The Review Dilemma
By Donna Galanti
It’s a funny thing once your book is published. People you don’t know are reading it and reviewing it. Some reviews will be good. Some will be conflicting. Some may be bad. Here’s my take on what new writers should do with reviews.
You may wonder how two people can find such differences in your book. Easy. It’s all subjective and your readers will vary. Just as your book is unique, so is everyone’s opinion of it based on their collective life experiences. In the same week a reviewer for my book noted “absolutely no grammar errors were noticed which proves that good editing is out there!” and another noted “Good plot, but a lot of typos.” Recommendation? Laugh over them and then ignore them.
Unfortunately, you may receive them. Are bad reviews all bad? Not necessarily. If people are talking about your book passionately, it's more likely to reach some readers who'll like it but would never have found it otherwise. A bad mention can be better than no mention at all, particularly for those readers who are skeptical of too many glowing reviews. It can lend more credibility to the book. What not to do about a bad review? Respond. All authors receive them. Even the NY Times bestselling authors. Why a bad review? The reader might not normally read your genre, or was misled by the cover. The writing style might not be one they normally connect with. Have you read a book and wondered how people could praise it? A bad review can even lead to self-awareness of your writing and improvement. And remember, they are reviewing books – not the writer.
Finding Best Fit Reviewers
Can you increase your chances of finding positive reviewers? Yes. Research book review bloggers in your genre. Review their website and see what kind of books they have reviewed in the past. See if your book falls within the guidelines of what they want to read. Places to find book reviewers? Use Google Alerts. Type in key words like "romance stories" or "action novels" and then in what medium you want them to appear (as they appear in blogs, the news, etc.). Google will then send you a list every day of all the hits according to your search specifications. Click on the links recommended. If the blogger looks like he offers reviews, send him a request for review.
Book Blogger Directory is resourceful: http://bookbloggerdirectory.wordpress.com/
Two forums I have found success with are Book Blogs http://bookblogs.ning.com/
And Kindle Boards http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,20049.0.html
Also, search Facebook book groups. They can have corresponding blogs that offer book reviews. Lastly, doing a GoodReads giveaway can generate positive reviews. Readers who read your genre can enter to win a copy of your book if it peaks their interest. I always send a handwritten thank you note with the book, my business card, and politely ask that they write a review if they enjoy it. Best of luck with your reviews!
Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element (Echelon Press). Donna has a B.A. in English and a background in marketing. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, and Pennwriters. She lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs. Connect with Donna here: