Book Reviews

Wake Up from the Book Review Blues

Get off your butt and do the one most important marketing thing that can give your books a huge boost. That’s the sort of advice I’ve given myself for years but have I listened? No – in one ear and out the other. Why? The answer to that question might require deep psychoanalysis.

It’s not something that I personally put much time into – one of my deficiencies as an author. It’s hard for me to ask people for their time. However, as this article points out, there are many reviewers who don’t get paid for their reviews and there is nothing of monetary value for them to read an author’s book other than that they love to read books.

It seems to me that, if you can find great reviewers among that crowd, then that may be just the thing your book needs to connect to more readers. There are so many questions that surround my efforts or lack thereof to find fair and competent reviewers so I usually ignore the whole reviewer thing – focusing my attention elsewhere even though I know reviews are critical to an author’s success.

Soon, I’ll try to post a poll to see if we can garner some best practices regarding the reviewer/author relationship and how people find reviewers who are not simply retained as a ‘shot-in-the-dark’ connection.

Here is a link to an article by Being Author that I found in my inbox today which has  some good advice for getting those all-important books reviews that can make or break your sales, according to the author.

Book Blogger Confessions: Tips for Indie Authors

Guidelines to follow when dealing with book reviewers.


Please comment on your own experiences with book reviewers, how you get reviews (word of mouth recommendations, book reviewer lists, etc.). Happy writing!

GL DOrion’s Friends Who Share Best Publishing Practices:

Jack the full trilogy  – YA historical fiction, now in Kindle Preorder: Get Jack Book 1 free PDF

GL Dorion’s Amazon Kindle Site: For preordering Jack Book 3 and the full Jack Trilogy

GL Dorion’s Amazon author site:




2 replies »

  1. I have yet to see any kind of proof that shows that more reviews lead to more sales. Obviously, you need some reviews, both for social proof and, much more importantly, for inclusion in promo sites, but if you think getting a bunch of reviews is going to somehow magically boost your sale, I’m sorry; that’s just not very likely. Best selling novels get lots of reviews because they’re selling lots of copies. People are seeing this correlation and getting the causation totally backwards.

    If you have ten to twelve reviews, I just don’t think it’s worth much effort to solicit more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You could be correct. It’s hard to know for sure and I haven’t seen any definitive studies. The hype about getting loads of reviews seem to be based on the presumption that ‘word of mouth’ is the best recommendation. But who are these reviewers? Short reviews on an author’s Amazon site – as we all know (I do not personally engage in the practice) often are given by the author’s biased family and friends. Many authors do it. I’ve had some admit to me that their Amazon reviewers are mostly friends and family. But neutral critiques done by reviewers who primarily want to read books and like the reviewing aspect and who consider themselves to be professional reviewers – to me that’s a different story. It may be helpful to authors to get many views from, say, people who got D’s in high school literature courses but one should ask what is the value of such a review. Perhaps because authors take a center stage in the book marketplace that any and every reviewer has a fair share in the review part of an author’s public presentation. After all, it’s not just the highly educated reader who is buying most of the books. Historical fiction authors would, I would hope, not be soliciting or hoping to get reviews from Johnny Dropout who left school in the 7th grade and proceeded on a life of breaking and entering, etc. I’ve sometimes advocated for Amazon to (for Amazon and Kindle distributors) take exclusive responsibility for any public book reviews by any of its authors. A wide-open marketplace for any ‘reader’ to make a comment about a book is a poor system for gauging the quality of an author’s creation. My guess is that, too often, such reviews are excessive one way or the other and not dependable – some authors get burned by alleged “reviewers” who may, fort instance, dislike the genre and trash the author’s book as a result. Others get glowing reports and recommendations from family and friends. Some authors pay their friends and acquaintances, I suspect, to put up glowing recommendations. Amazon and/or the author community beyond the big distributors need to professionalize and totally revamp the review process. There are too many ‘best-selling’ authors out there who are likely not selling many books at all. And, is ‘best selling’ the best criteria for judging the worth of a book? A New York Times bestseller – okay – sure, I’d like my books to all be NYT best-sellers – but what would that really mean?


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