Sunday, May 5, 2013

Getting Reviews

Getting Reviews!

You’ve done it! Finished that labor of love that’s taken you months (or years!) of painstaking research and editing. Your novel…it’s complete! You send it out into the world and just KNOW if people would only pick it up, they’d love it as much as you do!
Unfortunately your work has just begun…getting the readers to actually BUY your book is a daunting task! According to Bowkers, the folks that issue ISBN’s, last year three MILLION books were published! That’s a 200% increase over the previous year! Astoundingly, they estimate that THIS year that number could be 15 MILLION!! The mind boggles….
What to do? It means that we have to use EVERY single tool available to us to increase our visibility. Honest reviews are one tool that must be included in each marketing plan. There is no “magic” plan! No one thing works for everyone or with any consistency! TRY EVERYTHING!! Even your failures will net exposure! Here are a few things that I’ve personally had some success with. The only limit is your imagination.

I've spent a LOT of time talking to (in person) the local book chains and small storeowners. Some of these have been fruitful and others are still in progress. I also researched the local newspapers carefully for the editors of the lifestyles sections and crafted emails requesting inclusion in their weekly "book-news" they only included me however, once I started having book-signing dates. I've mailed hard copies to several big reviewers and am hoping to get those within the next few months. I polled my friends that I KNEW where avid readers and gave them a copy with a request for a review. ONE of them so far has read and completed a review! LOL! I do use twitter but rarely do I promote my material (maybe 15%) the folks that constantly bombard with nothing but self-promotion quite frankly BORE ME TO TEARS!
In my opinion, social medial is just that….SOCIAL! It’s for getting to know folks a little at a time. If I wanted to watch commercials, I’d sit in front of the T.V.! Marketing takes time and patience, BOTH of which are in short supply when all you want is for somebody to READ YOUR BOOK!
My advice? DO market and promote but NOT at the exclusion of WRITING! Give yourself a time frame for promotion each week and then get back to work! The reality is simple. Not everyone is going to like your work. That’s OK…because some WILL too! When that wonderful thing happens, guess what? Those folks are going to want your next work and if it’s NOT there…well, goodbye new reader! They’ll move on to the next work that’s available….don’t you?
Another tactic is to place some of your books in chain stores on a commission basis. You’ll be the supplier, which means you purchase copies up front and the store gets a cut to put them on the shelves. As indie authors this may be the only way to get your work in the chains in something other than an eBook format.
The bottom line…short of being obnoxious, promote everywhere and in any way you can imagine! Be dandelion like…spread the fluff EVERYWHERE until something takes root! Above all, be kind! ESPECIALLY to those that aren’t receptive, they may be at a later time or not, but if you show you tail you can BET that word will get around!
Always be the best example and presenter of your craft as possible. In the end, people buy books because they fall in love with YOU! Your voice thru your characters…THAT’S what it’s all about!

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