Wednesday, January 25, 2017

HOW TO GET GREAT BOOK REVIEWS

Welcome Wednesday. My subject today is about something vital to authors: getting book reviews. Maybe doing so is no problem for you, but for me it seems almost impossible. It seems I'm not alone though. I just went through my email, way back to June, 2016 (I know, that's bad) and deleted at least 30 requests for reviews from Amazon customers, every thing from jewelry to products I don't even know what they are to books. I don't know how it happened, exactly, but somehow I'm on the Amazon list as a top reviewer. I hate turning people down, but there are only so many hours in the day and I had no choice. I am determined, though, about gaining more reviews for my work. I owe it to my publishers and to my stories, so I bought a book that I think will help me overcome my shyness of asking for reviews.

 
I've read the book from cover to cover. I've started a spiral notebook with Carolyn's suggestions and ideas. I'm making a schedule. And I will get reviews for my books. Here's a bit more about this wonderful, helpful book.
 

HOW TO GET GREAT BOOK REVIEWS FRUGALLY AND ETHICALLY

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

 

Every writer knows the importance of reviews for their work. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, books for children or teens, romance or adventure, or any of the other genres, honest reviews help sell books. That said, how do authors get reviews? It’s not easy, let me tell you.

 

I’m one of those writers in need of honest reviews for my stories. So are hundreds, thousands of other authors. There are lots of reviewers, true, but they are flooded with review requests. I know, because I also review books. So what’s a poor author to do?

 

I wish I had some easy answers. I don’t, but Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s book, HOW TO GET GREAT BOOK REVIEWS FRUGALLY AND ETHICALLY, is filled with information and advice to help us in our search.

 

From the introduction, “Before We Get Started,” where Ms. Johnson discusses the magic of reviews, as well as the downers, to the final chapter, “When Your Book Sales Get Musty,” and the Appendices with resources and samples, the author shows us how and where to find reviewers, scams to be aware of, do’s and do not’s, and way more than I can mention in a review. In Chapter One, “Book Reviews Aren’t What You Think,” she explains the process of getting reviews. Other chapters explain “why” we need reviews and the problems of  “free” books, “shifty reviewers,” and “other scams.” There’s a good discussion about Amazon, and the way reviews there work. The book goes on and on and my personal copy has lots of yellow high-lights of things I hope to do for my novels.

 

If you’re having trouble finding reviewers for your work, then take a look at Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s book. I think you’ll be happy you did.

 

Recommended!

And don't forget the giveaway for a copy of the audio book for UNDER A PURPLE MOON. Two audio books will be given away. Just leave a comment whether you enjoy audio books or not, follow me on Twitter and on Amazon. And you're entered. Good luck. Winners announced next week.

 
Silver Award Winner in the 2016 Children's Literary Classics Awards, teen category.
 
 
Happy Reading!

 

30 comments:

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    1. The book has a lot of good information, Alex. What I'm finding, is that many reviewers are not taking more books to review. I understand that.

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  2. Yep, reviews are a pain in the butt to get indeed, sounds like some good info within.

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    1. I wish we could just say Review my book please, and it would magically have hundreds of reviews.

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  3. Thanks for the info, Beverly. I really struggle with this as well. I will have to check out this book.

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    1. You're welcome, Karin. It's harder for me to find book reviews than to write the book.

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  4. Goodness, go on vacation and all kinds of awesome things happen. I like audio books! =)

    You know, I put a ton of time and effort into querying book reviewers for my debut novel, and it made getting reviews for subsequent books much easier--because I already had ties with several reviewers who enjoyed my first work. I hear you on review requests though. I get a couple a week, and I keep thinking, "Why?" I only review books I pick up--not titles someone asks me to review. (Unless they look really, really amazing.) I'm not a "book reviewer for hire." Most the queries are way off base anyway.

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    1. I'm just learning about audio books, Crystal. They are neat, especially for those with bad eyes. I hate to turn down reviews, but like you say, some of them are not the types of books I read and I'm not for "hire" either.

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  5. Finding reviewers is difficult, and it seems to be even more so. I finally had to remove my email and website from my review page on Amazon to keep from getting 5+ review requests a day from people. Thanks for mentioning this book!

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    1. I understand that, Cherie. I might should remove my email from my review page. You're welcome. The book has some good advice.

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  6. I need this book! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Chrys. I just went through a list of reviewers on a web site, but the ones I checked out are not accepting. I'm finding that more and more. Good luck to you.

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  7. I got to read the book before it was released and there is a ton a great tips and suggestions in it.

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    1. Yes, there is, Diane. Hopefully, some of them will work for me.

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  8. I have a question for you, Beverly - what book reviews do you value most: Amazon, Goodreads, or reviews on private blogs? I'm thrilled your book is now an audiobook. I am a heavy consumer of audiobooks.

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    1. Good question, Linda. I've never really thought about it. I post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Library Thing, and usually my blog. I imagine Amazon gets the most reads, though Goodreads is popular too. If I have to choose, I'd go with Amazon. What is your answer? :)

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  9. Great tips and post Beverly, had a few wee problems with my last book, but have learned much through people like yourself giving help and advice.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne. It's getting harder every day to find reviewers that are accepting books. I understand their reasons. So many books, so few reviewers.

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  10. You just reviewed a book on getting reviews! Look at you go! No wonder Amazon lists you as a top reviewer! Seriously though, I'm not surprised at all. You are fantastic about reviewing. Thank you for that.

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    1. Ha,ha! How about that, Kelly? Thanks for your kind words.

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  11. What a fascinating book and review. I know I try to review as many books as I can because I know I want people to review my book. I think sometimes people think reviews will take a really long time, but even short ones help authors! I have no idea how to go about getting more reviews- so thanks for sharing this with us. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. You're right, Jess. Even two or three sentences can tell what a book is about and it sure helps the author. This book has lots of suggestions.

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  12. Oh- and I love audio books. I tend to listen to them at night and I love being taken away by someone reading to me. :)

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    1. You're in the drawing for my giveaway of two audio books of Under a Purple Moon. I'm really enjoying listening to a story. It's kind of like a parent reading to a child. :) Just relax and enjoy.

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  13. That sounds like a good book. I could certainly use more book reviews.

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    1. We're all in the same boat, I think, Tamara. The book has lots of ideas. Many of the reviewers I've checked on are no longer accepting requests, though. Keep looking.

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  14. Congrats on the 2 awards for your book and that it's now an audiobook, too! Last May, I spent over a month finding and querying 300 book reviewers. I got a lot of reviews (52 on Amazon at last count.) I don't think it's helped sales. Something must help sales but I haven't found it yet... Thanks for the book recommendation and have a lovely weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Lexa. I know little about audio books but am excited about this one. It's neat to hear someone read your words. If you find what helps sales, let me know. It's a mystery to me. I read something about Amazon, like if you have 100 or more reviews, they do some promoting. I don't remember exactly how it works, must find that article, not that I'm even close to 100 reviews. Just received another "We're only accepting books written in 2017" about my request for a review. Hunting more places. I thank you for your lovely review. Every one is important. Have a great weekend.

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  15. Sounds like a great book. I think we're all perplexed about how to get good reviews. I review every book I read--but I also plan out the books I'm going to read for the month to make sure I get around to all my writer friends who have new books out!

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    1. Yes, I agree, Stephanie. I review the books I read too. I'm behind right now. Books from my friends are top priority. My readings been slow lately. After Monday that will change, I hope.

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