The Process Of Hunting Down Reviewers

I thought you all deserved one so I went for it

So you just wrote a book. Shouldn’t reviewers vigorously chase you down? They should want your book so badly to promote their own websites that they’re constantly emailing the best authors, trying to get early copies of their books, right?

Wrong.

The indie author game is so flooded with books, it’s actually disgusting. I’m slightly ashamed of myself for adding to the amazing amount of books that can be purchased for under five dollars. It’s crazy.

For those that don’t know, attracting a reviewer can be down right annoying. I want people to review my novel, but there are so many standards in place that it makes you want to pull your hair out.

All the reviewers I contacted are pretty cool. Most are willing to read eBooks and have a wide range of novels that they enjoy. But, there are some high and mighty reviewers that are just as annoying as the authors that cloud Amazon with unedited work.

Reviewers have what are called Review Policies. Great! All I have to do is follow their policy, right? Right? Sure…if they like your books. Some of them can be this specific:

  • I only read Fantasy and YA novels
  • Absolutely no Science Fiction
  • Though I occasionally enjoy Romance, please no Erotica
  • Because of the amount of request I’m receiving, I’ll only accept paperback
  • When you submit paperback, please send one for my personal copy, and another for a giveaway
  • I do not read Christian Literature, Non-Fiction, or anything that is not contemporary.

None of these bullet points are exaggerations. I’ve seen each point on multiple websites. In fact, it’s more likely that you’ll see something this specific more often than not.

I don’t mind you knowing your preference, but I do get upset when reviewers have the nerve to request paperbacks, as though that’s free. I can send you a PDF, fine. But realize I value my work. Though publishing is an investment, most indie authors aren’t sitting on enough bank to send out 30 copies for free in order to potentially receive a review within a month or three.

I could easily go to a poetry night, perform, and sell my novel for $15 versus handing out 30 free novels. It just doesn’t make sense.

Not to mention, a lot of authors that seek these reviews aren’t very successful. Sure, it helps to have reviews on Amazon, but you need over 40 to get some serious edge and your novel has to be doing well beforehand.

Giveaways are often rumored to spark interests, but the big giveaway I entered stopped my sales completely and I’ve haven’t fully recovered from it. My novel was doing pretty nicely before it.

Because of the giveaway, people definitely put me on their “To Read List” on Goodreads, but most of them have 400 other books on the list as well. What will make them remember my book from the others? Nothing.

There’s a lot of author advice out there on how to market yourself, but none has actually worked for me just yet. I’m still experimenting.

To all the reviewers out there whose Review Policy was simple and not too specific, thank you.

To the others, I’m sorry that you have to be so specific because of all these garbage authors that ask for reviews without investing in editors. I know it’s not your fault that you have to be so specific.

To the authors that are crowding the market and haven’t invested in an editor or searched for beta-readers before harassing a reviewer, please put in the proper about of work. Do your research and improve your product. If people say your novel sucks, remove it from Amazon and try again. It’s not like you paid for an editor anyway.

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