The IRT web designer (WebEndev LLC) has done a great job of trying to make IRT as easy as possible to use. This page aims to make it even easier for those of you who might not have encountered a wordpress-based site before.
Step 1: Register to use the tracker
To use the Indie Review Tracker itself, you will need to Register as a paying member. Forum subscribers can register free, but will be able to use only the Forums and have limited access to promotional features. Please use your real name for your Username. You can later add a “handle” (or nickname), to avoid your Username being seen by others.
Please also note that your profile image and “About me” information will be automatically drawn from Gravatar (a free service that allows you to comment on multiple sites and shows your image and biographical information); therefore, if you have a Gravatar account, you should register to IRT using the same email address you used for Gravatar. If you do not, you will not be able to add a profile image unless you create a separate Gravatar account. If you do not have a Gravatar account, I recommend you sign up for one.
Your User Dashboard
Once you have registered and logged in, a panel on the left-hand sidebar shows you are logged in and provides a button for accessing your profile and User dashboard. The User below is called RomanceWriter, as you can see from her login panel (clicking directly on the image will zoom in on the image in your browser).
Clicking on “Profile” will take you to a personalized dashboard that looks a little something like this:
Those of you who are familiar with WordPress should feel right at home here. On the left, you’ll see links to your personal Dashboard, Profile, and To-do List (which is discussed in greater detail). The very top left navigation menu (the black band) has the options: Indie Review Tracker, Forums, and To-do List.
Clicking on Indie Review Tracker will take you directly back to the Home Page view of the site (the first image in Step 1) and the usual navigation menu to find the blog, Indie Review Tracker database link, and other features. Clicking on Forums, will take you directly to the forums.
Your personalized To-do List shows in your Dashboard view, alerting you to promotional activities that you want to complete (the red ones have been marked as Urgent). You can also add more items to your To-do list in this view (because I’m sure you don’t have enough to do already).
The right of your Dashboard (again, click on the image above to zoom in) will show a message from IRT’s intrepid and extremely exhausted Founder—me. This message may change, on occasion, to provide encouragement, inspiration or a tip-off about great opportunities, competitions or other indie news of note, or to alert you to changes with the site (updates, outages, new features, media coverage etc).
Step 2: Updating your profile
To the right of the top banner you will see your Username and clicking on it will enable you to either update your Profile or to logout. You can also update your Profile by clicking the link in the left-and panel of your dashboard.
While you cannot change your Username once it is set, you can modify your name under the First Name and Last Name setting, and you can add a Nickname. The drop-down checkbox “Display name publicly as” will allow you to choose which name (your real name or Nickname) other users will see when you interact on the Forums.
You can choose which color scheme you like and then work your way through the rest of the Profile information to add your website, change your email to a Gravatar-supported one if need be, and add your social networking links. You can also add your biographical information in the About Me section, which will be shown on your posts (especially if you are ever a guest post contributor on IRT).
Scrolling down further will also enable you to change your password, should you feel the need.
When you get to the bottom, choose Update.
Step 3: Using the tracker to search for reviewers or promotional opportunities
Right, Profile sorted? Great. It’s time to start using the Tracker and adding promotional tasks to your To-do List.
When you click on Use Review Tracker in the main navigation bar on the left-hand side (if you can’t see it, you need to click on “Indie Review Tracker” in the top-left-hand corner), you will see the following drop-down menu.
Note that you do not have to check every parameter, which will narrow your search. You can choose to search all or any of the parameters. For instance, if you select an option only from Site Types—let’s say, Book Blogger— but do not specify a genre, and hit SEARCH. The site will show you ALL of the links categorized as Book Blogger. If you select Book Blogger and also select the Genre “Romance,” the site will show you all Book Bloggers who review Romance. If you also need to find Romance Book Bloggers who can review your work soon, select “Review Times” and choose “Within two weeks.” Voila: all Book Bloggers of Romance who will review your book pronto.
It is worth noting that the more categories you choose, the more specific the search, and that this may sometimes result in not finding any listings that match all of your chosen specifications. Plus, if you do a Genre search but do not specify Site Type, your search will reveal all Site Types that work in that genre. That is, it will reveal Indie Authors who write in that genre, Editors who edit that genre, Cover Designers who design for that genre, etc. Therefore, it is best to always choose Site Type and Genre as a minimum. The numerals that follow the category listings are the current total number of listings in that category. Expect these to change as more and more sites are added to the tracker daily, either by users submitting sites with the Submit Your Site feature, or by admin.
When you have made your selection, a list of relevant sites will pop up below. Scroll through them, paying attention to the information that alerts you to any that might have reviews on hold.
Saving Tasks to Your To-do List
You can add To-do Items from your Dashboard page, but while using the Indie Review Tracker, I also suggest that you add them to your To-do List. Search for the tracker data you require, and then copy the information you need using Control+C. Click on My To-Do List in the charcoal top menu bar (or open a new tab or browser and click on To-Do List from the navigation menu, if you prefer). Paste the information and contact links you want into your new To-do List item.
Add a deadline, priority, and category. Click Add To-do Item. Your To-do List Summary will show your tasks.
Once you have completed tasks, check them off in your To-Do List. This will retain a record of sites you have submitted to, and when. You might also like to use the To-Do List to schedule in “follow-ups.” For example, “Tweet link to review from Big Shot Media to be posted to www.bigshot.co.uk on 06/11/2012.” You can later print off your To-do List to add items to a Google Calendar or stick them to a pinboard, should you wish.
I hope this quick tutorial helps you keep a track of where you have submitted your work for reviews, without the hassle of trawling through old emails.
If you have any further questions, please submit your question/s using the FAQ section and we will respond as soon as possible.