Click button below to download Word form (.docx)
When you click the button, a dialog box will display allowing you to open the form in Microsoft Word or to save it to your Downloads folder.
Enter the information requested on the form, carefully following the instructions below.
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.
First, make sure you’ve read the Free Spotlight Information Page. It will answer most of your questions about which types of authors and books qualify for a free spotlight post.
What To Put In Each Field
- Yes, I have read the information…. Check this box if you have carefully read and understand the information on the Free Spotlight Information Page AND that you are following the instructions on this page to fill out the form.
This is very important! I have good reasons for the policies and requests, which I will explain as we go. If you don’t follow these instructions, it may significantly delay the time it takes for your post to go live.
- Yes, the author/co-author is LDS. There are lots of wonderful authors and novels out there that LDS readers would love and enjoy. But this particular site is to promote LDS authors. This has nothing to do with activity level, politics, or temple-worthiness. Nor does it necessarily have anything to do with the content of your book. (Exceptions explained below.)
No, I don’t need confirmation from your bishop or stake president. I don’t even need to know which ward or stake you are in. Your word is good enough.
Check this box to confirm that the author is a baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and wishes to be identified as such.
If multiple authors contributed to the book, enter the names of those who are LDS. While I will attempt to link to all of them, only the LDS authors get an Author Bio box at the bottom of the post.
- 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. Please make sure it is an email that will be checked regularly. It is the email to which I will send my questions and notification when the post is live.
- 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.
Yes, I have found book covers on Amazon with one title, and a variation of the title in the text of the same post. If this is your book, FIX IT before you submit this form.
If you change the title at some point in the future, send an email with the change and I will update the original post.
- Book Author: Carefully type the name of the author, exactly as it appears on the front cover. It should also be the same name as listed on Amazon. (Yes, this happens a lot. Fix it!)
If there are multiple contributors, list all author names.
If you change your author name at some point in the future, send an email with the change and I will update the original post.
- Series Name and Number: Carefully type the name of the series and the sequence number for this particular book. For example: Harry Potter #7. This should be the same series name and 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 name at some point in the future, send an email with the change and I will update the original post.
- 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. 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.
- Publication 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.
- Number of Pages: Pretty self-explanatory. If you have both a print and an ebook, use the page count for the print book.
- Formats: I have 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.
- Amazon Link: Find your book on Amazon and copy and paste the entire URL in the field. If your various formats are not connected so they show on the same page, fix that first.
Your book MUST be on Amazon to get a spotlight post here. While this site is mostly a labor of love, I do have overhead. And it takes a lot of my personal time. Affiliate links are the main way I cover the costs of the site.
- IndieBound Link: IndieBound is a website that supports local independent bookstores. Readers can search for bookstores near them, and can also find out if they carry your book. Not all books are listed on IndieBound. If your book is on the site, please provide the link.
My IndieBound links are also affiliate links. While I get very little return from these links, I fully support independent bookstores and so it’s worth the extra effort to include them.
Book Content Information
- Book Description: This is one place where not following directions will slow you way down. This is the synopsis/teaser/description you’d find on the back of a book or the cover flap. I need a 250-300 word description for your book so the post will display as intended. Shorter descriptions require me to add more words, and I don’t have a lot of time to do that.
Description should be for this book only, not for the entire series. Some authors have the same description for every book in the series. Don’t do that. I won’t post it.
Description should be about the story itself, not promotional. Do not include things like, “Readers of all ages will love this breath-taking journey of adventure and wit…” or “This inspiring story based on a true-life event will bring tears to your eyes…” That is promotion. I will not post it.
Do NOT include author promo or bio in this. I don’t care if you’re an Amazon or NYT best-seller. I don’t care if you’ve written 40 books. I don’t care if you invented a sub-genre. That does not go in the Book Description. (Although you may include all that in your Author Bio.)
Do NOT include quotes from reviews. Some book descriptions are 4 quotes from popular authors. Don’t do that either.
Remember, this is the place where you entice your reader so they will want to read your book. If it’s poorly written, no one will click the link to buy it.
- Tweetable: My more recent posts have a short teaser making it easy for site visitors to tweet about your book. Short and catchy tweets are the best. Limit to 80 characters so I can add the title, author name and a #genre to the tweet.
- Does this book need a content warning?: My largest demographic is female members of the LDS church, between the ages of 30 and 45, who want to make informed reading decisions. Some readers want squeaky clean and are offended by chaste kisses. Other readers don’t mind mild swearing or deep kissing. Some don’t mind more steaminess, but draw the line with violence.
If your book contains anything that would bump it out of a G rating, I need to know about it so I can include that information in the post. This includes anything that might offend the average LDS reader, such as swearing, graphic violence, explicit sensuality, or themes that celebrate behaviors that are contrary Church doctrine.
While I am generally inclusive and don’t believe in censorship, there are lines I won’t cross. This is a personal call and I hope you’ll understand. If your book is not a good fit with my demographic, I will not post it.
- Main Genre Category: Select one category from the drop-down list. 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: Select one sub-genre from those listed Book Lists > Books by Genre. Sub-genres are in green. Make sure that the sub-genre you select matches the Main Genre Category you selected previously.
- Tags: Starting in 2016, I am including more tag options for books. This is where you can add a 1 or 2 word tag that will 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.
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.)
I include links to your website or blog, Facebook, 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.
- Website URL: Ideally, 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’re not available online, leave blank.
- 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 Excel 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, leave blank.
- 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, leave blank.
- 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.
Saving and Sending
Upon completion of the form, SAVE it! Then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Spotlight Post Request in the Subject line.
Attach the following items:
- Spotlight Post Request Form: Yes, that form that you just completed and saved.
- Book Cover: 300 pixels wide x 450 pixels tall (or larger); jpg format. Your cover designer should be able to create this for you. These are standard dimensions for most books and it is what is required for my post templates. If your cover will not resize a to standard 300 x 450 image on its own, I will have to force it into those dimensions which may create some image distortion. Sorry.
- Author Photo: 300 pixels wide x 300 pixels tall (or larger); jpg format. Headshots preferred. If you don’t have a headshot, send me what you have as large as you can. I will crop it to a square image of your head and shoulders.
Also, PLEASE, send a good photo of yourself. One that makes you look like a credible author, not a goofball.
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 little 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 your book already has a post on the site, just email what is missing or needs updated to email@example.com.
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 precedent over updates and older books.