Indie Publishing Secret #17 The "Oh So Important" Reviews
So, I read an article that said most indie authors need to give away about 100 print/ebooks on their way out of obscurity. Wow! That's a lot. Good thing you can use your print books for giveaways on awesome blogs. You'll also be sending review copies to reviewers, distributors, bookstores, and printers. As for ebooks, it's a breeze with Smashwords. The coupon codes they give you allow you to give away your book at no charge. So nice.
Two things need to happen with those freebies
1. Word needs to spread about your book
2. You need to get people who like it to review it for you
This didn't even cross my mind. I had to learn the hard way.
Lots of people had read my book before it showed up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Goodreads and all those other fabulous retailers.These people told me how much they liked it, but I didn't contact them and tell them to review my book. Then, one fine day, I looked at my Goodreads account and discovered I'd gotten a bad review. Why? Why would anyone give me a bad review? :) And, on top of that, it was the first review. The review everyone sees FIRST. It doesn't matter that I have many great reviews after that, the bad review sits front and center for all to read.
You better believe I hunted down some people to review for me after that... and fast.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that people will promise you a review and then will never do it. Remember that it is something extra for them to do. You could choose to pester them like crazy, but I think the easier way would be to email them the link to the pages where your book is being reviewed to make it easy for people to keep their promise. We are all busy and forget.
Let your readers also know that they can "like" and "rate" your book. Some people will never "write" a review, but almost everyone will at least rate it and like it.
So, get your friends/readers lined up to write reviews for you on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and anywhere else you can think of. Ask them to "rate" and "like" you at the very least. Sure you'll do a review tour and people will write reviews on their blogs, but you need them to end up where people both buy and research your book. You NEED good reviews to populate your pages.
In summary, get copies of your book out there before it is officially released. Scatter them far and wide and then ask for the reviews. Once your book pops up on all the sites, send everyone links to review/rate it. You'll be so glad you did.
Now you know!