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Thread: Book Review Services

  1. #1
    figuring it all out Michaelg's Avatar
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    Book Review Services

    My book has been picked up over 600 times and I have only managed to convince two people to write a review. I have been considering paying to have it reviewed. Has anyone used one of the review services and can you you tell me the results you had?
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  2. #2
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    We've got a few threads here and in the Round Table about paying for reviews: it's generally considered both unethical and pointless.

    Unethical because if you're paying the reviewer, they have an interest in pleasing you so that you pay them to write more reviews, so you're unlikely to get an honest review.

    Pointless, because the reviewers who charge tend not to be very influential, and tend not to reach the people you'd like them to reach.

  3. #3
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Book reviewing is more an aspect of the publishing industry than a "service" to the writer. At the point that it is a service you are buying promotional content more than soliciting a review.

    To solicit a review you offer review copies to reviewers. These can be general readers (e.g. via a Goodreads or Facebook page) or people associated with specific review publications/sites (according to their submission guidelines).

  4. #4
    Fantastic historian Anne Lyle's Avatar
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    Note also that if your book is self-published, you are going to find it hard to get bloggers and other "pro" reviewers to look at it. Not because they are prejudiced against self-published novels (well, some are) but they have had, or heard about, self-pub authors throwing tantrums when they don't get a glowing review. Commercially published authors rarely do this, because they've already been through the rejection mill and have thicker skins as a result

    But as for "review services", yeah, just don't. It looks bad if anyone works out what you've done (and someone will notice eventually), and undermines the value of any real reviews you do get.

    The way to get reviews is to write an awesome book that people can't resist talking about. Sorry.
    Elizabethan fantasy N1ght's Masque - out now from 4ngry R0bot Books.


  5. #5
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelg View Post
    My book has been picked up over 600 times
    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what does "picked up" mean?

  6. #6
    figuring it all out Michaelg's Avatar
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    Picked up means, to me, that not all of the copies were purchased. Some were promotional Kindle copies that were free. So, they didn't buy them, they just picked them up.

    BTW, I am not trying to do anything unethical. I want honest reviews of my book. Good, bad or indiferent, the review will help me understand how the book is being received. I maybe disappointed, I believe my book is good, but I don't think I would get mad at anyone for their oppinion. Maybe I am wrong or will feel attacked but I won't know that until it happens, and so far it hasn't. I take that back, two people have left reviews on Amazon. One is a relative and one works for the same firm as I do. They say it's good but I want objectivity.

    I didn't know it was unethical. The services advertise freely. Thanks for the information.
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  7. #7
    Not-so-new PortableHal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelg View Post
    I take that back, two people have left reviews on Amazon. One is a relative and one works for the same firm as I do. They say it's good but I want objectivity.
    M.G., I know what you mean. Friends and family will often say nice things about your work even if they don't mean it. After all, you're part of their life.

    If you're willing to provide physical copies of your novel, you might try a Goodreads giveaway. Winners are supposed to leave a review (good or bad, it's up to the reader). You can get some terrific feedback on your work.
    "Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all." -- William Goldman, The Princess Bride

  8. #8
    Resident Curmudgeon ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelg View Post
    My book has been picked up over 600 times and I have only managed to convince two people to write a review. I have been considering paying to have it reviewed. Has anyone used one of the review services and can you you tell me the results you had?
    The opening has promise, judging from the Look Inside.

    Priced much too high, IMHO. Try $3.99.

    --Ken

  9. #9
    figuring it all out Michaelg's Avatar
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    Done. $3.99
    I have been changing the price about once a month looking for the best price point. The paperback copy will be out within the week. It will be $14.99 initially.
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  10. #10
    figuring it all out Michaelg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PortableHal View Post
    If you're willing to provide physical copies of your novel, you might try a Goodreads giveaway. Winners are supposed to leave a review (good or bad, it's up to the reader). You can get some terrific feedback on your work.
    In have just found Goodreads. After my paper book is out I plan to try this. Thanks!
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  11. #11
    Resident Curmudgeon ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelg View Post
    Done. $3.99
    I have been changing the price about once a month looking for the best price point. The paperback copy will be out within the week. It will be $14.99 initially.
    And for $3.99 I promptly bought a copy, and shall read when I take a break from my long current mania for books about wine, vintners, the wine business, etc.

    --Ken

  12. #12
    figuring it all out Michaelg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ResearchGuy View Post
    And for $3.99 I promptly bought a copy, and shall read when I take a break from my long current mania for books about wine, vintners, the wine business, etc.

    --Ken
    Thanks, Ken. I hope you enjoy it.

    Michael
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  13. #13
    figuring it all out Michaelg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelg View Post
    My book has been picked up over 600 times and I have only managed to convince two people to write a review.
    Well, I have a third review. However, she knows me (not related) and did not post the review. She mailed the review to me. I am not sure that will do me any good. Anyway, I don't know what else to do with it so I decided to post it here. Here it is:

    "Seasons of Change" is Gardner's futuristic view of society when thousands of unprepared citizens find themselves in a seemingly hopeless state. After a violent upheaval in eastern cities, thugs shoot up Michael's country home. He moves with his dog, into his tent in the nearby woods and soon has for his first visitor, a young girl. Never did he imagine the changes he would encounter when she asks him to carry out a seemingly impossible mission. Her faith in him gives him courage and determination to keep his promise. Time after time the reader wonders how each event will turn out."
    "I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do and I eagerly look forward to reading his next one."

    Thank you, April, I apreaciate that. Michael
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