Thursday, May 17, 2012

THE REVIEW DILEMMA

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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.

Conflicting ReviewsHuman_Element cover -2x3

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.

Bad Review

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

Galanti_Donna-low-resAlso, 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:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/DonnaGalanti

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor

Blog: http://blog.donnagalanti.com/wp/

10 comments:

jenny milchman said...

I love Book Blogs, Donna--great resource! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience thus far.

DonnaGalanti said...

Miranda, thanks so much for having me on! I hope my tips are a resource for some. I love to learn from others too.

Cathy Perkins said...

Hi Donna

Thanks for the tips. I hadn't thought about using a Google Alert to find reviews.

Stacy Green said...

Thanks for this, Donna. I post on Book Blogs but am not sure how to really utilize it. Do you have to pay for those reviews? Sorry if that's stupid question. And I need to learn how to use Google Alerts, too.

DonnaGalanti said...

Hi Cathy, hope it helps you! I love finding new ways to get good match reviewers.

Hi Stacy, no they arent paid reviews. I never have done those and not sure if I would. I love finding someone who reads my kind of book and offering them a free copy for a review on their blog and posting on Amazon, GoodReads, etc. I find BookBlogs isn't totally user-friendly and hard to navigate and get to connect with people but good place to post promos/ask for reviews.

The best place I found to post for reviewers is on GoodReads either via a giveaway or in their designated groups for promo. For example, in the Book Haven group they have specific areas where you can post your blog, a giveaway, a promo or ask for reviews. See here: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/20786-book-haven
And there are lots of these groups under genres too! Good luck when your book comes out.You can do this with ARCs too.

marielamba said...

Great resources here, Donna! It often feels like the time spent on promo is endless for an author. You've pointed to some excellent places. I haven't hit BookBlogs yet myself. Only so many hours in the day! But I'll bump it up on my "to do" list now.

:)
Marie

DonnaGalanti said...

Thanks Marie! I have learned much from you in the way of book marketing/promo too...and you are right - its endless! I am slowing down and deciding to spend most of my time now writing another book and seeking reviewers...otherwise I'd have a full time job on social media with no pay. Ha!

catierhodes.com said...

I know I'm late on this, Donna, but I loved reading what you had to say about reviews. It was very encouraging. :D

DonnaGalanti said...

An additional tip on finding best fit reviewers: Google similar, successful authors to your books. You will get blogs that hosted them as a guest. These are good blogs to familiarize yourself with and not only request a review, but ask to do a post and/or giveaway. Good luck!

Sandy Cody said...

Great post, Donna. Very helpful. I'll save this one. Thanks.