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Prestigious Reviews and How to Get Them

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Before you start reading these tips: Be aware that big media reviewers do not even accept 10% of the submissions they receive – and as an independent author you are competing with traditional publishers. However, if you don’t give it a try and query professionally, you will never know.  Book review editors are not the only ones who might accept your books for review, try columnists as well, especially if you write non-fiction. If your book is about an adventurous bike tour in Jamaica, you can send your review submission to both, the travel section editor of a major newspaper or to the sport editor of this publication.

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Always check carefully their submission rules!
Most review sites want hard copies of the book at least 3 months prior to publication. Even if you have planned to publish an e-book, get 30-50 copies printed at a digital printer, at CreateSpace or use any of the new Espresso-Publishing machines that you can find in major cities, but who also deliver via mail or UPS. Having print copies is not only important for reviewers, but also for your book launch or book signings and to sell them to people who prefer print instead of e-books. Other reviewers, especially top book bloggers take books also after their release and more and more accept e-books.
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Create an address database or any kind of list, where you type in the title, name, address, phone/email of the recipient, the date of submission, their guidelines. Never, ever sent your review query “to the editor” or “to whom it may concern…”  Verify that they review your genre of book before you submit. Follow their publication-date deadlines.

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When Should You Send Out Your Review Submission?
January / February for spring and July / August for fall, with less competition from major publishers. Don’t send out your query to arrive at the editors office on a Monday. Time it so, to be there at a Thursday or Friday.
Make sure that you include all your contact info: name, mailing address, website address, phone number, and email address. Use http://about.me to create an appealing info site about yourself and include it in your contact info. Important: Don’t forget the book’s  information: price, ISBN number, number of pages, and genre. Carefully pack your book in airfoil envelopes or boxes. You want them to look professional and brand new when they arrive at the editors office.
Add a media kit, including your biography, high-resolution and professional images, a book trailer link, a blurb, the synopsis of the book and contact information for you in an email.
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Some of the most reputable reviewers

Los Angeles Reviews
Armchair Reviews
ForeWord Reviews
Library Journal
Midwest Book Review
NY Times Reviews
Indie Reader
USA TODAY

Paid Reviews:
Kirkus
Publishers Weekly
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Say Thanks!
Send a thank-you note/email to anyone who reviews your book. They took a long time reading and reviewing your work, writing an article and get back to you,  so take five minutes and write them a thank-you letter!

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,050 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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6 Reasons for Making a Long-term Investment as a Book Reviewer

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Antique-Library
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Earning cash through writing book reviews is not really the primary reason for becoming a book reviewer. The more important reasons for a writer to become a book reviewer have nothing to do with money making, but have an intrinsic value to them that are a long-term investment.  Allow me to share six reasons for becoming a book reviewer.
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Feeding Your Passions.
As writers, we tend to develop our skills in only one or two genres. Essentially we have and must limit ourselves to our specific genres in order to compete well in the market. However, it is very likely that you love reading books of other genres and often not only desire, but need to remain linked to those books that fed your passion to become a writer in the first place.
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Making Friends With Other Authors.
I have reviewed several hundred books and have therefore exposed myself to the opportunity of friendship with several hundred other authors. That does not mean that they have all become my friends, but there are a few with whom there is a special connection. Something within their writing or within my review sparks a special relationship. The special relationships that you develop with people who suffer through the same maladies that you do, will serve you well as you continue to face the ups and downs of your career.
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Building Up Your Knowledge.
If you are wise, you will review books from which you might also learn new skills. In today’s world writers have also become business owners. By reviewing books that teach you the skills necessary to understand your role as a business owner, publisher, marketer and web site manager, you can expand your knowledge and become a better informed businessperson. You might also review a book that happens to be a part of the research for your next novel; something that you were going to do anyway.
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Improve Your Writing Skills.
Sometimes our dialogue can seem forced and dull or a particular, non-cliché words or phrases elude us. Often times, when I am reading, I come across a well turned phrase or a particular way of describing something that captures my attention. Just like I learned from the masters when I began reading the classics and studying their style, I often pick up contemporary tips and tricks from the books that I review and add them to my toolbox.
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Increase your library of ideas and characters. Besides running across well turned phrases which become a part of my tools, I sometimes create an image in my mind that develops into a new book. In the past year alone, I have added at least a dozen novel ideas or character sketches that lend themselves to, at some point in the future, become novels or be incorporated into other novels. The author does not even have to be writing in your genre to foster an idea in your mind that can grow into something bigger. If you take notes, you will find plenty of ideas to boost your collection.
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Helps avoid writer’s block.
Every writer has a different method for avoiding, preventing or overcoming writer’s block. The methods suggested are as numerous as there are authors, but two that often show up in nearly every author’s suggestions are inspiration and action. Inspiration can easily come from a well turned phrase or image that is gained from reading another book. The second, the action of writing out a review, often times, will get a writer’s mind flowing in the right direction and get them back on track.
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Bil Howard is an indie publisher and novelist whose works include: “The Wolf of the Highlands”,  “Zipaquirá” and “Rionegro”. Bil is also the author of a blog, which discusses reading, literacy and language development.  Bil lives in a small town near Medellin, Colombia where he teaches English, writes and reviews books.  Enjoy his blog or visit his website at Bil-Howard.net.
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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars   Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,015 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Marketing

 

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We’re on to “those” people – Trolls

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Book-Reviews

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You might have read last weeks blog: Got a 1-Star Review? What Can You Do?
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/got-a-1-star-review-what-can-you-do/
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“I heard this from many authors, and don’t even want to call them reviews – as these people totally ignore the rules how to write a book review – rather bashing authors and their work. Some people are hoarding free books, without checking them before, they don’t even read the “Look Inside” part on Amazon’s page and then, when it is not the right genre or a book in a series, or when it is too long or too short, they write harsh complaints, instead of writing a fair and professional review. Scathing and destructive reviews can be posted for reasons such as:

  • The review is from a competitor (friend)
  • The reviewer is envious to not be able to write her/himself
  • He/she is an all around miserable person

Carolynne Keenan has written a great blog post about these “review trolls” – and what Goodreads is now doing about it. Don’t miss to also read the author comments.
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One Story Slinger

Remember in the “olden” days when products sold based on marketing, advertising and word-of-mouth? Well, those days have been long gone ever since the Internet. Now anyone can buy a product on Amazon.com or Sephora or a myriad of other consumer sites and post his or her review of the purchased product. As if other consumers are waiting with bated breath for their reviews.

Reviews have their place, of course. I’d much rather see what others thought of an expensive makeup item Sephora sells before doling out the dough, only to be disappointed. Sites like Steepster.com, in which testers log tasted tea, give participants a chance to review more than just one company’s product. And if you’re investing in a larger purchase – a computer, or a TV – reading reviews from fellow consumers can save you time, money and effort.

The problem is most reviews are on the honor system…

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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in All things Legal, Book Reviews

 

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Got a 1-Star Review? What Can You Do?

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Stars-Can't-Shine-Without-Darkness

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In a former blog you will find out that you are not alone.  I heard this from many authors, and don’t even want to call them reviews – as these people totally ignore the rules how to write a book review – rather bashing authors and their work. Some people are hoarding free books, without checking them before, they don’t even read the “Look Inside” part on Amazon’s page and then, when it is not the right genre or a book in a series, or when it is too long or too short, they write harsh complaints, instead of writing a fair and professional review. 
Scathing and destructive reviews can be posted for reasons such as:

  • The review is from a competitor (friend)
  • The reviewer is envious to not be able to write her/himself
  • He/she is an all around miserable person

Funny, negative reviews
Bestseller author Rayne Hall blogged about negative, but funny reviews she received, some are really hilarious. Read her article, sampling some of the stupidities for her highly popular novel Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel).

“This book is too long. I had to spend many hours reading it. I’m busy and have other things to do.”  “The character of Queen Matilda is not believable”. There’s no Queen Matilda in the book.

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What you can do about it:
Let your readers decide if these negative reviews are “helpful”.  Amazon has this rarely used function: “Help other customers find the most helpful reviews” and “Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No.”  Rating the existing book #reviews as “helpful” or “unhelpful” makes a significant impact! Voting for the most helpful reviews, your friends have the power to move them to the head of the line…

There is also another way to boost your book, in order to get more readers and reviews, which we explained in a former blog: ”HIGHLIGHTS” in your book: A great tool in Amazon’s algorithm list for book popularity.
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Thanks to TaylorFulks ‏@TaylorTfulks20 who posted an article by  we learned too that many authors on Goodreads complaint about these review trolls – and have been heard by Goodreads and hopefully soon Amazon. Goodreads published a note about review guidelines and their full policy regarding reviews.

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Are Book Reviews really THAT important?
In a poll 70% of book purchasers admitted to buy books after checking the reviews. Surprisingly many did not pay too much attention to 5-star or 1-star reviews, rather more about the number of reviews and the average rating. 5- star could be a good friend and 1-star someone from the competition, right? So what I am doing is to check the “history” of the reviewer. How many books does he review. Just click on the reviewers name and go to their Amazon site to find out more.

In “How to Get Book Reviews – Lots of them”  we explained the importance of social networks in gaining followers, friends and eventually reviewers for your books especially if you are creative.

Through social networks such as Twitter, Goodreads Google+ or Facebook, you can find those readers/reviewers. BTW: one of the advantages for our clients, who book the online seminar or promotion campaigns is that they receive regularly contact addresses to reviewers.

If you visit book blogger sites, check the sidebar, links or blogroll on each site you visit, as they may have links to other reviewer’s blogs. You may check their ranking on Alexa which indicates their traffic – the lower the Alexa number, the better.

There are organizations you can access through the internet which conduct book reviews, for sample:
http://thebestreviews.com
http://www.bookwire.com/bookwire/bookwire.html

Don’t forget book networking sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Wattpad etc. Especially the many communities on these sites, often sorted by book genre. This way you can meet and be known by book reviewers, before you even pitch your book to them.

Ask local newspapers and publications to review your book. While it is difficult to get a book review by a major publication or newspaper, your local newspaper might be interested in local authors.

Get more tips here:

http://venturegalleries.com/blog/have-you-ever-received-any-negative-reviews-that-were-really-funny-most-authors-have/#sthash.F0yMmfCb.dpuf
http://onestoryslinger.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/were-on-to-those-people-trolls/
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/6-things-to-avoid-when-pitching-to-book-reviewer/
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/million-dollar-question-how-to-get-book-reviews/

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-Book-PR.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 880+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
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http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

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Need Book Reviews ???

Guest Blog by Author Theresa Braun

So, your book is posted on Amazon, but your page is a ghost town when it comes to reviews. How do you get people to read and review?

Derek Haines wrote an eye opening blog post called “How to Get Amazon Book Reviews.” He spells out many stark realities—like waiting for paying readers to post reviews can literally take years.

Groom and Doom Good things come to those who wait, but most of us want to get results a bit quicker. I mean, if it’s taken us a year or more to write the book in the first place, we want the word to get out there yesterday.

And, if you are like me, you want to get on with writing your next book instead of spending hours and days on end soliciting reviews.
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Haines suggests that relying on friends or family members to write reviews is a great place to start. If you think that is “cheating,” Haines says that it is not much different than a publishing company paying employees to review it. Obviously that employee will put a positive spin on the book, since the publishing company wants to sell it.

The same thing your friends and family will want for you. If you can, get people you know to read and review. I know this might seem obvious, but I suggest not having them advertise that they are friends or relatives in their review.

You don’t want it to scream, “I’m reviewing this because I know the author.” I hope you have more luck with this than I have had. Not one of my friends or family members has reviewed my book yet. And, it’s not because they haven’t read the book. They just haven’t gotten around to it. That’s okay. They have lives and I’m grateful they at least took the time to read it. It just might not work for you either.
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There are some pitfalls with exchanging reviews.
A writer friend of mine calls them “incestuous” reviews. He’s actually refused to review my book based on how strongly he feels about review trading. One of the biggest problems with trading reviews is that the other person may not be expecting a “real” review, but a flat out five star rating. And this person is reading your book! You don’t want them to give you two stars just out of spite. You can’t take down reviews from Amazon, so you are stuck with it posted on your book page.
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Blogs as other avenues for reviews?
Haines says he finds book bloggers useful, but “a bit hit and miss and often too genre specific.” Most bloggers are willing to not only post a review of your book on their blog, but also will post it on Amazon and Goodreads. You really need to look at their sites and where they will post. Some will even do author interviews which can be tweeted or linked to your own blog or website.
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Paying for reviews is another option.
They can range from $5 to $100, depending on what comes with the review. Joey Pinkney will read and review and make a trailer for you, for example. The World Literary Café discourages paying for reviews and I suppose there are pros and cons. The pro is that you get a review done and the con is that some readers might find out you paid for the review. Is this really worse than relying on friends and family to review? That’s up you to decide.
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Read Part 2 in tomorrows blog… and get lots of useful links for reviewers.

Guest Blogger Theresa Braun always been intrigued by authors and writing, which led her to an almost obsessive study of literature. Spontaneous poems, story ideas, and observational rants were always scrawled in her notebooks.  She started a few novels; but it wasn’t until her Greek wedding that her passion and focus produced her first finished novel, Groom and Doom: A Greek Love Story, based on a true story and self-published on Amazon in 2012.  Now she’s squirreling time away to pen her second novel set in Renaissance England, the first in a series.
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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-Book-PR.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 880+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Book Reviews, Marketing, Writing

 

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6 Things to Avoid When Pitching to Book Reviewers

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Reading
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First of all: Let’s keep in mind that almost all reviewers are volunteers. They gladly write reviews because they enjoy providing a service to fellow consumers, and to support good writers. They love to read good books and are passionate about evaluating books. They spend their valuable time to write a review for YOU. Some are published authors themselves, working on their own writing projects – often on top of working full-time jobs, being parents, pet-owners and on top of it all are running a household – which means they are very busy!
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Here are some tips that will help you not to waste the reviewers (and your) time and hopefully get a review of your book:
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Read the submission guidelines!
Follow their directions carefully. Don’t give reviewers a reason to disqualify your book right off the bat. Not everyone reads e-books. Often reviewers prefer hard copies of the book. Having print copies is not only important for reviewers, but also for your book launch or book signings and to sell them to people who prefer print instead of e-books.
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Don’t put time pressure on reviewers.
See the introduction above! Book reviewers love to read and if they have a bit of time, they will grab the next book and indulge in it. Please don’t try to push them to read your book ahead of the pile of those who wait much longer in sequence.  They are doing you, a total stranger an (unpaid) favor and don’t want to be pressured and annoyed.  The sheer volume of review requests that reviewers receive can be staggering.
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Research the reviewer’s interests.
Don’t pitch romance to a children’s book reviewer. Don’t pitch a self-help book to a mystery reviewer. Investigate at least 20-30 books reviewed on Amazon or the reviewer’s blog to find their preferred genres and read the reviewer’s biography, in order to learn about the kind of books he/she likes and reviews.
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No mass mailings please!
Don’t pitch via a DM (direct message) or tweet or mass email that reads “Hello, I’m looking for someone to review my book. You can read about it on my website at …. Thanks!”  When the reviewer checks the writer’s Twitter timeline, they will find out that you just pitched dozens of reviewers…. Not only is it unprofessional but it will not get you into a reputable reviewer’s book list. Pitch professional via customized email, just like you would pitch an agent, editor or publisher.
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Don’t address your query “Dear Reviewer”.
Would you write to an editor or publisher “Dear Publisher”? Be polite an use the reviewer’s name…and please: spell it right! Nothing ticks off more than to receive a letter with your name wrongly spelled.
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Don’t make reviewers buy your book.
They “work” for free for you, read and then write about your work. Most important: reviewers help you to sell more of your books and climb up the rankings on Amazon, the least they can expect, is that you provide them with your manuscript. If a reviewer states in their guidelines, to read print books only, don’t offer the digital version and suggest that they print it out for reading.  There are digital printers (e.g. Espresso Book Machines) who will do this job for you and even ship it to the reviewer – in case you have only an e-book version of your novel.
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No attachments please.
Don’t send an attachment of your book with your introductory email. Most reviewers won’t open any  attachments from people they don’t know.

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Read more tips on how to get book reviews:

  • Most sites publishing reviews have a procedure for receiving requests. Abide by the blogger’s requirements and show respect for the reviewers time.
  • Find a way to convert the book into the format, most convenient for the reviewer.
  • Send an email with a query first. You are competing with other books so be professional. Don’t be pushy as reviewers are doing you a favor, reading your book.
  • Send customized requests to your prospective reviewers: A reviewer receiving a request that looks like mass mailing has no incentive to review your book.
  • You certainly have to offer a free copy of the book, reviewers will not fork out the money to buy your book, and then invest time in reading and reviewing it.
  • Not all books are for all people. The reviewers opinion is required and that includes the risk that the review will be scathing, if that is the reviewer’s opinion.

Be courteous, professional, thank them for their review and reciprocate the favor, making sure you credit the reviewer and provide them with publicity in return for their book review. Write more reviews and you will get more reviews of your own book!  So, when did you write your last book review?
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Read more about how to get book reviews:

Million Dollar Question: How to Get Book Reviews?

Tips to Get National Media Book Reviews

How to Get Book Reviews – Lots of the

Bestsellers with More Than 150 1-Star Reviews

Need Book Reviews?! Part 2

Are Book Reviews really THAT important?

Review Tip: Send a Query to Los Angeles Literary Reviews

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 780+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Reader Statistics: How to Use them for Your Book’s Success

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Did you know that the main driver of e-book purchases is “referral by a friend”.  Number two was Media (including Social Media) and number three of the answers was Goodreads – the world’s largest reader community – as well as the Goodreads Choice Awards
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Equally important for authors should be the follow-up question in this survey: “What do you want to do once you get to the end of a book?”
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83% wanted to see what else the author had written.
75% wanted to find more books similar to what they just read
69% wanted to discuss the book with friends
35% read other people’s reviews
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Why not give readers exactly what they are looking for?
How can you achieve this? Add a highly visible link to your upcoming e-book – and a link to your author page on Amazon, B&N, Kobo or wherever you sell your book, plus one to your website and your Goodreads page at the end of your first e-book!
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Equally important: link to your mailing list.
To be successful, you need to have a list of people who have signed up to hear about your new releases. You will benefit from more initial sales, which will boost your rank and push you higher on new releases lists, plus other genre lists on Amazon and in other retailers ranking.

To make sure, even people who browse only and read the “look inside” feature of the Amazon website, add these links at the beginning of your book as well.

Every time you publish a new e-book, update these front and back pages of your previous books, as well as your Author Central page on Amazon, and make sure that it is updated with every book.
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“What’s Going On With Readers Today?”

It was the title of the poll, which was introduced at the “Tools of Change Conference 2013” in New York last month. Interesting fact in these statistics: readers are about two times more likely to learn about a book on Goodreads, than on Amazon!

As you can see, this is exactly what Goodreads’ site offers to their 15 million book lovers / members:

  • browsing all the books of the author they read
  • finding similar books to what they liked
  • seeing what their friends read
  • reading other member’s reviews
  • deciding what to read next
  • discussing books in their numerous communities

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The best course of action for every author – if not already done – should be:

  1. Join Goodreads and invite / add as many friends as possible, which is very easy, just read a former blog post where we described it.
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  2. Don’t forget to add the “Top Readers”  and the “Top Reviewers”  on Goodreads to add as friends. Only friends can recommend your book to others, you can’t do it!
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  3. Fill your book shelves on Goodreads with lots of books from your friends, read, review and recommend these books to others (and let your friends know about it : ) Most likely they will return the favor.
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  4. Learn about and use the many free features on Goodreads, such as “events” for your book signings and KDP free days, join one or more of their book communities in your genre, create Listopia lists,  participate in “creative writing”, just to name a few fun activities on this site.
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  5. Make sure that each of your books is listed on Amazon, even upcoming ones are mentioned and that your author page is updated. Don’t forget all these other communities you might have joined, and update the list of your books there, e.g. in Amazon communities.
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  6. Add links for your next and all your already published books: on the first and the last page of your e-book, to send readers to your author sales pages of all online retailers your books are listed with, to your website / blog and to your Goodreads author page.
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  7. Try to get as many reviews on Goodreads as possible, do frequent giveaways, garnering reviews and recommendations.
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What an easy and totally free way of advertising! Yet, many authors are not using this small trick … Have you prepared your digital books already with links to your other books?

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

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