I can't believe it's the first full week of July already. This summer is just flying by so fast. This month on the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly blog hop I want to write about properly marketing your book. I have worked as an author for eight years. In those eight years, all of my books have become Amazon bestsellers. My success didn't happen overnight. It has taken much hard work. Even now, if I don't work my books on the marketing end in person and on social media my sales will decline. So what's my secret?
Reviews are like honey to readers. Think about it. If you go on Amazon to buy something don't you always check out the reviews before you buy it? I do. I'll check how many stars it has, what people are saying about the product and I always look at when the reviews are written. People look at things like that.
You have to be careful when it comes to your own reviews. There are three kinds of reviewers.
1) You pay for reviews. NEVER EVER DO THIS! Paid reviewers are not going to give you an honest opinion of your book. Think about it. You're paying them to flaunt your book. Readers aren't stupid. They can tell when an author has paid someone to give them a review. They can also tell when the author has asked a friend or family member to review the book. You don't want any of these reviews. It will hurt your credibility as a reputable author.
2) You ask a professional reviewer to review your book. These are wonderful! You need these people. It's going to take some work on your end to get them to notice your book. Don't be scared of reviewers. They love authors. But you need to be careful when choosing the right reviewer. A reviewer should be someone who likes to read in your genre. Don't expect them to just automatically accept your book if it's not in a genre they like to read. And don't just submit your book just because they review in your genre. There are sub-genres that they may not like.
Don't submit to a reviewer who only post a review on their blog. You need a reviewer who will post
their reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and their blog. It's even better if they add Barnes and Nobles to their list and/or Kobo. The reason you want Goodreads and Amazon is because you need to build up your reviews on those sites. Most readers will go to those two sites to find books. The more exposure of the review the better. Also, ask the reviewer if you can use lines in their review for your social media pages. Yes, you want to announce and share the review if you receive a 5 star review from them.
Be sure to read their submission guidelines. Reviewers will post on their website if they are taking submissions or not. If you find the reviewer is someone you think would work well for your book and they are currently taking submissions then submit the book to the reviewed. Be certain you follow their guidelines exactly. If you have any questions, shoot them an email. They will respond back.
It's also important to understand just because you have submitted the book doesn't mean the reviewer will read the book right away. Every reviewer has a stack of books they are going through. Don't just rely on one reviewer. I make it a habit to send three review requests out per day. Sometimes a reviewer may decline. That's ok. Just move on. You're not going to appease reader with your story. Your potential readers will read a professional book reviewers review. That carries more weight upon the reader than the third kind of reader because the reader is trusted the reviewers professional opinion. A reviewer will post in their Amazon review that they were given the book in exchange for a review.
3) The last reviewer is your readers. You have to be careful with this group. Not all your readers are there to support you. There is a creature known as a troll. So many authors have been hit by trolls. I know I have. They are almost impossible to get off you Amazon page. A troll is a person who doesn't like you and sets out to destroy your book's credibility. They will create several fake identities and post negative reviews of your book on Amazon. Sometimes, people won't read your entire book and post negative reviews.
Readers aren't stupid, they can tell when someone is a troll or haven't read the book. The key is to never reply back to the negative reviews. Readers don't like to see authors argue with the reviewers. Let your readers defend the book not you. It's not your fault if you get trolled or if the reader chose to read a book outside their preferred genre only to find they hated it.
Readers are the author's friend. Let's face it. We don't have a job without them. Readers have been known to leave wonderful review for books. You want to encourage this group as much as possible. Most readers don't understand how important reviews are for authors. Don't be scared to interact with your readers on social media and in person. Readers love it when the authors talk to them. I've had a reader leave me a wonderful review on Calico saying how much she enjoyed meeting me in person. So go ahead. Talk to your readers. Encourage them to leave a review of your book.