Saturday, November 1, 2014

How To Garner Reviewer Interest - Part Four

Well congratulations!  You've followed this four-part article all the way to the end.  Give yourself a big 'ol pat on the back - if you can reach it.

Thus far we've looked at a day in the life of a reviewer, the wrong way to go about asking for reviews, and then the right way to go about asking for reviews for your glorious masterpiece.  In this final segment, we're going to look at what you need to be prepared for when those yes's to your request start coming in.  Quick response is key.  Do you have print copies available?  Every eReader edition available?  Good.  Now let's spend our final moments together as we take a gander at how to respond to a reviewer who says that special word.


So you’ve created a clean, concise email template and sent out your request to blogger after blogger searching for takers.  What do you do when the acceptances begin floating in?

Reply to that email ASAP and send them every single, little bitty thing they ask for, exactly how they ask for it.

The worst thing you could do for yourself after working so hard to find reviewers is to be unprepared – the proverbial caught with your pants down moment.  When those acceptances begin coming in, you need to have everything necessary at hand and reply in one email response as quickly as possible.  Do not piecemeal and send a whole bunch of emails with one or two things at a time.  All together in one email please.

You ask – then what will a typical reviewer want?  That’s a good question. 

1.         Copy of your novel:  It’s important to have as many digital forms as possible available for a variety of eReaders.  If your novel is available in print, be sure to keep a few on hand at all times.  Again, check their website before you even send an initial request to ensure what formats they accept.  Some only take Kindle while others only Nook, etc.  Many still only accept print copies.  Do your homework ahead of time to ensure you are prepared to send a reviewer’s individual format preference.  UNLESS otherwise stated, submit this as an attachment.  Second best would be to forward a coupon code and the direct link for said coupon code or gift a copy directly.

2.         Cover photo:  Self-explanatory – but make certain to reduce/compress the size if it is a large file.  Again, include this as an attachment.

3.         Author photo:  Yep, people want to see you.  If you’re going to publish, you’re going to have to be ready with a professional public image.  I know one author who even uses a cute image of his dog with a pair of glasses on while reading a newspaper.  It doesn’t really matter, as long as you consistently utilize the same image everywhere.  It’s called branding.  Just attach it and stop belly-aching.

4.         Book blurb/description/synopsis:  It’s best to utilize the same description for your book as what is on sales channels.  Consistency is the key.  Include either in the body of your email or as an attachment.

5.         Author bio:  Again, utilize the same bio as what is posted on your sales channels.  If you have never written one, then do so.  Make sure it is written in third person.  Garner assistance from someone who has known you awhile if needed.  Just be brief – this isn’t a resume.  Include either in the body of your email or again as an attachment.

6.         Links:  Provide a link to your author website/blog, social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and any or all sales channels where your novel can be located.  Many reviewers are specific about which links they want, so only provide those they ask for.  Otherwise it is carte blanche!  Just don’t overdo it.  Include these links in the body of your email.

Some reviewers may ask for additional items.  The key here is to research and be prepared up front BEFORE beginning your email campaign.  Make the review process as easy on the reviewer as possible.  No unnecessary fodder.  Always include each item as requested in one reply email.  Count ‘em – ONE!

If you haven’t already, be sure and keep good notes when you start that email campaign.  I write it all out on a yellow legal pad and then transfer everything into an Excel file on my computer (backed up to my external hard-drive and flash-drive).  Be sure and notate the website address, the name of the reviewer, the email address of the reviewer, and the date your initial request was sent.  When you get any sort of response, it is easy to go into your template and notate whether you received a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and the date you forwarded the requested items and then the date your review was posted (and the direct link to said review).  This may seem rather elementary, but I receive multiple requests sometimes from the same authors for the same novels over the course of a year, and I suspect it is because they have no idea to whom they’ve already forwarded requests.  Always keep good records because then you’ll be ready to forward the next release to those who enjoyed your first.

And lastly, as an author don’t make the mistake I’ve seen so many times of simply sending an accepting reviewer a bunch of links for them to go out there and gather your bio, photos, descriptions, etc.  Most likely they will email you back and say “thanks, but no thanks” and you’ll have just destroyed an opportunity out of sheer laziness.  It is not the responsibility of the reviewer to go searching out the web for your information.  That’s 100% your job.  It’s your responsibility to make the process as easy on the reviewer as possible.  It’s your responsibility to provide the reviewer with everything exactly as they requested.  Remember – you’re the one asking for a review.

Get it?

Got it?



That's all folks!  Thank you for sharing this journey with me.  I hope you got some useful information out of it, as I've enjoyed sharing this time with you.  If you ever have questions about writing, reviewing, or just plain need to connect with a fellow author, drop me a line.

I always respond.

Happy reading and writing!

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