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View Full Version : Generating reviews on a debut book



whistlelock
06-02-2016, 08:19 AM
Okay, so I am closing in launching a book out into the cold cruel world. And I was thinking of some ways to generate reviews on or about launch day.

So, do y'all think this would be successful.

Start an ad campaign over FB or Twitter to drive clicks to my sparkling new website where they're offered a chance to read the book before it launches in exchange for an honest review on launch day.


Suggestions...refinements... advice on how to do it better, faster, and cheaper?

Old Hack
06-02-2016, 10:51 AM
You need to allow a couple of months between your ad campaign and your publication date, so if you're "closing in" on your publication date you might have left it too late.

I'm not sure how successful a Facebook ad campaign will be, or how much it will cost. And the problem with that is that if the reviews are published on sites, blogs and FB pages which aren't usually associated with reviews, your potential readership is not likely to read those reviews. Now, you will get some reads, but whether they translate into sales is another matter. If they publish their reviews on Amazon then that would help, obviously.

Reviews work best when they appear in publications which have a reputation for publishing good reviews, and which have a large readership which is appropriate to your book.

Better, perhaps, to engage with your Facebook and Twitter friends. Have you read the "SEO Dweeb" thread in our promotions room?

whistlelock
06-02-2016, 03:31 PM
I haven't read that, but I will now.
The nice thing about FB ads, is that it will cost exactly as much as I want to spend. My day job is to write ad copy for social media, and setup campaigns for small businesses. Want to spend just $1 a day? set the lifetime budget to be $30 and set the start and end dates to 30 days. Depending on the audience you create, between 1000 and 4000 people will see the ad.

Old Hack
06-02-2016, 06:19 PM
I haven't read that, but I will now.
The nice thing about FB ads, is that it will cost exactly as much as I want to spend. My day job is to write ad copy for social media, and setup campaigns for small businesses. Want to spend just $1 a day? set the lifetime budget to be $30 and set the start and end dates to 30 days. Depending on the audience you create, between 1000 and 4000 people will see the ad.

You could get 50,000 people to see the ad but if none of them are readers of the sort of book you're advertising, you're not going to sell a bean.

Ads don't sell many books. An engaged, interesting author who reaches out to her readers in a positive and interesting way without plugging her book at every opportunity; good reviews; and (of course) a great book? That's what sells books.

By all means, use Facebook ads and do please let us know how you get on. I am doubtful you'll generate many sales that way, but I hope I'm wrong.

Polenth
06-02-2016, 06:59 PM
Free books are everywhere. Readers are tripping over them. Unless the readers are already your fans, getting a sneak peek of your book will not be a lure.

I'm not a shining success story of getting people to care about my work, so take my advice with that in mind. But if I had money for advertising, I'd use it to put the book on Netgalley. That would target people who review books directly, and provides access to reviewers who don't usually take review requests for self-published books. I'd also make sure the book was available for preorder, so interested readers can buy it straight away.

Tavia
06-02-2016, 07:01 PM
I know several people who've had reasonable success with FB ads, but that's post-launch. I don't know anyone who's used FB ads to solicit reviews.

I also know several people who've had zero success with FB ads. A lot depends on genre. You can target specific audiences, yes, but not all audiences are likely to buy books from FB ads.

Dhewco
06-02-2016, 09:11 PM
I spent 25 dollars to get 4 sales (2 at .99 and 2 followups at 2.99) and 600 page reads. Of course, I suck at blurbs and my ad copy probably wasn't what it should have been. So, ymmv. Good luck.

Lorcanmc
06-09-2016, 11:15 PM
Interesting thread, I am in a similar situation. I am about to publish my first novel (kindle version already up), and was thinking about good ways to promote it.

What I am thinking of doing is putting an ad on FB advertising my book launch, which I hope to have in a few weeks. The good thing about FB ads is you can target them at a specific geographic area, so I can set it for my local area and hope to attract a few people that way. And from there hopefully a few sales. No idea if this will work. Interested to hear about any experience with this.

Also, not really sure how to proceed with trying to get reviews, or if it is worth it. I think the location of the review seems to be more important than the quantity you get.

Malay
06-10-2016, 06:17 PM
I'm another newly self-published writer and trying to get reviews out. From most others that I've checked with, it averages about 100 buys for a review. I recently tried to engage bloggers to read and write a review, but most of them are full up and have no time. Check out https://bookreviewdirectory.com/fiction-book-reviewers/fantasy/

It's a list of fantasy bloggers. A couple agreed to read my book. But you might have better luck. Good luck!

books-tea-puppies
06-12-2016, 07:43 AM
I keep coming back to the possibility of a NetGalley listing since there's also the benefit of additional exposure beyond reviews, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. http://www.authorservices.patchwork-press.com/netgalley-co-op/, but I also haven't really looked into Twitter as a possibility, so maybe that's an option too.

Old Hack
06-12-2016, 10:53 AM
You have all read the "SEO Dweeb" thread in our Book Promotion room, right?

I'm going to move this to Book Promotion now, as it's a better fit there, I think.

Denevius
07-04-2016, 11:22 AM
When I self-published my book in 2003, my promotion relied on face-to-face pitches at events I joined throughout several States in the U.S. I plan on going that route again when my debut novel is released a year from now, but living in a foreign country makes it more challenging. I definitely made a note of NetGalley, however. I like the suggestion of FB ads, too. which I'll probably try.

Great topic!

mccardey
07-04-2016, 11:48 AM
You have all read the "SEO Dweeb" thread in our Book Promotion room, right?


Here's another thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?307970-Short-self-publishing-report&highlight=lorna_w) from someone who might be able to advise. My own view is the Old Hack view. Unless you really really know how to do it well (I speak - tragically - from 20 years in TV advertising) you can miss your target audience quite emphatically. Telling someone who reads non-fic that you have a new literary thriller will get you a how nice, or a lot of how nices - but those don't translate to sales.

SallyB
07-05-2016, 02:15 PM
You could always go on Amazon and look through the top book reviewers and ask if they'd review it for a free copy. Most of them are happy too. Same deal with Goodreads. Or any book reviewing site, really.

There are also sites where you can list your book as being read in exchange for a review-

https://www.librarything.com/home (Paper/E-book/Audio)

https://www.goodreads.com/ (Paper)

https://s2.netgalley.com/ (E-Book)

http://onlinebookclub.org/free-books-for-reviews.php (Paper, E-book)

You could also get on a virtual book tour.

Not entirely sure of the prices for these sites however, some I do know you need to pay for.

Barbara R.
07-05-2016, 04:44 PM
I'm another newly self-published writer and trying to get reviews out. From most others that I've checked with, it averages about 100 buys for a review. I recently tried to engage bloggers to read and write a review, but most of them are full up and have no time. Check out https://bookreviewdirectory.com/fiction-book-reviewers/fantasy/

It's a list of fantasy bloggers. A couple agreed to read my book. But you might have better luck. Good luck!

I haven't self-published, so have no personal experiences, but a number of my writing students have done. I think they'd be amazed to hear about the 100 sales per review stat you cite, because despite having gotten a number of reviews from friends and family, their sales number in the dozens, not the thousands. First novels in particular are very tough to sell. I've heard some experienced s-p writers recommend Book Bub as one of the few advertising sites that get real results. They don't take all comers, but that might be an avenue to explore. Good luck!

WriterBN
07-05-2016, 07:42 PM
I think they'd be amazed to hear about the 100 sales per review stat you cite, because despite having gotten a number of reviews from friends and family, their sales number in the dozens, not the thousands.

I think you may have misinterpreted the statement. It doesn't mean that 1 review results in 100 sales. Rather, out of every 100 readers who buy your book, 1 may leave a review (or, in other words, the probability of getting a review is 1%). These days, ever since Amazon introduced its "20 Questions" review template, it's probably even less than 1%.

Barbara R.
07-06-2016, 03:25 PM
Oh, I see! That makes much more sense.