Drawing Anglo-Saxon and Viking Treasure: Guest Post by Gilli Allan

To tie in with the release of the gorgeous new cover for Buried Treasure, I'm delighted to hand the blog over to author Gilli Allan: ...

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Discovering Diamonds and Chilling with Books

So, you've written your book. You've published your book. And, unless you are one of what must be a very rare breed, you are now flip-flopping between thinking you've produced the best story that ever appeared in print, or the worst since man picked up a stone and started scratching on the walls of his cave.

What you need is a critical eye. You need to submit your book for reviews. Oh, so easy to say. Frequently though, you'll find that if you're self-published, many review sites will not accept your work.

Once upon a time, the Historical Novel Society ran two review schemes; one for traditionally published books and one for 'Indie' books. Not only did it offer to review, but there was a system which meant that each month a few books were chosen as Editors' Choice books and were put forward for Book of the Year.

This was a boon for Indie authors. It meant that not only did they get a review by highly respected reviewers, but they had the chance to win a prize.

Following some structural re-organisation, the HNS decided recently to combine their two review schemes and whilst they do continue to accept submissions from Indie authors, there is no longer a chance to be put forward for Indie Book of the Year.

However, there are a couple of places where you can send your book where you'll not only get an unbiased review but also get the chance for book of the month, and year.

The first of these is for historical fiction and is run by Helen Hollick, who used to be Managing Editor of the HNS Indie Reviews. At Discovering Diamonds, she has a team of highly professional, experienced reviewers who take their job - although they are all volunteers - very seriously. If a book is accepted for review it will be given a considered appraisal and if deemed outstanding, it will be declared a Discovered Diamond and put forward for further awards, such as Book of the Month. The blog is fantastic, with guest posts, articles, and even a competition for book cover design.


Helen was adamant that when the HNS revised its policy that there should still be somewhere for Indie Authors to get a 'stamp of approval' which is otherwise so difficult to come by. If you don't know Helen, she is a globally successful author of several books: an Arthurian Trilogy, an Anglo-Saxon series, and now a series about Jesemiah Acorne, who features in the Sea Witch Series. Helen has also written non-fiction books. She is one of another rare breed, that of successful author who will do almost anything in her power to help, support and encourage upcoming authors.

Find the submission guidelines HERE

Another great place to send your book is Chill with a Book. They won't review, but they will send your book out to a number of their team readers who will then assess the book according to certain criteria. If your book passes all these, it will be awarded a Chill with a Book award and, again, there are also monthly and yearly awards, as well as a special award bestowed by its creator, Pauline Barclay. Chill accepts books of - almost -all genres.


Chill with a Book also offers a book cover design award. Pauline is an author herself; another one who 'pays it forward'.

Find the submission guidelines HERE

Both Helen and Pauline work closely with Avalon Graphics, where designer Cathy Helms takes time from her work of designing quality book covers to help with judging competitions and designing logos.

More about Avalon Graphics

So, if you are an Indie Author - or indeed a Traditionally published author, submit your book/s. Not every book gets accepted, and even those which do don't necessarily win a Diamond or a Chill logo. But this just means that these are marks of quality, awarded after careful consideration by people who really know what a good book looks like, inside and out.

13 comments:

  1. Thank you Annie - indies need reliable support and the #DDRevs (Discovering Diamonds) team are only too pleased to be able to help out. I couldn't run the site without this team, though - so thank you everyone. And a HUGE thanks to Pauline for her Chill With A Book site. Fabulous lady!

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    1. We would be so much the worse without these wonderful sites - thank you all!

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  2. People like Helen and Pauline (and their teams) really make a difference for indie authors. And the boost it gives you to receive acknowledgements on their websites is such an encouragement. Thank you for all you do - we indies (of whom I'm just a little one) really appreciate you.

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  3. Well said, Annie. Helen and Pauline do a fantastic job for us Indie authors, and I for one am hugely grateful to them both for all their support in my writing journey. Thank you all!

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    1. thank you Carolyn ... the blushes are getting blushier!

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    2. Thank you Carolyn. *I am beginning to look like our hot sunshine... blushing girlishly!*

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  4. A HUGE thank you Annie for this, I am deeply honoured you have talked about Chill Awards. The cornerstone of the Awards is Chill's readers who read and evaluate the books they choose to read. Chill readers are readers, not bloggers or reviewers and that is what makes them special as they know what makes a good read.

    Helen who runs DD is not only a friend, but an amazing supporter to all authors, including myself. She has been there many many times when I need to talk and work things out; a very special lady. I would also like to thank Cathy Helms for her precious time in judging the covers of Awardees every month. Thank you again Annie for all of this. *smiling and blushing in equal measures*

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    1. Thanks Pauline - I know how much time and effort goes into these awards and review services and it is very much appreciated!

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    2. Thank you too Pauline! You and Helen are both dear to my heart and I'm grateful for our longtime relationship!!

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  5. Bless you Annie for the mention in this wonderful entry! Helen and Pauline do amazing work in support of indie authors - and I'm very lucky to be involved in some small way myself. Thank you for sharing information about these two great sites and for your support too.

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