1. JE Loddon

    JE Loddon Active Member

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    Getting Reviews?

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by JE Loddon, Mar 21, 2017.

    I know this is kind of the golden question, but I thought it was worth throwing it on here to see if anyone had any tips. I published my first novel to Amazon Kindle last month, and as you might expect, it has sunk to the bottom like a stone. I currently only have one review on Amazon UK, and one on Amazon US. I don't want to go the route of 'paying' for reviews. So does anyone have any tips for encouraging the few who have read my book to put reviews on Amazon? I have put a few sentences at the back of the book encouraging people to review it, but I'm sure most people skip over that anyway. I'm only looking for genuine reviews, so don't want to ask friends or family, because they are obviously a bit biased.
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    There are some programs at Goodreads and elsewhere that are set up to allow you to give free copies to people in exchange for reviews (or at least, hopefully for reviews). Maybe try one of those?

    You can also submit to book bloggers for review; if they're interested, you send them a free copy and they post reviews usually on Goodreads, Amazon, and their own blogs. Most of these blogs are genre-specific, so you'll have to do some research to find the ones likely to be interested in your book.
     
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  3. JE Loddon

    JE Loddon Active Member

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    Thanks!
     
  4. KhalieLa

    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Start by asking people you know.

    Who edited your book? Do they know someone who would enjoy reading it?
    Do you write for other venues, like magazines, literary journals, newspapers, etc? Some of those publish reviews, so you might have connections there. If not, they would know of others who might be interested in your book.
    Contact your local library and talk with the acquisitions librarian. Most libraries I know write a "what's new at the library column." You might be able to get them to mention your book, if you're willing to provide a copy. Also, the librarian would be able to connect you to other writers of local periodicals.
    Are you working with any Indie Bound bookstores? Many of them have blogs to promote author events, and occasionally, book reviews.

    These would be the easy reviews to get. Getting those "verified purchase" reviews are harder and may take a good bit of luck.
     
  5. twoflower31

    twoflower31 New Member

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    If you only published a month ago you have to give it time. The average is one review for every fifty to a hundred sales. You have three reviews on the UK and a ranking of 40k which isn't too bad. Give your book a chance.

    I've just bought a copy so i'll let you know what I think.
     
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  6. JE Loddon

    JE Loddon Active Member

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    Hi. Thank you very much, that's very kind. Yeah, the problem is it takes time, but the book disappears after the first 30 days and gets buried by the next avalanche of books.
     
  7. Joe King

    Joe King Member

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    I'm in a similar situation only my book hasn't even been up for a month yet. I've been searching high and low for ways to get reviews and have been given the same advice. I've emailed a ton of bloggers who are interested in the same genre. Some will ask where to buy it, others ask for a free copy. There is a never ending list of blogs out there, you've just got to find the right one and hope they have an open space to squeeze your book in for a review.

    Another option could be to start your own blog and maybe trade with other bloggers, review for review style. A lot of people want something in return if they're going to spend a lot of time helping you out.
     
  8. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    JE, I checked your two Galactic Division novels on Amazon US. First off, staying in the top million is good for a first start. I have a few recommendations, if you like.

    I notice you don't have paperback formats available in the US. I would suggest going through Createspace to set that up. It is ridiculously easy, and you can upload your Kindle format without much change at all in just a few hours work. They have telephone tech support! My books in Kindle format outsell paperbacks 5 to 10 to one, but there are still some people who prefer that. Also, with paperbacks, you can have book signings. I recommend unusual venues... I have had signings at my favorite watering holes, my gym, local wineries. And of course, any writer's conference or book fair will often allow writers to set up a book signing, either on their own or via consignment.

    Your sales rank indicates that you are selling in your immediate circle of friends, and that will dry up quickly, as you have noticed. Self-publishing means self-marketing, and that is the reality of selling books... you have to be shameless about promoting your book, something many authors have a problem with if they are at all introverted. I recommend facebook as the best and cheapest marketing tools. See my facebook page at Lewis McIntyre and my wife's at Karen D. McIntyre (@K McIntyre) , and note that these link separately to individual pages for your books. I set these up myself, learning as I went along, making a lot of mistakes but no matter. Paid facebook boosts can put your book in front of tens of thousands of people in many countries, well outside your circle of friends for not much money. The E&D boost (running on Lewis McIntyre, just set up book pages last week) has reached over 7000, generated 258 click throughs (Though I wish that many sales!) . Since starting this in March, I have reached well over 100,000 people close to 200K now.

    You can also advertise for free in facebook sites that cater to your genre. All you have to do is write up a blurb, end it with the Amazon link, and paste in into the write a comment box. It will fetch the preview of your book, and you can do that on dozens of sites per night.

    Some metrics to think about: around 10 percent or so of your friends will buy your book. Advertising success rate is 1 in a thousand or less (Think how many book adverts you see, and how many you respond to) so you have to reach a LOT of people to sell just one book. In between is word-of-mouth. If a friend says to you, "Wow, I just read this great book, and it's right up your alley," the chances of you buying that book is somewhere between one in ten and one in a hundred. So sales have to generate sales.

    Which brings me to Kindle giveaways. You are enrolled in Kindle Select, so your book is available free via Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Lending Library. You can also do Kindle giveaways. These vary in reach, often due to the book: E&D typically reaches a thousand or so, by CFM only 50 or 100. No matter, these are people who actually downloaded, and hopefully will read, your book. Remember word of mouth sales. Before you run the giveaway, I recommend you run a facebook boost first, advertising the book a few weeks before the giveaway. Don't mention the upcoming giveaway, or they will wait to get it free! Let that run out a few days before the giveaway, then run one advertising the giveaway. There are also FB sites that cater to Free Kindle books, search for them, and drop your blurb in there a few days before the start. I typically show a significant uptick in sales after the giveaway, which I believe is follow-on word of mouth sales. These peter out after six weeks, so keep the boosts and posts going.

    As to getting reviews, pump your friends who have read your book. Explain to them how important it is for you to get reviews. Like sales, reviews generate reviews. Nobody wants to be first. But after you have a few friends, wait for that stranger to popup. Again metrics, before I became a writer, I might write a review for one out of hundred books: it had to be VERY good or VERY bad for me take the time. Now as an author, I I review more. So sales will generate reviews. And Goodreads is another good source. Do NOT use people with the same last name, Amazon may screen them out.

    In all my life "Marketeer" has always been an not-very complementary epithet to me, and now I are one! Hope this helps and keep up the good work!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  9. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    :bigconfused:
     
  10. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    On another forum where I used to hang out, people would copy other people's posts in order to more easily achieve the posting minimum for certain privileges. There, they usually "spun" the copied text (ran it through software that replaced some words with synonyms, usually resulting in sheer nonsense) to make it harder to identify the copying.
     
  11. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Ahh, so they’re trying to access the workshop? :dry:

    (Sorry for the derail)
     
  12. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    That's my guess, yep.
     
  13. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Damn, as if the book pirates weren't enough!
     
  14. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    Or it's Bay's sockpuppet. *collective gasp*
     
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  15. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Shhhh! We had a deal! You wouldn't tell about my sockpuppet if I didn't tell about your... you know... that thing I promised I wouldn't talk about.
     
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