Congratulations, Sibelle Stone. You won Colette’s author promo package from ABG Reads Book Tours. Colette will be in touch!
Please join me in welcoming Colette from A Buckeye Girl Reads to talk to all of us writers and authors about engaging (or not engaging) book reviewers. I met Colette several years ago after a Google Alert popped up in my Inbox with a link to her review of WITCHES ANONYMOUS:
“I found this cute novella completely by chance at Amazon when I bought Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell. This was one of the books at the bottom of the screen in the area that said books you might like. I clicked on it and thought this would be a cute Halloween read. I was not disappointed!”
In this review, she mentioned WA was the second book to help her out of a reading funk. I was over the moon! Immediately I wanted to contact her and thank her for reading the book and giving it such a nice review but the doubt demons surfaced. That rule about never contacting a reviewer no matter what she said or how she rated your book hung around in the back of my head, keeping me from pressing Send.
But as you all know, I was born to break rules, so I stopped listening to the doubt demons and left a thank you on her blog. She responded kindly and since then, we’ve shared many nice emails and twitter conversations and she’s gone on to review my other WA books. She recently sponsored a blog tour for SOUL PROTECTOR through her company, ABC Reads Book Tours and I can’t thank her enough for all the hard work she did on my behalf. I was delighted when she agreed to stop by Magical Musings and share some advice on handling reviews in a professional manner. Take it away, Colette!
I love to read just about anything I can get my hands on, but I have a weakness for romances of any kind. I started blogging 3 years ago at A Buckeye Girl Reads to help keep track of what I read and have loved every minute of it. I also just started a book promotion site, http://abgreadsbooktours.blogspot.com to help authors promote their books to readers.
Here are some tips for authors when it comes to dealing with reviews and reviewers:
Don’t be afraid to leave a comment on a review you like. I love getting comments from authors who liked my review. It makes me feel like I am making a difference somehow. If you are uncomfortable leaving a comment you can always send the reviewer a dm on twitter or an email. I’ve had authors do this and it makes my day when I get one. I once had a senior publicist from a major publisher email me and thank me for the review I wrote of a book from one of her authors. (I sat there stunned a little bit after that email.)
Do think twice about correcting what a reviewer wrote in the comments, do it privately in an email instead. Correcting something publicly never works out well for anyone involved. Book reviewers gossip. A LOT. An example of this is that in a review of a book I liked I said the only problem I had was I didn’t find the car choice of the hero believable. The author left three comments defending the said car choice. I was then asked not to review for that publisher again. It’s awkward now when I get emails from their authors who I know now to review their books, and I have to say no because of one person’s hurt feelings.
Do engage with your readers on social networking sites. Don’t let those sites be all about promotion of your books. I unfollow authors if all I see are “buy my book” tweets. I have also made a mental list of books not to buy from authors who only spam me with a “look at this review of my book on this site.” However, with authors who do a little bit of promotion, and talk about other things as well as their books I feel like I want to buy their book because of my conversations with them. (A few of my auto buy authors have come from this type of interaction.)
Don’t ask reviewers to review your books on twitter or fb unless it’s privately done through messaging. Personally, I don’t mind this, but for a lot of my fellow reviewers it’s an automatic unfollow.
Do read the rules that the reviewer has for reviewing books on their site. Nothing annoys me more than getting a request for a book in a genre I don’t read or when I’m not accepting review copies from new authors when it’s clearly stated in my review policy.
Don’t be afraid to personalize your emails when asking for reviews. Nothing says delete to me more than getting an email that starts out: “Dear Buckeye Girl” when my name is all over my blog. I once had an author say how much they liked my rating system and layout design. While I didn’t have time to read their book, I offered to do a guest post or an interview with them instead.
Do remember not to take reviews personally. Reviewers just see the final product and if they liked it or not. Reviews aren’t a criticism against you personally even though it may seem like it.
Authors…Colette has generously offered to give away a special Magical Musings package today: ABG Reads Book Tours is a book tour promotion company that specializes in all kinds of Romance, Urban Fantasy, Chick Lit and Young Adult. Colette is offering a FREE 7 day excerpt tour of your book and one twitter chat hosted by @abgreadsbktours to talk about your book with readers. Chats can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 or however long there is active participation & you want to keep chatting. Leave a comment with your email addy and you’ll be entered to win!