So I asked myself the question… what made me pick up my latest book purchase (which was ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’ by the way)? Was it the cover? Not really, it looks kind of cartooney and not really my thing. Was it the title? Nope, I can’t say it really grabbed me or begged to be read. So what is it doing here, sitting upon my ‘to be read’ shelf as I type? Why am I secure in the knowledge that I’m pretty sure I’m going to like this book? What made me hit the ‘Buy’ button? Reviews. I ALWAYS google reviews on a book before I buy it – even if the blurb has my name written all over it and even if I’ve already read books by that author, I check out the reviews.
In fact, I do that with all my online shopping… if I’m buying a camera online, I want to know what other people thought of it first. Is it a shoddy model that takes crappy pictures, but looks the biz on the outside? Or is it a good value 16 mega pixel from a reputable brand? I don’t mean to sound like I’m trying to reinvent the wheel here, but my point is I think we can underestimate the importance of reviews when it comes to self-publishing.
When someone comes across your novel on Amazon or wherever, the first thing they are going to do is check out the reviews and so it’s time to get cracking on finding all those wonderful people out there who take the time to review books, free of charge, just because they love reading and want to offer their opinion. Note: they are opinions and as we all know, opinions can differ, so don’t be surprised to find some people less than enamoured by your book. It’s life (let’s see if I’m so diplomatic when my turn comes….”What do you mean you don’t like it?!!!)
So how to connect with these valuable readers? Well to be honest, I’ve been having a bit of a hard time finding bloggers – not because there aren’t enough of them, but because there are too many, and it’s hard to know where to begin. So I came across an extremely helpful link that lists bloggers who reveiw self-published titles called The Indie View. It’s gonna take me a while to get through that list, because again I think it’s important to find reviewers who are interested in your genre. A bit like sending out your submissions to publishers (ah, remember those heady days?!), you’ve got to send it to the right ones.
Anyone with any tips, advice, tales of woe to add – please do. It’s a subject I will be coming back to, including Blog Tours – the joy of touring your book from home, woohoo! I’ll put on the kettle 🙂