Book Reviews-The Good, the Bad, and the Unsure
Book reviews are golden for authors. They move a book up in the complicated algorithm system so that more people see the book when they go looking for something to read. They convince readers to at least download a sample of the book. And when the review is positive, it makes an author feel like she's done something right.Buy It HERE
Getting book reviews is a problem. With so many books being released in the current world of self- and traditional publishing, it's hard to connect with a reviewer and make a pitch for that person to read my book. Chances are they have way too many books already in that TBR pile.
For indie authors, it's worse. When I was traditionally published, my publisher had a list of reviewers they regularly submitted books too, and there was a strong chance my work would be reviewed and posted in the likes of New York Magazine or the Historical Novels Review. Once I went out on my own, the process became hit and miss. A few reviewers, like Lelia Taylor of Buried Under Books; P.J. Coldren (multiple sites); and Patzi Gil, host of the Joy on Paper radio show, stick with me because they like my work, and I'm forever grateful to them.
There are places where a writer can buy reviews, but I don't feel comfortable with that. It's like authors who write to "suggest" I submit their books for a prize or vote for it even if I haven't read it. It feels like cheating.
The upshot of all this is that reviews help authors. You don't have to be a "professional" reviewer. Since they seldom get paid, most reviewers work for the love of reading. There's no training to become a reviewer. If you love a book, you should definitely say so. If you don't love it, you might consider a review anyway. Numbers count, and I've read negative reviews and thought, "She didn't like it, but it sounds interesting to me." You can always do what P.J. Coldren does and tell what you liked and what you didn't, and then let the reader decide. EVERY BOOK HAS HATERS. Conversely, EVERY BOOK HAS FANS (even when you or I can't see it).
Here's a review of my newest, TWICE THE CRIME THIS TIME. Once again, I'm grateful to Kings River Life, the magazine, and Cynthia Chow, the reviewer, for giving me a chance and for "getting" what I aim for in my cozy mysteries.