Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Marketing: reviews

How often do you ask others for a review?
What about review blogs?

It's often hard to get reviews, specially if you are just starting out. It took me a while to realize I needed to be actively seeking them, and not be afraid of what the reader might say. For a long time I stopped myself from going to others for reviews- what if they hated my work?

Well here's what I've learned. Readers look at ratings and reviews. You need them. Making that plunge to request reviews is difficult and often times caused some serious anxiety, but it must be done. No one is going to do it for you- well unless you are connected or you have great friends.

Basically your promotion is up to you, especially as an indie author. I had to learn that taking the review step, was a must. Bad reviews or good reviews.

You should be requesting a review from a blog, review site, or person at least 1 time per week- preferably keeping to blogs and review sites (do not pay for reviews.) By making the effort 1 time each week you are putting your work in front of new possible readers, and blogs or review sites sometimes have months long waiting lists, so it's better to get out there and not wait.

To ask a person one on one to write you a review may seem pushy, and if you aren't a known author, you might even get a few odd responses. However, if you have a newsletter and a supportive writing group- you can give out free copies as 'gifts' or you can give out ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) to them in exchange for an honest review.

Don't expect the reviews to come in fast- it has been my experience that it takes anywhere from 3 weeks to longer for reviews to show up from people I've asked to review arcs, and even some review sites. others I'm still waiting on.

You should keep a list, with e-mails, of those who you gave ARCs to and those review sites and blog you have requested a review from that way you do not repeat the request, which tends to irritate readers and reviewers.

When looking for blogs that review and review sites or people- look for ones in your specific genre- research and make sure, because if the reviewer isn't really interested in the genre you write, it can bring down your review from them.

Here is a good place to start- it's not perfect and you have to actually look for where you want to request a review from- but it's a good place to get going: The Indie Book Reviewers

On Facebook there is also a new group to help authors get reviews. All the reviewers on the group are there volunteering to be a reviewer for participating authors. It doesn't cost you anything, and most genres are accepted. You can sign up to be a reviewer as well as an author on the group that way you can read others and help them too.
The group is called Potluck Reviews. Click here to find them and check it out.

Whats your experience with how to get reviews?
Are you afraid to ask for reviews?
Do you read the reviews that are posted for your books?

3 comments:

  1. My publisher sent out review copies of my books and I helped find many of the sites. I haven't been asking for reviews since then, and I guess I need to do that.

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  2. I agree that reviews are very important to the life of a book. ARC seems to be the best way to get those reviews rolling in my experience. I always ask my beta readers to leave a review also as I do for them. Early reviews are good. And yes, I read every single review, good, bad or ugly. And I always click the button that asks if the review was helpful so that the reviewer gets some type of acknowledgement that I have read and appreciate their review.

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