M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Here a Review. There a Review. Why Doesn't My Book Get One of the Reviews?

Find the Links for Free Download
Hey, readers do you regularly add to your good karma but leaving a review of a book you enjoyed? Once a book is published, getting good reviews weighs heavy on an author's mind. This is especially true for pipsqueak indie writers like me. 

Reviews shouldn't scare you. They don't have to be a great production. All you need to do is just give a rating, four and five stars are wonderful, and write a couple sentences about what you really liked or didn't like about the book. That's that. No analysis of the characterization, the plot, or anything else. Leave that to the English Lit types and professional reviewers.

Of course, authors, if you want reviews, you must first market your books. Unfortunately, marketing's hard. Paul Jarvis gives a good check list of what a writer must do in How to Market a Self-Published Book. Mid-list authors can also learn something there. One problem though. Jarvis only tells you what you must do. Writers, then, have to do the research to learn how to do it.

Authors: If you are scrambling for reviews, you might want to read Michael Hardach's Blog: Five Ways To Generate Authentic Book Reviews. His actual suggestions are at the end of the blog. The first part of the blog is a rant against paid reviews.

Personally, I've been pleased with the results of exchanging reviews with GoodReads members. Yeah, I've posted reviews which were not returned. But that's not really any skin off my nose. On the other hand, I've been slow on my review turn-arounds and have a line four deep waiting. At least my to-review stack doesn't look like my to-read piles.

Most important result of exchanging reviews? I'm reading books and/or stories I don't normally read. Guess that's enough reward if the review fails to show up.

All that said, Crossings has gathered a few reviews out of the about 1,000 free downloads. Here are pieces of a couple reviews, I especially liked.
Find Download Links Here.

Ron Baker gave a 4**** review:
"The unusual dialogue and behavior of the inhabitants of this fantasy demonstrate the talent of the author. I like weird and this story delivers. A very creative fully realized world. Recommended."

 H. G. Estok gave a 5***** review:
"Ebe is what you might call a Boomer hero -- an elderly gent who, with the help of some magic and some very special dogs, does his darnedest to try and save the day. I enjoyed the world-building in this tale with a setting that's close to our own reality but very different. Theodoratus knows how to weave an intriguing yarn, and this might be my favorite one from her yet. She has a way of making the reader root for her characters, whether they be human or otherwise, with a story that's well-wrought from start to finish."

The free promotions for Crossings are almost over, and the e-pub will soon be up for full price. Here's the blurb: Slight of stature and lacking magic, old Ebe must destroy a nest of frogtrolls who killed a long-time friend to regain his self-respect. You can find download links on my website if you find the concept interesting.

Of course, writers have to get people to buy or download their books. Sorry. I don't have any easy solutions for encouraging them to do it. I sweat blood to get miniscule sales. But writers, you might want to look at JA Konrath's blog:  Ebook Sales Down? Here Are 15 Tips! As usual, this best selling author offers great advice.

Enough yapping.
Writers: How do you go about getting reviews?
Readers: How big of a chore do you think writing reviews is?


Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm trying to get better about this, Kay, but with all the life complications over the last year and a half, I'm so far behind in reading and reviewing that I may never catch up.

I think with all writers and readers, it's just something we know we should do but it keeps falling to the bottom of our To Do Lists. I have the same problem about leaving comments on blogs. I want to, but....

Unknown said...

You're talking to the worse lurker in the bloggosphere. I regularly scan down through them. Even read some. But seldom comment unless it's on my own.

Mostly, I'm satisfied with getting bits of this and that done here and there. I put a general time limit on each task. Sometimes it even works.

Ooops Google time is up. :)

Terry Tyler said...

The thing I don't like about the idea of review swapping is that so many people give a 5* glowing one they don't mean because they think they will get them back! I think it's better to build up a good relationship with book bloggers, and learn to promote your book to appeal to readers - and build up relationships with them, too! Twitter for Writers by Rayne Hall is a very good book, I'd recommend it. All the best!

Unknown said...

Yeah, Terry ... Good idea. I have had similar experiences with exchanges though have gotten some insightful 4* reviews too. I think of it as adding the five or ten reviews I need to get my epubs up on some better promo sites.

I try to do the blog thing too. I label it under marketing and is one of the reasons marketing takes so much time. I tried to take a short cut by using blog tours ... with about the smae