Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wicked Wednesday - encouraging reviews

This Wicked Wednesday post isn't just for paranormal romance writers. It's for every writer. I would love to hear your opinions and ideas on this topic. Let's brainstorm together.

Reviews are vital to getting your books noticed. I read a lot of frustrations and cries for help in terms of reviews. How do I get reviews? How do I get more than just my friends and family to review my work? How do I do it without having to pay people?

The advice I've been reading hasn't helped me very much. Here are a few things I do to try to encourage readers to write reviews:

- Give your book away for free. People love free stuff. THE MARQUIS and FEARLESS are available for free. Less than one percent of readers who downloaded the books have reviewed them.
- Send your books to review sites. I've sent mine to several review sites. They get a lot of submissions. Maybe they'll get to yours, but most likely they won't.
- Ask your blog followers and have giveaways. Done and done.
- Review other writers' books. Yes! I try to write a paragraph or two, but if I don't have time, I at least rate it and say a couple of things.

I've read many articles that say reviews are the one thing out of an author's control. For the most part, I agree with it, but there has to be a way to encourage more of them.

What do you do to encourage readers to review your books? Do you think there's anything we can do to get more reviews?

12 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about this! But honestly, I have no idea how to get more reviews. I think you have to offer rainbow unicorns, or something! :p

    ReplyDelete
  2. My publisher sends out a lot of review copies and does giveaways. I've even sent some potential reviewers their direction. But as far as encouraging reviews, I've not really done anything.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Don't be afraid to email bloggers for a review, just make sure you read their review policy if they have one.

    Individual emails go a long way as do emails with a book cover & blurb. I always delete the mass emails that are asking for reviews. Sometimes small blogs are more likely to say yes, and remember-they won't stay small forever and they'll also remember those authors who took a chance on them in the beginning. (I do.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I try to review everything I read, particularly if its an indie author or something. That said, I'm currently running waaaaaay behind on those. But I will get to them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If you find a way to get more reviews, please let me know!

    Personally, I review everything I read. True, I'm a bit behind in reviewing some books, but I still plan to write up a review for them.

    I must admit I've been afraid to approach many people for reviews. I know a lot of people prefer novels, and I only have shorter works published to date, so I don't actively seek out reviewers for those shorter works.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think there's a lot more out of writers' control, but reviews are definitely a biggie. Giving away books can be effective, but some people are just not going to review whether they are free or not.

    Maybe one way to increase reviews is to make readers, who don't write and don't understand the value of reviews, aware of what those reviews mean.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The problem tends to be that people are lazy. They have to either really like or really hate something to be motivated to review it. (Aside from the handful of conscientious readers who try to honestly review everything they read.)

    That said, I don't know how to prompt people to review. No one likes to hear authors begging, though; so many articles are written about how indie authors should shut up already. Sigh. (I'm not supporting this, just reporting that I've been reading a lot of backlash lately.)

    Reviews sites, if you can break into them. Or if you're doing a freebie weekend, plan ahead and let all the sites devoted to free e-books know so they can at least post a blurb and a link. More downloads will, by averages, lead to more reviews. And giveaways. At least one or two of my best reviews have come from those.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for your comments, everyone. It helps to know I'm not the only one that feels helpless when it comes to this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have no idea how. Yes, the review percentage is really low.

    I ask for reviews at the end of all my books. I remind my mailing list. I'm offering buttons...

    It'll be what it is, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sending out review copies is a good start, but that's all I've got, lol. It's definitely not an easy thing to get because readers don't want to spend the time writing a review, even if they loved the book.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Since I'm so far behind on reviewing all the books I've read, I can't complain too much about other people being slow about writing a review for me. One thing I've learned: now that I know how much I look forward to getting reviews, I'm gonna try to be more timely about writing them for other writers. (As soon as I catch up, that is!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a hard thing for sure... I know personally I've been slack in this department, which has a lot to do with timing more than anything. Something I plan to change.

    ReplyDelete