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Rosen Trevithick

About Rosen Trevithick

Rosen was born in Cornwall. She studied psychology at Oxford before moving back to the West Country.

Readers have downloaded over a quarter of a million copies of Rosen's books. Several titles have broken into the Amazon charts, including a number 1 humorous fiction bestseller.

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17.06.2015 13:29
How to Get Featured on BookHippo.uk

How to Get Featured on BookHippo.uk

As BookHippo.uk grows, I've been receiving an increasing number of emails from authors asking how to get their books featured. Therefore, I thought I'd outline the selection process.

Featured books come from two places:

1. a list of books submitted by authors

2. a list of books pulled from Amazon

It's the former that I will focus on in this post. I go through the submission list every morning making quick decisions on what to feature.

The most important advice - make our jobs as easy as possible

We feature thousands of books on BookHippo.uk ever year. Therefore, we like to keep the process as smooth and fast as possible. The less we have to edit your submission, the better.

If you fill your synopsis field with junk that needs to be edited out, it's likely that we'll reject your book on the spot.

Whereas, if you submit a properly formatted title and a concise, compelling blurb, we'll be able to feature your book at the click of a button.

What is and Isn't Allowed

The rules for submissions are clearly stated on the submission pages. In fact, in many cases, potentially invalid words are highlighted in red, to encourage authors to keep their submissions tailored for the BookHippo.uk newsletter. However, around half of the submissions are entered incorrectly.

Below is a little information about the restrictions and why they're there.

Don't blindly copy data from Amazon

Our site pulls data from Amazon using just an ASIN. However, that doesn't mean that we want to use data as entered on Amazon. You must edit it to meet our guidelines.

Do not put a word relating to length in the title field / Do not include a word count in the synopsis field

We have a dedicated field for length, from which you can choose short story, novelette, novella, novel, boxed set, anthology, picture book or chapter book. The word count boundaries are clearly described on the submission page. If you use these categories correctly, then the newsletter displays the length right beneath the title. Therefore including it in the title just adds unnecessary noise.

Note: the newsletter does not list the length if it's a novel, because it's assumed that books are novels unless otherwise stated.

Do not put the genre in the title field

Genres appear beneath the title, provided that you're correctly completed the category fields. Therefore, there is no need to include it in the title field.

The following looks untidy:

Bonkers - A Humorous Short Story

Humour / Short Stories

Occasionally, the genre exists naturally in the series name, e.g. 'Bonkers (PC Blob Mysteries Book 1)'. Even if your series legitimately has a genre word in the title, please rephrase it for BookHippo.uk, i.e. 'Bonkers - (PC Blob Series Book 1). This will prevent us from accidentally rejecting it and will help discourage authors with a less convincing claim to a genre word, from over-stuffing their titles.

Do not include the word 'Proofread'

Incredibly, I still get submissions with 'proofread' in the title field. It looks unprofessional. Don't do it. Why wouldn't your book have been proofread?

Do not put the whole title in capital letters without a good reason

Capital letters should be used sparingly. Unless your title has a legitimate reason to be in all capital letters, don't do it. Inconsistent use of case makes the newsletter look ugly.

Do not include reviews or quotes from reviews

There is limited space in the newsletter. Therefore we wish to communicate only the most important information - the synopsis.

Do not repeat the title of the book

Do not list special offers

Do not advertise other books.

Do not include 'from the author of'.

Do not boast about your credentials.

All of the above waste valuable space and threaten the consistency of the newsletter.

Do not mention awards

There are too many awards out there for us to check the integrity of every single one. Therefore, we don't allow authors to mention awards at all. If your cover contains a big sticker relating to an award, we'll most likely reject it without further consideration.

Do not include an explicit content advisory notice

Before downloading, readers will be directed to your Amazon page where they can check additional information about your books. We do not advertise BookHippo.uk to children and assume that readers exercise a degree of common sense when choosing what to download.

Include a valid link to a genuine editor

We understand that many indie authors find it difficult to cover the costs of editing. However, if we fill the newsletter with books that aren't polished, readers will unsubscribe, making the service weaker for other authors.

Ensure that your cover looks good in the thumbnail

When we scroll through our list of submissions, we see cover thumbnails. If your cover looks unprofessional or untidy in the thumbnail, we look no further.

Use the new, more specific category fields

Newsletters are now tailored to each individual subscriber. If a reader clicks on a lot of gritty crime thrillers, he or she will be shown gritty crime thrillers at the top of future newsletters. The more accurate and specific the categories you assign to your books, the more likely they are to end up in front of suitable readers.

Choose the correct type of submission

If your book has a decent number of reviews and has been out for a while, submit is as an offer. If it was published in the last 30 days, consider featuring it as a new release. If it doesn't have many reviews, you might find it more effective to offer review copies for a few weeks, then try running another offer.

Do not submit non-fiction

We don't accept non-fiction submissions. This is because:

a) we were getting a lot of spammy titles and they were always non-fiction

b) we cannot check the authenticity of so called 'How To' guides and reference books, so decided to avoid them altogether

We do occasionally feature non-fiction, but only ones we've discovered ourselves.

Enter the correct details

It sounds simple, but we get many submissions with incorrect dates and prices. If our robot detects that the price of your book doesn't match the price that you submitted during the dates you entered, your book will be instantly dropped. You can use the new submissions page to check your details.

However, please do not contact us asking for individual feedback about why a book was or wasn't featured.

Do not write to us that BookBub has accepted your submission

Emailing to say that BookBub (or any other competitor) has featured your book, will only serve to put our backs up. We are not BookBub and we strongly disapprove of the extortionate prices they charge authors. We work really, really hard to provide a service where authors get to keep their hard earned royalties and don't like authors trying to use sites that contradict our ethos, as leverage.

Do not use donations to try and buy your way into the newsletter

We welcome donations from authors who want to help us expand, reward us for our hard work or thank us for featuring their books - thanks to everybody who's kindly donated.

However, donations are entirely independent of our submission process. Not only do we not cross-check submissions against donations, but we don't want to. We pride ourselves on selecting books that we feel our readers are most likely to download and enjoy, regardless of an author's budget. Writing to us saying, 'I can't believe you didn't feature any of my books after I so generously donated' is against the spirit of BookHippo.uk and will only serve to alienate us.

Understand that we can't guarantee featuring any book

We cannot guarantee placement of any book, no matter how well formatted. We are unable to provide individual feedback on our selection process because we just don't have the resources.

The Bottom Line

Many thanks for continuing to submit high quality books for us to feature. However, please submit your books in a way that saves us time and strife.


This post supersedes How to Get Noticed on Indie Book Bargains, published in 2012.

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3 comments

20/06/2015 15:40
Tanya Robinson says...

Thank you for setting the above out so clearly. Just two points I would like to comment on.

1. Many, many indie authors cannot, as you acknowledge, afford the costs of a professional editor. Consequently, under your rules, a large percentage of the books that could be submitted are excluded. Is there any way round this? I do not mean people should be able to cheat the rules but is there anyway you could permit such books.

2. The exclusion of non-fiction. My existing books fall within the memoir genre and are identified in your system as 'non-fiction'. This means, under the above rules they would be excluded. There are many memoirs in existence and many readers who are interested in them. Is there a way of also dealing with this issue?

Of course, as you will no doubt note, both the above points mean my current books cannot be considered under the rules. I appreciate the requirement for your rules but naturally am disappointed my own books are consequently excluded.

20/06/2015 15:54
Rosen says...

1. Linking to a professional editor is not a hard and fast rule, but priority will naturally be given to the most professional books.

There are, of course, ways to polish your book without spending a fortune. For example, if you engage in an edit-swap with another author, include his/her name in the editor field.

We've been monitoring unsubscribe data and found that featuring unedited books is a common reason for losing valued followers. It's not fair on the authors who publish professional books to lose out because others don't - not to mention a waste of the thousands of pounds we spend attracting those followers in the first place.

2. I hope to eventually come up with a system for supporting non-fiction books in a way that deters spammers, but not right away. I have spent more time on BookHippo.uk recently than I realistically had to offer, so need a break. Thus there will be no new features for a few months. At the moment, the category system does not properly support non-fiction books. 'Non fiction' will need to be broken down into subgenres for the email targeting to work, which I don't have time to do, at present.

I have taken your feedback on board, and will consider it when I next update the site. Thanks for leaving a comment.

10/02/2016 15:39
James Devo says...

Hi Rosen

Thanks for this invaluable service for authors that need encouragement once their books are unleashed on Amazon. Learning the skills to write and finding a publisher seem to evaporate once you discover you have no idea how to market your work (and neither does your publisher...) I'm hoping Bookhippo pick up my book as after three months, it's floundering, with minimal reviews and lazy sales at a reduced rate on Amazon. BookHippo really does offer a lifeline to indie authors. So cheers for that!


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