There are many advantages to readers being able to choose the level of heat, violence, and other content. We’ve found that there are many great books offered for every content rating, but too often readers find their enjoyment of a book halted because of unexpected scenes, or content that doesn’t live up to their expectation. That leads to negative reviews. We want satisfied readers and targeting readers who enjoy your type of content makes for happy readers.
Every time you submit a book for a promotion, we save it on the "My Books" tab in your account. That way, if you would like to submit the book in the future, all you need to do is click on the book to submit it, instead of copying and pasting all your book information. This saves you time. Also, you can add all your books now, and they will have a permanent listing on My Book Ratings. Then when you want to promote in the future, you can choose any of them at a click. You can also claim books for your account that are already listed on My Book Ratings, so if your books are already there, you save even more time!
You will not receive any of our daily deals unless you sign up. We only want subscribers who are interested in reading books, not a bunch of dead accounts!
If you want to hear updates about our author news regarding promotions and other important information, please leave the Author email updates clicked.
BTW, you can create an author profile page now on Book Cave using the profiles tab on your account dashboard. These let you easily separate and maintain pen names, edit book descriptions, and approve any comments you might receive on your books—all with only one author account.
We will send your discounted, content-rated book deal to our subscribers on the first day of your promotion with us. Often readers will save our emails a day or two before purchasing. We promote our books on social media, and we also have thousands of site visitors who browse our books.
As we grow, we hope to send more and more new readers to your content rated ebooks. We sincerely appreciate author support!
Think of our content ratings like movie ratings. Generally, to compared to a movie rating, All Ages is equal to a G rating, So if you have swearing or violence, that really isn't the right level for your book. Mild is similar to a "mild" PG. Both Moderate and Moderate+ will be somewhere around a PG or a PG-13 rating, with the moderate+ having more intense language. Sometimes a Moderate+ will actually have less heat but more swearing than a book that's rated Moderate, which is why we tell readers exactly what each book contains.
Answering the rating questions carefully will make sure your book is put into the right category. Pick the most severe instance of each level (heat, swearing, violence etc.), and if you are going to err, do so on the side of caution, especially where language is concerned. The biggest error we find at the moment is that authors and publishers underestimate the swearing in their books. Mild and All Ages will not contain any swearing at all. Click here for more details about rating your profanity and crude humor/language. Do NOT pick an All Ages rating for a fiction title if you would not read the book to a four-year-old. Even Christian books good for young teens will often have mild or moderate violence.
We have advised readers that if they are not receiving enough books that match their criteria to adjust their preferences to include more content ratings.
If you have any question about how to rate your book, include that in the comments section in as much detail as you can, and our editors will make the final decision for you. We hope you'll submit all your books for content rated promotions.
When you submit a book on Book Cave, you certify on your honor that you have submitted an accurate rating. That means if you are submitting as a publisher, you must have someone submit the book who has actually read it. We do double check as well as possible the profanity, and we have had to block some authors and publishers from submitting because of incorrect ratings. It's not rocket science, really, just do your best and don't discount a profane word because you don't think it's that bad or because you are an atheist and don't care about deity swears. Keep in mind that we are not trying to prevent swearing in books, we only want to rate books correctly so readers have a choice. If you don't want to admit to having a certain amount of swearing, don't write them in your book.
The most simple method for authors and publishers is to do an actual check on the book. You can easily search your manuscript and get a solid count that you can use on My Book Ratings and here on Book Cave for all your promotions.
Words that are considered swears on Book Cave. Any variation or combination are also considered swears:
Not considered swears on Book Cave:
Potty jokes and other crude words to be included in Crude Humor/Language:
Potty jokes and other crude words are not considered swears on Book Cave. However, these words should be reported on the content rating by choosing a level of "Crude Humor/Language." Potty jokes, like those in many children's books (talking about farts or peeing or similar), are generally going to be the "mild" choice under crude humor and language." Other more serious words include more adult terminology, including body parts and words you probably wouldn’t use while meeting your future in-laws for the first time. Below is not a full list of more severe word but are to serve as examples. If you see these please choose a higher rating depending how many there are and how you feel about them.:
The following “H-word” are swears:
Because none of these refer to an actual location that is visited or lived in by the characters, these are all considered swears.
Exceptions with the use of “H-word”
Sometime books have instances when this is not a swear. This is usually when it references a definite place where the characters actually visit or receive visitors from.
There are very few instances when the word God / Jesus / Christ etc. are NOT swears in novels. This will usually be in religious books where people discuss or pray to God (and it's clear they're praying and thinking about God, not just taking his name in vain), or in speculative fiction where gods/goddesses are characters. We came to this conclusion after talking with several religious publishers about the content they accept and readers who prefer no profanity in books. None of the below are prayers in the context of the books they were in. God wasn’t a character in the books, so we need to add it to our profanity count.
These are not Deity Swears
A word about Lord/Lordy:
Many people who choose not to read deity swears will also not appreciate the Lord/Lordy replacement. Thus, “good Lord, no” is still a swear but “Dear Lord, help me get through this day” would not be one.
Book Cave doesn't have an LGBT genre for our discounted deals notifications because we feel that like with race, sexual orientation shouldn’t mean you need a separate genre. We understand that there are LGBT books that are also historical, mainstream, science-fiction, etc. But we simply aren't equipped to dilute our genres by adding identical genres for LGBT and race. For instance, we have four romance categories alone, if we added four more for LGBT stories, and four more for interracial stories (or more because there are a lot of different races!), then the system becomes cumbersome and dilutes the readership.
If you are an author with an LGBT book, you would submit your book under its genre (romance, historical, fantasy, etc.), and then use the multiple choice description toward the end of the submission form to mark if it has LGBT characters and themes.
This add-on doesn’t affect the overall content rating, but it allows your books to find their way to readers who are not only interested in LGBT but also that particular genre. It also means that all LGBT books are not lumped under one genre, which they would be if LGBT were a single genre on our site.
But remember that like with heterosexual books, Book Cave doesn't accept erotica for our featured deals. You can, however, use them as Book Cave magnets or give them a permanent listing on our sister site My Book Ratings.
If your book has religious elements, please choose either the Religious and Inspirational or Christian Fiction when submitting a book for promotion, even if it also falls in another genre. Our editors have the option of adding another genre to books, but books with a religious element need to be classified as such. A religious element means any of the main characters making a change in their life because of religion, being converted, or having another character talk about how their life would be better or different with a religious change. A mention of a character going to church doesn't make a book religious, unless you talk about what was learned there and how it relates to the plot. That would then become religious or Christian fiction. Please do not place your religious-themed fiction in regular categories. Doing so will not help your reviews and may prevent your future titles from being accepted for promotion.
For our retailer promotions, adult, YA, and teen books, the story itself (not including front and back matter) should be at least 170 pages long. We prefer books that are in the 250-500 page range. We will promote novellas of 100-169 pages if they are discounted to free. These need to be real novellas, not short stories with multiple sample chapters. Meaning that the novella must make up the 100 pages.
Picture books are usually around 24 to 48 pages and middle grade are generally 60 to 250+ but may vary based on reader target.
For non-fiction, we request that books be at least 100 pages. However, unless your book is free, your sample needs to show more text than just a table of contents.
We do not promote short stories or novellas with fewer than 100 pages.
For more details, please see the submission guidelines.
Subscriber magnet books can be any length or even a sample of a book.
We promote series, but not serials. The difference is that in a series there is some kind of satisfying closure in the novel, even though more novels may be needed to tie every thread. Serials are basically pieces from one novel that have been divided into different segments.
Star ratings definitely affect our decision about whether or not to feature your book. But you can change that. For instance, if you have low ratings that say you have a lot of typos, you can have your book edited again and then post on the description that the book has been recently re-edited. Also, you can reply to the people who posted the review to thank them and let them know the errors have been fixed. Then, have your friends and family vote not helpful on those reviews and helpful on the ones that focus on the good qualities of your book. (Of course, you should do this only if you actually did proof the book again, or reviewers will keep posting about the typos). The same thing could be done for other book issues.
Or just submit one of your other books! We'd love to promote you, but we also need to be loyal to our subscribers and unfortunately that means using reviews as one of the methods to approve books. Keep in mind that it isn't the only method. We do look thoroughly at each book.
For our retailer promotions, we do not allow extra spacing between paragraphs. Our goal is reader satisfaction, and having a extra space between regular paragraphs (not headings) is not standard formatting, and it can be distracting to many readers. There is a simple way to tell if you have spacing after your paragraphs. Go to Amazon (or Nook or other platform) and look at the preview. Below are two examples. The one on the left shows paragraphs with spacing after each other. The one on the right shows standard formatting with no spacing between paragraphs. Ebooks normally look a lot like print novels (which also shouldn't have double-spacing or spacing after paragraphs). For more reason why this is important and for more examples, please see our blog on standard vs block formatting.
You can leave your promotion date adjustable.
Discount your book more for the promotion.
If your book is low on reviews, wait until you have received more reviews on your book.
Check out other covers in your genre to see if your cover is as good or better. Ask others to give their opinion on the cover and what you can do to improve it.
Make sure your blurb doesn't have errors and is comparable to other books out there. Learn how to format them correctly on the different platforms.
Make sure your ebook doesn't have extra spacing between paragraphs. Make sure it is indented enough not to be confusing.
Have an editor read through your book again. Make sure your punctuation (commas, quotes, long dashes, etc.) are uniform. Even some books that have no typos sometimes need more content editing.
Some common submission problems for our retailer deals may include:
Promotion frequency (we've recently promoted this same book 60 days)
Improper em dash/en dash formation
Does not meet minimum length requirements (YA and Adult books must be at least 170 pages for paid books and 100 pages for free novellas)
Ebook formatting (empty lines between paragraphs, no indentation, etc.)
Wrong content rating (example: author chose All Ages but the book has profanity, sex, violence, themes, etc. not appropriate for children)
Preorder—we do not advertise preorders
Low number of reviews or numerous poor reviews
Blurb doesn't sell the book or has too many errors
Cover doesn't catch our attention or is wrong for the genre
Book is in the middle of a series and we haven't yet promoted the first
Not a genre we promote.
Erotica or cover that is too erotic for our family-friendly site
Discount is not competitive compared with simultaneously submitted books
Your rating and content combination matches the preferences of a smaller number of subscribers as compared with simultaneously submitted books
Book set is written by different authors (we generally only accept sets written by the same author)
If you submit a book while it is on pre-order, for a promotion date after it is released, we will wait to review the book until it is released.
If the first book is currently free on retailers, or we have recently promoted the first book, we will consider subsequent titles for our retailer deals.
If you are an author with several other highly rated books with a large number of reviews, we may consider your newer title that doesn't yet have a lot of reviews. However, we must be able to see inside the book, so if we can't, we won't advertise it. We are looking into having an option to advertise brand new releases.
Book Cave does not feature erotica for our retailer promotions. There are also other genres we don't have yet, and some that are currently combined with others. These will expand in the future to reflect what our readership is looking for. More development is in the works.
Note: You can put any book into our magnet program on Book Cave Direct or add any book to our rated books database on My Book Ratings.
A subscriber or reader magnet is where you choose an ebook or sample to give readers in exchange for them joining your newsletter list. Readers have a no-risk chance to learn about you as an author and you gain the opportunity to sell them future books. You can upload your magnet on the My Magnets tab on your account page and readers will directly download the book from our site. You can share the URL of your book with readers. You can also make it public on our Book Cave Direct site, where readers can browse subscriber magnets.
Our retailer deals promotions are completely separate. On the retailer program, we send your retailer links to our subscribers and they download from the individual retailers.
A magnet can be any size or type of book while books for our retailer deals program are reviewed and accepted by editors on an individual basis.
To put your magnet in free group promotions, subscribe to our Author Happenings newsletter on the preferences tab on your account page. In addition, you should join our Facebook Book Cave Direct Author Group Promotion Page and like the pinned post. Currently, hosting your magnet with Book Cave Direct is free.
If you don't yet have an author account with us, follow this link and sign up. You need an author account to upload a magnet OR to submit a book for our retailer promotions. You will not receive our retailer daily deals unless you opt for them.
For more information on subscriber magnets, see these blog posts:
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