|pic by Stuart Miles|
Getting those reviews are sometimes just as big a struggle as getting our work out there to begin with. Let me take you back a ways and give you a little perspective. I’ve been writing reviews of books I’ve enjoyed for about ten years now. A few years ago, I opened a blog and said publicly I’d like ARC’s if anyone thought my opinion worth a darn. Not knowing the deluge that would ensue, I said yes to a few titles. I enjoyed them so I posted my thoughts on site. Then I got more requests, and more, and more. Soon I was backed up six months, and the authors’ release dates flew by before I could get to them. It soon became a pain in the neck. Then life intervened with its own pain. Yet, I was obligated now to keep reviewing, so instead of pitching a fit, I said “sorry” and shut down my bloggy inbox and plastered big ole “NO ARC’s” signs on my sites while I dutifully worked on the backlog. Because it’s time consuming and when you’re walking through hell, it’s even worse! I know, believe me, I know!
However, reviews are lifeblood to writers, right?
As soon as I published, I went looking for those reviews. Stupid, you might say? Well, I went out knowing some might turn me down.
I also knew what I think we could call the “Guidelines instead of rules” of seeking said reviews. 1) Be patient. The reviewers might have a year-long backlog, heck they might not even get to you, but even a posted review six months down the line might garner you a sale. Second rule: apparently, this is from Amazon. Doesn’t matter how many 5 star reviews you have, they might remove a few just to give you a new gray hair. I’ve seen this happen to friends of mine, and boy, is it frustrating!
Guideline #2: I’ve seen myself: Don’t sweat 1 star reviews. Even they can garner you sales. Yes, I’ve seen folks get sales from 1-star, “absolutely hated this book!” reviews. I’ve even been known to purchase a book from such a review, so, there. Woohoo for bad publicity! ;)
Heck, even Anne Rice gets a balance of bad reviews and look at her.
Yet, as writers, we still hope and pray to get those good reviews. I guess my best advice to authors seeking those reviews is, as with the whole relay race that publishing is, just be patient, don’t sweat the timeline, or the ratings, no matter what anyone tells you. Reviews will come when they come, and readers, if you read a book?? Help us gals out, please review it somewhere, anywhere!! (Amazon!) (pretty please?) *lol*
Just a little something I’ve learned in my short little published life that I thought I’d pass along in case it’s of any use. ;) Good luck, and may all your reviews (and reads) be five stars!