This month’s question for our authors’ Round Robin was suggested by Victoria Chatham, and it’s another excellent topic…
“Love ’em or hate ’em, reviews help sell books – but how to get them?”
I’m so glad this question has come up this month, because I’d love to know the answer myself! I’m looking forward to hearing what the other authors have to say on the subject, and to picking up some tips. (If you’d like to find out too, please see the links below.)
I have some lovely reviews (and a couple of stinkers :) ) but I’d love to have more reviews for my books, both on Goodreads and on Amazon. When I had my first book published I had no idea how vital it was to get lots of reviews – even while the book is still on pre-order – in order to build up a buzz.
I’ve learned that it’s well worthwhile making your book available in print as well as eformat – and not just because some reviewers will only review print books. I’ve now learned that reviewers can’t leave a review for an e-book when it’s on pre-order on Amazon. They have to wait until the e-book has actually been released before they can review it. BUT reviewers can leave a review for an e-book on pre-order if it’s also available in print. I wish I’d known this strange quirk of Amazon before I released my last book, as I had lots of people offering to review it in the run up to release. By the time the release date came, I was in the awkward situation of having to remind them, so in that self-effacing British way I just didn’t ask.
My next novel, Felicity at the Cross Hotel, will be available on pre-order in June this year. As a self-publisher, I can’t afford to list my book on Netgalley, so all I can do is ask as many reviewers as I can if they would be interested in a review copy. I will start with reviewers who have already reviewed my previous books, who have enjoyed them, and who might like an advance copy. I’m an avid reader of romance/ women’s fiction, as well as a writer, and I follow a lot of book bloggers who I know review my genre. (I write contemporary romance, and so it’s pointless contacting reviewers who only read horror – as well as being a waste of their time.)
Here are some more steps I could take:
- ask some of the members of my Facebook book clubs if they’d like a review copy.
- contact book bloggers and reviewers who I still haven’t worked with. There are literally thousands of book reviewers around the world. I have built up a list on Twitter of book-bloggers/reviewers . (If you’re an author, feel free to subscribe to it.)
- I send out an occasional newsletter. (New subscribers receive a free copy of my novella Palace of Deception, and you can subscribe here ) I plan to ask my newsletter subscribers if they would like an advance copy of Felicity at the Cross Hotel for review. Lots of readers love the opportunity to read a book before publication date – and if readers are continuing to subscribe to my newsletter, hopefully it’s because they like my books, and would be happy to have a copy.
- when I format my book for release, I plan to add a paragraph on the last page, asking readers to leave a review, with a link to Amazon and Goodreads.
One of the romance blogs I follow is A Reader’s Review. I once wrote a post for Caroline and Tina (the bloggers at the site) on just how useful I find it as a romance reader that there are bloggers who will take the time to read and review romance novels. I find book blogs are one of the few places romance is reviewed and taken seriously, and I’ve discovered many great reads by following sites like these. (You can read my post here.)
Reviews are also vital for authors, of course, and it doesn’t matter whether our reviews come from a book review site, or from readers taking the time to review on Amazon or Goodreads. Even just a star rating and a few lines is helpful. And it’s not just independent self-published authors who are eager to get reviews. Even though I’m not a book blogger, I’ve often had emails from big publishers asking if I’ll review their new releases. I’ve even been sent hardback copies in the post.
So, reviews are important to all authors, whether just starting out or already established.
And now I’m going to follow the links to find out what advice the other authors have on this subject!
* * *
Do you ever take the time to leave reviews on Amazon or Goodreads? If you’re an author, how do you go about getting reviews for your books? If you have any tips – or any comments at all – I’d love to hear from you!
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Dr. Bob Rich https://bobrich18.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/how-to-get-reviews
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com