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THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES TO FIND BOOK REVIEWERS

October 14, 2015

Finding people to review your book isn’t easy.

Let me rephrase that.

Finding people to review your book for free isn’t easy.

MONEY MONEY MONEY

As I found out very quickly, the search for people to review my book was no easy task. That didn’t mean there weren’t plenty of people willing to review it. Sure, I got flooded with lots of deceptive marketing sites, especially on Twitter from book reviewers hawking their wares.

“Come to our site. We’ll review your book for free!”

Yeah, sure. Just wait until you get there and see the sneaky ways they charge you for that “free” book review. Everything you click on is tied into a PayPal account. Yeah, free my ass.

To top this off, I’ve never heard of any of these reviewers or their web sites. Ever. Say, I pay between $30 and $200 (I’m not kidding), what do I get?

One of them had the balls to not even guarantee a review. Just put me in the pool with a pile of others! Yeah, that’s some marketing!

I could go broke marketing my book to a site nobody will ever look at!

LOOKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

Many of us have lived in more than one place. I certainly have. I got the idea that I could appeal to the newspapers of all the cities and towns I lived in. Maybe they had an entertainment section of their paper that would do reviews for local authors.

I customized each letter to the city, citing details of when I (or we) lived there and addressed each e-mail to the specific editor, if it was available.

I sent those e-mails out to about a dozen cities and towns. I got exactly one response. That editor forwarded it on to another editor and that’s the last I heard from them. None of the others responded.

So much for that outside the box idea!

CONTACTING OLD FRIENDS/ACQUAINTENCES

This has been a mixed bag. I’ve had some success, yet I’ve had plenty of no responses as well. Part of the problem is the most current info I have on some of these friends is from several years ago. Though the e-mails and web sites are still up, the updates are old and I’m not even sure if they still get or even look at their stuff. However, the few that responded were gold.

PUBS SPECIALIZING IN MY GENRE

I’ve had a bit of luck with this. I searched out publications that specialize in my genre and found a few of the classics that are still around, and a few new ones. I got busy and received at least one response. So far, only one accepts unsolicited reviews without charging for them. Still, that’s a killer magazine and if my book gets in there, that’s a big step up.

STILL SEARCHING

There are the random sites I stumble on here and there because I do a bit of searching every day. If anyone ever said marketing and getting book reviews was easy, they’re crazy! It’s an ongoing process and nobody is going to do it but me. My publisher IS helping, of course, and networking with other authors helps also.

My main intention is to tell you all to be prepared. This is especially true if you don’t want to pay a second mortgage, possibly more than you’ll ever make from the sale of your book, to get the word out!

Happy writing!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2015 1:45 am

    There’s a blog here on WordPress – I think it’s called Book Review Directory. It’s literally a directory with bloggers here on WordPress who read and review books. You can look at what they read, check out their blog to gauge their reading style, and contact them about reviewing your book. There are never guarantees, of course; people get busy. I have had a bit of luck with it, though, so it’s definitely worth a try.

    • October 15, 2015 6:05 pm

      Thanks so much for the link. I had no idea there was such a site! Sorry for the late reply but I just got out of surgery yesterday and I’m still a bit loopy.

      I’ll definitely check it out in the next few days.

      Thanks so much!

      Fred

      • October 15, 2015 6:18 pm

        No problem! Sorry to hear that recently needed to have surgery, but I hope you heal quickly and well!

  2. October 14, 2015 2:02 am

    I feel your pain. It’s been even more difficult for me because we need reviews for all four of our books. What has helped is in my requests is including a link to our review pages on our sites. Previous reviews seem to help them decide if it’s a book they want to take on. Here’s three great reviewers who you can contact. Lovely ladies, all of them:

    Carrie Ann Lahain: http://www.carrieannlahain.com/
    Erin Talbert: http://bookstrucklove.blogspot.com/
    Merissa/Debbie/Amy: http://archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.com/

    Something else I do is keep an eye on my fellow authors, I’ll watch what reviewers put up a review for their books, and if the book is in my genre, I’ll friend them and ask if they’ll review mine.

    I’ll even track down reviewers on Amazon (ugh, I sound like a review stalker now). That’s how I found Erin. She put up a fantastic review for Loyalties a year ago. And by fantastic, it wasn’t just the praise, she really took the time to write a thoughtful and helpful review that wasn’t a synopsis of the book. I finally contacted her through Goodreads a couple months ago and got to thank her. She said of all the books she’s read, ours was the most memorable and she wanted to read and review the rest of them.

    It also helps if you have digital versions to email out. Those don’t cost you anything to send.

    Overall, it’s like anything else in this biz, you have to keep trying.

    • October 15, 2015 6:04 pm

      Wow, Deborah, thanks for the links and tips! That is so great!

      Sorry for the late reply, I had surgery yesterday and am recovering. Whew! What an ordeal.

      I’ll check this all out as I get back on my feet again.

      You rock!

      Fred

      • October 15, 2015 6:25 pm

        No worries on the reply. Good to hear your surgery went well and you’re home now. Yup, check them out when you have time 🙂

      • October 28, 2015 1:33 am

        Debora,

        Thanks so much. You rock!

        Fred

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