Cover of Carrie First Edition
I heard about an interesting anecdote today that I would like to share with you. Stephen King started out teaching English when he wrote his first manuscript. He didn’t think it was very good and put it in the garbage can where his wife found it. After reading it, she encouraged him to finish it and look for a publisher. It turned into his first published novel, Carrie, a bestseller which later became a Hollywood movie and a Broadway musical.
The first point I’m trying to make is that we are often our own worst critics when we should be our strongest supporters and believe in what we do. If we don’t who will?
The second point is that just because one or two people don’t like your book, who says that they’re right? Just like in point one, don’t rely on one person’s opinion. Best selling author James Patterson‘s work was once criticised as “subliterate” by a reviewer from the Washington Post but he had the perfect reply: “Thousands of people don’t like what I do. Fortunately millions do.” Sums it up nicely, doesn’t it?
- JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series was rejected 12 times before Bloomsbury realised what a gem they had in front of them.
- Chicken Soup for the Soul, the first in a long series of very successful books was rejected 123 times.
This goes to show that even many experts don’t always get it right. If you believe in your book, go for it and get your book in front of as many people as possible.
Now that you have created a nice home for all your reviews and testimonials on your website you want to populate it with lots of lovely reviews. A really good way to invite reviews is to engage your fans on your Facebook Page. Invite your fans to write reviews for your book(s) and post them right there for everyone to see or they can send them to you in a private message of course. Let people know up front that you will transfer the reviews to the Review page on your website so that people can ask for anonymity if they wish (which you will of course grant them). You could entice them with a give away such as:
- a short story you’ve written
- the first chapter of your yet unpublished book
- a free eBook
- or ???
Depending on your generosity you can either give a freebie per review you receive or raffle off one or two items amongst the reviewers who replied within a certain time frame. All up to you.
But you can be sure that people will take you up on your offer either way and you will be able to populate your review page nicely.
And now I’m curious: What could you give away in return for reviews?
I’m assuming you already have an author website or even a special website for your book. You might have put the odd review on there as well.
My recommendation for today is to create a page especially for your reviews.This could be reviews written by journalists, book bloggers or reviews that readers sent to you after reading your book. Put them all up, even the not so favourable ones, it makes the review page well rounded and honest. Invite your readers to email you reviews I with the promise to put them up on the website. Everyone likes to see their work published, even if it’s just a review. Also, collect any reviews you have received on places like Amazon or Goodreads, just make sure you credit exactly where they came from, and add links where appropriate. This is especially important for blogger reviews.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about a great way of getting more reviews for your book(s).