Keep this page open and follow the instructions for completing the form.
Steps to Completing the Spotlight Request Form
This is a detailed, step-by-step set of instructions for filling out the Spotlight Post Request Form. I recommend you keep this page open while completing your form. If you do it wrong, it will take longer to get your spotlight post created and posted.
Also, the order of these questions may seem weird but it’s set up to match the post input.
What To Put In Each Field
- Contact Name. This is the name of the person completing the form. It can be the author, a publisher, a PR or marketing assistant. As long as you have the author’s permission and can verify that all the information is correct, go ahead.
- Contact E-mail. This is the email of the person completing the form. It is the email to which I will send my questions and notification when the post is live. Please make sure it is an email that will be checked regularly.
- Are you LDS?
Yes, I am LDS. If the book has a single author who is a baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and wishes to be identified as such, check YES, I am LDS and skip the next question.
Some authors are LDS. Check this if multiple authors contributed to the book, then move on to the next question.
- Multiple Authors. If there are multiple authors, list the names of those who are LDS and willing to be identified as such. While I will list all co-authors, only the LDS authors get an Author Bio box at the bottom of the post.
- Book is Eligible. Check YES if you have carefully read and understand the information on the Free Spotlight Information Page AND your book meets these requirements.
Note: I no longer ask for a book description on this form. In most cases, I will use what is posted on Amazon. If it is too short, overly promotional or filled with review quotes, I may contact you for a better description.
- Book Title. Carefully type the title of the book, exactly as it appears on the front cover. It should also be the same title as listed on Amazon.
If you change the title at some point in the future, send an email with the change and I will update the original post.
- Author Name(s). Carefully type the name of the author(s), exactly as it appears on the front cover. It should also be the same name(s) as listed on Amazon.
- Amazon Link. Find your book on Amazon and copy and paste the entire URL for the ebook post in the field. Your book MUST be on Amazon for the promo. Affiliate links are the main way costs for the site are covered. Also, the book cover for your spotlight will be what is posted on Amazon. Your cover needs to resize to a standard 300 x 450px image without distortion.
- MyBookRatings.com Link. If you have not already rated your book at this website, go do it now. It takes about 3 minutes to fill out the form. It usually takes a few days to post. Once it’s live, copy and paste the entire URL for your book’s rating page in the field. If you need help with the rating process, click here for a step-by-step guide.
- Series Title. Type the NAME of the series. For example, Harry Potter. This should be the same series name as listed on Amazon.
If you change the series name at some point in the future, send an email with the change and I will update the original post.
- Series Number. Type the sequence NUMBER for this particular book. For example: Harry Potter #7. This should be the same series number as listed on Amazon.
For novellas, use the #.5 to indicate where in the series they should be read. For example, a prequel novella would be Series Name #0.5. A novella that occurs between books 3 and 4 would be Series Name #3.5.
If you change the series number at some point in the future, send an email with the change and I will update the original post.
- Page Count. Pretty self-explanatory. If you have both a print and an ebook, use the page count for the print book.
- Release Date. This is the earliest date that your book was published and available for sale in any format. Sometimes this is tricky as a book may be available in advance of the official release date. The date you enter here makes a difference in my post schedule and also Whitney Award qualifications. If your official release is January 1st, but you show up as a Whitney finalist for the previous year, I will adjust the date to match the Whitney information.
General Rule of Thumb: If you are traditionally published, this is the official release date supplied by your publisher, and usually both print and ebooks are released at the same time.
If you are self-published or work with a small press, this is the official release date of your first format. For example, if your ebook is released first, and your print book isn’t released until several months later, use the date for the ebook.
- Previously Published: Has this book ever been published before in any format? I need details here. Most books only get one post. Simply changing the cover, the title, or the publisher will not give you a new release date and a new post. I will, however, update the old post with current information if you send me an email.
Books can receive a second post if there are significant rewrites. I need to know how much of it has been rewritten. A few scenes? Several chapters added? Major plot changes? If a book has enough changes, I will give it a new post, but I will include a note with this information.
- Formats: There are three format options only: print, ebook, and audio. Check the boxes by each format in which your book is currently available.
If you add a format in the future, send an email and I will update the post.
- Age Group. Select one age group from the list. Yes, I know that many books have cross-over readers but I want to know the targeted age of your reader.
I spotlight three age categories—Middle Grade (reader ages 8-12), Young Adult (reader ages 12-18), Adult Readers (ages 18+). If you’re not sure who your target reader is, do some research before applying.
- Genre Category. Select one category from the list on the form. If your book crosses genres, select the one you honestly feel is the best fit for your book. For example, if it’s speculative romance, which is the driving theme/plot of the book? If it’s a romance set in the future, select Romance. If it’s science fiction with a side of romance, select Speculative.
- Sub-Genre Category. Sub-genres are smaller categories that further define the content of your story. I often use these as tags. Include any that you feel may help attract your target reader.
For examples of sub-genres, check Amazon. In the left sidebar you’ll see major genre categories. If you click on one, it will show a much longer list of sub-genre categories.
- Publisher: If you are traditionally published, this is the name of the publisher/imprint as listed on the copyright page.
If you are self-published, type INDIE OR if you have officially set up a publishing company and have ISBN #s purchased under that name, then type in the name of your company.
- LDS Content. Some of my readers prefer books with LDS characters. I use an “LDS Content” tag so they can easily find those books. If the characters in your book are LDS, check YES. If not, check NO.
- Tags. Tags are 1 word or 2 word phrases that provide the site visitor with specific and linked information about your book. For example, if your book is a ghost story, you’ll want to add a “ghosts” tag. If a reader really likes ghosts, they can click that tag and see all the books with ghosts in them—including yours.
Other examples could include sub-genres, like steampunk, gothic romance, sports, inspirational, LDS content; character types, like mermaids, werewolves, cyborgs; time-frames, like WW2, western, 1960s, Christmas; or themes/topics, like abuse, addiction, recovery.
Add up to 10 tags that you think will be helpful to the reader. I may not include all of them, but then again, I might.
If you have books with posts before 2016 and you want to add tags, just send an email. I’ll get to it when I can.
- Tweetable. This is used to promo your book on Twitter. I post the cover, a short teaser, genre, and tag you.
Short and catchy tweets are the best. Don’t use marketing promos or a bunch of hashtags. This is a brief sentence that tells readers what your book is about.
Limit to 80 characters.See recent posts for ideas.
If your tweet is too long or too promotional, I will create my own based on your book description.
This section is used create the About Author box at the bottom of the post. If you’ve already sent me this information along with a previous book, you don’t need to include it again unless you want to update the info. I recommend you find the spotlight post for your most recent book and see if anything needs to be changed. If no changes are needed, type USE PREVIOUS.
Bios are not book specific. Any updates will appear at the bottom of all of your book spotlight posts.
In the bio, I include links to your website or blog, Facebook Author Page, Twitter, and Amazon Author Page. This is the template I am using as of 2015. I will not substitute links to other social media. (That information belongs on your website.)
- Author Bio. This is info about you as a professional author. You can be funny and clever, but keep it professional. Write it in third person. I need 60-75 words so it will display correctly. If it’s too short, or if I have to edit the length, it will delay your post going live.
- Author Image URL. I must have an image or the Author Profile at the bottom of your spotlight won’t work. I need a square headshot, 300 pixels wide x 300 pixels tall. If your photo is not a headshot, I will crop it.
You may use your author image from your website, Amazon Page or social media as long as it makes you look like a credible author, not a goofball. If you’re really shy and don’t use a photo, I have generic images that I can use.
Enter the entire URL to the image. If you want to use my image, type GENERIC.
- Auhor Website URL. This is a link to your author website or blog, with more information about you as an author and your books. This is not a link to Facebook or other social media. If you don’t have a website, but your publisher has a dedicated author page for you on their site, you may use that.
Enter the entire URL. If you don’t have a website, type NONE.
- Author Twitter Handle. If you are on Twitter, I need your handle/username only. This is what shows up with the @ character in front of it—but DO NOT INCLUDE THE @. That makes my file go nuts.
For example: my Twitter URL is https://twitter.com/LDSBookGeek and my handle is @LDSBookGeek. So I would type LDSBookGeek in the field on the form.
If you’re not on Twitter, type NONE.
- Author Facebook Page URL. If you have a Facebook Author PAGE (this is a page where people “like” you, not the personal profile where they “friend” you), put the full URL in the field.
If you do not have a Facebook Author Page, type NONE.
- Amazon Author Page. Every author NEEDS an Amazon Author Page. This is how readers easily find other books by you—all in one place. If you don’t have one, go to Amazon Author Central (https://authorcentral.amazon.com/) and create one now.
Paste the full URL in the field.
- Additional Notes or Comments. Type any questions I haven’t answered in this field, or any information you think I need to know about you, your book, or your post.
Notiifcation When Spotlight Is Live
I will send you an email as soon as your spotlight is posted. Remember, new releases get preference. If your book was released more than six months ago, it will take a longer to get it posted.
Updates to Existing Posts or Adding Older Releases
I am happy to update posts with this new format and to add releases from previous years. If you need to update your book, you may send me an email with the updated information.
If your book is not on the site and was released in 2009 or after, fill out the form as if it’s a new release. Books must still be available for purchase on Amazon.
And please be patient. New releases take precedence over updates and older books.