fairy-worshiping suicide cults. Except for Candy. She might not have proof, but she’s damn sure it’s going to happen again.
The problem is, Candy is a coke-dealing stripper and the only person who will listen to her is an alcoholic mall Santa named Hank, who’s only listening because, well… she’s hot.
There are seven days until the next eclipse.
Buy it on Amazon
Amy R. Biddle, co-founder and editor at Underground Book Reviews, was raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains and has since made a living on the great blue sea. Find out more at www.amyrbiddle.com
It's a bird! It's a plane! Its a compilation of sci-fi, fantasy and horror short stories from DeadPixel Publications! FLYING TOASTERS: The DeadPixel Tales, eight short stories from eight exceptionally talented authors, debuts this weekend as an ebook on Amazon. In addition to UBR's very own Brian Braden, you'll read stories from Robert Brumm, Thomas Cardin, Robert Bevin, Hanna Elizabeth, John Gregory Hancock, C.M. Saunders, and Steve Wetherell.
The news gets better...for the next 4 days its FREE. Go to Amazon now and get your e-copy before they sell out. For more information on DeadPixel Publications, click here.
Readers, I'm so excited to share with you the project I've been working on. It's called Darkest Worlds: A Dystopian Anthology and it's just what it sounds like, a kick-butt compilation of six novellas from today's top indie dystopian authors (I know, how did I get in there, right?). The anthology rocks, but the best part of it all is being able to work with some really top-notch authors. I've carved out a special place in my heart for these five fantastic ladies and you will too. The anthology is available on Amazon, B&N and Kobo for only $2.99 and here's the best part: all proceeds go to a charity helping grow literacy in inner city youth called Girls Write Now.
Here's the blurb to get you interested.
Nessa: A Breeders Story by Katie French, author of The Breeders: Eighteen-year-old Nessa knows what it’s like to be an endangered species. Growing up in a dying world where nine out of ten babies are born male, she survives by trusting no one. When Marlin, the nineteen-year-old gunslinger, kills the man who has been keeping her enslaved, Nessa decides he might be her meal ticket. What she doesn’t realize is love is still possible, even in their decimated world.
MOON by S.K. Falls, author of World of Shell and Bone: Loyalty. Obedience. Patriotism. Moon Stewart has no doubt that the New Amanian way of life is the right way. The only way. But was there ever a time when she felt differently? In this companion novella to the dystopian bestseller World of Shell and Bone, the secrets of Moon’s past are revealed, giving readers a glimpse into the mind of their favorite antagonist.
The First Unforgivable Thing by Zoe Cannon, author of The Torturer’s Daughter: When a dissident working undercover as an interrogator finds himself in an interrogation room with the only girl he’s ever loved, he chooses to defy both the totalitarian regime and the resistance by helping her escape—but she has an agenda of her own…
The Keeper by A.G. Henley, author of The Scourge: a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award. Peree knows his duty as the new Keeper of the Water Bearer, Fennel, is to make sure his people get every drop of their share of the water she collects when the flesh-eating Scourge roam the forest. He will motivate her, distract her, do anything he can to keep her working. He knows his duty is to his people and his people alone. What he doesn’t know is that he’s falling in love with her.
Survival Lessons by Kate Avery Ellison, author of Frost: A young Farther prisoner named Eva escapes into the monster-filled wilderness of the Frost with a band of fellow inmates, all of whom are harboring secrets…but little do they know that Eva has secrets of her own. Set in the world of The Frost Chronicles.
clean slate complex by Megan Thomason, author of the daynight series: Homeless Alexa Knight agrees to help the do-gooder non-profit The Second Chance Institute in return for medical care for her sick mother. The SCI is wooing the poor and downtrodden into their Clean Slate Complexes–where “everything is provided” from jobs to food, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that sound too good to be true, there’s a catch…
Buy Darkest Worlds on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.
Katie French is the author of The Breeders, a Young Adult dystopian adventure and Eyes Ever to the Sky, a sci fi romance. Nessa: A Breeders Story, a prequel novelette is available in a new anthology on Amazon. Sign up for notifications, follow her @KatielFrench or like her on Facebook.
I am very excited to announce my second book, a young adult sci-fi romance called Eyes Ever to the Sky, is now available on Amazon. Writing and launching a second book is an amazing experience and I do hope you like the final product. I'm also celebrating by giving away a $25 gift card on my website. Check out the book and let me know what you think. And thanks to all my Underground friends who helped make this possible.
When Hugh wakes up in a smoldering crater—no memory, no clothes—a single thought echoes in his head…trust no one. Frightened and alone, with no memory of who he is, he stumbles upon a grisly murder scene and is fatally shot. He wakes, only to find he can heal himself. He has superpowers and he’s going to need them.
Desperate and bleeding, Hugh stumbles upon fifteen-year-old Cece, who’s got enough troubles of her own. Between caring for her bipolar mother and trying not to get evicted from her run-down trailer, Cece may be the only person struggling as much as Hugh. Drawn to Hugh, Cece finds a love she’s never known. But when the real killer—a man-hunting beast—chooses another victim, Hugh and Cece realize they must unlock the clues to their past if they have any chance at a future.
Underground Book Reviews writer and assistant editor Brian L. Braden is pleased to announce the publication of BLACK SEA GODS, his first full length novel.
As a way of saying thank you to all our UBR readers and authors, BLACK SEA GODS is free today and tomorrow on Amazon as an e-book.
A fresh, new direction in historical fantasy, BLACK SEA GODS transforms recently re-discovered Black Sea legends, possibly the root of all Eurasian mythology, with ancient Chinese mythology to create an unprecedented epic fantasy series.
The fish have disappeared from the sea. The animals have vanished from the land. All humanity, and even the gods, tremble under the specter of a pending cataclysm. The demigod Fu Xi races home from the edge of the world bringing news of a looming god war, but finds his land under attack by monsters he once called his children. He discovers a terrible curse has been cast, one intended to destroy the gods and all life. To his shock, Fu Xi learns mankind’s hope rest solely on him, a simple fisherman and a banished slave girl.
Beset on all sides, Fu Xi knows he must act quickly and races west to rescue the saviors. Unaware of the real doom that awaits, Aizarg the fisherman and his party begin a perilous journey across a dangerous steppe. They seek the last of the Narim, the legendary Black Sea Gods, who hold the key to their salvation. Leading them is the rescued slave girl Sarah, the only one among them who knows the path to the land of the god-men.
Over seven days the defining struggle of gods and humans begins under the onslaught of a powerful force whose true objective and origin remain a mystery. Fu Xi knows the secret to victory resides in a fisherman and a slave girl, whose lives he must protect, even if it means the rest of the world must perish.
Keep up with the latest updates on Brian Braden’s writing projects on his blog, Facebook and Twitter . If you miss the free promo, you can still buy his books, Black Sea Gods or Carson's Love, on Amazon.
Amy R. Biddle
There are plenty of reasons why authors choose pen names. Theodor Geisel first started using his middle name (Seuss) so that he could continue to publish in a magazine that he was fired from. Benjamin Franklin used a litany of fictional characters, complete with alternate personalities, which he used to spark controversy. Stephen King created the pseudonym Richard Bachman so that he could publish more than one book a year, which was unthinkable at the time.
But the literary landscape is changing, and while the pen name still runs amok, it is a serious choice for the budding author. As a victim of the nom-de-plume, I understand both its advantages and disadvantages on a very personal level. While anonymity has a certain romantic ring to it, the truth is that pen names are more of a burden than a blessing. Let this be a warning to all up-and-coming authors: don’t fall prey to the frivolity of a pen name without a sound reason to do so.
Sorry authors, but in the modern world, social networking and online marketing are crucial. Fans want to be able to connect with authors, it’s as simple as that. The more road blocks you put between yourself and your fans, the harder marketing becomes. If you use a pen name, you’re shutting out your current fans (your friends and family, if you aren’t published yet) as well as cutting off your new, potential fans from your personal life.
That brings us to the logistics of a pen name: Maintaining separate email accounts, remembering how to sign your emails, even writing book reviews on Amazon or Goodreads and making comments on Facebook… it all becomes a convoluted mess. It sounds like small stuff now, but when you use a pen name you’re sealing up a can of worms and saving it for later.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good reasons to use a pen name: You might share a name with a well-known author, for example. But I'll be the first to admit that new authors usually find bad reasons to use a pen name. I had lots of bad reasons, but it all boiled down to one thing: I wanted to hide behind a wall so that I could be myself without fear. Instead, I found it harder to be myself while staying hidden behind said wall.
In the end, I realized that it simply wasn’t worth the email-swapping and gender-bending to maintain anonymity. So there you have it. From this day forth, A. B. Riddle is dead, and Amy R. Biddle is taking her rightful place as author of The Atheist’s Prayer and editor of Underground Book Reviews.
A pen name didn’t work for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. What you have to decide is whether or not it’s worth it to keep up the façade. And I’m warning you now, it’s a lot more work than you might have imagined.
Amy Biddle is the Editor-and-Chief and President of Underground Book Reviews, LLC. Her debut novel, The Atheist's Prayer, will be published by Perfect Edge Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing. You can read a short teaser or visit her website for more info.
Scheduled for Review
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A dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature
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