Tag Archive | book reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase Reviews: Fact versus fiction 

Sandra Beckwith checks out the question of Amazon reviews and gives us the latest information:

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If you’re like most authors, you have questions about Amazon Verified Purchase reviews and what they mean for your books. Here’s the scoop.

Source/link: Amazon Verified Purchase reviews: Fact versus fiction – Build Book Buzz

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

6 (7) Ways You Are Destroying Your Chances of Finding Readers 

Laurence O’Bryan of BooksGoSocial makes some very good points about how to find readers.

And as he says, it’s a long haul game. It takes time and effort to do these things, but they are all doable. Make a “to do” list and slowly work your way through it, making sure you acknowledge your accomplishments along the way. It’s a learning experience, so don’t expect perfection. Miss-steps are part of the process (especially if writing and publishing is a new “game” for you), but you can decrease some of that by checking out Laurence’s list.

And I’d add one more way:
-7)  Not connecting with other writers.
So much can be learned and eased on this journey by connecting with other writers. There are lots of online writer’s groups out there (SCBWI, ALLI are just two examples) which can give you loads of help, information, and connection. And when writer’s conferences are again a thing – and they will be! – they are a great place to connect locally, in addition to a fun way to learn ways to up your writing game.

(Note: I can not give a thumbs up or down for the services mentioned in the post, but I have used their Netgalley services with good results.)

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Source: 6 Ways You Are Destroying Your Chances of Finding Readers |

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

The Book Review Rumpus

What’s a Rumpus? The dictionary describes it this way; noun: a noisy disturbance; a commotion.

That’s what it feels like when I’m trying to get a reader to ask for a review. I feel like I’m disturbing them, causing a commotion, maybe not a noisy one. I’m usually quite polite about it but I get the feeling that they would prefer I didn’t ask. I’ll ask anyway, of course. We have to, right?

Now, if they like the book, then most people will say they will leave a review, but there are lots of things that get in their way: other things in their lives, amazon’s review policy, their memory, their need to go a bit out of there way to pull up a website to put the review on . . . just to name a few.

One thing you can do is ask for reviews from places like Publishers Weekly or Library Journal. And Kirkus even has a review you can get for free, or it used to be. But with these places, you have to do it at least 3 months before you even publish. You can do that if you create an ARC (advanced reader copy – book form or pdf) and you can hold off publishing.

I have to admit, I haven’t been very good at waiting, especially since I usually have spent a lot of time and money on creating my books and I’m anxious to get it out there, see what people think and recoup the costs of publishing.

There are paid services for reviews too. And I usually tell my clients not to use those, unless they want to, of course. But it’s a bit of a gamble.

NetGalley Discount

However, the one review service I have paid for that I thought was a good deal is NetGalley. NetGalley is a service that has lots of lots of people that have signed up specifically to review books, I am guessing they do this just because they like reading. They don’t get paid to do it but they do get free books to read from any genre they choose. There are over 360,000 reviewers on NetGalley – All pre-approved! Many are librarians, newspaper reviewers, top Amazon reviewers, and influential bloggers.

Getting into NetGalley is normally not cheap. The company I used was BooksGoSocial. And just like now, on occasion they have a sale for their Netgalley service, which is when I signed up.

So right now you can get their NetGalley service for 40% off (normally $79-$199 depending on now many months you want your book up on NetGalley). Click on this NetGalley Link, and enter the code ntgdisc and you’ll get 40% off whatever NetGalley service you choose.

BooksGoSocial will give you great information about your book from the reviewer (Here is a video that explains more) and even email address of all who sign up to review your book. Quite valuable information! It was over a year ago that I did this so I don’t remember how many reviews I got (I know it was at least 4 or maybe it was 6) = but I remember one reviewer was very popular on Goodreads, so she shared her positive review of my book with her many followers and I did get a couple sales from that one reviewer!

I only recommend things to authors that I’ve tried or that I know from other reputable authors recommends. This service I would recommend.

And they have other services too. I am seriously considering their Amazon ad service. I’ve set up an Amazon ad before (I broke even, basically), but it’s a royal pain in the you know what. When I break down and try their ad service, I’ll let you know how it goes. For any folks who read this blog and want to get a $20 discount on any of BooksGoSocial services, just contact me and I’ll email you the discount code.

Image: Business photo created by pressfoto – www.freepik.com
Note: I am an affiliate of BooksGoSocial, so I get a small compensation for any sales from this post. But I still would recommend them (and I have before I became an affiliate).

If you give them a try, let me know how it goes. I like to keep up on what works and what doesn’t work for people.

Happy writing!
And Happy Turkey Day – for those in the US!

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

How To Get Libraries To Buy Your Book

Rebecca Langley lays out a specific list of to-do tasks to try and get your book into libraries. It’s not for the marketing faint of heart, but if you can get in, libraries are all over this country.

Getting into your local library is probably easier than what she describes. Knowing your librarians and finding out what they might be looking for for their patrons is helpful. Just ask. Rebecca is right, it’s all about getting patrons in the door.

She doesn’t mention audio books. Having your book as an audio book is also another plus. Findaway voices is a new service that puts your audio book on multiple formats (including audible).

And look at that list of reviewers (Library Journal, Kirkus, PW, Booklist…) early in your writing process. Many free reviews require the book 3 months before publication. You can send them an ARC (advanced reader copy), so that is helpful. But you’ll have to plan ahead. I know once your book is done, you really want to get it out, but getting your book reviewed by a few of these companies can go a long way in selling more books. I know I wish I had done this for a couple of my books.

And speaking of reviews, you’ll want a decent number (10-20+?) of reviews on Amazon before you do any marketing. Librarians look at Amazon too.

Best of luck!

Stay safe!
Christine

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Library books have a longer shelf life than in bookstores, and they get more action, because there’s no financial risk for the inquisitive reader.

Source: How To Get Libraries To Buy Your Book

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

As the Author World Turns on Amazon Book Review Policies

I was surprised by the information that you don’t have to purchase the book on Amazon to get it reviewed. Probably true but I bet verified reviews (purchased books from Amazon) don’t get looked at as hard.

I also can’t imagine that I would go so far as to copy my reviews and keep track of the ones that get taken down, then contact the reviewer and ask them to protest to Amazon? REALLY?! Who has time for that? And who wants to hound a reviewer. That’s a sure fire way to not get them to leave a review again!

I’d be okay with checking a review I left for someone else – a good friend and fellow author – and contesting if they took my own review down, however. Though I’m not sure I’d take the time to go back and check on my reviews, either.

But anyway, good information on the much needed Amazon review process.

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By Judith Briles Amazon: Love it … or hate it … but, you gotta deal with it.”Why are my reviews being removed?” is an ongoing question that authors ask. There isn’t a live program that I do t

Source: As the Author World Turns on Amazon Book Review Policies

my imageCKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

NetGalley Test – Book Reviews

So I’m dipping my big toe in the NetGalley waters.

NetGalley

What is NetGalley?

This is what they say on their website:

NetGalley is an innovative and easy-to-use online service and connection point for book publishers, reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, bloggers and educators.

NetGalley delivers digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, to professional readers and helps promote new and upcoming titles. Professional readers–reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators–can join and use NetGalley at no cost.

Their description says they take ARCs, but they accept already published books as well. I’m putting my book “Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up” on their site – see the Netgalley page here.

Here is another post I ran about NetGalley in 2017. The link is probably still worth reading but I don’t know if the cost figures would still be accurate for today.

I am using NetGalley through BooksgoSocial (BGS). They currently charge $74 for putting your book in NetGalley for a month, $139 for 2 months and $199 for 3 months. I got a cheaper deal so watch their site for the occasional deal.

Here is a link to a youtube video of BGS telling you what NetGalley is all about.

After a month, BGS will send me the reviews. I’ll let you know how it goes and if the reviews seem to translate into sales.

CKBooks Publishing
Where Publishing Dreams Become Reality

Book Awards (and Reviews!) – Readers’ Favorite

Readers Favorite - Book Reviews and Award Contest

There is still time to enter the 2018
Readers’ Favorite Book Award Contest

Only 3 days left to enter your book – FINAL DEADLINE
Enter your manuscript, published or unpublished book, eBook, audiobook, comic book, poetry book or short story. We offer 4 award levels in each of our 140+ categories, allowing you to only compete against books in your particular genre for a more fair and accurate contest, giving you the greatest chance of becoming an award-winning author!

 

  • Chance to win one of $50,000 in free prizes just for entering.
  • Chance to have your book made into a movie or TV show.
  • Chance to be published by an award winning traditional publisher.
  • Chance to be represented by a leading author marketing and PR firm.
  • Chance to be represented by a leading literary management company.
  • More features including a book review, award ceremony, and publicity.

When you enter, you automatically get a free review that they post for you on facebook, twitter, google+, Barnes & Nobel, Instagram and Pinterest. They also ask the reviewer to put it on their personal Goodreads account (if they have an account there) and you are able to put excerpts on your Amazon author central page (Amazon won’t let them post a review).

I entered my second Agnes Kelly Series book “Narrow Escape in Norway” this year and already received a 5 Star review! I won’t know if I’ve won anything until September.

“…This story is for all those readers who enjoy suspense, mystery, and adventure. I like the way the author creates secrecy and intrigue around the disappearance of Agnes’ father and pulls readers in to learn what exactly has happened to him. The fluidity in writing gives a good pace and movement to the story and the adventure, suspense, and laughs make the book fascinating to young readers. There is a sense of excitement and curiosity that builds up while trying to find out about Agnes’ father, which will keep readers glued to the book till the very last page. I am sure that, like me, young readers will be waiting for the next book.”

                                                                                     ~  Mamta Madhavan

Book Reviews and How to Get Them

 

cat with gun

Short of getting your cat to persuade your readers to leave a review of your book, how do you get people to review your book?

  1. Ask
    Of course, this is the first step. Anyone who buys your book in front of you, or someone you hand your book to, you need to sincerely ask for a review. Look the person in the eye and let them know how helpful it is to you if they can leave you a review. If you are mailing a book to someone, put a personal note inside the book asking for a review.
    Of course, you have that same request (and easy link in your ebooks) in the back of your book. That’s a given.
    It’s important not to get upset when these people forget or they just aren’t comfortable leaving you a review. It may not even be about you or your book. Just be happy when reviews show up.
  2. Book Giveaways
    I think these things are good to do, but not for getting reviews. I don’t find people who get free books automatically leave reviews. I think book giveaways are better for connecting to readers. And this can eventually lead to word of mouth sales or at minimal, word of mouth reads. Maybe it will lead to a review, but don’t hold your breath.

So what is a author to do?

alien- spaceplace.nasa.gov

from spaceplace.nasa.gove

We can help each other!

I am aware of two facebook groups of writers through BooksGoSocial where authors read and review other authors.

BooksGoSocial Book Buying Review Club  

This group requires you buy a book on Amazon and post the official review before you can ask for a review for your book. This is because Amazon will post reviews that are verified purchases. They don’t always post reviews that are not verified purchases. They will only allow a certain percent of non-purchased reviews.
In this group, you pick a book with the same price point as the book you will want a review for yourself (and you are only allowed to pick the last on the post list) – books that cost e.g.  $.01 -.99 or $1.00 – 2.99 etc.
There is also a post for shorter books.

Then there is the BooksGoSocial Book Review Club

In this group, you are not required to buy a book, but you are required to prove you have reviewed another author’s book on Amazon.

Both of these groups require you to be accepted into the group and that you participate in the group, plus you can’t do review swaps – you review my book and I’ll review yours. Amazon can find these and they will take down these types of reviews.

Both of these groups are for middle grade through adult novels – fiction and non-fiction.

BooksGoSocial also has a group for children’s authors. Though this is not specific for reviews.

Hopefully all authors review any book they read, but these are 2 ways to guarantee you get reviews that are so helpful to you.

NetGalley Book Review Program: A Case Study

I thought this was an interesting and helpful post about the NetGalley Review Program. If you’ve ever considered using NetGalley, this is a post worth reading. I’ve heard many people say “Never pay for reviews.” I’m not sure “never” is always accurate but before you pay for a review from anyone, do your homework to try and find out if it’s worth the money you will be spending.

There are many companies out there willing to take advantage of the struggle authors have with getting their name and books out there. That’s why there are so many different things (and people or companies offering those things) out there telling you their thing is THE thing you need to do, or one of the most important things to do.

I do agree that increasing the number of reviews you have is one of the first things you need to do as an author, but do you need to pay for those reviews. Maybe or maybe not.

See what David Kudler did with his book.

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Most publishers (large and small) struggle with making their titles visible. In the trackless jungle that is the modern book-buying world (the Amazon?), getting your book reviewed is an essential part

Source: NetGalley Book Review Program: A Case Study – The Book Designer

PW Select Book Listing: Another tremendous waste of money | Michel Sauret – Award-Winning Army Journalist | Independent Author

“One of my goals on this blog is to share my self-publishing mistakes so you don’t repeat them yourself. I’ve already discussed the importance of spending your money wisely with my artic…”

Great opening paragraph to a good post by Michel Sauret (no I didn’t spell his first name incorrectly – what parent does that to a kid!) about Publishers Weekly paid reviews. Check it out (and his Kirkus article)! I’d think long and hard before I spent money on a review for all the reasons Michel says in his Kirkus posts. I’d rather spend my money on facebooks ads or on travel to actual bookstore, libraries, book events… I think my marketing dollars are better spent getting more Average-Joe/Jane reviews. I haven’t cracked the library barrier (other than person to person), but I’m not sure getting a paid review from say Kirkus or Blue Ink will get me looked at anyway. Obviously PW Select is not the way to go, either!

You can get a free review from Library Journal and Foreward Review (a new co. in the review business) if you plan ahead – get them the galley or book 2-3 months ahead of your publishing date. I wish I could make myself do this, but I have not been able to hold onto a finished book for that long. I’ll have to try it sometime, but it’s a lot to ask when a review from one of these places might not even get noticed. It is a risk you take.

Library Journal will also review already published books, but it would only be if one of their online magazine folds wants to read it and post a review. I sent my Agnes Kelly MG mystery adventure (Intrigue in Istanbul) to one such reviewer and never heard back. It cost me the printing cost of the book and shipping, so I wasn’t out much. If you go to their site and read their submission policy, you’ll be directed to how this works.

Michel said it cost $50 for a Midwest Book Review. Midwest Book Review didn’t used to charge for reviews. That’s new to me. I’ve had a few of my books reviewed by them (before they charged for it) and I’m not sure how much the reviews helped, though $50 is not too much to charge, in my book.

I’d love to hear other author’s insights or experiences. How do you get your reviews?

Source: PW Select Book Listing: Another tremendous waste of money | Michel Sauret – Award-Winning Army Journalist | Independent Author