Members New to Writing
Reviews, not critiques, and how to get them
I am a newbie and I am stumbling through the process. I am polishing up my first manuscript, Moonlight & Whiskey, and getting ready to send it to the editor. I've seen lots of things about Indie author's and the importance of reviews and I was hoping you all could help me clear up some questions.
When do I get them, before the book is published to include in the novel, or after by readers?
Where do I get them? How do I find credible reviewers willing to read and write a review?
Will just any old reviews do? If that's the case I'm sure mom would give me a killer review...
Is it worth it to pay for them, like with PW and Writer's digest?
Is there a good way to approach someone you have in mind without really knowing them?
What methods have been effective for you?
Answers to any, or all of the above, would be a big help, and if I forgot any important questions feel free to add.
To get reviews you must have readers. There are at least a million books published in this country each year. There is a difference between writing as a business and writing as a hobby. The competition is about a million to one. If you only have to compete with books written in your genre, then it's only tens of thousands to one. Unless you get picked up by a traditional publisher, you're competing against them and the system for every reader. If you self publish, all the expense of producing and marketing comes out of your pocket. It takes a great deal of time and effort to develop a fan base. Promoting a book is a full time job, with no guarantee of a return on the investment.
All that said, there are a number of channels to increasing visibility-- getting the book in front of readers. You're doing that here. How many people have read your book here? How long has it been in development? Do you want to give it away, or sell it? The answer to that will (to some degree) effect the way you develop a fan base and how long it might take to do so.
Those are all just facts to consider. I would only offer one word of advice-- for what it's worth-- free books often go unread. Be sure that the books you give away go to people who will actually read and review them. Remember, the unknown reader who buys your book and then gives it a rave review...That's priceless.
Before that happens, you will already know (from other readers who have critiqued the book) how good it is. You don;t have to have glowing reviews from unknown readers, any review ups the visibility and suggests readers are taking an interest. Some say you only get one review from about every one in a hundred readers.