For an emerging author (sounds like I'm crawling out of a dark hole), one of the biggest challenges is getting reviews published. I hate the idea of paying for a "professional" review. I had a really bad experience in that space with my last novel. (The reviewer obviously just read the book blurb on amazon and reformatted the same information. Then, when I complained, they assigned a second reviewer, who read the first chapter and then wrote a review including details about the characters that all came from the first chapter of the book. Sure, they gave me a 5-star rating, but it was bullmanure.)
So, what ideas do folks have? Where are the secret places to go to find reader/reviewers who will post honest feedback and reviews? I'm running a give-away on Goodreads that will put 100 Kindle copies in the hands of readers, which I hope will generate at least a few reviews. What else can I do? I will greatly appreciate all suggestions. Thanks.
Don't ever pay anyone for a review, please; it sets a bad example and looks like groveling. There are other ways to market your book. For independents, self-published, it's all about work. Take it from someone who's not an expert. I'd donate copies to the local libraries, ask them to put it on the front desk so folks can see it. After all, you don't have the promotional clout of the wholesalers, you're just a local guy in need of help. People love to help more than they need to not help, especially librarians, a dying breed. If the libraries will take them--and some won't. Insert a note asking readers to email or call distributors, libraries, bookstores, etc., asking for any other books you might have out, or to recommend your work. Most won't bother, but a few will. Form books clubs with other writers and invite other book clubs & readers to come and meet the authors, maybe listen to readings. Ask local newspapers for features. Some will do this but not give reviews. Don't ask the reviewers for this opportunity but the features or community news editors/reporters who're looking for something to fill space. Their ability is more akin to wide open, not restricted to tight space and quality standards, as with titles by traditional publishers. Make Tee shirts and window decals with your title and name/distributor(Amazon, etc.)...But most important of all--make sure the work it edited well. True, almost famous, successful authors make errors and typos in their works( I once counted 18 in one before I quit reading, but these are authors whose books sell hundreds of thousands each year). Host fundraisers for local non-profit and charitable organizations, like animal shelters, volunteer fire & rescue units, etc., wherein part of the purchase price goes to the cause. (Check licensing requirements in your state first. You can sell anything, but you can't always do the promotions I collections part legally without the necessary license and bond). Long as you don't solicit the money, you should be okay there). Then get back with me. If it works, I'll try it. Lol...Actually, I have and it works in direct proportion to the work you put into it. Best is to have a second work ready to go. You don't want to get all dressed up to stay home.
Thanks, Dan. Some interesting suggestions there. I agree about not paying for a review. I'm up to 20 real customer reviews on amazon and I value those so much more than a purchased "professional" review. I had a good editor, so the quality of the book is definitely not a problem. I'll think about some of your ideas, so thanks for posting!