Rallying for Reviews
Okay, so the process never ends! I have reviewed the third proof of my book and it’s ready to be released. I’ve revealed my cover and three days of two word hints about the narrative on social media. (I need to do that on my website). What comes next? Reviews.
As I sift through the plethora of book bloggers’ sites, I’m finding that the process is more daunting that I thought. Perhaps I hadn’t given it much thought because I was focused on writing the thing (said lovingly). No, that isn’t entirely true. I recall reading articles on the process of getting a book professionally reviewed. After seeing the sticker price (hundreds of dollars) and the turnaround time (7-9 weeks…more in some cases), I decided against a professional review. Indie authors are better served by pounding the virtual pavement of cyberspace and visiting book bloggers’ websites, reading their review policy, and hoping they review your book.
These bloggers are “regular people” with a voracious love of books and reading who post their reviews on major sites like Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and their blogging sites. They may also link to your reviews via major social networking sites like Twitter, tumblr, Facebook, and Google+. This all serves to drive folks to your book. The more reviews, the more chances someone will purchase your book. It’s not just indie authors who use these bloggers–publishers send review copies to them as well. This is yet another aspect of the publishing process where you have to work to promote yourself. You have no marketing department whose sole job it is to promote you. It’s you, you, you, and don’t forget about YOU!
If you have an active life on Twitter, tumblr, Facebook, et al, beware of approaching followers about reviewing your book especially if they don’t advertise as book bloggers. I was shocked to read an article on my Twitter dash about this. It wasn’t directed at me as I have only approached book bloggers, still it was like a slap in the face. It made me shy about asking for reviews, though I soon let that roll off may back. Be ready to be denied. The market is inundated with self-published books so it will be hard to get noticed. I know this intellectually, but it still hurts. Pick yourself up. Brush yourself off. Take a deep breath. Keep pounding the pavement. Know that there are people out there who want what you have to offer. Make that your mantra.
I have to add approaching independent bookstores. I’ve approached one so far and am waiting on a response. If you are still in the writing stage, know that finishing is just the beginning…again.