Rhobin’s task for us in April, 2017 is:
Victoria Chatham suggested this topic: Reviews. Love ’em, hate ’em or totally ignore them. Amazon tells us the more 4 or 5 reviews the merrier, but how to get them?
As it happens, I recently interviewed Carolyn Howard-Johnson about her latest book, How to Get Great Book Review Frugally and Ethically. It may be no surprise that both of us said lots about reviews, and I hope you’ll go and be entertained by our exchanges there.
Instead of repeating all that good stuff, I’ll see what new points I can come up with. By reading both, you get two answers for the price of one.
I like reviewing other people’s books, provided I approve of the message.
EVERY piece of writing has a message. It is an expression of the author’s belief system. I have written about this in a previous post. For example, “A cook book is instructional, nonfiction. It can simply have recipes and pictures. But it is also an expression of the author’s sense of creativity, humour, views on health, knowledge of cultures — or the lack of these characteristics.”
Here is how I do it:
If I consider a book to be worth 4 or 5 stars, I will provide a public review. I’ll publish it in my newsletter Bobbing Around and happily post it on any web site the book is listed on. If I don’t already have contact with the writer, I’ll try to establish one, and ask for a list of websites where my review can be of benefit.
However, I don’t trample on another writer’s baby. If I don’t consider the book to be excellent, I will privately let the author know why, pointing out what in my opinion are its good points, and where it needs improvement. Again, this may have to be after some detective work.
When someone reviews one of my books, I also do my best to establish contact, and ask for permission to reproduce the review in Bobbing Around. I also ask the review to be posted on all the other locations where my book figures, including places like Goodreads.
That’s if I consider the review to be literate, accurate and fair. If it isn’t, I don’t argue with the reviewer, but do my best to will the review to fade into invisibility.
I do a great many review exchanges. There is nothing wrong with them, provided both participants follow my guide of fairness. Despite the rumours, I have never had one of my reviews refused by Amazon or any other website. One reason may be that I typically read much faster than most other people. My review of the other book will be up and gathering dust by the time that author’s review of mine pops out of its seedcase.
The lowest review one of my books has received was 3 stars. It is a misguided offering from someone about Ascending Spiral. 70% of the reviews are 5 star, all the rest 4 star, so that 3-star fellow just had to be wrong. 🙂
At the moment, I am still gathering advance reviews for my next novel, Hit and Run. To date, I have 38. The idea is that when publication date is known, I’ll ask all these people to post the review on the one day, to tickle up the algorithms that determine bestseller status. I’d love to get the number of reviews up to 100 by then, so I am happy to send out a free copy at this stage. If you want to read my best book for free, now is your chance.
Please make a comment below, then visit the other participants in Rhobin’s Round, and read what they have to say.