Okay, so maybe that sounds ridiculously simple, but I have noticed over the past couple of months that when people are trying to share a review, they share a link to their book. Which review on that page did you want people to see? Hopefully there aren’t any one- or two-star reviews on there. You realize this means that the folks you’re trying to impress aren’t seeing what you’re trying to impress them with, right? Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, not all retailers make it simple for folks to share a link that goes just to a specific review. So far, I’ve found that you can share individual reviews from Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing. I guess the latter three make a lot of sense since they are, in fact, review sites. I double- and triple-checked – unfortunately, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords do not have a way to share individual reviews.
So, how does one go about sharing individual reviews for the sites which allow it? Most of them make it pretty easy. Continue reading
On my review blog we sometimes have what we call a doubleshot, our normal review that is published in the morning (US time) and a review of the same book by another of the site’s reviewers later the same day. It started because there are some “pals” (when the site is called “BigAl’s Books and Pals” it is the obvious term for the other reviewers, right?) who are fans of the same authors and more than one person wanted to review some of the same books. It seemed like a no-brainer since both were going to read the book regardless and I thought it would be silly to turn down content. They were non-controversial, with little disagreement (possibly a 4 star versus a 5 star). Kind of predictable given how they came about. But they were also interesting in comparing the focus of the different reviewers. The readers, reviewers, and authors all liked the feature. Enough so that I started looking for opportunities where I thought a book would be a good fit for this format and propose it as a doubleshot to a pair of reviewers.
That was bound to bring an end to the predictability, and it did. A book was submitted for a potential review that appealed to me. I’ve gotten fairly good at guessing which books are going to appeal to Keith Nixon, one of the pals. When he’s perusing what is available for reviewing, Keith likes thrillers and “crime fiction” if it is spiced with a bit of humor, even better. This looked like the perfect fit, so I asked Keith if he was interested and he agreed to give it a try. Continue reading
Rutgers graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz gets trashed. I loved “Oscar Wao.”
It is late in the evening and you are about to make a mistake that will cause you to toss and turn all night. Sleep will elude you as you see the words dancing in front of your eyes, taunting you with their black and white judgment. There, defiling your Amazon author page, is a one-star review. Blood pounds in your veins as you read. You are naked, revealed to the world as a pretender, a poser, certainly not a writer. Your head drops to your desk, and you slip slowly into madness.
If this hasn’t happened to you yet, then you either haven’t been writing long enough or you lead a charmed existence. The one-star review is a rite of passage. No matter how great the writer, no matter how brilliant the masterpiece, someone will feel that the book was disappointing. Or they will hate it and advise others to skip it. Continue reading
I’m guessing you’ve all seen the notation on customer reviews for an “Amazon Verified Purchase” like this one.
I imagine many (most?) people don’t pay much attention to which reviews have or don’t have this, at least most of the time. However, if a review seems suspicious for other reasons, it is used by some people as “evidence” that their suspicions are correct. I’ve also been told that some of the book promotion sites are now looking at the number or percentage of Amazon reader reviews that are verified purchases as part of their vetting process. There is some confusion as to when an Amazon reader review will or won’t show as a verified purchase. So I’ve mucked about and think I have the answers. As it turns out there are several different scenarios and this isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Continue reading
Launching a new book is like owning a car you have to push everywhere. It’s hard work. What we always hope is that enough people will come along to help push hard and fast enough to jump in, pop the clutch, and take off. You’re trying to get your book from zero up to highway speed as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, you have to overcome inertia. The problem is that inertia is a pretty formidable force. Things that are not already moving have a natural resistance to being moved. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to get anything moving and continual expenditures of energy to keep things moving.
On September 1, 2013, Brooks and I officially launched our newest collaboration, Triple Dog Dare. The entire marketing strategy for this book is complex and layered. An early draft of the plan called for human sacrifice. We’ll see how things go, but we may revisit that part. Continue reading