It seems as if everywhere I look lately, there are conversations popping up about reviews. This post is specifically about authors who are considering requesting reviews from the major or minor review blogs and for the reviewer/bloggers who write them.
(Yes, someday I'll tackle reader reviews at GoodReads and other sites. I'll want to gird my loins, first...)
Writers...first ask yourself why you want a review...
The reason a writer wants a review directs the rest of the process. If the reason is validation-you just want someone to tell you you're good and they love your book...then ask a friend to read it and then stop talking about it. (This is the hardest one for most of us)
If it's to promote sales, but you're afraid of reviews, then don't ask for a review. Ask for blog spots or take advantage of every free promo opportunity, like LRC Loop, etc.
If, after thinking about why you want to be reviewed...you decide still want reviews and are willing to take the feedback or flat out rejections:
1. Join Manic Reviewers and follow the process to request multiple reviews at once with the minimum of trouble.
2. Always request a review privately. Follow up in private, too. Never, ever pressure the reviewer to hurry up, change their rating, to reconsider their decision not to review.
3. Give away as many copies of your book as possible, including to everyone from whom you request a review. People are more likely to rate book positively if they've been given a free copy.
4. The value of the book is in the eye of the reader. Whatever the reviewer writes is correct. Hate it, but it's true. Do pick and choose the best quotes to put on your blog or website, and ask for permission to quote, if it isn't expressly granted on the reviewers site.
And finally, I think if you thank one reviewer, you have to thank them all. Or ignore them all. (At least, that's going to be my new policy.) Either way, just accept that you live with the consequences of your choice, and there will be something wrong, either way you choose.
Return tomorrow for my take on Review websites and reader/review/author interaction.
Possible useful link:
Manic Reviews: http://manicreaders.com/index.cfm?disp=login