How it’s done ~ Approaching a reviewer…
Hi, everyone. I’m Julie Whiteley, a blogger, reader and reviewer. Jackie asked me to write a post for you concerning issues between authors and reviewers. And, especially to address what reviewers look for and to note some of the things we all need to work on.
What makes a great blurb?
Never judge a book by its cover or by its title! Do not over use superlative adjectives such as Brilliant! Wildly Creative! Don’t write a blurb that is as long as your novel and don’t use a quote or excerpt from the book in the blurb. Blurbs are always composed in present tense. Stick to a brief introduction of plot, hint at the adversity and possible outcomes. Think about a book trailer when writing the blurb. Reviewers are readers first and we like being teased into reading a book just as any other reader. One of my pet peeves is a blurb that rambles all over the place and mentions every character in the book. Reviewers know there is a supporting cast. We’ll meet them in the book all in good time. Sloppy sentence construction and misspelled words in a blurb puts my radar on high beam. While I might be forgiving of some errors, I won’t miss them because the blurb has put me on full alert.
Do reviewers read author profiles?
I cannot speak for other reviewers, but yes, I do read your bios. Books are such a personal experience it is nice to know something about the author and what inspired them to write. I like personal details such as where you are from, if you have pets, why do you write novels, and what other things you like to do. I love finding some zany thing about an author that makes the author seem approachable and human so I feel as if I can relate to you in some way or perhaps have something in common with you. Amazon bios that read like a job resume do not appeal to me. I’m not hiring you for a job. I’m reading and reviewing your book. That’s our connection.
Does back of book data matter?
For an indie author it does. Jackie has told me how she hounds you to put what she calls that little gem at the foot of your book. When I get to the end of your book, I like seeing…
“Thank you for taking time to read Title of Book. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated.”
So few indie authors do that, but it tells me you consider your readers. When I reviewed one of Jackie’s books, I was surprised to see a “from the author note.” I read it, and found it so interesting; I asked to interview her for my blog.
The request for a book review.
I often get emails saying: “Will you review my book, please?” THAT’S IT!
When asking for a review, do introduce yourself, tell the reviewer what kind of book you’ve written. What is the genre? The buy link? Provide a blurb. Offer a book cover or author photo. While this seems obvious to some, apparently it isn’t to others. DO offer the reviewer a free copy of your book in the reviewer’s preferred format. Yes, I do have authors asking for reviews who expect me to buy their book. That is not the done thing and extraordinarily unprofessional.
Never send a reviewer a copy of your book without first asking the reviewer to review it. That is presumptuous and no reviewer feels obligated to read or review a book just because the author sent us a copy.
There’s more: The Good, Bad and the Ugly. But I’ll save it for next time. Jackie has invited me to eNovel Authors at Work and I’m glad to be here—on your side of the fence for a change. I hope I get to know all of you soon. Visit my facebook page and say hello HERE… Regards, from Julie Whiteley
“I read the reviews with one thing in mind — they’re really none of my business.” ~ Frank Tuttle, author of Saving the Sammi
Thank you for visiting eNovel Authors at Work. We share the real scoop with indie authors so that indies can make the best decision for his or her book. Go here to read the first in a series on promotions. Go here to read actual promotion results and figures from author, Mary Smith. Another excellent report and recent results can be found on Carol Bodensteiner’s blog: Does Paying for Book Promotion Pay off?
I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work, a community of indie authors who believe in paying-it-forward.
Comments and sharing are always welcome.
@Copyright 2015 Jackie Weger